Remote desktop software which lets you tap into a remote computer and control it through another machine is one of the key tools for an efficient support centre. Even though the software delivers amazing functionality, for those daily engaged in tech support activities, it requires some skill and time to be able to manoeuvre it confidently. To help you master it, we prepared a checklist of the must-use remote desktop tools that will make every tech supporter’s job a lot easier.
Easy connections with remote clients
Remote desktop software has evolved to the point where it literally lets you access a remote computer in seconds. Furthermore, their quality and ease of use have improved as well. For instance, one of the best remote access software applications for businesses, ISL Online, provides as many as 10 different ways to connect, suitable for every user (individual vs. corporate) and every support situation (permanent access vs. spontaneous support). Let’s see how.
To connect to a remote computer, tech operators can:
• use the website http://www.islonline.com
• visit and login directly through the network http://www.islonline.net
• download a desktop icon
• integrate the join-the-session widget into your website – ConnectBox
• set up a custom webpage (add your logo and links) on our ISL Online Network – Branded Access Point
• email a session invitation to a client
• ask clients to use the Join Session page
• connect from an iPhone, iPad, or Android mobile device
• run desktop sharing from a live chat service
• install an unattended access app on your computer and connect without the help of a remote user.
Desktop sharing: best quality or high speed
Best quality desktop sharing usually produces a clear desktop stream, allowing us to even watch high-definition contents played on the remote computer as comfortably as if we were right there. On the other hand, high speed desktop sharing evidently improves the speed, the quality, though, drops a bit. Choosing between the two options depends mostly on the nature of your work, however, high speed desktop control proffers as the obvious choice for quick remote assistance.
Remote system information for quick troubleshooting
Another nifty feature for fast tech agents provides vital information about the remote system, such as its CPU, memory and data drives, all on-going processes and applications, and other crucial hardware and software information upon a click of a button.
Remote rebooting and reconnecting
Thanks to excellent technology, you can feel free to reboot remote servers and computers, switch the users, or log off, and automatically reconnect back without any help of the remote user. The easiest way to make sure rebooting won’t break the connection is to check whether the rebooting function is enabled. To do that, look under Tools / Administrative mode and make sure both administrative mode and restart and resume are enabled. If they are, you can reboot the remote computer normally from the system or directly from the remote access application.
Restarting into safe mode
To troubleshoot the remote computer’s system-critical problems in Windows and determine what is interfering with their normal operation, tech operators can now restart the troubled remote computer in safe mode without breaking the remote connection. This requires both administrative rights and the restart and resume feature enabled. If they are both checked, feel free to ‘Reboot into Safe mode’.
For greater privacy control, the person sharing the screen can limit the rights to a single application without showing the whole screen. Whether wanting to share an application on the operator’s computer or view and control an application on the client’s computer, the tech operator initiates application sharing by clicking on the desktop sharing button. To share one of the client’s applications, the tech operator requests to ‘View’ it, the remote client, however, needs to open more options in the pop-up question in order to choose an appropriate application and agree to ‘Show’ it to the operator. Don’t forget to make sure that the shared application always stays on top of all open applications.
Don’t feel stressed when troubleshooting a remote computer with two, three or even more monitors. Most of the remote support tools let you easily control multiple monitors, letting you view them side by side (smaller in size while fitting multiple monitors into your screen) or toggle between remote displays in their full size. Adjust viewing options in Tools / Zoom.
Have you ever taken over a client with a technical issue, started a remote desktop session with great confidence to fix it in minutes and then suddenly realised you have no idea of the matter? Luckily, ISL Online lets you transfer that session over to a better fitting fellow supporter without any interruptions on the client side. Learn how to transfer active remote desktop sessions from one supporter to another.
When connected, the preferred way to send files quickly from and to a remote computer is the in-built file transfer. One of the better equipped tools, ISL Online, empowers you to exchange files during remote access in three different ways – by dragging files and dropping them on the application interface, by a special file manager folder, and the last and also the most convenient way, by the SendTo shortcut in the Windows Explorer menu.
The key benefit of remote printing is to skip sending files over to the local computer as this handy feature enables you to print remote files directly on a local printer. Remote printing requires a simple, one-click installation of the ISL Remote Driver on the local computer to share a printer. That done, tech operators can print remote documents on their local printer.
