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!