Tag Archives: remote assistance

What Is the Best Remote Assistance Program?

Geek!This is Preston Kemp’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Do you get asked to help people with their computers? Do they want you to come over to their house every time something goes wrong? I’m afraid I can’t tell you how to get them off your back, but why would you want to? People need to help other people more these days.

There might be an easier way to solve computer problems for people and make your job a little easier by remotely connecting to their computer. You can download TeamViewer, a free program for both Mac and PC users. It allows you to remotely connect to another person’s computer and take control and fix their issue. All you need to do is get the ID and password from the person you plan to connect to and you can connect to. There are versions for both Mac and Windows and is cross-platform compatible so for example, Let’s say your friend has a lovely Mac and is running OSX but you are running XP or Vista or vice versa; you can still connect and assist them as long as you have their ID and Password. Now you can help people no matter if they have a Mac or a PC.

It has far more functionality than the ‘Remote Desktop Connection’ that can be used for Windows. You can transfer files directly, without having to upload them to a file sharing website and then re-download them at the client computer. There is also a feature for doing a presentation which will allow them to only view your screen and not allow them to control it. TeamViewer also has an integrated feature that allows you to chat with the person to whom you are assisting.

Another of TeamViewers many features is the VPN hosting. If you have someone assisting you, there is an option to record the session so if you forget how to do something you can always go back and find out again by watching the session that you recorded. You can also optimize settings for speed and quality. You can also pick your own settings or let TeamViewer chose what’s best for your connection. Once you have the login credentials you will be able to solve problems just as if you were there in person, sitting at the computer with the issue.

What if I don’t like something they are doing on my computer? No problem – you can easily stop what they are doing by clicking a little X button at the bottom right corner of the screen, which will allow you to override anything they do. Your mouse can also “overrule” the assister’s controls – meaning that if you move the mouse, your mouse gets priority and prevents the assister from doing anything that you wish them not to do.

How do I know they won’t connect to my computer when I’m not using it using my ID and Password I gave them? Don’t worry; they can’t do anything because your password randomly changes every time you use TeamViewer so that they can’t gain control of your computer without your password.

What’s Your Favorite Remote Desktop Program?

Geek!This is The Celtic Elf’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

I just wanted to submit my review and recent experiences with that fabulous remote assistance software called CrossLoop.

I rediscovered it last week when I was reading through some old issues of Lockergnome IT Professionals looking for a way to help a friend who is 600 miles away from me with a computer problem. I had remembered that there was a software program other than Windows Remote Assistance or MSN/Windows Live Messenger that would work better and more securely than either of them, but I couldn’t remember the name. I didn’t have a need for the program back when it was first being discussed and reviewed. Thank you Lockergnome for back issue availability!

I was thrilled with CrossLoop’s performance and ease of setup and use, especially for my non-technical friend. He was amazed as he watched me control his computer to solve the problem (“This is KEWL!!”, “Looks like my laptop is haunted!”), and I was impressed with the response time and the ability to work across different Windows systems. I use XP Pro, and my friend has a laptop with Vista, no problem for CrossLoop. I read the instructions that CrossLoop has available on their site about turning off Vista’s User Account Control before starting the session, and the instructions they include were clear enough that when I sent them to my friend, he was able to follow them with no added explanation needed from me.

With old man winter approaching, I have installed CrossLoop on two more of my regular clients’ computers, and I plan to do this with the rest of them over the next week or two so that *”when the weather outside is frightful” I will be able to help them without risking life and limb. (*Gratuitous holiday song reference intended.)

I also have some online friends that live in the USA (I am in Canada), that have often wished that I could “see” what was happening on their computer and spare them from calling (shudder) the “Geek Squad” or going without their computer for a week or more while it is in their local repair shop. They will be relieved to know that I can do this now.

Can you tell that I am a happy puppy? So are my clients who already have it installed. In fact, one of my clients that already has it installed is planning on having me play a trick on his friends using CrossLoop, he wants to fool them into thinking that he has a computer that can read his mind. He plans on starting a session with me and then hiding the CrossLoop window, then when his friends arrive he will send me a signal to start opening windows, playing songs and so on. He can hardly wait to try it out. Looks like CrossLoop, in addition to being a practical and handy tool, can be a fun toy for some people!

I do realize that CrossLoop has been reviewed before, but I wanted to add my own spin on it and remind IT professionals everywhere that computers are supposed to be FUN!