Chat, VoIP, Webcam
While in theory you can go about fixing remote computers without exchanging a single word with the client, some communication should turn your remote support service ever more friendly and warm. While live text messaging is really simple to use, it is also available as soon as connected. Just write a message, click on ‘Enter’, and voilà, chatting is beginning. Audio and video communication, on the other hand, require a headset, a webcam and an even more cheerful attitude. But in the end it’s worth the effort as it not only provides an emotional reassurance for the client with step-by-step guidance throughout remote assistance, but it also adds that last missing ingredient to the support service – your personality.
Desktop as whiteboard
To illustrate your point better to the remote client, practically every remote support software lets you draw something on the shared screen, circle, highlight or place visual pointers to bring important parts to notice. Select a pen or a pointer and draw something on the shared desktop.
For their own protection and to avoid possible conflicts with clients, more businesses decide to record their remote support activities and archive the recordings for later playback. ISL Online offers automatic session recording allowing you to tape every remote support session, yet it also enables on-demand recording started manually by tech agents. Learn more how to record your sessions on our blog.
Manage as few as two or as many as thousands of users of remote desktop software from an admin account. Create a new account, purchase a license and activate it on your account (manage now), then assign additional users (support operators) with each receiving their own authentication username and a password, define their rights and limitations in terms of which software functionality can be available to each individual, and create reports possibly broken down by users. Learn more about user management on our blog.
External authentication (for Server License users only)
Those of you who have had experience with introducing a new system into a business, will probably realise that even minor tasks like user management involve plenty of additional work as one has to create internal users, set their passwords and keep all that in sync with existing systems. However, if the new system supports authentication through a central directory, such as OpenLDAP, Microsoft Active Directory, Novell eDirectory and RADIUS, you can do it in minutes. Learn how to set up external authentication for remote desktop software ISL Online.
Customise remote desktop software
ISL Online offers basic customisation options for SaaS users, while it offers additional customisation options to those using the on-premises server installation (go to Server License manual for more info). Let’s explore customisation for SaaS.
The first and the most obvious thing you can change in the application is its interface language. ISL Online software is translated into over 30 languages, allowing you to choose from English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and lots of others. While the remote desktop software automatically detects your language preference, you can always change it manually to a different one.
Other customisation options include applying different colours to the interface and adding various text messages (manual), embedding your company logo (manual), adding custom dialogues at the end of each session (manual), and even modifying the functionality a bit, e.g. to automatically view the remote desktop or to iconise the application upon connecting (manual).
Adding unattended access to remote computers
ISL Online requires that a small application be installed on the host computers. You can either do it yourself locally or ask for help a remote user behind that computer. Regardless of whether you are sitting behind that computer or not, log into your ISL Online account and open the ‘Remote Access’ tab. Then choose ‘Add This Computer’ if you are sitting behind the host computer, or ‘Add Remote Computer’ if you want to add access to another computer. When you first start the software on the host computer, you’ll be prompted to give your computer an access password. The newly added device should show up in the My computers list.
Tagging remote computers
One useful setting in the remote access component lets you put name tags on your remote devices, keeping them organised, easily recognised and found in the search engine. Log in, open the ‘Remote Access’ tab, and select ‘Edit’ under ‘More’ options.
Accessing unattended remote computers
To remotely access computers over the Internet, use a Web browser on your client computer to log into your user account on the ISL Online site, or the application if installed. The ‘Remote Access’ tab will show My computers, listing all remote devices ever added to that account. Click ‘Connect’, type in the password you choose, and a window pops open showing your host computer’s desktop. View and control it as if you were there sitting in front of it. The convenient drag & drop window in the right bottom corner will considerably simplify file transfer between the host and your local computer.
ISL Online’s Wake-on-LAN feature enables you to connect to your remote computer from anywhere even if it is powered off, in hibernation (Windows) or sleep (Mac) mode, but you need to make a few tweaks beforehand. Learn how to access a remote computer even if it’s shut down.
Direct access to files on your computer
Did you know you can download, edit and upload files from anywhere without even accessing the computers where the files are saved? The installed remote access component ISL AlwaysOn entitles you to do just that.
The first step is to find the files you want to keep at hand, make a right mouse click, select ‘Share this folder with ISL AlwaysOn’ and set access rights – download only or full control — and authentication requirements – privately protected with a password or publicly accessible with a link. These files are now accessible from your ISL Online account, from your Android mobile or via a guest link, given the remote computer is online. Read more about file sharing on our blog.
Administrators who are in charge of taking care of 50, 100, 1000 or even more devices, will appreciate easy management of multiple remote devices done in their ISL Online account. Logged in, open ‘More’ and choose to shut down multiple remote computers at once, change their access password, get their system information, or upgrade the remote access application ISL AlwaysOn – all with a single command.
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