I was just teaching someone a little about SSH & VNC. I said I'd show him some things with TeamViewer. Then he asked me "Soo.. is this a VNC client?
And I wasn't sure.

What protocol does TeamViewer use? It's obviously similar to VNC & RDP and so on. However, I can't seem to find much information on it.


TeamViewer uses its own proprietary protocol. It is not documented, though its authentication layer has been partially analyzed:

It is similar to RDP or VNC (RFB) in purpose, but includes NAT traversal, has slightly different authentication methods (the one-time PINs), supports file transfer & chat, and adapts to network conditions dynamically.

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    The NAT traversal must be possible because it is not peer-to-peer, as there is a server to establish connection, unlike RDP and VNC. – paradroid Oct 10 '15 at 23:12
  • It's mostly peer-to-peer. Quite a few protocols (e.g. pre-MS Skype) only use central nodes purely for NAT hole punching, not for data relaying. – user1686 Aug 15 '16 at 11:58
  • Could you elaborate on the NAT traversal / hole punching part? – voices Sep 6 '18 at 16:58
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    FYI both links in this answer are 404 today. – phg Aug 25 '20 at 12:12
  • @phg Site is accesible via internet archive web.archive.org/web/20160306132655/http://www.accuvant.com/blog/… – Raymond May 6 at 23:04

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