After reading a Macworld column today, I rushed to the App Store to download a copy of RemoteTap for my iPod Touch. This app is very useful; essentially, it's a VPN client for your iPhone/iPod Touch that, with a companion preference pane on your Mac, makes it possible to remotely log in to your Mac, viewing and controlling it from a distance.

Yes, I suspect that free VNC clients exist for the iPhone to allow you do do this without installing another piece of software on the computer. I similarly use Leopard's screen sharing feature to connect to other machines on my network. But the $7 paid for RemoteTap offers additional features.

Setup was very simple, mostly comprised of setting a port and a password in the RemoteTap preference pane. I set a different port for each computer on the network, then forwarded the appropriate ports in my router. (Your mileage may vary if you've never done port forwarding before.) Creating a local connection on the iPhone is simple, since you can simply tap a "Scan" button to see the local computers and complete the setup.

Once you log in, you can use standard gestures to zoom and move around the screen. Various tools in the toolbar give you acess to the mouse pointer; the keyboard (there are 6+ keyboards on the iPhone for entering data); the Apple Remote (for controlling Front Row); applications (running, in the dock, or all), multiple monitors and Spaces; and the remote Mac's audio (you can even hear ambient sound through the Mac's built-in microphone!)

If you want to view and/or control your Mac from your iPhone, this is the app to get. And, on a lighter note, check out Shift,which is also available for the iPhone. Very addicting!