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Remote Tech Support

Discussion in 'Business Applications' started by killah, Aug 19, 2006.

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  1. killah

    killah Thread Starter

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    Our company, a small based business, wants to get into Remote Tech Support, Customers call in, or visit the website, and we fix problems remotely.
    Of couse they must have internet access...that works... :)

    Asking from all the people here, who has ideas of what kind of software would do this?
    I have checked multiple online companies, prices can get steep.
    Only 1 person, maybe 2, will be doing this remote support starting out, so dont need anything with 50+ users license.

    I was thinking like PCAnywhere, or VNC, and such, but not sure how that would work web based and such...and I know Microsoft has the Assistance built into MSN Messenger, but it is remote view only i believe.

    Anyway, I would greatly appreciate some alternatives...especially cheap ones!
     
  2. rhynes

    rhynes

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    Well, I do this to a degree already, but only with the clients that trust me. The majority of my clients have the higher end firewalls, and in my case, I have vpn access to all of these. I have a snapgear router that has 24 vpn links ready to go but they are not enabled til I need them... I can do alot of remote admin from home, but again, big responsibility and alot of trust...

    As a company trying to get into remote admin?

    The biggest thing i've seen is trust issues, alot of companies won't just give you remote access even if they have something in place. Put yourself in their shoes, would you trust a stranger with admin access to your server? Also, you have to think about the implications if they do suffer a major problem, get their network compromised... Will they blame you?

    I'd say your best bet is to get out and test the waters, talk to companies and find out what kinds of issues they are having and evaluate what you can fix remotely. Know your limitations, I wouldn't even try to remove a virus remotely. There's so many times I try to reboot a DC remotely, but when it comes back up the console is locked and I can't get back in. Have to call the client and get them to do a hard reset. Just little things to think about.

    I'm not saying it's good or bad in any way, not trying to discourage you.

    If you can find a package whereby the client initiates the connection from a website to allow you remote desktop access, that would be feasible. I know citrix has this but i'm not sure how much it costs, and I think it's per use on licensing. I also know companies that use it, and it's a nice deal.

    There is another package i've been asked to evaluate, it's called n-able. http://www.n-able.com/

    Looks very promising.

    Good luck, hope it works for you :)
     
  3. killah

    killah Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the replay, I will check that out.

    1 thing, I agree with what you said, maybe I should have mentioned that our customers will be end users...mom and pop at home kinda tech support.
     
  4. rhynes

    rhynes

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    ahh... didn't know that part... The home user is much more willing to trust. Guess you can talk them thru issues over the phone if you have to go into safe mode too.

    Look into a couple of licenses for citrix remote... Thats probably the best bet for you. N-able is more for the corporate side.

    Good luck with that, really hope it works out for you.
     
  5. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    I use VNC for remote support to friends and family.
    They all have firewalls that stop external connections. I have set their firewall to allow a VNC connection only from my IP address AND my MAC and with a password on the VNC access. I also put the VNC server start up on their machine as an Icon on the desktop (not as a service that is autostarted) so that it is only activated by them. The only problem??? with this is that after a restart I have to ask them to restart the connection (but this is extra security that we are prepared to live with)
     
  6. killah

    killah Thread Starter

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    Yah, vnc is pretty nice and handy..
    I was looking for something low end...web based...customers go to our website, and we can connect to them and do remote tech support.
    Only problem is, the companies I found that offered this, tend to be more then we can spend..
    SO it may come down to VNC or something.
    Couple questions someone may be able to answer..
    1) Can the Assistance function in Windows Messenger offer remote control, instead of remote viewing?
    2) What about something like GoToMyPc.com, we log on, customer logs on..can we remote control?

    Thanks for all the answers!
     
  7. rhynes

    rhynes

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    Just my 2 cents Killah but you're going to want something that the client has to initiate on. You don't want something that they know you can get into at any given time, that would freak most people out...

    Unless you want to start doing router support whereby the client can enable a forwarded port to their computer? Doesn't take long? But then you have to start dealing with different routers, different software firewalls, not to mention versions and revisions... Brrr, gives me the shivvers.

    I wonder about an ssh connection... i'll take a look later today, maybe you can invest in a decent router that can allow a quick on demand ssh connection for the client?

    But then again, you have to start looking at what software firewall could be blocking the outgoing data packets... :(

    You couldn't do this the easy way and support corporate eh? ;)
     
  8. killah

    killah Thread Starter

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    With both Windows Messenger and GoTo MyPc, customer has to log on and initiate support. both will work through routers and such, We need something low end, with grandma and grandpa simplicity :)
    I appreciate checking into the ssh, let me know if you find anything!
     
  9. rhynes

    rhynes

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  10. JoneeJay

    JoneeJay

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    I am just starting to introduce Remote Support to end users -

    and yeah thought about firewalls and IPs etc. Then I found this:

    http://www.netsupport247.com/?partnercode=NSI001

    On your website - you have a "Support Technician Online" kinda button, they click it and can chat to you to explain problems, you can load up a site onto their computer without vieiwing it yet (eg - send them to an online virus scanner whatever) and then you can remote control.

    Nothing needs installing, No previous connections just that one click.

    They do a 14 day free trial - and after that it can be paid for in two ways;

    Usage based (£500 annually, £2.50 per connection) [prices go down the more connections you buy in advance];

    Operator based (1 operator £550 annually, unlimited connections) [extra operators can be added for £70)

    Hope that helps.
     
  11. Ken Puls

    Ken Puls

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    Hi there,

    A couple of options. I've used Webex Support Center. It's okay, but pretty expensive.

    I've also read about Fog Creek Copliot which may be a bit more to budget.

    A friend of mine also did some work for Syberfix and seemed to think their product was quite good. It as least has a "buy once" cost to it...
     
  12. rhynes

    rhynes

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  13. Ken Puls

    Ken Puls

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    I actually use Citrix in house, although we don't do any remote web support. It does have a "Shadowing" component built in where I can join a user's session and interact with them. It's awesome.

    While I can't speak to gotomeeting, I'll happily endorse Citrix. An awesome product, and I've always found their licensing models (price aside) very fair. :)
     
  14. Pistoff

    Pistoff

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    Thanks for the link and a great one indeed (y)
     
  15. Ken Puls

    Ken Puls

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    Oh! Cheers, thanks!:D
     
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