Friday, September 25, 2009

Connect To A Remote Windows Workstation To Provide Support

So, someone from you family, living far away from you, asked you to help him/her with her windows computer and you would like to help, but are not willing to spend $450 for air tickets. Well, sometimes it may be a good idea to spend this money and spend some time with your family. But if there are reasons you can't do it right at this moment, but you would still like to help with the computer problem, what do you do? Especially, if it's your older relative or friend? Not really technical savvy or even scarred of this new and strange technology.

One simple approach I have found (after trying two other approaches with only partial success), is a product called TeamViewer. The personal/non-profit use is free. The thing works like this:
  • The person that receives the support, downloads and runs the TeamViewerQS, which generates a random ID and password.
  • The supporter downloads the TeamViewer and starts it. It asks for a user and password.
  • The supported needs to obtain these to pieces of information from the other person (phone, email, text message, etc.) and enter.
  • The rest is simple. Just like the MS Remote Desktop or VNC.
A really cool part of this is, you can actually test the TeamViewer first without getting your relative at all. The company provides a "test" machines you can connect to for testing. Easy, they're probably running just a bunch of windows virtual boxes. But still, it's a good idea.

Enjoy! And do make at another time a trip to visit your family in person. In my case, the relative I needed to help, lives in Poland. I live in Oregon. TeamVeaver was helpful.

1 comment:

Benzin said...

Downloading can be difficult if the person receiving the support is a non-techie, and most often people experience problems in getting the software running. Moreover during remote support receivers are required to change their firewall settings to allow remote access, which can be highly insecure. You could try RHUB, Remote Access. It doesn’t require any downloads or installations, and firewall setting changes. All the people on the receiving end need to do is to switch on the system and connect it to the Internet. It has also some great features that enable you to give an interactive remote support. It is not free though.