cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Remote Support

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 1
Registered: 01-08-2007

Remote Support

Whats the best way to remotely support PCs. My parents/Parent in law need help sometimes, with various issues, and it would be easier to remote into their systems rather than drive round. I run WinXP Pro, and have a Speedtouch585 router. Old PAYG account with static IP.  My parents have Win XP Home, Speedtouch 545 router, on PAYG fixed 1meg connection, Static IP. Parents in law, XP Home, Speedtouch 585 router, BB+, dynamic IP, fixed 1meg connection. Not keen on MSN, as I have tried in the past with it, and its a bit hit and miss TBH. Is there any free software around that can do this. Cant use remote desktop ,as AFAIK, its not supported on XP Home.
10 REPLIES
N/A

Re: Remote Support

You are right to avoid Microsoft tools - they are great(ish) when they work, but they can be hit and miss in getting them to work sometimes.
Real VNC www.realvnc.com is a popular choice - I use it regularly for operating my servers without sitting in the cold at work - free to use too for the basic functions.
Look at www.logmein.com too, they have lots of great products.
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: 26-07-2007

Re: Remote Support

I use LogMeIn.com's free service.  It works well for supporting the family's PCs.  The only minor annoyance is that you've either to install the client on the remote PC yourself or talk the other person through the install as it needs to be done while logged into your LogMeIn account (straight forward once logged into your account).
(Strictly speaking you don't need to be logged in - you can download the free version from their home page - it just makes things easier as the remote PC will automatically be associated with your account.)
You don't need to install any software on the controlling PC.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,442
Thanks: 686
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Remote Support

The in-laws dynamic IP presents an extra challenge.
I use http://www.dyndns.com/ This will give you a name which will point to their current IP which means you don't have to talk them through finding out what their current IP is before you can connect. It does need the router to support this service so that it connects the dyndns service each time it is connected to the internet.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
N/A

Re: Remote Support

Jelv's suggestion is the easiest long term, an alternative would be www.whatismyip.com a useful straightforward site to show them their IP address without having to have any understanding of how things worktm
Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 684
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Remote Support

I've used a number of VNC variants - Real VNC, TightVNC & UltraVNC. They all do much the same job, each having it's own advantages in a particular situation. They all work with each other fairly well, although some features (like file transfer) need the same brand at each end.
If I don't want to visit the site at all (who mentioned the M-in-L?) then I use the reverse connection facility to avoid any router port forwarding requirements.
Get the remote user to download & install the software - send a download link by email (unless broken email is what you want to fix) or dictate over the phone. The install is easy to do over the phone.
Then they run the software, set passwords, right click on the system tray icon & 'Add new client'. Give them your name or IP address & they connect to you. It's an outgoing 'flow', so unless their router is locked down very very tight, there should be no problem. Of course, you will need port forwarding set up on your own router, but then you're the techie one in this relationship  Smiley
Once you are connected, you can then set up port forwarding on their router if you want to be able to initiate future connections from your end.

Call me paranoid, but I prefer the direct point-to-point connection of VNC to systems that require you to go via their servers, even for the initial contact.
For the very very paranoid, also bear in mind that VNC is not terribly secure either.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,442
Thanks: 686
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Remote Support

I would not suggest using anything that required you to go via someone else's servers either! (Using dyndns all you are doing is doing a DNS lookup to get their current IP then you connect using the software of your choice directly)
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 1
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Remote Support

Thanks for all the replys guys. Quickie, saves me trawling through the account details, can you get a static IP on the BBYW products??  If so , I will advise Parents in law to change account.  They are very lite users anyway, so should save them a bit of cash. Will look at Log me in and Real VNC.  I can get hold of a copy of remote admisistrator from work, is this product any good, for remoting in over an internet connection. Its used for remote support at work, although I tend to use Remote Desktop, rather than remote administrator, to access my clinical servers at work.
Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 684
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Remote Support

Quote from: jelv
I would not suggest using anything that required you to go via someone else's servers either!

It wasn't dyndns that I was referring to, but some of the remote access programs that require you to register with their servers & route the session establishment traffic that way. It's another method of getting round the NAT problem, but not one I'm particularly keen on. I believe some even route all the session traffic that way too.
I agree with your post about dynamic IP addresses, but didn't mention dyndns because you had already covered it.
I use dyndns myself. I did my early VoIP experimenting with it - sip.dnsalias.net is me & my mate has sip.dnsalias.com
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Remote Support

Hi Penfold,
You can indeed request a static IP on our Broadband your Way products.  This can be done in the Control Your Broadband setting under Connection Settings in your Member Centre.
netreg
Grafter
Posts: 114
Registered: 24-08-2007

Re: Remote Support

Quote from: jelv
The in-laws dynamic IP presents an extra challenge.
I use http://www.dyndns.com/ This will give you a name which will point to their current IP which means you don't have to talk them through finding out what their current IP is before you can connect. It does need the router to support this service so that it connects the dyndns service each time it is connected to the internet.

I get around this by adding a bookmark to my parents browser http://www.directip.info/ ; which can also be added to your google home page..  then i simply ask them for the long number, if i use ip address it confuses them  Wink  and then connect using real vnc..
simple but very effective...
regards