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Author Topic: Easy Remote access to another PC?  (Read 14336 times)
tomos
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« on: November 27, 2011, 06:51:56 AM »

this has been discussed before, but with XP (and my search), so I thought I'd start a new thread.

I help an older couple with "learning computer". There are times they need help, so I was wondering is there some way that I can access their account, in particular when they are already logged in, and having a problem. (It would also be helpful at times to have a seperate session, for updating stuff etc.)

Both computers are Windows 7

TIA :-)
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Tom
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2011, 09:41:26 AM »

Josh is recommending Microsoft's default:

I used to use radmin back in the days before remote desktop. While it is a nice product, I recommend Microsoft's built in remote desktop over it. I used radmin back in the days when the 2.1 release went for years without maintenance and rumors of a 3.0 beta were in "vaporware" status for at least 2 years.

Famatech Radmin has not been updated for more than a year.
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Shades
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2011, 10:19:05 AM »

Microsoft Remote Desktop is a fine solution...but aren't you taking over the problematic PC, locking out the current user?
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wraith808
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2011, 10:30:50 AM »

this has been discussed before, but with XP (and my search), so I thought I'd start a new thread.

I help an older couple with "learning computer". There are times they need help, so I was wondering is there some way that I can access their account, in particular when they are already logged in, and having a problem. (It would also be helpful at times to have a seperate session, for updating stuff etc.)

Both computers are Windows 7

http://join.me

The best thing since sliced bread.  And free!  We use it at work all the time- and some of the people I've done a join.me with are in India and Pakistan, and it works wonderfully.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2011, 11:25:36 AM »

(I got sidetracked while posting - but as Shades mentioned above)

While remote assistance/desktop is my all time favorite method, it does have one very important drawback. The user cannot see the screen while you are connected remotely ... So walking someone through something is not an option ... because you can't point at where what you're doing is.
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techidave
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2011, 12:35:24 PM »

But, SJ, if you use a VNC compatible instead of Remote Desktop they can see everything.  I use CrossLoop and ShowMyPc which are both a VNC flavor.
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tomos
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2011, 01:20:30 PM »

I is following attentively thumbs up smiley

It would be helpful if they can also see what is happening, so preferably a service where that is the case.
I can try crossloop &/or join.me
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Tom
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2011, 01:23:48 PM »

But, SJ, if you use a VNC compatible instead of Remote Desktop they can see everything.

Correct, it's just a matter of what you're after/need at the moment. My preference is toward the MS integrated RDP because it's lighter, faster and simpler to use 99% of the time...For me... But I have had occasion where inability to truly share the desktop with the current user has been a problem. So I do keep a VNC based option in the wings in case of emergency (even used it once or twice in the last month).

If wraith likes Join.me that would definitely make it worth looking into IMO.
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techidave
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2011, 01:26:18 PM »

I have looked at join.me but haven't used it yet.  Haven't had the opportunity to use it yet either.
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Writer
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2011, 01:42:23 PM »

If you haven't already, TeamViewer and LogMeIn are good options. I've tried both on occasion, and find them pretty good.
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wraith808
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2011, 01:58:03 PM »

If you haven't already, TeamViewer and LogMeIn are good options. I've tried both on occasion, and find them pretty good.

I have tried both of these options- join.me is the free, ad hoc version of logmein.  What's so appealing to me about join.me is the fact that as the viewer you don't have to install anything.  It's totally contained within your browser.  Even as the sharer, you don't have to install anything- you just run an executable.  You *can* install something for faster access, but you don't have to- very useful for using on a computer where you aren't going to use it often.  And add to that the fact that there's no registration, and I don't even know *why* they're offering such a good deal.  But I like it. smiley
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steeladept
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2011, 05:01:55 PM »

If you haven't already, TeamViewer and LogMeIn are good options. I've tried both on occasion, and find them pretty good.

