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What’s the best Remote Desktop Application?

I am the owner of a local computer repair business that primarily services its clients on-site. On the occasions that we do service the machines in the office we generally have one of our techs pick the computer up while they are out and about and bring it back with them. Only rarely will we require the customer to bring us the computer themselves.

In order to reduce costs, be much more efficient, and potentially expand our market far beyond what would be feasible with travel required; I am looking at ways that we can service our clients remotely whenever possible.

What we're in need of is a solid remote desktop application that will be incredibly easy for our customers to connect to, as well as be robust enough that we don't need the client babysitting the computer during the entire repair. Ideally I would like to use a web-based solution so that we don't have to walk the customers through installing, connecting, and configuring it over the phone. This would be unacceptable because of the level of service they are used to. Effectively we'd want them to be able to just go to a URL, enter a PIN or something, and then they are connected and ready to rumble. (Obviously the option to just email them a link that'd do all this for them would be what we'd be aiming for)

Along with the ease of use factor, we would need the product to not require any further intervention on the part of the client after we have connected. Nobody is going to be happy if we have to call them every 15 minutes so they can reconnect to us every time we reboot - so auto-reconnect is an absolute must.

The only product I know of right now that does any of this is LogMeIn Rescue. It allows unattended access, the applet is lightweight and installs quickly, and the customer can either enter a PIN on the site or just click a link emailed to them in order to connect.

The only real downside I see to LogMeIn Rescue is that it's $120.00/month per technician. While we'd ultimately end up saving far more than that per month just in fuel costs alone, I'd like to explore any other options out there that I may not have come across.

Are there any equally good products out there? If so what are they, why do you recommend them, how have you been utilizing them yourself, and what do they cost?

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marked as duplicate by random Apr 24 '10 at 8:28

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Check TeamViewer - I'm using it for couple of months now, it works great and well.. even my mom find it easy to use when I help her remotely xD

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TeamViewer does look promising.. I'm doing some research on it now. Anybody have some additional suggestions? – Sootah Apr 24 '10 at 1:00

Crossloop is great. There is a free version, which limits the number of users one can connect to, but the pro version is only 100/yr. It is basically a front-end for VNC where the user simply reads a code to the technician, the technician punches that code in on his/her end, and bam - remote connection.

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We use LogMeIn Rescue and another product they offer called LogMeIn Central. LogMeIn Rescue is great for residential customers or new customers, but it isn't good for administrating entire networks remotely.

Take a look at the features of LogMeIn Central:

It is free to sign up to try. There are different versions of the client software, but you can use the free client unless you are charging your customers for "managed services" (in which case, you'll want to install the LogMeIn Pro client to monitor each computers resources, security and health.)

The actual LogMeIn Central "command center" is an annual charge of $299.00. You'll be able to split all of your customer's computers up into different groups and even share access with other people, such as your employees or actual customers themselves (you can share either your entire account, an entire group, or even just specific computers with anyone you chose). Also, LogMeIn Central provides semi-pushed installations of the client software.

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@James Watt: We'd be using this strictly for our residential customers and new clients. Since you've actually used LogMeIn Rescue, what is your opinion of it vs anything else you've used? – Sootah Apr 24 '10 at 2:30
I love it. Make sure to utilize the the direct channels URL. To do this, go to the Channels tab on the Admin Center after you login to LogMeIn Rescue. This Channel URL can be linked from your company's website. When a customer clicks that link, it will directly open a file save/run dialog box, allowing your customers to initiate the connection. This is MUCH easier than having your customers type in a PIN code on – James Watt Apr 25 '10 at 1:14

use the vnc activex control just create a web site for your customers to use and embed the vncx control within the page. I'm not sure if logmein requires admin privs to install a control or not but I suspect it does and if it does then it would operate the same way that vncx does.

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