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Recommend software for remote assistance

Posted on 2016-08-04
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Last Modified: 2016-08-09
I know this subject is discussed many times in this exchange. But since I'm looking for some specifics I'll post the question again.

What utility would you recommend for assistance clients remotely

Should be easy on the client side [some are so computer illiterate if it's not simple simple it will take forever to get started, this is a something team viewer has its very simple for the client]

Should be able to restart the client computer and reconnect at start without action from the client.

Easily access administration permission areas (some make it difficult)

Once started should it run in the background so if I started a procedure for example to run overnight on a client computer I should be able to check in on progress

Be able to switch from the user account where logged in to the administration user account (log me in even allow to logout from the user initialize the and stay connected wile logging to to the administration account)

At the lest but a deal breaker should be with reasonable monthly payments not a upfront purchase.
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Question by:Abraham Deutsch
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by:tailoreddigital
ID: 41743510
TightVNC.
http://www.tightvnc.com/


I've used TightVNC for this purpose for years.    You would need to forward a port on the router,  but once done, you can connect anytime you like, no client interaction needed.    It can be set to run on startup, so you can reboot the systems remotely and reconnect without issues.
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 41743513
Hi Abraham,

Why don't you use Windows Remote Assistance it is already deployed or included in all Windows 7 and up so you just need to follow the steps as described below:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/3276/invite-another-user-to-troubleshoot-your-windows-7-machine-with-remote-assistance/

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457004.aspx

it is safer and give more privacy to the user than VNC.
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by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41743541
Both of these seam to work with a environment with one computer on the network, but not in a office environment with multiple computers, is this correct?
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 41743553
Abraham,

I'm using Remote Assistance now to manage the 800+ workstations across multiple different region to replace VNC.

The reason why VNC repalced was due to PCI-DSS requirement and it is insecure as you can get into the PC sneakily without no one noticing.

Both of them are free no cost is needed :-)
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Expert Comment

by:tailoreddigital
ID: 41743622
I use VNC in a network of 100 or so.  No problems with security.  Maybe if you configure it wrong there could be issues, but that's true of any remote connections, We don't have any issues with VNC and it works perfectly.  

Also as a extra FYI,   I use Terminals to manage connections to many computers.   This software works well with both VNC and RDP connections.   It makes it much easier to manage many remote devices.

https://terminals.codeplex.com/
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by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41743660
Sorry I am a bit slow, Re port forwarding, is it required to forwarded a port to each computer IP address want to connect, if not to which IP address is the forwarded port pointing trough which you can connect to any computer in the network?
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 41743661
Hi Abraham,

Remote Assistant is using port TCP/3389 while VNC is using port TCP/5900.
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by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41743673
In RDC when I want to have access to to more then one computers in a network I do a forwarding for each computer see attached. this my become a little complicated and require some work, when you compare this to the other application like team viewer log me in ......
Port.JPG
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Alexandre Michel earned 500 total points
ID: 41744128
Abraham

Are you looking for a free solution or paid one?

If paid: look into Goto Assist, MSP Anywhere or a RMM tool like Spiceworks (free), N-Able or Labtech.

With Goto Assist or MSP Anywhere you can either pre-install the app on your client's computers or you can email them a link to download and install a one-off app

With an RMM tool, you can install an agent on the server and then let that agent push a copy of itself o n each computers on the network

Alex
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by:DenzilSmith
ID: 41744181
I have been using Teamviewer to support many remote clients, it works perfectly all the time, and support by the creators of teamviewer is also very good.. I would recommend it.
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Author Comment

by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41744224
Spiceworks is this a remote connection application? Looks like a ticketing system.
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by:Alexandre Michel
ID: 41744247
you are right that it is a ticketing system but it is a lot more too. see for example https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/7306-use-remote-control?pos=0&referrer=546071&source=related_topic

if you are interested in this type of tool, your choice is between free software (Spiceworks)  ... and spending a lot of time to install and configure it OR  paid software that comes pre-installed with loads of features (N-Able, Labtech, etc)
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by:Alexandre Michel
Alexandre Michel earned 500 total points
ID: 41744256
Have a look at https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/7306-use-remote-control?pos=0&referrer=546071&source=related_topic for example.

Spiceworks comes with loads of add-ons to also monitor your network

Personally I prefer to use a paid tool like N-Able or Labtech. N-Able comes with a free remote control tool called MSP Anywhere.

I also use MSP Anywhere paid edition for the one off session for clients that don't have N-Able already installed
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by:DenzilSmith
ID: 41744484
To the moderators:  How do I withdraw my comment?
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41744600
TeamViewer is only free for non-commercial use. Commercial use gets expensive quickly.
Your options really depend upon your revenue.
Logmein Rescue $150/month, Citrix GotoAssist 69/month are the industry leaders but have priced themselves out of the smaller markets. There are some paid up front and you own solutions that average around the $1k
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by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41745017
The first I look at was go assist
The good side of it is it low monthly payments
But in comparing to team viewer its leeks a feature that is important to me and believe others as well.
Even with unattended access the client still need to be at the computer and allow the connection.
A procedure that takes a lot of time, usually is being done after business hours/ over a weekend.... And without having the ability to check in on progress it may fail or sometimes a yes or no click can hold the process from complete and finding it out the next day the client gets to the office is not to exciting... Versus with team viewer once you set unattended access you can go in and out with out no one on the client side.
Yes Another disadvantage (not as the above) go assist required administration right for the installation which makes it more difficult when assistant employees in a company so you'll in some cases wait till the one with administration right is at the location.
Team viewer is expensive
I'll continue looking in to your other suggestions and post it here.
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Assisted Solution

by:Alexandre Michel
Alexandre Michel earned 500 total points
ID: 41745058
MSP Anywhere allows one-off connection without admin right. After installation, the consultant can type an admin user name and password and thus have admin access to the remote service.

I have used gotoassist as well. it was installed on servers and pcs. It does not need user interaction. I was able to do anything I ever had to do without user interaction
 
If YOU need admin right but the END USER does not have such right then there is no way to install a remote app that has admin right... unless you already have access to the server. A RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management) tool will do that for you.
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by:Alexandre Michel
Alexandre Michel earned 500 total points
ID: 41745061
At the end you will have to decide the features that are most important to you:
price
ease of use
extra features
one off connections
etc

This might help you make a decision:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_remote_desktop_software
http://alternativeto.net/software/teamviewer/

Alexandre
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Author Comment

by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41745920
n-able seems to be something fantastic based of what thy say non of the competitors come even close. and thy are not expansive. from your experience using n-able is it as exciting thy sell it?
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Assisted Solution

by:Alexandre Michel
Alexandre Michel earned 500 total points
ID: 41745967
N-Able is a great product for someone that has never used a RMM tool. It is easy to use. It is web based, you can start with their cloud based server - so you don't need to have your own onsite server.

I used Labtech in the past which is more powerfull but has more than I needed and so migrated to N-Able. Also N-Able made me offer that I could not refuse ;-)
I also used Kaseya a few years ago which was OK.

It all depends on your needs, your likes, etc...
I found that Support from LabTech was better than the support I am getting from N-Able

Also most RMM tools will integrate with PSA (Professional Service Automation) like Connectwise, Autotask or Tigerpaw. So any issue found by N-Able automatically becomes a ticket in my Connectwise... Which can potentially generate more income.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41748630
Thank you for your help
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