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Best software to provide remote assistance

Posted on 2009-07-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
I am the resident "IT Guy" for a small company. We have a small saleforce (about 10 people) who have latops which they take on the road with them. I'm looking for opinions on the best approch to be able to offer them remote assitance. I would like to be able to connect to their machines and see the desktop and take over control of the mouse/keyboard. Price is an issue as we are a small company with a limited IT budget. I have used RealVNC with some success... the problem lies with port forwarding and many times the salemen either can not follow my direction to forward the ports on their firewall/router at home, or they are in a hotel or other place where they do not have access to the routing device.
     What would the most feesable solution be that would only require that they have an internet connection? I've heard about GoToMyPC, and I'm thinking of looking into that, but if there are any free or one time charge software programs I would prefer that. All laptops are running Windows XP Pro SP3 and are typically connected to the internet wirelessly.
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Question by:dannyg280
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Jupiler78
ID: 24813752
Hello dannyg280,

I mostly use the tool on: www.showmypc.com
It is free, and I can explain it even to ppl who aren't computerminded.

Regards,

Jupiler78
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Accepted Solution

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Robmonster earned 500 total points
ID: 24813764
UltraVNC Single click works well, it just requires you to open a port at your end (not at the salesmans end) Its totally free. The interface is a little clunky, but once launched it works fine, giving you full control over their PC.

Team Viewer is another good alternative, but for commercial purposes it requires licencing.

Abode ConnectNow is a flash based screensharing system that also works quite well, although it seems less tolerant of low bandwidth connection in my experience.

Rob
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 24813895
May favorites are teamviewer (mentioned above), and logmein. Both have free versions. Teamviewer allows you to easily transfer files between the connected PC's, while if you want to do that with logmein, you need to install it's vpn software, hamachi, also free.

http://logmein.com

Both are nice because you don't need to forward any ports on your router or firewall, so it works from anywhere. The advantage of logmein over teamviewer is that you can control the other PC via a webbrowser, while teamviewer requires you to start an exe. That means teamviewer only works between windows PC's, while you can use a Linux box with firefox as browser to control the other PC (which has to be windows).
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Robmonster
ID: 24815178
I meant to mention PCHelpWare, which is what UltraVNC Single click morphed into. It's basically the same thing underneath, except it has an interface to construct the components you give to the end user needing support. This is also Windows only.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 24823224
My first choice by far is GoToAssist  by citrix. It is one of the few that allows remote control, remote sharing, built-in diagnostic tools, ability to reboot into and out of safe mode and maintain control, and requires no port forwarding. It is no longer free, but an excellent value. My blog has a more detailed write up:
http://msmvps.com/blogs/robwill/archive/2008/05/11/remote-support-made-easy.aspx

I also like single click, but the performance is not as good.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dannyg280
ID: 31601595
I'm using TeamViewer and it fits my needs perfectly, thank you.
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