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Simple, Free Web Remote PC Control? 454

Posted by timothy
from the remote-viewing-the-cia-way dept.
MeatballCB writes "Hey folks. Being the 'technical' guy of the family, I often get calls from friends and family members when they're having PC issues. Most of these folks are not technical, so trying to troubleshoot problems over the phone can often be a challenge. Anyone know of a simple-to-use and (preferably) free service that would allow for remote viewing/control of their PCs? I know there's WebEx and GoToMyPC, but I hate to pay for something I'd use once every two months. I also know about VNC, but trying to walk someone through opening up ports on their router that thinks their Internet is broken when their homepage gets changed is not realistic. Anyone know of anything that would be easy to set up and use?"
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Simple, Free Web Remote PC Control?

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  • logmein.com (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 22, 2009 @05:43PM (#30196516)

    It's a free service for home use. QED.

    • Re:logmein.com (Score:4, Informative)

      by Smivs (1197859) <smivs@smivsonline.co.uk> on Sunday November 22, 2009 @06:35PM (#30197010) Homepage Journal

      It's a free service for home use. QED.

      It works well, too, but can be a bit slow. Also like most VNCs there is no audio support but for remote troubleshooting it should be fine. Give it a go. Find it here [logmein.com]

    • Re:logmein.com (Score:4, Informative)

      by El Capitaine (973850) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @06:51PM (#30197154)
      Logmein, certainly. Free, and works well.

      Also, OP stated that he gets calls from 'friends and family members'

      While this would work fine for family, installing logmein that allows you access whenever you want is probably not a good idea for friends, and they would probably dislike it.

      If they are running Windows 7, its extremely easy to walk them through
      - Hitting the start button,
      - Typing 'Windows Remote Assistance' in the search bar
      - Clicking 'Invite someone you trust to help you,'
      - Clicking Easy Connect and having them recite the letters on their screen.

      Works in Vista too, but the added option of Easy Connect in Windows 7 that gives a a password for connection instead of using an invitation file makes it really easy for the technologically illiterate to allow you to connect. Just another very easy-to-use option.
      • There was a version of this in Windows XP too, I'm not sure if it works between different windows versions or not though.
      • by adolf (21054)

        Though I'm running 7 right now, I did try Remote Assistance under Vista on my own machine one time to get some help with from the author of a Firefox plugin that was giving me fits.

        It took me about 20 minutes to make it work. I still had to research port numbers and set up forwarding. There was nothing automagic about the process AT ALL, though he said it worked pretty well once he was (eventually) able to log in.

        This is not the path for the light-minded.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lumpy (12016)

        While this would work fine for family, installing logmein that allows you access whenever you want is probably not a good idea for friends, and they would probably dislike it.

        Then they can PAY ME for support. if they dont like it then they can go find someone else for FREE support.

        I have a couple of friends that whined about it, I said, sure, you pay for this other service monthly. They instantly stopped whining when they realized I was not going to spend money monthly for them.

    • Try Mikogo (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 22, 2009 @06:58PM (#30197222)

      www.mikogo.com . owned by Skype. I use it all the time.

      • by Kenz0r (900338)
        Mod parent up, Mikogo is great free software. Its main purpose is to give a demonstration or conference to one or many viewers, but the server can give any client of choice control over keyboard and mouse input.
  • LogMeIn (Score:5, Informative)

    by hroo772 (900089) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @05:44PM (#30196520)
    I'm a big fan of LogMeIn Free. It's pretty easy to setup, and it gives you access to the pc through any browser. You don't have to worry about port issues or anything. I think it's what you should really look into using.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by andy666 (666062)
      Often, if I am eating chinese food for dinner, lomein, for example, I'll use logmein to login to my work computer. The manual in german was very controversial, as it was called "logmeinkamp". Then there was the porn that it came with as a "trojan", titled "Me Log is In ".
    • Yeah, we can close this thread at this point - logmein takes it easily. I've been using it for several years. The free version does practically everything you need for remote. Heck I even use it from PC to PC in the house since MS decided to hobble vista home premium by not including remote terminal. An, no, I can't hack in the version from pro - these are "production" machines that my wife and daughter rely on for entertainment. The ugliest, angriest CEO in the world has nothing on my wife if The Mentalis

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fm6 (162816)

        I use Logmein for this purpose too (and agree that it's really good software), but it's a little early to close the discussion. Installing the free version on every machine you want to support is a pain, especially if you have to talk somebody else through it over the phone. There's a simpler "rescue" version, but it's not free, or even cheap.

