Introduction: Get on Your Computer From Home. Safe & Secure

Picture of Get on Your Computer From Home. Safe & Secure

Need to get on your computer at home from a friends house? Want to check on the kids from work?

This is how you can safely and securely get on to your home computer from anywhere that has the internets.

1. Broadband Internet
2. An ISP that allows hosting of SSH servers
3. FreeSSHD (Free)
4. RealVNC (Free)
5. PUTTY (Free)

Step 1: Install FreeSSH Server

Picture of Install FreeSSH Server

In order to access your computer you need to install freeSSHD. This program creates a server that allows you to make an SSH connection to your home machine. The connections is encrypted which makes it very secure but can slow down the connection, especially if you have slower internet.

SSH is a protocol that allows you to get a command prompt remotely. It will be identical to "cmd.exe".

To install it you need to download it from the website: You will need to have administrative rights on the machine. This is for windows machines, there are similar apps for Mac.

Look at the picture below for information on setting up the server.

Step 2: Forward the Ports on Your Router

Picture of Forward the Ports on Your Router

You need to forward the ports on your router to be able to connect to your computer remotely.

Goto and find your router make/model and follow the instructions.

If you don't have a router or your computer is in the "DMZ" then you can skip this step.

Step 3: Test the SSH Server.

Picture of Test the SSH Server.

Get your copy of PuTTy or your favorite SSH tool ready.

Download it from

you only need the PuTTy application disregard the other applications.

1. Open PuTTy

2. Go to "" and right it down on a piece of paper.

3. In PuTTy type in your IP address.

4. Click "Open"

5. Type in your username followed by the password.

6. If you see a command prompt then you did it right.

Step 4: Download and Install RealVNC

Picture of Download and Install RealVNC

You need to download and install RealVNC. You don't have to use RealVNC but its the one i like the most. and download the Free Version of the Viewer and Server (it should be a package deal).

Make sure that the server runs as a service.

Right-click the icon in the task bar. Select Options

On the Authentication Tab > Make sure that "no authentication" is selected, and "prompt use to connect" is not checked.

On the Connections Tab > Make sure "accept connections on port: 5900" is selected, and check "accept connections from local machine only"

Step 5: Test RealVNC.

Picture of Test RealVNC.

The only way to test realVNC is to do it from a diffrent computer.

If you do it from the same computer you will get an infinite loop of your desktop which can cause problems.

Follow the same steps you used in step 3 to test the SSH server, except this time you need to add one thing before you hit "open"

1. Open SSH and Insert IP address

2. In the left column click SSH and expand it

3. Select Tunnel

4. In the Source Port type 5900

5. in the Destination type

6. Click Add

7. Click Open

8. Enter Your Password

9. Open the VNC Viewer

10. For the server type:

Note: You MUST NOT have VNC server open on the computer your testing this from otherwise VNC Viewer will connect to the computer your testing this from.

11. Click Ok

12. If you see the other computer then you've done this right.

Step 6: Tips

Picture of Tips

I suggest putting a copy of PuTTy and RealVNC Viewer on a flash drive. This way you can save it and take it anywhere.

Also in putty you can save a profile of all your settings so as long as your ip address doesn't change you won't have to set it up everytime.

If you have a dynamic IP address you might want to check out


ОлегК19 (author)2016-06-17

Try to use Radmin priced at $ 49 per perpetual license, a lot cheaper than TeamViewer. I believe, Radmin is one of the best remote control applications that I’ve ever used. I can now easily access and control other PCs from my home and office. I am currently using it for my educational and work purposes.

GuitarGuy420 (author)2009-06-27

I followed this to the letter and couldn't get it to work, I spend 3 days fallowing every instruction, every picture, and every word and still nothing. I'm not saying that it doesn't work but I am saying that I couldn't get it to work. Any suggestions? Maybe my router, Actiontec GT704-WG and internet service wont let me. Also there is the question of what IP address do you use to connect to your computer when your router has a dynamic IP. I tried to make it static but no luck.

