Remote Access - You Will Need It One Day (Maybe Today!)
If you support clients, sooner or later you will find that you need to have software with which to gain ‘remote access’ to your client’s computer for some form of support. Here are four alternatives.
If you support clients, sooner or later you will find that you need to have software with which to gain ‘remote access’ to your client’s computer for some form of support. Just tonight for example, I remoted into a computer in Florida (that is what I said Florida) just to examine a file. Intuit long ago recognized this fact and offered ‘discounted’ remote access software to work with QuickBooks for ProAdvisors and Accountant product owners; that service steadily declined in ‘feature set’ and increased in price (it was at one time free for the entire feature set, but times have changed).
While there are many ‘free for the moment’ trial versions of this type of software on the market, and some ‘free versions’ not intended for commercial use (if you read their terms of service closely), I always question ‘anything’ for free, especially if I am going to connect my computer up to it.
Professional grade remote control/access software isn’t cheap (I have listed some prices, but I do not guarantee any of them, they come exclusively from marketing materials available from each vendor). I thought I would mention what many consider the four of the top-of-the-line products, and I am mentioning them in no particular order as to rankings from ANY source. You may use, or know of, other similar products, or you may have comments about some of these or the one you use. I am absolutely certain that our readers would love to hear about the products you like, or dislike, and why. So feel free to submit your comments below.
I am going to begin by discussing the ‘professional version’ of the software that Intuit still makes available for ProAdvisors and/or those using the ‘Accountant version’ of QuickBooks or QuickBooks Enterprise.
Cisco WebEx® Support Center Remote Access allows you to create and support networks of thousands of computers, from any web browser. Perform real-time service and maintenance tasks remotely any time, with or without users present. Solve customer support and internal IT help desk problems quickly and easily right from your browser. Boost productivity and improve customer satisfaction with WebEx Remote Access. Pricing starts at $99 per month, although there is a special ‘limited version’ of this product available directly through QuickBooks to ProAdvisors for significantly less; however, that version provides access only to ‘QuickBooks’ on the remote computer(s).
TeamViewer permits you to remote control any computer or Mac over the internet within seconds. TeamViewer allows you to control computers remotely as if you were sitting right in front of them. You can provide technical support to mobile devices such as iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android device, all from the convenience of your work station. Pricing for this product starts at $749 (you purchase it outright); higher priced versions provide additional features to the standard business license priced herein, but there are no monthly fees with these products.
GoToAssist enables you to provide fast and easy live remote support with a solution designed to meet your specific business needs. IT professionals, consultants and managed service providers can quickly deliver live and unattended technical assistance with GoToAssist’s powerful remote support software. Transition from a support call to an online support session with just one click. Access and control end users’ PC and Mac computers to resolve issues quickly. Pricing for this product starts at $69 per month; however, they also offer what they call a ‘remote support day pass’ for $6.95 (1 time charge) which provides full service for 24-hours if you only need to provide remote support services on occasion.
LogMeIn(123) Rescue allows you stay productive away from your desk with anytime, anywhere access to your computers. You can remotely view, diagnose and fix computers and mobile devices by connecting to devices anywhere in the world in less than a minute. Supports Windows, Windows mobile, Android, Apple-OS, BlackBerry and Synbian operating systems. This product starts at $129 per month., although I understand that there may be some pricing variations based upon ‘expected volume’. (And someone told me that they do offer ‘coupon discounts’ if you search hard enough.)
I only briefly pointed out some of the key ‘marketing factors’ associated with these four products. I don’t intend to mention which of these I personally use (right now), or why I chose it, because I don’t want anyone to think I am endorsing a specific product; however, I certainly would like to hear your stories about your remote software choices (that's what the comment section is for).