        The latest version Skype has a desktop sharing feature. No remote control, but if you can see the other screen it's easy to talk people through most tasks. Still a pai

        • Installing the free version on every machine you want to support is a pain, especially if you have to talk somebody else through it over the phone.

          That's why you just create a deployment link and E-mail it to them.

          I agree with another poster though, my first thought is "he described it perfectly then named everything BUT logmein.com, is this an ad in disguise?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by fm6 (162816)

            Deployment link? Have you actually used this software? To use the free version of logmein, the person you're trying to help has to log in using your password, then download and configure the client to work in your account. It's doable, but it requires some non-trivial handholding.

            Perhaps you're thinking of LogMeIn Rescue. I've never used it, but it's probably as simple as they claim it is. (This company appears to have pretty high standards.) One little problem: it's not cheap [logmeinrescue.com].

      • The hack to put Remote Desktop in Premium doesn't seem to affect anything else adversely. I think you're limited to 16bit color when connecting though, at least I was so limited connecting from Linux, because the hack doesn't install the settings options that lets you use full color.

    • by Pax681 (1002592)
      well for Teamviewer [teamviewer.com] is kick ass. free fopr personal use and does all sorts of other things you mighty like such as VPN.

      have a looksee, it really is quite nice and i have found there is much less lag on it as compered to other remote control apps
    • Re:LogMeIn (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tibia1 (1615959) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:38PM (#30197464)
      Wait a second, you told this guy to post this story, didn't you? You're all from logmein, taking part in a ridiculously good adveratising scheme... and your probably paying th- [gets shot]
  • Teamviewer (Score:4, Informative)

    by Myrkul23 (836191) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @05:46PM (#30196546)

    I've found that teamviewer is the easiest way to connect without having to go through setting up port forwarding

    • Re:Teamviewer (Score:4, Informative)

      by pwilli (1102893) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @05:54PM (#30196650)
      I also use Teamviewer. It's free for noncommercial use, does the whole port forwarding stuff for you. You don't have to know the IP-Address of the target PC - just a unique ID number and a (temporary) password. The servers of the company will keep track on which ID belongs to which IP-Adress, which very convenient for people with dynamic IPs. This feature can of course be turned off, if you want to do this stuff yourself. It also has a included chat-program to allow you to exchange messages. Good to keep the phone bill small.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Feyr (449684)

      i concur, teamviewer is simply the best.

    • by bcolflesh (710514)

      Another vote for TeamViewer - made my "extended support network" (family) much easier to manage.

  • I have had good success with TeamViewer (http://teamviewer.com/index.aspx) and no, I don't work for them..It is free for non-commercial use
  • by um_atrain (810963) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @05:47PM (#30196566) Homepage

    UltraVNC single click. Its a reverse VNC, designed for this purpose. They double click the executable, and then automatically connects to your listening client.

    Its customizable so you can make it look professional if needed. They only have to run the file, it does everything else.

    • $125.00 per hour (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrmeval (662166) <mrmeval@gmail.cGINSBERGom minus poet> on Sunday November 22, 2009 @05:57PM (#30196694) Journal

      It fixed my problems instantly when I quoted them my rate. I got tired of being abused by people who refused to learn how the system worked. This was a directed refusal they take pride in. I made my point that I was not longer their slave. Now they get to pay someone who likes the abuse. I would point out the relationship has a whiff of BDSM but they'd not understand that either.

      • by Clover_Kicker (20761) <clover_kicker@yahoo.com> on Sunday November 22, 2009 @06:06PM (#30196770)

        What if I like my family?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Dan541 (1032000)

          April the 1st has already been, your a few months late.

        • by Anarchduke (1551707) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:18PM (#30197336)

          What if I like my family?

          $40.00 / hr.

        • Then they would be running Ubuntu or Mac OS X by now, doncha thing?
        • by LordVader717 (888547) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @07:39PM (#30197470)

          It's no problem if it's an occaisonal question, but the learned helplessness that many people demonstrate is just insulting.
          When I find them a fix it usually involves a few minutes of googleing, why can't they at least do the same?

          Once a freind asked me to come over for some help and I told him to do a very simple task with clear instructions which he was perfectly capable of. He couldn't be bothered to do it.
          Am I supposed to waste my time just because that's their easiest way out?