A simple way to isolate the issue is to try testing from another computer on the same network, try to connect via SSH and setup Tunnelling and Connect to VNC. If that doesn't work then the issue is on the computer not the router. You should try and set your router to assign the computer your doing this on to a static ip, this is normally done in your routers dhcp settings and normally require tell the router a MAC address to assign a specific IP address to. Once you have done that you need to Port Forward SSH to that Private LAN address. You can use any external port you want as long is it points to the SSH port of the internal computer. for example if you think your isp is blocking SSH you can use 31337 or 4444 whatever is easy for you to remember. Then when your at work or wherever you need to connect to your routers public ip address. You can get this by going to or If you find that your public ip address changes frequently you can setup an account with if your router supports it. Once you setup your router it will automatically change the ip that you dyndns account points to.

divxnz (author)2007-07-04

Just use much easier and free...!

bgray1009 (author)divxnz2008-10-20

its not free its $99 minimum, you only get a free trial for 30 days

Davidl3 (author)bgray10092009-05-10

there is a free version that you can use limitlessly

natural_orange (author)divxnz2007-07-05

Accept this allows you to do a lot of other nice features like doing Secure file transfers. You can also do a lot of other things. Plus you get the satisfaction of doing it yourself.

littlechef37 (author)2008-09-05

Or you could use this It takes a minute to install and its FREE.......

As complex as it looks Good instructable

bgray1009 (author)littlechef372008-10-20

To littlechef37 its not free its $99 minimum, you only get a free trial for 30 days

cornboy3 (author)2008-07-25

Or ya know you could just take realVNC and use your exernal IP instead of your internal and it would work fine anywhere.

natural_orange (author)cornboy32008-07-26

except unless you pay for realVNC Enterprise (with Encryption) you are vulnerable to a number of exploits including session hijacking and bypassing authentication. This setup although somewhat complicated, its pretty simple once you get down to it. Your just using SSH to tunnel back to your computer. FreeSSHD allows you to transfer files via SCP.

techwiz (author)2008-03-06

What makes this better than remote desktop?

natural_orange (author)2007-12-05

You need to setup a user name in FreeSSHD first and then use that username and password. Go back a step and look through all the pictures.

wayfast (author)2007-12-05

Im having a problem with PuTTY. When i login, what name do i use? Its not a business computer. Its a home PC. I made up a name hoping that would work. But then it would not let me enter a password. Couldnt type anything then. Any suggestion?

vaiden (author)2007-08-21

Thats alot of steps to do it your way. Check out ultraVNC, which can run as a service, has ssh built in, so no ssh server needed, gives you full control of your PC, and can automatically bypass NAT devices with no port forwarding necessary, since forwarding ports is the same as opening ports and thats a security risk. Have a look, I think youll like it.

Myself (author)2007-07-09

If you're hauling files around on a USB flash drive, you might as well use key-based instead of password-based authentication.

Biotele (author)2007-07-08

How do I hack my router remotely? I forgot to port forward before changing the ip of the computer. Now it's hiding behind the router and I don't have remote management on the router enabled.

natural_orange (author)Biotele2007-07-08

Then you have to wait until you get home and change the settings. You really shouldn't use remote admin/management anyway.

Biotele (author)natural_orange2007-07-08

I wish it was that easy. I am on trip far from home. Do you know of any exploit tools?

erfonz (author)2007-07-04

You should google "VNC BL4CK" it's a wonderful little program that bypasses your 10-15 letter password. It works. If you want to run RealVNC, you need to get the pay version with encryption, BL4CK can't bypass if it's encrypted.

jwater7 (author)erfonz2007-07-05

It's not the vnc password this is using, it's the ssh password, so VNC BL4CK won't work with this setup (ssh tunnel).

jwater7 (author)jwater72007-07-05

Oh, and VNC BL4CK only works on RealVNC version 4.1.1, it's been patched.

natural_orange (author)jwater72007-07-05

exactly, you have to connect to the computer via ssh first in order to use the RealVNC. RealVNC is only accepting connections from the computer itself (the SSH server) which is tunneling the connection with encryption to the client computer. You don't even need to have a password on RealVNC unless you need to be really secure.

LasVegas (author)2007-07-04

Anytime you leave an SSH Server running and open on your computer, your not safe. A good hacker could get into your computer with very little effort.

carlos66ba (author)LasVegas2007-07-05

I have had sshd running on several linux boxes for more than 10 years (since 1996) and have not had a break into any box (or at least none that I knew!!!). I think that ssh is reasonably safe (meaning that unless you have a very high profile for hackers the chance of getting hacked is small). All ports that are open present a risk, but almost all activities in life do have a risk, the issue is whether the benefit is worth the risk.

natural_orange (author)LasVegas2007-07-04

I have had an SSH server running for over month with no security issues Just make sure that your pass phrase is long.... like over 10 or 15 characters.

tiuk (author)LasVegas2007-07-04

SSH-2 is quite secure. Telnet, and SSH-1 are not.

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