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Logging into customer's computer from my office. What software to use?

Posted on 2007-10-02
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I do alot of computer support and have customers asking about logging into their computers from my office and fixing their problems.  What kind of software should I use?  I just have regular DSL that suites me fine.  I have seen programs that people install on their computers(off the web) then tech support has access to their computer.   I would like something like that.  I would like to make sure that we are all secure when doing this.

Any ideas or suggestions would be fine.
Thanks
Paul
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Question by:paulbarstool
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by:ngravatt
ngravatt earned 240 total points
ID: 20001821
this network streaming appliance is useful and relatively cheap:

http://www.bomgar.com/

also, though less secure, you could utilize the remote desktop features available in MSN as well as the WindowsXP OS.
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by:brwwiggins
brwwiggins earned 240 total points
ID: 20006715
You could take a look at UltraVNC. They have a remote support tool that the end-user can run to initiate a connection back to your PC. Since the end-user initiates the connection you usually bypass firewall issues (but not always).

Plus it's free...can't beat the price.
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by:Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown earned 240 total points
ID: 20010438
i use an aresenal of utilities for this depending on the end users security and reporting requirements and levle of enterprize software available.    for small offices and home useres i use a version of ultravnc called PC helpware
but i also use remote desktop connections for servers
ultravnc single click
and regular ultranvc in conjunction with Hamachi vpn
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ElrondCT earned 280 total points
ID: 20015243
If you'll be constantly connecting to new clients, rather than ongoing needs for a few locations, you may be able to use the Remote Assistance feature that's built into Windows XP. The customer goes to the Help and Support page of XP, clicks on "Invite a friend to connect to your computer with Remote Assistance", and goes through the prompts from there. One big nuisance is that if they use web-based email, they have to store the "invitation" to a file, then find that file to attach to an email message to you to allow you to connect to their computer. Some people have difficulty with the process of attaching files. But otherwise, I find it works quite well for ad hoc connections, with the advantages that it doesn't require them to download additional software, and it's free.

Note, though, that while the XP Firewall will let the RA connection through for the time allotted (the user specifies a length of time the "invitation" is active), other firewalls generally won't without special setup, so if your customers are behind corporate firewalls, or even routers, RA probably won't be helpful. However, if they're typical home users, RA could be enough for your needs and easier to use than some other systems.
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