          In future I'm just going to send them this link http://xkcd.com/627/ [xkcd.com]

          • Re:$125.00 per hour (Score:4, Informative)

            by couchslug (175151) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:31PM (#30197774)

            One great way to avoid being nagged for favors is to take extra time to do them, then do them in a way the recipient won't ask again.

            I solve most such Windows problems with a format/reinstall/no data rescue (I suspect teh virus ate it). Be nice to those who deserve nice, barter or get monies from nice folks who want too much work for free, but fuck the hell out of anyone who wants to take advantage of you. Fuck 'em with a snarl or with a smile as appropriate, but fuck 'em.

            You'll find it quite satisfying. There is a reason BOFH is so popular. It reflects things many of us would like to do. You only live once, so have some fun.

          • by KefabiMe (730997)
            My fee to friends and family is generally a six pack of beer. If I'm not in the mood, or if it's just the user not learning how to not screw up his system, then my fee is a 12 pack. People usually figure it out before I start charging a keg per repair.
          • by ajlisows (768780) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:58PM (#30199198)

            Here is the thing. My "extended support network" (myself included) prides itself on being able to do things on their own. We noticed some problems with that. Me trying to fix my car and fucking it up worse, friends trying to fix simple computer problems and ending with a computer that won't boot, etc.... I'm pretty lucky actually, much of my "extended support network" has skills that I do not and that are more expensive than computer fixing. My mechanic buddy calls me? I'll drop practically everything to help him. The guy I know that does HVAC, electrical wiring, and some plumbing? I'll help him in a snap. That guy that does drywall and other home remodeling? Sure! I'm called upon more often...but I come out ahead in the end. ;)

        • by hedwards (940851)
          Then you don't tell anybody about the porn that the disk was choking to death on?
        • by Hatta (162192)

          If your family likes you, they'll recognize the value of your time. If they don't, why do you like them?

    • by jamesh (87723)

      I use it extensively but seem to have problems with Vista. The initial screen shows but updates don't show from that point on. I think UAC doesn't work correctly across the SC client either, which is rather important given what you are doing... any suggestions?

    • I was going to suggest UltraVNC Single Click also.

      To clarify a bit, it's not the same as regular VNC. You don't need to install anything, just click on the .exe.

      Also, it works by creating an outbound TCP connection. So, the remote computer support has to have port forwarding setup, but the person sharing doesn't need to do anything with their router (assuming a standard SOHO router with NAT).

      UltraVNC does work with Vista, but I can't comment on Single Click paired with Vista.

    • by bflong (107195)

      Another vote for UltraVNC single click.
      For the Linux users you can so the same thing with a one line X11vnc command. I like to add it to a menu item on the Linux machines I set up for people.

    • by Runefox (905204)

      You got it. That's the single easiest way to do it on Windows platforms. Single executable, no install, just run it and let it connect. Works with a dyndns if you don't have a static IP, and it penetrates most firewalls. Only two caveats: It doesn't work well with Aero, so disabling the Themes service beforehand or ASAP is a must to maintain the connection's speed and stability. Second, it doesn't work with UAC - A UAC prompt will immediately disconnect the session and prevent any new ones from interacting

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      You beat me to it, but just wanted to add that it really is that simple and is perfect for the situation in question.

  • I can go through my nasty work proxy and get to my PC at home with it, not as fast as RDP but that is understandable.
    The feature set is pretty good, does multiple monitors, you can adjust the quality and resolution all in the free version, just requires you sign up for an account. Also seems to be no limit how many machines you can add.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've used Crossloop (http://www.crossloop.com/) and TeamViewer (http://www.teamviewer.com/index.aspx) with good success. The client only has to run an exe, give you their address code over the phone, and accept your session. Simple enough for my mom.

  • VNC is the way ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tux2000 (523259) <alexander@slashdot.fo k e n . de> on Sunday November 22, 2009 @05:50PM (#30196592) Homepage Journal

    ... you just need to know that your friends (and family members) DO NOT need to mess with their routers. Just YOUR router needs to open a single port (5500/tcp) and forward it to your workstation. Make your friends run the VNC server as usual, start the VNC client on your workstation in LISTENER mode, tell your friends to select "add new client" from the VNC server icon context menu, and make them enter your IP or dyndns address into the popup dialog.

