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Comprehensive Remote Support Solution

DameWare Remote Support vs. VNC

Virtual Network Computing, or VNC®, is open source desktop remote control software that can be used by system administrators to remotely support servers and workstations. As open source software, VNC is available free of charge and has been modified many times to enhance its performance for specific IT environments. Unlike DameWare Remote Support (DRS), however, VNC packages are strictly remote control tools that do not offer remote administration capabilities.

DRS is a comprehensive remote support solution that includes three ways of remotely controlling computers, as well as a full suite of systems administration tools that allow IT pros to perform many of their daily tasks from one software console.

Features VNC SolarWinds® DameWare
Remote Support
Control Windows® Computers
Control Linux® & Mac OS X® Computers
MRC Option  
Built-in RDP Client  
Chat Utility Only some versions
File Transfer Utility Only some versions
Screenshot Utility Only some versions
Remote Windows Administration  
- Start/stop/restart services  
- View event logs  
- Manage disks, shares & peripherals  
- Edit registries  
- Stop/start processes  
- Manage local users & groups  
- Schedule tasks  
Active Directory® Management  
- Manage AD users, security groups & OUs  
- Edit Group Policies  
- Update AD extended attributes  
Remote Service Installation  
Batch WMI & AD Export  

Three Remote Control Tools in
One Console

From the DRS console, users can select one of three ways to connect to workstations and servers: from RDP, VNC, or DameWare’s own remote control protocol, Mini Remote Control (MRC).

DameWare’s MRC protocol offers some significant advantages over both VNC and RDP. Like VNC, remote control via MRC requires that host software, or an agent, be installed on the host computer. The MRC agent is highly customizable and can be deployed via Group Policy or installed automatically upon first remote session. The MRC agent can also be configured to require permission from the end-user for remote access.

Windows Remote

DRS includes a host of Windows administration tools that let system administrators perform remote administration tasks (see chart for list) without having to initiate full remote control sessions. This feature-set can save a lot of time when troubleshooting remote computers.

Remotely accessing an end-user’s computer from a remote control session can be time-consuming, disruptive, and may require the end-user’s permission to initiate. Troubleshooting via remote Windows administration allows the tech to see what is happening to a computer without interrupting the end-user. No open source VNC variants offer these features.

Chat, File Transfer & Screenshot

DRS includes chat, file transfer, and screenshot tools that can be used to improve the troubleshooting process. The built-in chat client allows end-users and techs to communicate throughout the troubleshooting session. The file transfer tool allows techs to easily transfer files to and from the remote computer with an easy side-by-side interface. Screenshots are easy to capture with one click from the DRS console. Most variants of VNC do not include these tools.

AD - Active Directory

From the DRS console, system administrators can manage multiple Active Directory domains. This feature can be used to manage AD objects like creating, disabling, or unlocking user accounts, adding or removing users from security groups, and moving computers and other objects into Organizational Units. System administrators can also use this feature to edit Group Policies (GP).

Batch WMI and Active Directory

Included with DRS is the DameWare Exporter tool. This utility lets system administrators perform bulk exports of important WMI and Active Directory data. Batch exports of WMI information can provide useful information about installed software and Windows configurations on computers across entire networks. Exporting AD objects allows users to easily sort and search for objects with specific attributes like disabled users.