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Sep 03 2012

Remote Support Software making IT Support a breeze!

When I got involved in IT about 17 years ago and started to help people with their computer problems, things were a lot different than today. Those days someone would phone you with an email problem… o, wait, emails hardly existed 17 years ago… let me try again. Those days someone would phone you with a Word Perfect problem, or Windows 3.1 question. How would you solve this problem for the client? You will get in your car and drive to the client to click-click and drive back to the office.

Today this has changed completely. In my company we use more than one method to provide remote support to our clients, but the most common software for Remote Support is TeamViewer and Logmein. There is a couple of other software also available that I will get to in a second. Remote Support Software changed the world for the IT guy. If your client phone with a problem, you will try to assist first via Remote Support and as a last resort you will go to the client and then it’s mostly for hardware or network issues.

TeamViewer

TeamViewer is by far the best Remote Support Software available and also the easiest to install. You don’t have to struggle with firewalls and possible Anti-Virus software that will block it. You also don’t have to go through all the trouble using Dynamic DNS if your clients don’t have a public IP.

What’s better is that TeamViewer allow you to use their software for free, but only for Personal Use. We as company bought it and it is worth every cent.  The software works very simple. IT creates and “VPN” between your computer and the clients computer. That way you can view his screen, control his mouse and keyboard and the client can see what you are doing. This way your client receive and instant solution to his problem and you as the IT guy don’t have to travel.

LogMeIn

Logmein is the other software that we use very regularly. We use it mostly for client that are on contract with our company. We will then install it on all the servers and computers on at the client. That gives us access to any computer or server whenever we need to do maintenance or Remote Support.

When you need to do server maintenance on a weekly basis of need to check backups or create a new user in Active Directory or forward an email address to someone else’s email address, Logmein is your best friend.

Yes, TeamViewer also have a unattended access option, but Logmein is just so much easier.  From the Control Panel, you can see what computers are online. That way you can immediately determine if it’s a computer problem or a certain section of the network or a DSL downtime problem.

Join.Me

Join.me works the same way as TeamViewer but for me it’s not as reliable, but the funny thing is that if, and that is if, TeamViewer does not work you can almost be 90% sure that Join.me will work.

Join.me is also very easy to install and your client can view what you are doing. It’s not my first choice Remote Support software, but maybe you will like it so give it a try!

VNC

This is probably one of the oldest Remote Support software available. VNC is also very good and works brilliant, but it works best if the computers are on the same Local Area Network than the one that you are trying to access it from. With other words, if you have an client and you have an IT technician that is always onsite at the client, he can then use VNC to remotely connect to the computers on the network using the IP address or Hostname of the computer.

Using VNC over the internet is possible but not close as easy as TeamViewer or Logmein. You will have to create and VPN between your computer and the clients network so that your computer has a local IP address and then you can access the computers via Hostname or IP address.

Radmin

Radmin works almost the same as VNC. It’s easy to setup on a local network and access computers via Hostname or IP address. I did use Radmin Viewer years back to provide Remote Support on servers, but today’s software works so smoothly that I will never consider going back.

Now this is the Remote Support Software that I use/used regularly and that I incorporated into my company’s business model. Yes, there also is Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) the ships with Microsoft Windows and also works fine. I’ve used it a lot, but it’s just so old school.

Please give me your experiences. What Remote Support Software do you use and why do you prefer it.

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