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tantryl

Remote customer support

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Ah crap.

 

That reboot/QuickSupport problem I had was just a problem with a specific computer - it DOES support reconnect on reboot, if in a slightly awkward manual reconnect on my end way. You use TV to tell the remote computer to reboot, it gives you a message telling you you've lost the connection for some reason, probably because you need to wait for the other guy to give permission for something, you close the window and wait a few minutes for the client PC to reboot and restart the little service it installs to load on bootup and manually restart the session (same ID & password).

 

A bit sloppy, but not a major hassle. Although I am a little worried about recurreces of the problem I had with one clients computer (XP SP3) where when I told TV to reboot the machine it disconnected, but then pops up a box on the clients machine saying Windows cannot find %temp path%/teamviewer_service.exe and doesn't reboot.

 

The Ah crap part is that now I actually have to make a decision between GTA:E for ~$500/year or TV5:Business for ~$740 (flat, but I'll likely want a ~$500 upgrade each year).

Edited by tantryl

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If we havent got a server setup on the other end taht we can TS to, we use showmypc

which gets the job done, the only problem we experience is with vista/7 when UAC kicks in, you get kicked out (hooray for 'secure' desktop)

even if you disable UAC, when a program asks for admin privledges (why?! this still happens I wish i knew) you dont get booted, but you still cannot click the prompt, so you ge stuck there unable to proceed.

 

It tempts me to figure out how to write an app that enacapsulates a VPN to the client and then patches you into a TS session (so many technical issues here its not funny however)

any system that uses RDP instead of VNC wins

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Sorry I thought Bomgar was in your list of options and you needed pricing to make a more informed choice.

For the record we ended up looking closer at it because it can support safe mode reboot etc.

 

Why did you cross out simplehelp so quickly? I've heard that it is similar to bomgar but without the device. (Haven't looked into it in depth yet)

 

Also are you looking into incorporating a ticketing and/or billing system with the remote support? We have looked into a few and have been knocked out with the pricing.

 

Cheers.

Ant.

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Hey Ant

 

After browsing endless Bomgar pages that were completely non-specific as to what they were offering, I found a part saying you didn't actually need the hardware and much like when you use their trial offer you could have the data routed/encrypted through their hardware. This is much preferred for me because it means I'm not location bound. I move around a fair bit.

 

Whether they actually offer this service or not is a mystery though, as I can't find the page I originally thought said that.

 

I believe with Simple Help they simply didn't respond to my trial request. But the fact it needs me to host my own server presents similar problems to Bomgar.

 

I'm a small one man show. An elaborate billing system is not required, however the reporting system of GoToAssist is more than good enough for my needs.

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If all you need is a simple low cost solution check out UltraVNC single click.

http://www.uvnc.com/addons/singleclick.html

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>&hl=en&fs=1">
name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344">

It's designed to allow you to set up a VNC server at your end and have a client download (Or have emailed) a single executable which they just have to double click to get a connection going.

 

I don't know if it will suit your needs but the price is right.

Edited by CptnChrysler

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Yeah, I looked into it. As with the other VNC based solutions, UAC causes a serious road block.

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I believe with Simple Help they simply didn't respond to my trial request. But the fact it needs me to host my own server presents similar problems to Bomgar.

So I applied again, and it came through within an hour. Maybe I put my email address is wrong the first time.

 

Nice system. Few problems, most of which are specific to my circumstance but not all.

 

- End user has to install Java first (most of my clients wouldn't have it installed already). Even though the process is quite automated, any extra complication is an issue and increases the time before the session starts.

- Since it's hosted on my main/desktop computer, it has to upload the 1.5MB or so of Simple Help client from my main computer. If I wasn't restricted to Bigpond Cable as my only service provider, this wouldn't be a problem. But on my current plan there's an upload speed of 128kbps which is a practical 8-10kBps. If I pay Bigpond an extra $10 a month it doubles, but is still pretty crap.

- The above two added up to approximately 9 minutes before the session could be started, and that was with a simple but relatively competent end user. That's with no third party firewall issues, and with XP so no Vista/7 UAC issues. Not good when compared to under 2 minutes for GoToAssist.

- In my one and only test session the kb/mouse control dropped out after about 20 minutes. It was easy enough to start a new session with the end users help, but a little worrying if it's likely to re-occur. I had another problem where clicking the File menu didn't pop down the menu in the second session, but the mouse was working for everything else and I could ues Alt+F to open it so I'm not certain what the problem was there.

- It was a little unresponsive compared to GTA:E, took longer to to refresh the screen and respond to my clicks.

 

The routing tech sessions externally thing is nice, but my crappy upload speed would make it painful.

 

I like the product in general, but I don't think it's a good fit for me right now. Maybe when I move and can get a decent ADSL2+ connection.

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you may want to look at RHUB (http://www.rhubcom.com/). Their appliance is only $995. It is a one-time payment and 3-10 month pay back. No monthly fees.

You own the box and could host unlimited remote support, remote access, web conferencing and webinar sessions.

It is easy to setup and use. No firewall configuration. runs on both mac and pc.

I would highly recommend it for small business.

Edited by janetf

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May I suggest Buri?

Its a portable version of HAMACHI and doesnt require a reboot or anything.

 

So, you run hamachi, client runs BURI (preconfigured of course), simply email it to him or something. You both connect to the same WAN-VLAN, then you simply remote to his local IP? (which hamachi provides).

 

Or, if RDP isnt configured, get the user to click "Ask for remote assistance". You're now on the same 'lan' so it kinda just works.

You could script the whole thing in a batch file really. Or make a WinZip\7Zip installer that does it all.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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I bought TeamViewer about a year ago. It's been working well. But thanks for the suggestions.

