How to Provide Remote Support

The ability to connect to a users workstation from a distance and quickly solve the problem at hand has dramatically increased IT's coverage area. You no longer need a corporate IT budget and department behind you to offer remote assistance capabilities. Here's a few ways to get started...

Microsoft Remote Assistance (Free included with XP on)

MSRA offers a few options for offering or requesting help.

  • If you use windows messenger just click tools -> ask for remote assistance then choose the person you'd like to help you.
  • You can also click start -> run -> type msra.exe and click run.  This will give you the option to send an invitation to request or offer help. Send the invitation through email using Outlook or save the invitation to send via webmail.
  • If you are on the same network you can click help someone who has sent an invitation then click advanced and type the computer name the user is on.

Team Viewer (Free for non-commercial use)

My personal favorite for use outside the office. They offer full versions for both PCs and Macs, also Linux and mobile, allowing you to connect between them as well. It's an easy download and the person you are helping doesn't even need to install anything with the TeamviewerQS app. The user needing support simply supplies a pin and password that is presented to them upon starting Teamviewer QS and your connected, regardless of firewalls or other security.

  • Download at Teamviewer.com
  • If you are setting up a computer for someone you expect will need assistance later on, put the Teamviewer QS app somewhere local on their computer for easy use later, the file is also small enough to send via email if they can't navigate to the webpage for download
  • It's easy to share files with Teamviewer
  • They also have a presentation mode, so you can use it to teach others how to perform different tasks or even work on your school project with a group

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