I have tried both of these options- join.me is the free, ad hoc version of logmein.  What's so appealing to me about join.me is the fact that as the viewer you don't have to install anything.  It's totally contained within your browser.  Even as the sharer, you don't have to install anything- you just run an executable.  You *can* install something for faster access, but you don't have to- very useful for using on a computer where you aren't going to use it often.  And add to that the fact that there's no registration, and I don't even know *why* they're offering such a good deal.  But I like it. smiley

Hopefully they stay that way.  Crossloop was the same way, and my choice for a long time for the same reasons, but now they are a pay site, just like LogMeIn.  Still great, but no longer free....
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JavaJones
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2011, 05:02:11 PM »

I use Teamviewer and UltraVNC, the latter less frequently now (but used to be my mainstay). Join.me looks very interesting, I'll have to check it out.

- Oshyan
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2011, 07:16:58 PM »

+1 for TeamViewer. Simplicity to set up and once set up you can access remote computers with a single double click.

You can also talk to each other face to face via webcam/microphone if you both have sufficient bandwidth and if you need VPN you can set that up to.

I have found it works pretty well on slow broadband connections (and working in a rural area a lot of my clients have really poor broadband).

You can issue restart requests to the other computer too and reconnect automatically when the computer starts - even to the login page. You can also reboot and reconnect in Safe Mode if required (though I would guess you need a wired connection as Safe Mode with Networking doesn't seem to have support for WiFi).

For personal use this is all free and all connections are encrypted.

Of all the options I tried (and I tried most) this is by far the easiest to set up (as simple as installing any other application without technical mumbo jumbo - you can even talk technophobes through the installation over the phone, connect to their computer and complete the configuration yourself if they need the full application installed, or just use the quick connect download which they simply double click and tell you the user id and password to connect).

Finally you can do presentations for groups of clients (though I haven't tried this) limiting the broadcast information to a single window.

It works flawlessly for me 100% of the time.

I now provide remote support for my customers and bought a copy (even though it is quite expensive for professional use).

The huge added plus over LogMeIn for me is that if you need to uninstall it doesn't leave dregs behind and doesn't seem to conflict with other apps (at least none that I have seen).
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Josh
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2011, 07:30:26 PM »

A combination of neorouter (or hamachi, whichever is your poison. I use NR because it has a native android client) and remote desktop/remote assistance is what I still recommend. Remote assistance allows the user to send you an invite to join their PC. This allows them to observe what you do, vice remote desktop which takes over control of their system and sends them to a lock screen. Used with neorouter, I can access any of mine, or my family's, computers anywhere I am.
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app103
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2011, 07:35:17 PM »

My first choice is Microsoft's RDP, second choice is TightVNC...good for use in situations where there isn't much bandwidth available, such as using over dialup. Also light enough to run on old low spec systems.  I have successfully run v1.3 in server mode on my 14 year old 9x snail (233mhz Pentium I, 64mb RAM) over 33.6k dialup. Wink

There is also a portable version available in case you want to preconfigure it for your clients, rather than trying to walk them through the settings over the phone or IM. It's the older v1.3, which does have some limitations on Vista/Win7, most notably that you can't run it as a service.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2011, 07:37:25 PM »

Forgot to say: Team Viewer supports Windows, Mac and Linux and also Android and iPhone/iPad mobile devices. (All of these are cross platform - so you can provide support to a Mac users from a Windows machine etc.)
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JavaJones
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« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2011, 08:18:02 PM »

I was a big TightVNC fan for a long time but then V2 came out and if I recall correctly it no longer has a special driver for accelerated video conversion, so I find it to be quite slow, especially compared to RDP or TeamViewer, or even UltraVNC, and particularly when used on a LAN (in other lower bandwidth situations there is less expectation of near-realtime performance, at least).

Carol makes a very good case for TeamViewer, all of which I can confirm from my own experience.

Not sure why you'd bother setting up a VPN separately just to run RDP unless you need VPN anyway. As Carol said, TeamViewer is encrypted by default anyway. You can also do file and directory transfers, among other things.