 

RHUB wouldn't have been suitable for reasons already explained (limited upload speed at my connection).

 

TeamViewer, which involves going to my website, clicking a link and hitting Run twice, often takes around 5-10 minutes for my clients to figure out. So I'm glad I didn't go with a more complex option.

Edited by tantryl

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TeamViewer, which involves going to my website, clicking a link and hitting Run twice, often takes around 5-10 minutes for my clients to figure out. So I'm glad I didn't go with a more complex option.

Sounds like you have some clients similar to mine.

:-)

Unfortunately not enough of them to warrant the $1000.00+ to buy a business licence.

How do you get on with billing them? As some of the people round here would say I did not earn anything as I was not actually sitting at their computer. :-(.

Have you tried it with a 3g or satellite connection? If so how does it work on them?

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As far as free ones go:

 

+1 for uVNC Single Click.

 

You distribute a tiny exe with your branding and they just run it and click on the option you tell them to. You can have all sorts of configurations for various purposes; but the main thing is that the client doesn't have to know.

 

We actually distribute a wrapper installer which always downloads the latest version of the single click app; the advantage of this is if we change anything they always get the latest; heck, we can even change from using single click and the wrapper will accommodate that nicely.

 

Problem is it isn't fool proof. Firewalls need to be configured for outbound traffic on the ports you configure, (i.e., 5500)... but hey, at least it's outbound, which is easier to get through. I have one configured to go out on port 80 to an IP that doesn't host a site, which kinda solves most of the problems.

 

Save that, try join.me, which is a LogMeIn initiative that works in a browser:

 

http://join.me

 

Basically you tell them to open a browser and type join.me, click share and tell you the code.

Edited by Periander

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TeamViewer, which involves going to my website, clicking a link and hitting Run twice, often takes around 5-10 minutes for my clients to figure out. So I'm glad I didn't go with a more complex option.

Sounds like you have some clients similar to mine.

:-)

Unfortunately not enough of them to warrant the $1000.00+ to buy a business licence.

How do you get on with billing them? As some of the people round here would say I did not earn anything as I was not actually sitting at their computer. :-(.

Have you tried it with a 3g or satellite connection? If so how does it work on them?

 

I ended up just getting the $700 license. I only really do the remote support with existing customers, and all my work is per job by the half hour, no bigger contracts. My clients like me, and often get me to bill them for things when I would have happily done them as free add-ons to previous call-outs and whatnot. So billing isn't an issue, the only issues I've ever had with getting people to pay has been due to honest mistakes or mix ups.

 

I've tried over 3G and it works, but is painfully slow if you don't have a great signal. Satellite isn't practical in my area.

 

I should, fingers crosses, be moving to a place less than 1km from an exchange with ADSL2+ ports available , so my torturous time with Bigpond is almost over.

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Interesting that uvnc singleclick is considered too difficult. We use it in our helpdesk, which supports mainly miners, construction workers, real estate agents etc etc., who all blatantly advise they know nothing about computers, but the method has worked ~97% of the time. The other 3%, we just vnc into the comp ourselves through determining IP address.

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Yeah, bumping this again because we were looking for an alternative, but it seems uVNC SC is still the best free one.

 

It even handles UAC... sort of...

 

JoinMe is also pretty good, (LogMeIn off-shoot), but they're moving more aggresively in to a paid solution now.

 

Bomgar looks good, but I suspect it's prohibitively expensive.

 

All the others are more complicated than singleclick because they involve screwing around with PINs etc... whereas with SC they just double click on whoever you tell them to, and it works straight away, (but yeah, it relies on the user getting outbound access on whatever port you're using... using port 80 kinda helps).

Edited by Periander

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Fun fact: it's increasingly common that when I ask people to go to my website to download the TeamViewer Quicksupport client they ask where to find "my website" on their computer.

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they ask where to find "my website" on their computer.

Ye getting that or similar too.

Like why can't they access the emails on their computer if their net connection is not working when they are using gmail, or (gulp) hotmail.

 

Perhaps my explaining is not very good but the response is generally along the lines "but I saw it on my computer last week, why can't I see it now?"

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I love that one.

 

I wondering if it happens to, say, RAC pick-up trucks? "The battery's flat now, but it was fine yesterday!"

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I love that one.

 

I wondering if it happens to, say, RAC pick-up trucks? "The battery's flat now, but it was fine yesterday!"

Don't need to be RAC roadside assist to hear it as I have had people say that or similar as I am fishing out my super duper jumper leads to give them a start.

Have even heard "but it wasn't flat an hour ago" when referring to a punctured car tyre. So I suppose it's previous state means it shouldn't be in it's current state.

:P

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Have even heard "but it wasn't flat an hour ago" when referring to a punctured car tyre.

Wow. Those people most cope incredibly poorly in the face of personal tragedy.

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Have even heard "but it wasn't flat an hour ago" when referring to a punctured car tyre.

Wow. Those people most cope incredibly poorly in the face of personal tragedy.

 

Must admit I haven't actually heard a "but he was alive an hour ago" yet, but I have heard "but I was only talking to him last week" when referring to someone who had keeled over from a heart attack.

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Ya know, I might ask my doctor friends about that "but he was alive an hour ago" thing. I bet it happens... all... the... time.

 

Maybe along with the basics at primary school - reading, writing, maths, history, art, sport, science - we should add "causality".

Edited by tantryl

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Its like when I'm on the phone to people who are using windows XP and I ask them to open my computer, most people think I'm asking them to log into my PC or something :P

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I thought I'd be smart and get people to use the Windows flag key to do some shortcuts, like flag+e for explorer, flag+d to get to their desktop, or flag+r to get the run box up so that they could type a command.

 

Big mistake.

Edited by Periander

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