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Remote Support for Windows®
For many years, Windows has been the dominant operating system in the world, having been installed on and used by hundreds of millions of computers. Although operating systems like Linux® and Mac OS® are becoming more widely used in organizations, Windows still owns the lion’s share of the market. Windows is very common on workstations and servers alike.
The fact that there are so many Windows operating systems in use today means that help desk professionals and system administrators must be able to provide excellent remote support for Windows.
Remote support works on Mac, Linux and Windows computers.
Selecting a Windows computer from a remote support utility.
Remote Support Tools for Windows
Many organizations have multiple offices spread out geographically, and many have employees who either travel frequently or work from home. These conditions make supporting Windows computers remotely an absolute must. For organizations with multiple offices, it isn't always cost-effective to employ help desk staff at each location. For those with employees who travel or work from home, employing help desk staff for each employee is a financial impossibility.
The most commonly used means of providing remote support to Windows users is through the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that Windows offers in most versions of its operating system. RDP is an easy tool to use and provides some immediate benefits for help desk professionals and system administrators. With RDP, techs can remotely control computers located anywhere in the world as long as certain network conditions exist.
RDP is a popular tool for end-users. Typically it is used by employees to remotely control their work computer from either their home computer or any Windows computer at a different location. It is also popular among help desk professionals. When supporting end-users at different locations, help desk pros can use RDP to take control of an end-user’s computer and troubleshoot it remotely. System administrators also use RDP frequently to manage their Windows servers. Often, servers are located in remote datacenters. This makes the need for a remote control tool critical. Sys admins will connect to and control remotely-located servers instead of having to travel to their location.
As popular as RDP is, however, it lacks some important features that most sys admins would find useful. Namely, it does not allow users on both sides of the connection to share a desktop screen. When a tech connects to another user’s computer via RDP, it either locks the other user out or starts a parallel session. This adds unnecessary difficulty to the troubleshooting process. Often a tech needs to see what the end-user is doing to trigger the problem in order to effectively troubleshoot. Some problems that end-users experience happen only in the user’s profile. If a tech is unable to see what is happening or control actions from the user’s profile, the tech may be missing a crucial piece of information needed to resolve the issue.
Other types of software seek to fill these gaps in RDP’s toolset. One of the more widely used tools for remotely supporting Windows computers is Virtual Network Computing (VNC®). VNC is very popular among server and system administrators because it is a cross-platform tool. It can be used to remotely control Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computers. Furthermore, it allows users on either side of the connection to share a desktop screen, making troubleshooting easier.
Like RDP, however, VNC also suffers from some shortcomings. VNC is only a remote control tool and does not allow techs to perform remote administration tasks on Windows computers without making a full remote control session. It also lacks other useful functions like in-session chat between the tech and end-user and one-click screenshots useful to techs in the troubleshooting process.
DameWare® Remote Support for Windows
The need for a comprehensive remote support solution is evident in the shortcomings of tools like RDP and VNC. DameWare Remote Support is that comprehensive remote support tool. DameWare Remote Support software was designed with help desk professionals and system administrators in mind.
DameWare Remote Support features three remote control tools that can all be accessed from the same console. DameWare allows techs to connect to computers with RDP, VNC, or its proprietary remote control tool, the Mini Remote Control. This gives techs and sys admins the flexibility to remotely control all of the computers on their network. Having these three tools available from one console means techs can remotely control Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows machines without having to switch between programs or juggle multiple tools.
In addition to this powerful combination of remote control tools available from a single console, DameWare Remote Support also has a built-in chat feature. This allows techs to communicate with end-users during a remote control session through a simple chat interface that can be launched from the console. DameWare also allows for easy file transfers between host and client computers and features a one-click screenshot tool helpful to techs in the troubleshooting process.
DameWare Remote Support’s feature set does not stop there. From the same console used to launch remote control sessions, techs can perform remote administration tasks on Windows computers. Techs can manage disks and printers, monitor system performance, restart services, and view event logs without leaving their desks.
From the same console, DameWare lets system administrators manage multiple Active Directory® domains. Sys admins can add or delete users, security groups, and organizational units. They can also manage group policies and extended attributes such as photos and logos.
DameWare lets help desk pros and system administrators manage their entire base of computers right from one easy-to-use console. Download your free trial of DameWare today, and start managing the computers on your network within minutes. Your free trial is fully functional for 14 days.