Wednesday, April 2, 2008

VNC vs. Orb

The concept sounds cool... "VIEW YOUR DESKTOP FROM ANYWHERE!" And you're right. It is cool. But pointless.

For many years, I've been a user of a program called VNC, a program similiar to Window's Remote Desktop Connection. In a nutshell, this program runs in the background on your desktop computer, then when you travel to another computer, you can point your web browser to your home computer's website and control your mouse and keyboard from anywhere in the world. Its like being at the office, but from anywhere! (I prefer TightVNC if you want to give it a try.)

Unfortunately, VNC is slow, choppy, and super dependent on the speed on your internet connection. It sucks bandwidth like an infant sucks a nipple. On the bright side, it freaks out people who see you're computer working by itself.

Well, I have found an alternative! Its a program called "Orb." It consumes practically no resources, isn't stopped by complicated network settings, and works no matter how slow your internet connection is.

I originally started using Orb as a way to stream media to my Wii (which it is great for, by the way). After installing the program on my desktop, I just had to point my Wii Internet Browser to and log in. Wherever you log in, you have full access to all the files on your computer, you can stream all your legally downloaded movies, watch live TV (if you have a TV tuner card in your computer), and listen to your music like you were sitting at your desktop.

Seriously, its everything I used to do with VNC, minus the bandwidth. Check it out! Both programs are completely free, and even if you only use it once, it can be a lifesaver.