Forum Question: Accessing a Mac Remotely Without Using (iCloud) Back To My Mac

I’ve just watched this episode of MacMost “Setting Up an Airport Extreme for Outside Access (MacMost Now 345)”.
I can successfully access my iMac’s files with File Sharing and control it with VNC from my MacBook Pro. However, I want it to be more secure. How do I set up SSH? Do I just go to Port Forwarding on my Airport Express, select Remote Login-SSH, and set it up for the iMac? Will all the traffic (the file sharing and VNC) go through that secure tunnel?
Thanks in advance,
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Tommy

Comments: 8 Responses to “Accessing a Mac Remotely Without Using (iCloud) Back To My Mac”

    12/3/11 @ 1:24 pm

    I’m not an expert on SSH. But you want to use SSH to use VNC? I don’t think that works, or needs to work. VNC should already be secure. I’d check with an expert on SSH and VNC, but I believe screen sharing is already encrypted encrypted.

    Tommy
    12/3/11 @ 1:41 pm

    From what I’ve heard: vnc isn’t secure.

    I found this tutorial:

    http://5thirtyone.com/tutorial/home-mac-airport-extreme-dyndns-simple-remote-vnc/

    He sets up SSH the same way I did. I’ll consult with an expert though.

    From what I understand from all this is that the VNC stream will go through the SSH tunnel as long as both protocols are pointing to the same ip-address (in this case, the iMac’s).

      12/3/11 @ 2:42 pm

      The more I think about it, the more I am sure that Mac screen sharing is a secure form of VNC. I don’t see why it would be otherwise. And it seems that whenever I have experimented with other clients to connect to my Mac, all the security options are there — it is just screen sharing is a simple interface so they are probably on by default.

    Tommy
    12/4/11 @ 8:14 am

    I did a bit more research. It seems that you’re right.

    Thanks, Gary.

    Tommy
    12/4/11 @ 9:04 am

    “Tunneling VNC over SSH has several benefits. For one, if you are using a non-Mac version of VNC, your traffic is probably going over the network unencrypted. By default, the Mac VNC client encrypts keystrokes, including the login.”

    Got it from this site: http://www.netmojo.ca/2009/07/06/using-vnc-screen-sharing-over-ssh-on-os-x/

      12/4/11 @ 9:17 am

      Right. And in my experience those non-Mac VNC clients have security options you can turn on. So I would just turn those one to encrypt the connection, rather than just trying to set up VNC over SSH.

    Tommy
    12/4/11 @ 9:48 am

    I agree. I’ve just gone into the preferences of the Screen Sharing app on the Mac and there’s an option that allows you to encrypt all data, not just keystrokes and login passwords.

    Last question: is the HFS File Sharing option encrypted? If it’s not then I’ll just continue to use SSH to access my files via Cyberduck.

      12/4/11 @ 9:51 am

      I believe so. But do research there too to find out for sure.

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