Is there a better Mac VNC client than Screen Sharing?

Trying to control a headless Mac Mini via Screen Sharing. The connection is direct over Ethernet (private network), and I’m getting some bizarre behavior. Keys sticking (the same key repeats 20 times or more, randomly - with different keyboards), weird mouse behavior (sometimes the click selects the item behind the current window, which makes zero sense), and it’s a bit laggy.

Wondering if there’s another option to try that’s known to be good. Any advice?

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Screens is always mentioned as a favorite


I use Screens for remote access as mentioned and found it to be good.


Agreed that Jump Desktop is even better than Screens.

Either one is much better than Screen Sharing.

Both are in Setapp.


I’ll second that. One thing I really like about Jump Desktop is that it automatically adjusts screen resolution to fit my iPad Pro (it’s not an exact match, but it’s really good).

With Screens, I always had to fiddle around with the resolution.

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Agree. Jump is a clear winner

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Also something I have just recently discovered. If you are using Jump (but I am sure this can apply also to other apps) and log in to an account on a Mac - a separate user can log into the same Mac at the same time. Thus both remotely using the same machine.

You can do this with Screens or the default Screen Sharing app, since about 10.7 (I think). If there is another user logged in on console, it will ask if you want to share the screen or log in separately.

FYI for Black Friday, Screens 4 for Mac is now $19.99, down from the usual $30 and the Screens iOS version is marked down to $12.99 from the regular $20 price.

Sorry if this is a little off-topic. Would any of these suggested apps work if I needed to access, say my Mom’s computer, to help troubleshoot?

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If you’re working with your mom’s computer over the Internet, I would use TeamViewer. Free for personal use, and they’ve spent a fair bit of effort to make it easy for the end user to get the application on their computer. You guide them to a website, they download a self-contained file, and they give you a couple of codes that you punch in on your computer.

It’s very solid, and you don’t have to worry about opening router ports and all that sort of thing. :slight_smile:

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Thanks I’ll give it a try!

Have used Screens; another vote for Jump Desktop.

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I use the messages app to help people all the time. Just text the person to start a conversation, then in the upper right corner click details, then click the screen sharing icon, 1st to the right of the name and either share your screen or their screen. They just need to hit accept on the other end.

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Jump Desktop is the best one. I even stopped using Luna Display on my local network because Jump Desktop has better performance (and more features).

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Hmmm. I installed Jump Desktop, then saw that it works through an account on the Jump servers, so it got removed immediately. I try to avoid the profusion of such online accounts that one needs to set up - each one represents another account and password to maintain (and forget!), another unknown company to collect and store information about myself and my online habits, another security risk. I really don’t know why the online community so blithely accepts the proliferation of products that rely on this flawed operating model.

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If you are willing to pass the SSH port through your router (which I do if only to get file access remotely) you can run VNC over SSH. If you have an VPN server at home, you can also run VNC over VPN.

If it asks for my name it’s collecting personal information! If I’m working on my own network, I neither need nor want any 3rd-party intermediary involved in making the connection for me, and my firewall will happily prevent illegitimate access from outside. If I’m working outside my local network the best way for me to reduce my risk its by using the VPN of my choice!

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Screens offers a similar functionality. It’s for people who don’t want to or know how to deal with port forwarding and all of that. You can use it as a regular VNC if you want.

It’s just asking for my email address. I hardly think it’s of much concern. I guess they could monitor how often I log in to my Macs… but I have no idea what benefit it would give them or what harm it would bring to me… or what perceived security risk might be related to any of this… unless you are reusing your passwords, I guess?

I use SSH to log in to my servers when away from home, so I don’t expect they could intercept my connection, even if they wanted to.

Life is a series of trade-offs. I keep the login info in 1Password, and otherwise I really don’t find too much to worry about whether I have 1,000 accounts or 1,001 or 200 or 5,000.

The only real thing that I try to do is limit the number of places that store my credit card, so if I can use Apple Pay or even PayPal, I’ll do that, and I never check the box for “Save my credit card information” if I am given that option. There’s a clear risk there that someone will store it insecurely or be comprised in some fashion. But for a username and password… I don’t see why I should give it much thought, really.

YMMV, of course. It’s a relatively free country.

The options others have suggested mostly work well if you want to access a computer remotely and be the only person controlling it.

If however you want to have multiple users accounts and have others be able to login simultaneously i.e. essentially in the background, then the options are more limited.

Apple Screen Sharing via VNC works in the background but only if the remote users also have a Mac; it does not work if the other users have a PC.

I have found that NuoRDS is a very stable solution in this situation - it lets multiple users login to my computer in the background using Microsoft Remote Desktop (for Mac or PC). Essentially it is a Remote Desktop server and not a VNC server. A plus is that it is secure, whereas some VNC software sends data non-encrypted.