You probably would not immediately think of Citrix when looking for remote admin products, but its GoToAssist software provides a useful remote support tool that can be used almost anywhere.
There are no restrictions on the number of users that a representative can support, which makes the price tag more bearable.
The support interface offers online help direct from the supporting website so that, although it is not content-sensitive, it is up-to-date. The system needs a dial-up connection with a minimum speed of 28.8Kbps – faster will be better.
The system is geared to the way support requests are received, either by telephone or email, or by a request sent via the support website. In all cases, the request receives an identification code which is transmitted to the user, who in turn uses it to download and activate the support software from the website.
The user in effect "owns" the support process, initiating it, downloading the software and granting access to the system. The downloaded software is removed when the connection is terminated, so there is no possibility of the system being hijacked at a later date.
Once up and running, there are a number of options available to the support tech. The remote desktop can operate in two modes, shared and view only. In the default sharing mode, both the support tech and the user can manipulate the mouse and keyboard.
There is a chat mode, useful for eliciting information from the user, and a comprehensive diagnostic report can be requested from the system. The file transfer capability uses 128-bit encryption in both directions, though transfer rates are subject to the quality of the connection. It is also possible to reboot the target from the support system.
There are two extra features that could be useful in a remote support operation. The laser tool produces a small coloured circle on the user's screen that can be used to indicate areas on the remote screen that the support operative wants the user to look at. The draw mode allows the operative to draw lines on the user's screen that remain visible until the operative erases them.