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I often need to remotely manage PC and Macs for desktop support. I'm after a remote desktop management support tool that I could email (or send a url) that the customer could click on (or run) and I could then remotely manage their PC/Mac

A tool that could work on both operating systems would be great but not mandatory (a separate tool for both/either will suffice)

A tool that has an iPhone App would be fantastic too but this would just be very much a 'wish list'

Looking forward to your suggestion!

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5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

UltraVNC has a single click remote desktop client.

You simply email the client software with your correct IP setup and they only have to click to connect to your computer. For more information read this Lifehacker article on how to set it up

Note: this solution is free

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+1 Teamviewer as other people have recommended works well and I have been inclined to use it recently, but this is my favourite method of remote support and I use it with clients. –  William Hilsum Feb 4 '10 at 9:29
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Cheers for the edit, Ivo –  ta.speot.is Feb 4 '10 at 10:36
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We use this for tech support - note that you need to be able to tunnel into YOUR machine. There are no changes to the customer's firewall but you need to have a DMZ'ed or routed machine –  Martin Beckett Feb 4 '10 at 15:17

I recommend Teamviewer, since it's free (for non-commercial usage) and let's you email custom invitations

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Some interesting features

Works behind firewalls

The major difficulties in using remote control software are firewalls and blocked ports, as well as NAT routing for local IP addresses. If you use TeamViewer you don't have to worry about firewalls: TeamViewer will find a route to your partner.
Browser based access

On the road and need to control a remote computer? Why don't you use TeamViewer Web Connector? The purely html and flash based solution can be used from nearly any browser and operating system.

Remote support without installation

With TeamViewer you can remotely control any PC anywhere on the Internet. No installation is required, just run the application on both sides and connect - even through tight firewalls.

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Lol, I was moderating my own post and actually wasted time googling for duplicates first! –  Ivo Flipse Feb 4 '10 at 9:09
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+1 I used it a lot and while it has its quirks it generally works. –  Ludwig Weinzierl Feb 4 '10 at 9:35
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Feel free to comment if you disagree ;-) –  Ivo Flipse Feb 4 '10 at 10:38
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+1 My all time favorite. I make sure all my clients have a copy ready to run when needed. –  Sarge Feb 4 '10 at 14:42

I did such an analyse for my job recently and I always do a difference between "support" and "remote control". In the first case, the user usually don't have a tool installed and you're helping it in "one shot" ; in the second case, the aim is to be able to take control of the computer, even if the user is not there, or without tool to download. You're probably in the first case, teamviewer/netviewer are great tools. For the second usage, i'll rather recommand logmein.

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I'd have to recommend 'logmein Rescue' instead if you are working in a support sitation... secure.logmeinrescue.com/UK/Helpdesk/Home.aspx ...but you'll need to sell your unborn child to afford it. It's not cheap. –  Kez Feb 4 '10 at 9:32

Copilot by Fog Creek software (which is run by Joel Spolsky, one of the founders of this site) is designed to exactly this in a very streamlined way. Very cheap options for commercial use, and free for personal use at weekends. Works on Windows 2000 or MacOSX 10.4 and above.

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TightVNC is pretty good. Just a set of executables and no installer - http://www.tightvnc.com/ It is cross-platform also.

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