Screens 4

I do not have the need for using VNC (Virtual Network Computing) as in the past, but there are times when it still comes in handy in my daily workflow. I have used different apps for this purpose, but have finally settled for a nice little app called Screens 4 by Edovia Software.

 

VNC

Here is a basic definition of of a VNC:

Definition – What does Virtual Network Computing (VNC) mean?

A virtual network computing (VNC) is a graphical desktop-sharing application that uses remote frame buffer protocol to remotely control another computer. This form of desktop sharing transmits keyboard and mouse events from one system to another over the network based on screen updates.
– via Techopedia.com

The Mac has screen sharing capabilities built in to the OS, but third party programs like Screens 4 provide much more speed and power. There are several VNC apps for the Mac, however I think Screens 4 is one of the most powerful and easy to use ones out there.

Screens 4 Startup

When you open Screens 4 you get a window like this:

Screens 4

In my case, I am going to login to my wife’s MacBook Air on the same network. She came into my office this morning and asked me if I could look at her computer screen from in there. I used Screens 4 to go onto her computer and setup a printer, then print the document she needed. Screens 4 is capable of logging into Macs, PC’s and Linux machines. It can login to machines locally or remotely. Screen Sharing needs to be activated on the shared computer.

When you double-click on the computer Screens 4 presents a login screen:

Login

When logged in you are taken to the shared computer in a window on your Desktop:

Window
Click for larger image

While you are logged in, a Screen Sharing icon is displayed in the Menu Bar of the shared computer:

Menu Bar icon

 

Screens 4 Menu Items

I just want to share a few menu items to show some of the capabilities of this app. In the “Command” menu you can use Mission Control and a couple other things:

Command

In the “View” menu you can switch to observe mode, up the quality of the shared screen (slower) and go to full screen mode:

View

By the way, if you wish to transfer a file or folder from the main machine to the shared machine just drag it into the window. Screens 4 gives you this response:

Sharing Files

There is one more thing I wanted to mention about Screens 4. You can save a login to a computer which allows you to login automatically in the future. If you roll your mouse over a computer listed in the right side of the main window you get this plus symbol:

Plus symbol

When you click on the plus symbol you are presented with this window:

Sceens Library

Be sure to enter the Username and Password for the computer in question before clicking “Save”. Once you have saved the computer in the Screens Library all you have to do is double-click on the icon in the left side of the main window and Screens 4 logs you into that machine automatically. A very handy feature if you are getting into the same computer frequently.

Conclusion

There are more features to Screens 4. I say if you have a need for VNC functionality you cannot go wrong with Screens 4. It is a little pricey at $29, I think I got it on sale for $14.95 or something. You can buy it from their website or the App Store.

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