Remote screen monitoring software

One of my volunteer activities is to help newbies and others navigate our organization's web interface, which is complex.  I have finally realized that to be more effective, I need to watch their screen (with their permission) and help them find the next steps to take, which are frequently not that obvious.

It would be like using the typical support technician's software that he uses to take over your computer, except that I expect to mostly observe and advise. (I don't intend to do their job for them!)

I use a PC but I think it should work with remote Apple machines, if possible.

There several applications out there that provide this capability. Can someone give some reasons to choose one over the other? Cost is a factor, but is not overriding.

Thanks,
John Fistere
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John FistereEngineer, retiredAsked:
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KwoofCommented:
VNC or UVNC - free but involved for remote client to setup.

GoToAssist - Great, but $$

TeamViewer - Also Great, but $$

Google Remote Desktop - Easy to install and use, works ok for basic tech support, need to be signed in to install the Google app.
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John FistereEngineer, retiredAuthor Commented:
Thanks, Kwoof,

Another application, LogMeIn, costs over $1,000. Do you have an idea what GoToAssist and TeamViwer cost?

A friend suggested I use GoToMeeting, which our organization already has, and set it up so I can see the user's screen, and give advice.

Setup, etc., on the user's machine is a problem. These are not computer savvy people, in some cases.

Still looking.

J.
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Kent DyerIT Security Analyst SeniorCommented:
Huh?  We use Logmein at our Church and I don't think we have ever paid a dime for it..  We use it all of the time with no issues.
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John FistereEngineer, retiredAuthor Commented:
It turns out I signed up for their highest level package trial, LogMeIn Rescue.

They do have other levels, including free.

How much does a user have to do to let me watch their screen? The free version description sounds like it's designed to let me to do remote computing on my computer.

J.
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peeaCommented:
Better go with TeamViewer, free and offers more professional features such as VPN and VoIP.
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John FistereEngineer, retiredAuthor Commented:
I'm interested in having the least complicated operation for the user. How is TeamViewer (or any of the others) in that regard?

I like the ones where you enter a URL, click a button, and enter a code. Are any of the free ones as simple as that?

J.
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Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
If I'm not mistaken, the free versions of LogMeIn and TeamViewer are for non-commercial use only!

EDIT:
Perhaps free for non-profit as well...
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KwoofCommented:
definitely check on the licensing for allowed uses.  Goggle's remote desktop has been the easiest for me to walk people through after GoToAssist.

GoToAssist (from same people as GoToMeeting and GoToMyPC) is oriented for tech support to jump in and help (take over) as needed and has many features.  It's lowest level is now $69 a month or $690 a year.  It jumped $20 from last I checked...I used to use it and liked it.
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John FistereEngineer, retiredAuthor Commented:
My use is for a non-profit, but it is still not clear to me which demands the least from the user. Are they all just a couple of clicks and a code?

I assume Google Remote Desktop is not in that class.

J.
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Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
>>Are they all just a couple of clicks and a code?

Create a LogMeIn account (Internet) and install the software on your PC. Then, using this account, install the software on each computer you want to monitor.

Use your Internet account to log onto one of the computers and you have access to that PC. You can speak to the user over the phone, explain what you want done and watch how the user does it!
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John FistereEngineer, retiredAuthor Commented:
Paul,
Let's say I have LogMeIn installed. How do the two computers find each other?

I'm still not clear on the process. The user must have to do something.

J.
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Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
LogMeIn works over the Internet...

All the PCs that have the software installed using your account with LogMeIn are on a list when you logon at LogMeIn.com. The software must be active on the computer you want to connect with. Select the computer from your online LogMeIn account:LogMeIn InternetLogMeIn network
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John FistereEngineer, retiredAuthor Commented:
As they say.....Aha!

So the user has to install LogMeIn independently with my account info, before anything can happen.

Maybe I'll try it tonight.

Do you know if there is a command line mode for the user's installation so that I can give the user a URL with all the info needed?

............................

I just Googled "logmein command line install" and got some hits so I think the answer is yes. I can just send the user an email with the URL and we are in business.


J.
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John FistereEngineer, retiredAuthor Commented:
Oops. It was not what I thought at all. It was to solve a problem of installation failure, just to get it installed on the primary computer.

Bummer.

J.
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Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
OK - go to this page to create your account: Sign up.

On the remote computer, go to this page to download the LogMeIn Host Software. All the instructions are on this page.

May I suggest that you give your account password to all those who need to install the host software. Then once the users have all installed it and you are sure everything is working OK (i.e. you can connect to all the computers), CHANGE YOUR ONLINE ACCOUNT PASSWORD.

In order to access the users PCs, you will require the Windows account name and password for each user!
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John FistereEngineer, retiredAuthor Commented:
Thanks, but I'm looking for something much simpler.

I'm thinking of using GoToMeeting, and just watching the user's screen and advising, especially since the user is supposed be learning what to do anyway.

J.
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John FistereEngineer, retiredAuthor Commented:
Our organization already has GoToMeeting which we use for Webinars, and I experimented with it. If I give control of the session to the user, that person can than show me their screen as they navigate the target system, allowing me to give them some help.

It's pretty easy for both parties to use.

Thanks for all your advice, though. It may come in handy some day.
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John FistereEngineer, retiredAuthor Commented:
I chose a system our organization already has, and adapted it to my purpose.
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