Previously in this blog we wrote about myths of NAT traversal techniques. We said that “hole-punching” in itself does not guarantee a direct connection in all possible cases. If you want to access a remote PC over the Internet in today’s IPv4- and NAT-ruled world, you will inevitably have to use some kind of intermediary server to connect. In Remote Utilities this feature is called Internet ID and it has already saved our users tons of time and frustration because it allows them to bypass firewalls and routers easily.
An Internet ID connection consists of two steps: 1) from the Viewer to the closest intermediary server and 2) from the intermediary server to the Host (or Agent). Sometimes, however, additional measures have to be taken in order to “get through” to the other side. This is especially so in very strict network environments.
When we released the Internet ID feature a year ago, we thought that the ability to diagnose Internet-ID connection issues would be extremely helpful. For example, suppose you are trying to connect to your home PC from a computer in the office. If you cannot connect, it does not necessarily mean that something is wrong with the Host (or with the intermediary server). The network rules in your office may be too prohibitive to allow the Viewer to connect to an intermediary server. Or there may be a proxy server that sits in between your office PC and the Internet. In both cases you need to adjust the Viewer settings to accommodate these circumstances.
We are happy to announce that the “Viewer event log” feature has been implemented in version 5.4. This feature allows you to determine on which side – Viewer or Host – the connection issue is and eliminates unnecessary steps when diagnosing the issue. If the connection log says that the Viewer cannot reach an intermediary server, and therefore cannot connect to the Host/Agent, you need to look for the root cause on the Viewer side, not waste your time checking the Host/Agent. As mentioned above, it can be a proxy server or strict network rules that are blocking an outbound connection and preventing Remote Utilities from establishing an Internet-ID session. However, Remote Utilities has all the necessary tools to get through even the strictest network environments.
As always, our purpose is not only to provide easy-to-use software but also to educate our customers. At Remote Utilities we not only give our customers buttons to press but also try to explain what happens when they actually press those buttons. It always pays to know about the tool one uses – especially when it comes to a sophisticated piece of software like Remote Utilities.