I have a Macbook that I use for iOS development. I would like to use my Windows 7 machine which has multiple monitors to do "remote" development. What I mean is I want to be able to utilize one of the monitors on the Win7 machine to display the Macbook screen over VNC. This way I can do the development on one monitor and reference other information on the other monitor.

I can connect to the Macbook (Snow Leopard) with TightVNC no problem. I have it maximized on one monitor and everything seems to be running as it should. The issue here though is speed. For some reason that VNC session is extremely slow. Both machines are connected to each other through a LAN. The Macbook is connected using 802.11n and the windows machine is connected over Ethernet. The connection is definitely fast enough to handle smooth VNC screen sharing. Can someone please let me know what the best TightVNC settings are for a FAST VNC experience? I am using the Screen Sharing capability that comes with Snow Leopard, I am not using a third-party VNC server. I tried various settings in TightVNC but there are just so many that I don't know what the optimal one is according to Apple. Should I use JPG compression? Should I not use it? Should I use RAW? Hextile? ZLib? Anyone that has used VNC to remote control a Mac on Snow Leopard please do tell what settings are best.

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This was asked a while ago, but since I just now asked this very same question, I will preserve here what I learned.

I'm using Windows XP to access a Mac running 10.6.4 with the stock VNC server. I initially attempted to use TightVNC because I had installed it on the recommendation of a coworker so that we could access some Windows boxes. Its performance for that was okay. However, using TightVNC to access my Mac on a local network with no other traffic was just painful experience, and I couldn't figure out the best settings.

I switched to using the free RealVNC viewer (version 4.1.3) as I remembered I had used that before, and that just worked fine the first time. You'll need to be sure to select full color, and I recommend turning off the F8 hotkey access to the menu if use Spaces (or otherwise have F8 mapped to something on your Mac). You can save these options to a .vnc file once you have successfully established connection with your Mac. You can then restore those options when you run RealVNC by using the -config command line option.

Not only is RealVNC faster, but it also sends the Windows key as the Mac's command key, which makes it easy to use the typical Mac shortcuts. Well, it was easy for me since I already use a Windows style keyboard with my Mac at home.

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  • This is good to know. Don't let the compatibility matrix fool you. It may claim that Windows Vista and Windows 7 aren't available for free, but the Viewer is always free. And there's no need to fill out any forms; just a click on the continue button and I downloaded the 64-bit viewer and in seconds was connected to my Mac with much better performance than TightVNC. – lilbyrdie Jan 18 '11 at 15:19
  • That's true. I should've updated my comments. I've been using RealVNC on Windows 7 for a little while now. Still works great! Although, I noticed 4.6.0 (64-bit) doesn't send the left Windows key as the command key. It sends the left Alt as the command key. Oh well. – user29960 Feb 11 '11 at 21:47

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