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Good, Free Remote Assistance Program?

ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
Is there a good, free Remote Assistance program that works like the Windows Remote Desktop thing for free? I need to fix my parents' computer from a few hundred miles away. We're both running XP Home.

Thanatos on

Posts

  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    It's not designed specifically for it, but LogMeIn is free, reliable and easy and will do EXACTLY what you want.

    Check out logmein.com

    Method is :

    Sign up, send parents link to install LogMeIn on their computer.

    You log into logmein.com and select the computer and then remote control

    Your browser installs plugin

    RDP-like session establishes.

    You win.

    Apothe0sis on
  • TincheTinche No dog food for Victor tonight. Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    There are plenty. I've used TightVNC in the past and it's served me pretty well.

    Since you'll be doing tech support for your folks, I assume them not having to fiddle with opening or forwarding ports on their router and/or Windows Firewall would be a plus. You have the options of using UltraVNC Single Click, which is basically a portable VNC server you yourself customize and send to your folks, they click it and it will start up a VNC server on their machine and initiate the connection with your viewer, so only you have to open firewall ports, or LogMeIn Free like the poster above me suggested. I've used neither of these services myself. UltraVNC is Open Source, LogMeIn is a proprietary service.

    Tinche on
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    But tonight, it's heavy stuff.
  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Doesn't Windows Live Messenger have thi feature.

    Buttcleft on
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  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    AOL Instant Messenger also has it. I use it at work to work with contractors. It's solid.

    Jasconius on
  • Michael HMichael H Registered User
    edited June 2010
    I've used Teamviewer for the parents support calls. Free and easy.

    Michael H on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I'm using LogMeIn at the moment, but I may switch over to a VNC service.

    You can us VNC to wake a computer, can't you? LogMeIn seems to knock me off when the computer falls asleep, which is a downside.

    Thanatos on
  • exoplasmexoplasm Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Logmein has a "wake up computer" feature, but I've never seen it work. I don't see why VNC would do a better job of it.

    exoplasm on
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  • FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I really like logmein because it works between mac and pc.
    And it was pretty easy for me to explain to my Grandfather how to set it up.

    Fallingman on
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  • Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Michael H wrote: »
    I've used Teamviewer for the parents support calls. Free and easy.

    Yeah, this. Super easy and you don't need to install anything, just run the program from the download. I just used it this morning to do a demo of an application on my pc and use it for support stuff as it lets you download files directly from the person you are viewing and also take control of their desktop if needed.

    Lord Jezo on
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  • TincheTinche No dog food for Victor tonight. Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Since I'm about to go on a two month holiday I've been giving this some more thought. My parents, too, rely on me to keep the home network and all the computers running, and it's unlikely no problems will spring up in the period I'll be away.

    I think I'll install TomatoVPN on the home router (with all the certificates and keys), and TightVNC servers on all the computers. Got DynDNS running for a few years already, so I'll have no problems getting encrypted tunnels straight into the home network from the road. Then I can just get the folks to start which ever VNC server needs to be started on demand and fix things that way, and I'll be able to access the router directly. I'll also have access to all the SMB shares on the home computers, which I suspect will be good for showing the inlaws some photos. I'll also have road access to the home wifi printer, which I suspect will be useless, but still cool.

    Tinche on
    We're marooned on a small island, in an endless sea,
    Confined to a tiny spit of sand, unable to escape,
    But tonight, it's heavy stuff.
  • exoplasmexoplasm Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Unless you need screen sharing, if you're going to have VPN access just use RDP! It's a billion times better for performance.

    exoplasm on
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    SC2 NA: exoplasm.519 | PA SC2 Mumble Server | My Website | My Stream
  • TincheTinche No dog food for Victor tonight. Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I tried RDP, but TightVNC just suits me much better, especially for these kinds of use cases.

    Mostly it's just as you said, no screen sharing. If something fucks up, I need to be able to connect to the machines and have my folks show me exactly what is malfunctioning, and I need to be able to show them how to work around it, if I can't fix it then and there. Having them log off and stare at the user list while I poke around and try to investigate isn't really ideal.

    Tinche on
    We're marooned on a small island, in an endless sea,
    Confined to a tiny spit of sand, unable to escape,
    But tonight, it's heavy stuff.
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Than, I would recommend Fog Creek Copilot. It's pretty much designed for what you're trying to do. And while its not free, you can buy sessions for cheap.

    AngelHedgie on
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  • GrimReaperGrimReaper Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I've used plenty of different software in this vein for work and helping out family. For work machines the best is probably tightvnc with the mirror driver and for family teamviewer is the best, its performance beats the windows remote assistance one.

    GrimReaper on
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  • TincheTinche No dog food for Victor tonight. Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Tinche wrote: »
    Since I'm about to go on a two month holiday I've been giving this some more thought. My parents, too, rely on me to keep the home network and all the computers running, and it's unlikely no problems will spring up in the period I'll be away.

    I think I'll install TomatoVPN on the home router (with all the certificates and keys), and TightVNC servers on all the computers. Got DynDNS running for a few years already, so I'll have no problems getting encrypted tunnels straight into the home network from the road. Then I can just get the folks to start which ever VNC server needs to be started on demand and fix things that way, and I'll be able to access the router directly. I'll also have access to all the SMB shares on the home computers, which I suspect will be good for showing the inlaws some photos. I'll also have road access to the home wifi printer, which I suspect will be useless, but still cool.

    Just a small update; I did everything stated and the setup works wonderfully. I thought the router might have memory issues from running a bunch of services on it (OpenVPN, DynDNS, etc) but no, chugs along like a champ (WRT54GL).

    Also the router itself can wake up sleeping computers through a part of the web ui. Pretty sweet, all in all.

    Tinche on
    We're marooned on a small island, in an endless sea,
    Confined to a tiny spit of sand, unable to escape,
    But tonight, it's heavy stuff.
    velsey
  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Put me in the TeamViewer group. It's a great piece of free software. If you do install it, you can specify a password and the access number is static so you can always connect without having to ask your parents to do anything. Nothing extra to set up. It's just so simple.

    ArcSyn on
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  • velseyvelsey Registered User
    We've just switched to RootCam. It's a pretty nice software. The free version has just a few limitations.

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    One more vote for Teamviwer. It's fully compatible between OSX, Windows and iOS too!!

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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    TeamViewer isn't really free - also the VNC server in it is terrible compared to TightVNC.

    My recommendation is TightVNC combined with any fire-and-forget VPN client. It gives you pretty much the featureset of TightVNC, as well as the benefits of a VPN (which is more irritating with VNC).

    The VPN part is the weakest - I've been looking but not found one I particularly love yet.

  • martyllianmartyllian Registered User regular
    Posting to the Necro post. I have found a little website called join.me is the easiest thing to explain to parents, relatives and other plebeians how to use. go to a website called join.me click share and basic run the program and give me the nine digit number, then click yes to allow me access

    martyllian.jpg
  • QuantuxQuantux Registered User regular
    I've used the free logmein and it's worked perfectly. The best part is it saves connections on the site, so you just log into the site and pick from the list of the machines.

    PSN/Steam - Quantux

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