Mac screen sharing through ssh tunnel

How to Enable Screen Sharing on the Remote Host

Until relatively recently Apple offered a tool called Back to My Mac that could be used to access your Mac remotely. Alternatively, they could screen share - accessing the office Mac from the Mac at home and using it just as if they were sitting in front of it. Back to my Mac has never been the only method of gaining Remote Access to your Mac.


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You can access screen sharing settings in System Preferences, you can use Apple Remote Desktop software, or you can just store all your files in iCloud Drive so that everything is available on any of your Apple products. There are are also various apps for Remotely Accessing your Mac.

How to Enable Screen Sharing on the Remote Host

In fact, you could log on to iCloud on any computer - including a Windows PC - and access your iCloud Drive via the web browser. It also means you can save space on your Mac as everything can be stored in the cloud. However, there are a few disadvantages. First up, using iCloud Drive inevitably means paying Apple. Apple gives you 5GB of storage for free, but that figure will be eaten up in seconds.

So you will need to for more storage, the minimum being 79p or 99c a month. Find out more about how much iCloud costs here.

How to Connect to VNC Server Using SSH Tunnel With Putty and Port Forward

Another issue is that we often find things can get a bit out of sync. Especially if you leave documents open on one Mac while you work on them on another Mac. We often find that we confuse iCloud with two versions of the same document. We find that we avoid working on the wrong version if we open a file from the Finder rather than using Recent Documents within an app.

Another option is to use screen sharing. This way you can control another Mac remotely. Opening files and folders, closing files and windows, you can even use apps that are only installed on the remote Mac.

This is a particularly handy solution when you are trying to help someone fix a problem with their Mac. Expect there to be some lag.

VNC Access

If you want a slightly less laggy way to share screen, and you are both on the same network, you can adjust your setting for Sharing in System Preferences and connect to the other screen. Another way to access another Mac is using Apple Remote Desktop. This lets you run apps and access files on another Mac. But if you do want to learn more about using Remote Desktop Apple has a detailed guide here.

Chrome Remote Desktop enables you to remotely access your Mac from a Chrome web browser on any computer. You can also access it via your iPad and iPhone if you install the Chrome Remote app. We have a more detailed guide to setting up Google Chrome Remote Desktop here.

Some ISPs enable this out of the box. You will then be prompted for the remote user's password. This will assume you have the same username on both local and remote machines. If you do not, you can always add the remote username like so:. See: How to set up ssh key authentication. Now you need to fire up your VNC client. It won't matter what client you use. What does matter, however, is the address you use to make the connection. Instead of entering, say, Once you click connect, your VNC client will use the encrypted SSH tunnel and make the connection between local and remote machines on port Not only is your VNC connection good to go, but it's also more secure than if you had simply used the default VNC port.

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SSH Tunnels

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen. Image: Jack Wallen.

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How to use screen sharing remotely and securely - Mac OS X Hints

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