    (Technically, this swaps the roles of client and server on the TCP level, but VNC still behaves as expected.)

    Tux2000

    • Exactly what I was going to say. I've been providing support this way for years, it's free and works extremely well even when I'm on the other side of the planet.
    • by Idbar (1034346)
      I thought it was 5400. However, I'd recommend to change that port to another one. I know the /.er was looking for an easy way. But default ports normally get scanned and it's useful to change them, not only to add a little bit of security but to avoid your screen flickering when someone is scanning your VNC port (unless they got this fixed and people won't notice anymore, but it was somehow annoying to me).
  • Reverse VNC? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by Compholio (770966)

    I also know about VNC, but trying to walk someone through opening up ports on their router that thinks their Internet is broken when their homepage gets changed is not realistic.

    Why don't you just use Reverse VNC so you're the one who has to setup ports? RealVNC provides an easy option for Windows users to "Add a New Client":
    Using WinVNC [realvnc.com]

  • Crossloop (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Crossloop. Seriously. You don't need to create an account, you can just close the login window and still use the application. It's free, never had any spyware or adware in the past. (I haven't checked it recently)

    We used this at work and I use this at home. It's secure because the application doesn't run as a service, you need a unique code every time you connect to a client and they need to authorize you. It's based on VNC.

    If you can't get someone to install Crossloop to help them, you might as well them

  • by bu1137 (979245)
    With UltraVNC Single-Click, you can give them a smallish program to run and click. No need for opening ports or anything, as the connection is initiated from their side. For this to work, only you need to open and forward a port on your side (and have ultravnc listen server running).
    http://forum.ultravnc.info/viewtopic.php?t=15865&sid=b6c0c94c99f3095d318eace245e09b49 [ultravnc.info]

    The single-click program could be easier to use, though...
  • UltraVNC SC is what you need.
    Check it out here! [uvnc.com]

    If you're doing this over your residential connection or if you might be in different locations, set yourself up with a dynamic DNS service (such as www.dyndns.org) and create yourself a hostname on there. Build your VNC-SC download to point to that address.

    I have mine set up on my family website where they can download it easily so I don't have to drive over to their house every time they can't print.
  • I usually use either LogMeIn, or Mikogo. Mikogo is much more powerful and entirely free. The downside is that its a little clunky to use. LMI just works, but the free version is missing a number of awesome tools that the pro/ITReach versions have - like being able to remotely reboot machines you can't connect to, etc.
  • Just install some sort of ssh server on all their computers, open port 22, and you are good to go. Cygwin might be a good way to get a no cost ssh server that runs as a Windows service, if your family is still using Windows.
  • Completely free VNC-based service. You both download a Windows program. Your remote user runs the show my pc part of the program; you use the view remote pc part. The remote party gets a key generated that you use on your side, which then opens a VNC session between the computers. No muss, no fuss at all. Delete the little downloaded app on either side when you're done.

  • I use CoPilot.com [copilot.com] as they claim it works from anywhere. Other solutions will only work under the right conditions. (ie, their network is configured correctly, your network is configured correctly, you're not working from a hotel or airport, they are not at starbucks, etc...)

    That's because if CoPilot can't setup a direct connection between the 2 computers it can route the traffic through their computers.

  • I have a linux laptop (an older 1.x GHz model) sitting at home running Ubuntu. I have port 443 (?) open on my firewall and forwarded to an ssh client on that laptop. I simply connect via ssh to the home IP address and am able to VNC or RDP into whatever computer. (This is me using VNC into my wife's Vista desktop.)

    http://www.perfectreign.com/stuff/2009/20090920_vnc_lilly.jpg

    It is free and works 100% of the time.
  • Remote Assistance (Score:5, Informative)

    by asdf7890 (1518587) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @06:07PM (#30196772)

    For a couple of family members I support I find the Remote Assistance function (essentially Remote Desktop with a different make-up job) works fine. They have MSN Messenger (or Live Messenger, or what-ever it is branded as today) accounts as do I so all they have to do is click select "request remote assistance" from the "activity" menu. You will need to have port 3389 pointing open at your firewall and pointing to the machine you will be answering the call on though, which is a disadvantage (make sure all your passwords are well chosen!), but the other end doesn't need any open ports.