- Oshyan
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Josh
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« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2011, 08:33:46 PM »

If it is just a single PC behind the router, you don't need the VPN. My setup has 7-8 pcs behind each router/firewall and as such, forwarding 3389 can be problematic. Either way, a 3rd party app would have to be installed and neorouter/hamachi wouldn't interfere with anything else on a standard setup, from my experience.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2011, 11:47:22 PM »

TeamViewer seems to punch right through firewalls/routers no problem, in my experience. It  probably negotiates through an intermediate server, but I'm ok with that, it's done securely. And isn't Hamachi a "3rd party app" in itself? You need to touch the machine to install it, so you can install that and VNC (or enable RDP), or you can just install TeamViewer, I think. Maybe doesn't work in your setups though.

Ultimately there are many good options, which I'm thankful for! And I've relied on several different ones over the last 15 years. TeamViewer is just the latest and most convenient, for me. smiley

- Oshyan
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mwb1100
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« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2011, 02:50:10 AM »

For the occasional remote support situation, I've used Fog Creek's Copilot: https://www.copilot.com/

I'm honestly not sure how it compares feature-wise with other solutions, but it has a few attributes that make it work well for me (I only need to do this kind of thing a couple times a year):

  - it's drop-dead simple for the other person to get it going. When I need to use this, the other person I'm helping is generally a completely non-technical user. They just want their printer or whatever to work, and opening an email is about all that I can ask them to do (and have done correctly).  And that's about all I have to ask them to do to get Copilot working.  And if email is the problem, there's a relatively simple code that can be given over the phone.
  - it's free on the weekend.  Since I'm typically doing this for friends and family, the weekend is often when I need this anyway, and if not it's usually OK to wait until then.  If the problem can't wait, it's only $5 for a day-pass, and either party can pay.
  - it uses a server to mediate connecting through a firewall - essential for what I need to do.
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40hz
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« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2011, 06:02:36 AM »

Easiest are TeamViewer and CrossLoop. I've pretty much standardized on TeamViewer, but either product is equally capable -  and both have "free for personal use" versions. I can confirm Carol's observation that TeamViewer performs well with slow connections.

Why not try both and see which you prefer?  smiley
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tomos
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« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2011, 08:17:30 AM »


Not sure when I'll get to try it (depends on them) but reckon I'll try out TeamViewer &/or join-me

Thanks to all for the indepth smiley Thmbsup
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Tom
wraith808
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« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2011, 10:11:49 AM »

For the occasional remote support situation, I've used Fog Creek's Copilot: https://www.copilot.com/

I'm honestly not sure how it compares feature-wise with other solutions, but it has a few attributes that make it work well for me (I only need to do this kind of thing a couple times a year):

  - it's drop-dead simple for the other person to get it going. When I need to use this, the other person I'm helping is generally a completely non-technical user. They just want their printer or whatever to work, and opening an email is about all that I can ask them to do (and have done correctly).  And that's about all I have to ask them to do to get Copilot working.  And if email is the problem, there's a relatively simple code that can be given over the phone.
  - it's free on the weekend.  Since I'm typically doing this for friends and family, the weekend is often when I need this anyway, and if not it's usually OK to wait until then.  If the problem can't wait, it's only $5 for a day-pass, and either party can pay.
  - it uses a server to mediate connecting through a firewall - essential for what I need to do.

Sound a lot like join.me.  You might want to try that next time you want to do something during the week since it's free then.  Similarly all you have to do is go to the website and click if you're the one being joined to, then give a code to the other party, who enters it on the same website.
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Daleus
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« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2011, 10:41:16 AM »

Just to drop back to the Windows discussion for a moment.  Have you tried Remote Assistance?  Something completely different that Remote Desktop, and works pretty well.

Also, I have used several incarnations of VNC or TeamViewer with success.
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