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Q: Need software to removely control other computers ( Answered,   8 Comments )
Subject: Need software to removely control other computers
Category: Computers
Asked by: lukenosek-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 04 Sep 2003 06:08 PDT
Expires: 04 Oct 2003 06:08 PDT
Question ID: 252126
I need some software for remotely controlling other computers.

I want to start an Internet based tech support business where I help
other people solve their basic computer problems over the Internet.

I remember our tech support staff at a previous company had this
software, it let the IT staff "take over my computer" remotely
diagnose and fix problems.

Here are my requirements:
- Easy to install package for each of my customers to download
- I can see and control what is going on at any of my customer's
- Works through firewalls
- Easy for customers to disable, so they feel like they have control
of their computers
- For low bandwidth connections, there is a simplified mode that
doesnt transmit everything, (say only one particular application, and
only mouse clicks rather than mouse movements)

I would also prefer these features:
- I can refer a customer to an employee, and have him handle it from
his computer (the employee maybe at a remote location, outside my
firewall), while maintaining the ability to monitor what is happening
with that customer
- I can put my own company's name up on the software to create a
branded experience for my customers
= Inexpensive, quick, and easy to license (no per-seat deals, no
lengthy negotiations with salespeople)
- I can record the entire interaction on a customers computer

I will send more clarifications today if I think of them.  Thanks.

Subject: Re: Need software to removely control other computers
Answered By: legolas-ga on 04 Sep 2003 06:34 PDT
Hi lukenosek-ga,

You may be interested in a program called TightVNC. There are other
VNC implementations, but, I find that I prefer the TightVNC
application the best (a tad faster and slightly more efficient
compression for slow connections). I've used the software myself for a
while now--and use it almost daily to help my mother with her myriad
of computer problems!

The software is GPL licenced so there are no licence fees of any kind,
and source code is provided (you can 'brand' the software if you
want--making sure to keep the original copyright in tact--by modifying
the source).

As well, there are modes to only transmit information under the mouse
to speed up slow connections, and the ability to work through
firewalls. VNC can connect in a bi-directional way; either server or
client can connect to the server or the client. So, the person who
requires support can 'Add new client' and allow YOU to see their
computer, or you can 'Connect' to their computer.

There is even a setting to allow you to connect to a client's machine
by using an Internet Browser! A JAVA capable browser can be used as a
VNC client.

You can find TightVNC here:

The self-installing Windows application can be found here:

TightVNC is cross platform--and compatible with RealVNC for wider
hardware support. RealVNC is here:

I hope this answers your question. If you should need more
information, please don't hesitate to ask for clarification prior to
rating and closing this question.



No search done: I've used this software for well over a year
personally--with glowing success.

Request for Answer Clarification by lukenosek-ga on 04 Sep 2003 09:38 PDT

does this have any other of my preferred features
- recording interaction
- sharing/refering to a third party (my employees)

do you know of commercial systems that fulfill some of those?  might
be willing to pay for it.

re: winxp - the xp-only solution won't work for me.  i need this to
work with all win95 systems.

Clarification of Answer by legolas-ga on 04 Sep 2003 10:16 PDT
Hi lukenosek,

- recording interaction 
Yes. I found this article about the possibility:

If you use the JAVA client (available here:
, it natively supports 'recording' sessions. The docs on the JAVA
client says this:


Current version of the TightVNC Java viewer is able to record VNC
sessions in files for later playback. The data format in saved session
is compatible with the rfbproxy program written by Tim Waugh. Most
thing about session recording is that it's supported only if Java
manager allows access to local filesystem. Typically, it would not
work for
unsigned applets. To use this feature, either use TightVNC Java viewer
as a
standalone application (Java Runtime Environment or Java Development
should be installed), or as a signed applet. The code checks if it's
to support session recording, and if everything's fine, the new
button should appear in the button panel. Pressing this button opens
window which controls session recording. The GUI is pretty

- sharing/refering to a third party (my employees) 
You can add more than one client to each server. Which means that you
and two other associates can view the same computer at the same time.

I hope this answers your questions. If there are any other issues,
please again use the 'ask for clarification' button for more



Clarification of Answer by legolas-ga on 04 Sep 2003 10:18 PDT
I should add, to play back the recorded sessions, you may find this program useful

RFB Player (based on TightVNC Java viewer):

Thanks again,


search terms:
vnc recorder
Subject: Re: Need software to removely control other computers
From: zhiwenchong-ga on 04 Sep 2003 07:17 PDT
Windows XP's Remote Desktop (which is actually Microsoft Terminal
Services) is meant for exactly this (remote troubleshooting).

Remote Desktop is a standard component in XP installations.
Subject: Re: Need software to removely control other computers
From: legolas-ga on 04 Sep 2003 09:34 PDT
But with M$'s solution, you MUST have XP *and* it doesn't work as
nicely through a firewall.

Subject: Re: Need software to removely control other computers
From: ritex-ga on 04 Sep 2003 12:10 PDT
YOu can use symantec PCanywhere for your use because it has all the
features you require.
Subject: Re: Need software to removely control other computers
From: legolas-ga on 04 Sep 2003 12:46 PDT
PCAnywhere is a commercial product that costs hundreds of dollars.
TightVNC is free and does everything PCAnywhere does.

Subject: Re: Need software to removely control other computers
From: picardsb-ga on 04 Sep 2003 23:09 PDT
Beware of being hacked! This remote access is just the thing -
synonymous to an unauthorized program being run on your comp, or files
being tampered with. I don't see any difference - just that you open a
port to get access to a computer, maybe to do benevolent job. But that
is the exact portal that can be used to crash the computer. People are
getting lazy - and it will backfire.
Subject: Re: Need software to removely control other computers
From: legolas-ga on 05 Sep 2003 19:06 PDT

With VNC, there is no need for the connection to be open all the
time--only when support is needed. Also, there are passwords for a
reason. Make it silly like, "pass", and don't be surprised that you
get someone in your computer that you don't want. Make it something
good like, "23afsf@#$!$DF12" and suddenly it's secure.

Subject: Re: Need software to removely control other computers
From: legomaniac-ga on 07 Sep 2003 00:50 PDT
You might want to check out a nifty Web-conferencing system called
WebEx.  (  It lets your users 'share' their
desktop with you so that you can do the driving.  There are less
security risks than PC-Anywhere, Timbuktu, or VNC, since it's only
active when the user's web browser is conected to the current WebEx
session.  Best of all, it's completely web-based, so there's nothing
to install.
Subject: Re: Need software to removely control other computers
From: danprime-ga on 18 Sep 2003 19:03 PDT
You might also want to check out a service called . I
know some companies use this for their extreme tech support although
you'd need to get licences (definitely not cheap).

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