    Pre XP I had OpenVPN and VNC installed on their machines. All they had to do was open the VPN and I could take/share control via VNC. RDC/RA works better though, as it is more responsive over slow ADSL lines and does not require any setup on the machine the person is asking for support on, though for family members who I have built machines for still have the VPN installed so I can connect it if I want/need to try interact with the machine by anything other than the RA connection (accessing fileshares directly for instance, if the problem being reported is "I can see the MP3s on the main machine from my laptop" or such), but I've not needed to do that for some time.

    • This is the one (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zippthorne (748122)

      Mod parent up!

      Remote Assistance comes with all versions of windows, so you don't have to worry about sketchy third-party apps or waste time downloading and installing something. It's a little more tricky to do with the home edition, but I've helped family members using XP home on both ends. As long as you follow the directions, it's not too much of a hassle.

      Other operating systems have similar functionality as well under different names. (OS X, for instance calls it "screen sharing", offers several ways

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Yes, mod this up please. Interestingly, mine works without opening any ports and I have UPnP disabled. Some kind of weird miracle, I guess...
    • by initialE (758110)

      1. What is the router IP address?
      Open up a command prompt to run ipconfig and get the guy to read you a bunch of numbers he may or may not understand. Hope that his brain doesn't switch off in the process. Get him to log into the router and configure it.
      2. What is the router password?
      Hope that it's still the default! otherwise you're SOL
      3. Where do you find port forwarding in the web interface? Is there a web interface? ...
      Remote Assistance is hardly ideal.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by asdf7890 (1518587)
        None of that is needed. For the client, ItJustWorks. The hardest part is if they don't use Messenger already (as otherwise they have to find the RA client tool and get the invitation file to you by some means such as email) otherwise it is no harder then "ooh, Dave is online, I'll ask him to look, open chat, click 'activity', click 'request remote assistance', done." and the last two clicks I can talk them through over Messenger if they have forgotten where the command is. Of course it doesn't work if Messe
  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @06:10PM (#30196792)
    I suggest using Crossloop for the remote screen control. It is like VNC, in fact it is based on VNC, but it uses it's own code and Crossloop server to bypass any problems of getting past NAT routers, which often present a problem for novice users to configure properly and safely for VNC services. Crossloop offers no voice connection, so also use a high quality audio link like Google Talk, or just keep them on the phone. In trying to figure out a way to become profitable, Crossloop has taken to marketing it's members "services" to others, but they have (IMHO) gone over to the dark side by putting themselves in league with PayPal (who are in turned owned by an electronic fencing organization). But users don't have to participate in this, it's still available for free private use.
  • If you can set it up beforehand, use UltraVNC single-click.

    If you haven't had time to do the setup, point your friend or family member to http://www.zolved.com/rc [zolved.com]. They provide a simple exe to download.

    The software is basically UltraVNC, but using Zolved servers as a proxy. (yes, this means you have to trust Zolved.com not to spy on you.)

    • I second Zolved, and I haven't found any issues with it, except slow inter-tubes... but I believe that'll be a problem for anyone. Even to the point of working where other free options won't (Windows Live Messenger usually works pretty well also, since they'll have it installed pretty much all the time too.)

  • Crossloop is simple (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheCow (191714) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @06:14PM (#30196836) Homepage

    I like Crossloop. It is setup as a Support site, but you/they don't pay anything unless you charge for support. There is a simple website to point the people to to request support.

  • by mitchdbx (914356)
    I have a similar issue and have found that MS Live Mesh, and I think that it is a great solution to your issue. It will allow you to control any PC in your mesh from any other PC, and remotely via a web browser. You can easily share documents on each of the machines as well, a nice solution for backing up your own data. Finally, you have he software works on Windows and OSX; however, you can only sync files to a Mac. It would appear that they are working on being able to control a Mac remotely.
  • and use VNC. Its open (nonproprietary) free, there are multiple implementations for multiple platforms.

    Better yet, install (your preferred linux distribution) and VirtualBox on their machine, and install (their preferred consumer-grade unstable bloatware OS) in a virtual machine, then setup ssh (and a portforward). Then you can ssh in, and then use VirtualBox's built-in VNC service.

    • Or (as others have suggested) use 'reverse VNC', where the machine being remote-controlled connects *to* the remote controller machine (and you forward the ports at your end).

  • www.showmypc.com

    no install, download and run one file so easy to talk them through.

    free too!

    I use it all the time and not having to actually install or configure anything is a killer feature. The only situation where this fails is if the user doesn't have admin rights as it needs to run a SSH server (I noticed this on some corporate builds).

