Questions about Reverse Connections

I’m mainly interested in Vine because its Reverse Connection capability seems to solve a big problem I have: many of the people I help remotely are blocked from receiving incoming connections, usually by WAN/LAN routers (LinkSys, Airport, etc.). Talking them through the process of configuring their router’s port-mapping table is a nightmare (even if they DO own the router, which is not always the case!).

Reverse Connection seems to be the answer, but I have a few questions:

  1. The Server sends its “invitation” to the Viewer’s port 5500. Does the Viewer then connect to the Server on port 5500, or port 5900?

  2. Is it true that, for Reverse Connections, I must use Vine Server?

  3. How does this differ from what offers the PC world? One thing they seem to allow is for their Viewer to connect to and control an unattended PC. For connecting with my Mac from home to my office Win2k machine, this would be a great thing.


A1: Most VNC servers that offer reverse connection configurations default to port 5500 for the invite. Once a connection is established, it stays on port 5500, there is no port swapping dynamically.

A2: You do not have to use Vine Server to have reverse connections to the Vine Viewer. There are other servers for PCs (TightVNC comes to mind) that have support for reverse connections as well as port ranges other than 5500.

A3: The details of how does what you say regarding unattended outgoing (from server to client/viewer) connections are unknown to me. I have read up on this topic in the past, and if my memory serves me well, generally the companies that offer this type of service are either subscription (pay) based, configured with encryption or security, or take advantage of security holes in the viewers host operating system. Since I’m not an expert on other services, I encourage you to ask the folks at how their service works, and how it may differ from a reverse connection using standard and well documented VNC software.