VPN vs VNC - What Do You Need?

Perhaps every worker who often has to be on the road will agree that it would be convenient to have a tool that allows you to manage your work computer or computer from the office, while not being near it. Fortunately, this technology has been around for a long time and can provide you with a convenient toolkit for working remotely. This tool is called VNC.

But it can sound similar to VPN. And many people confuse these abbreviations. Although they both consist of similar letters, these two concepts imply entirely different instruments. Both are digital and responsible for your experience using a computer and networks, but they are fundamentally different in their functionality.

For those who need a remote connection to a computer, VNC is needed, and for those who care about their security on the network, a VPN is a great solution. In the following paragraphs, we will find out what a VPN and a VNC are and explain aspects of using them.

How Do VNCs Work?

VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing. VNC is a graphical desktop sharing system that uses the Remote Frame Buffer protocol (RFB) to control another computer remotely. It transmits the keyboard and mouse events from one computer to another, relaying the graphical screen updates back in the other direction over a network. 

VNC is platform-independent – the server can run on any operating system, and clients are also available for most operating systems. Version 4 of the protocol is open source and licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPLv2). 

VNC Connect is a proprietary implementation of VNC developed by RealVNC. Virtual Network Computing Connect consists of two parts: 

  1. A VNC Server app for computers you want to control. 
  2. A VNC Viewer app for those you want to give control to. 

You must install and run a VNC server on the computer that can share the different desktops (or just one desktop in multi-user mode), while a client goes on each computer that will access the shared desktop(s). Once you’ve the installations and configurations of these components, you can launch their VNC Viewer client software to connect to remote desktops on other computers. 

The first time you connect to a remote computer using VNC protocol, you will have to enter authentication credentials (username/password). After authenticating, you will see the desktop of the remote computer inside your local VNC Viewer window. 

From there, you can use your local mouse and keyboard to control the remote computer as if you were sitting in front of it. Any applications running on the remote computer will appear in this window, and you can interact with them normally. Likewise, any changes you make to files on the remote computer will apply to that machine. 

If multiple users log into the same computer via different user accounts, each user will have a separate desktop that they can access via VNNC. In this case, when connecting to the remote computer using VNNC Viewer, you will have to select which user’s desktop you would like to access. 

What Are the VNC’s Disadvantages?

While VNC has its advantages, there are also some disadvantages to using this software. In this block, we’ll explore some potential downsides of using VNC:

  1. One potential disadvantage of using VNC is that it can be slow. Because Virtual Network Computing relies on an internet connection to transmit data, the speed of the connection can affect the performance of the software. If you’re using VNC to connect to a computer located far away, you may experience lag or delays. 
  2. Another potential issue is security. Because VNC provides access to another computer, it’s important to ensure the connection is secure. Otherwise, someone could gain unauthorized access to your computer. 

Security of VNC

While VNC can be a great productivity tool, it’s important to know the security risks associated with using this technology. Now, we’ll discuss some of the potential security risks of using VNC and how you can mitigate them.

EavesdroppingOne of the most common security risks associated with VNC is eavesdropping. Because VNC transmits data over the internet, someone can intercept and read that data. To mitigate this risk, ensure you use a secure connection (HTTPS) and encrypt your data with a strong encryption algorithm.
Brute Force AttacksAnother common attack against VNC servers is brute force attacks. In a brute force attack, an attacker tries to guess the username and password for your Virtual Network Computing server. To mitigate this risk, make sure you’re using strong passwords and consider limiting the number of failed login attempts allowed before the server locks down.
Man-in-the-Middle AttacksA man-in-the-middle attack is an attack where an attacker intercepts communication between two parties and impersonates one of those parties. This attack is particularly dangerous because the victim may not even realize they are under attack. To mitigate this risk, ensure you’re using SSL/TLS to encrypt your data.

What Are the Differences Between a VNC and a VPN?

If you’ve ever worked remotely, you’re probably familiar with the term “VPN.” But what about “VNC?” Both VPNs and VNCs allow you to access a remote computer, but they do so in different ways. In this block, we’ll look at the VNC and VPN comparison and find out the key differences between these two technologies.

VPN is service that allows users to connect to encrypted networks. Such networks help the user to remain anonymous, change their IP address, access restricted content on the network, and protect their data using various encryption methods. VPN is a great tool for anonymity and protection online.Virtual Network Computing is also a way to connect to a remote computer over the internet. However, unlike VPNs, VNCs don’t use encryption. This means that anyone who can intercept your traffic can also see what you’re doing on the remote computer. VNCs are typically great for corporate environments where security isn’t as big of a concern.

VNC Versus VPN. Which is Better?

In the world of internet security, many acronyms are floating around. Two of the most common are VNC and VPN. But what do they stand for? And more importantly, which one is better for internet security? Let’s take a closer look at VPN and VNC comparison.

VNC allows you to control another computer remotely. Essentially, it lets you use your mouse and keyboard to control another computer from afar. VNC is great when you need to access a computer in a different location, but it’s not that great for security. That’s because VNC has no encryption, so anyone who intercepts your connection can see what you’re doing. 

On the other hand, VPN encrypts all of the data sent between your computer and the VPN server. This means that even if someone were to intercept your connection, they would not be able to read any of the data that’s being transmitted. VPNs are much more secure than VNCs but are also more complicated to set up. 

So, which is better? VNC or VPN? When it comes to internet security, VPN is the clear winner. The fact that it encrypts all of the data, makes it much more difficult for hackers to intercept your connection and steal your information. However, setting up a VPN can be complicated, so if you need to be more comfortable with technology, Virtual Network Computing may be a better option.

Should I Pay for VNC?

So, many people think about whether it is worth paying for remote access to a computer. In fact, the solution in this case is quite simple. If you are not a professional and just want to try out new technology for yourself, you can use the free version of the program for non-commercial use. So you can appreciate the remote access tool, find the pros and cons for yourself and understand if this program is right for you.

However, if you want to use the program for commercial purposes, as businesses do, you will have to pay a subscription fee for use. In any case, we recommend you to first evaluate the free version of the program to see if it suits you and only then subscribe to the service.

Bottom Line

As you can see, both VPN and VNC have advantages and disadvantages. It depends on your needs as to which one would be the better choice for you. If you need to access files or applications on a remote computer, then VNC is the way to go. However, a VPN would be a better option if you’re concerned about security and protecting your data.


  1. Can VNC be used as a VPN?

    VNC, or virtual network computing, is software that allows you to connect to and control another computer over the internet. VNC is great for providing remote support or access to a computer that would otherwise be difficult to reach.

  2. Is a VPN better than a remote desktop?

    VPN and remote desktop are two different things. VPN is a way to securely connect to another computer over the internet, while a remote desktop allows you to access and control another computer from a remote location.

  3. Do I need a VPN for a remote desktop?

    If you're looking for a way to connect to a remote computer securely, then yes, you will need a VPN. However, if you need to connect to a remote computer to provide support or access files, then no, you will not need a VPN.

  4. Does VPN block remote access?

    No, VPN does not block remote access. Remote access is the ability to connect to and control another computer remotely. VPN is a way to connect to another computer over the internet securely, but it does not block remote access.