    Oh this is assuming its wintel of course. If its linux then they can probably handle themselves and if its OSX then it wouldn't break ;)

  • Their basic client is free and works for win & os x - You can even control one os from the other.

    No firewall / router config whatsoever. Ask the other party to go to the teamviewer download page, install and just tell you their id and password - clearly displayed on the screen - and your in.

    Can also be set up in advance so you can connect to your own remote workstation.

    Only drawback is that it doesnt support linux - but for linux workstations I would prefer NX (nomachine.com) over vnc any day. Also free

  • Acrobat.com (Score:2, Informative)

    by ppmax (167123)

    Have all parties sign up for a free account at Acrobat.com. Includes screen sharing and remote control for free. No troubles with ports etc...but does require Flash.

  • NetViewer [netviewer.com] is free for personal use, and the connection survives the latency of a Europe to South East Asia connection (which VNC failed to manage for me).

  • I tend to use Mikogo - has worked fairly well for me so far.

    And it's free and easy to use.

  • I use Crossloop.com. It is free and easy for your friends to install. And hey, if you want to bill your family, you can do that through the service!

  • by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me@hotm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:34PM (#30197806) Homepage Journal

    Okay seems like everyone and their brother has a different idea and since this interests me I tried to roll up as many of the interesting looking ones as possible into one posting :-) Did I miss any?

    http://www.teamviewer.com/ [teamviewer.com]

    https://secure.logmein.com/products/free/ [logmein.com]

    http://www.copilot.com/ [copilot.com]

    http://skype.com/ [skype.com]

    http://www.uvnc.com/addons/singleclick.html [uvnc.com] (reverse VNC)

    http://www.crossloop.com/ [crossloop.com]

    http://www.mikogo.com/en/ [mikogo.com]

    http://showmypc.com/ [showmypc.com]

    https://www.ntrconnect.com/ [ntrconnect.com]

    http://www.zolved.com/remote_control [zolved.com]

    http://www.wippien.com/ [wippien.com] (VPN)

    http://code.google.com/p/gitso/ [google.com] (reverse VNC)

  • With VNC person in need of assistance can ADD YOUR Listening Client from inside their firewall.

    So GrandMa can be told to Launch VNC-Server in User Mode, and ADD Tech-Wiz-Grandkid's viewer
    which was started in Listening Viewer mode. Presumabley TechWiz has no problem
    piercing his own firewall.

    http://deadlytechnology.com/general/remote-support-using-a-listening-vnc-viewer/ [deadlytechnology.com]

    But after the first time doing this you can quickly see that having a route thru GrandMa's router
    to her PC is the best solution. Yo don't n

  • CrossLoop (Score:3, Informative)

    by jambarama (784670) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {amarabmaj}> on Sunday November 22, 2009 @08:59PM (#30197988) Homepage Journal
    I had the same struggle with VNC. I tried remote desktop over hamachi, but that was just as bad. I stumbled on CrossLoop [crossloop.com] and haven't looked anywhere else. As the tech guy, you install a small local client and create a login. Those you want to help download and run a small stand-alone file, then tell you the "access code" prominently displayed in the window. You enter that code, and you've got access.
  • Free and easy...

    Better to just image the thing with a DvD, build a restore.bat and write a 4 step recover to image job with the needed choices preselected...
    How ever you work it you are not going to avoid going to GrandMa's house, if having her PC worked on is how she is luring you now, she'll find another way :)

  • by altek (119814)
    Can Hamachi accomplish this? Just connect to the same Hamachi VPN and then you have access to everything - remote desktop client, VNC, SMB shares, etc?
  • Not Free But... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ajlisows (768780) on Sunday November 22, 2009 @11:00PM (#30198806)

    GoTo Assist Express offers different levels of pricing. $660 per year, $69 per month, or $9.95 per incident. If they are just friends and family and want to get their stuff fixed, I think the $9.95 per incident wouldn't be that big of a deal. Explain to them that if they want their computer fixed right then, they are going to have to give you $10 next time you see them (or mail it/Paypal it to you later). I actually signed up for it when it was in beta (it was free) and ended up getting a discounted price of something like $450 a year, which my company pays for. It is a good program. I have not had any problems with users installing it....well....users that are using Internet Explorer. Firefox has some issues with installing the applet that makes it confusing for some users.

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