RealVNC rebrands as VNC Connect 6.0, switches to subscription-based model

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RealVNC Ltd has unveiled RealVNC VNC Connect 6.0, the newly rebadged and updated version of its VNC server and client package for Windows, Mac and Linux.

There’s a shift from a perpetual license keys to a subscription-based model, plus a large number of new features, including cloud connections, team-based remote access and sharing, and support for improving remote access.

The name change from RealVNC to VNC Connect reflects some of the major changes implemented in version 6. There’s no longer any permanent licenses for sale -- instead, users have a choice of three subscription tiers: Enterprise, Professional and a free -- for non-commercial use -- Home.

Version 6.0 also introduces a new cloud connection option, which is brokered by RealVNC’s online discovery and connectivity service. It’s the only option for Pro and Home users -- Enterprise users can still use the traditional direct connection.

The introduction of teams coincides with the shift to an account-based approach to the software -- users can set up teams of RealVNC account holders for sharing remote access and managing computers, subscriptions and so on.

The account also means that address book information -- the VNC Address Book has been integrated into VNC Viewer as of version 6 -- is now backed up and synced between devices.

Other new features: VNC Viewer can now remember remote credentials, be password-protected from unauthorized use and quickly forget sensitive data when running on a shared computer.

Desktop previews for file connections have been added in the form of screenshot thumbnails, and users can now give connections custom, friendlier names.

User and Virtual Modes are now restricted to Enterprise subscribers only, while VNC Viewer now sets its proxy to the system proxy server by default. Support for both VNC Deployment Tool and VNC Viewer for Java have also been dropped.

The new version supports the latest OS versions, including macOS Sierra, Windows Server 2016 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. A full list of changes -- including some known issues, such as lack of multiple-selection options when attempting to select more than one connection in VNC Viewer -- can be found at the RealVNC website.

RealVNC VNC Connect 6.0 is available now as a free trial download for Windows, Mac and Linux. Mobile versions for iOS, Android and Chrome are also available. Home subscriptions are free for non-commercial use, and limited to five computers and three users. Pro and Enterprise subscriptions are for one year at $40 and $55 per computer respectively, with discounts available for duration and volume.

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