What is remote assistance? With the advent of broadband and higher speed internet access it has become more practical for me to remotely control, demonstrate and diagnose for my customers computers via the internet.
I currently remotely manage the firewalls and ADSL routers of many of my clients, making sure they are protected from the outside world, or to enable them to access internal network resources whilst away from the office. This also enables me, using remote management software, to send files direct to their computers, update software, diagnose problems, watch the customer’s screen as they demonstrate a problem, provide a commentary as they work, or even take control when they want me to demonstrate things for them as they watch.
What about Security?
You might think this presents a security risk, but the whole process is under the customer’s control. Passwords and data is transferred in an encrypted form, the Mac has to be specifically setup to allow access, and the customer has to accept the request to control their computer.
How do I start a Remote Support session on my Mac?
If you are running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or 10.6 Snow Leopard it’s very straightforward.You need to open iChat, which you can find the Hard Drive -> Applications folder.
If you don’t already have a .Mac, MobileMe or AIM account, simply call us and request the details of the SweetApple Remote Support user. Once you have those we can have you up and running in minutes. If you don’t understand any of the above, just give us a bell and we’ll explain everything.
If you already have a .Mac or MobileMe account, you just need to enter those details. If you have an AOL Instant Messenger account, enter those details. Then call us, or start an iChat with firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are using OS 10.4 Tiger or earlier, life gets a bit more painful, as we have to use Apple Remote Desktop or VNC and will probably need a VPN tunnel or ports opened in your firewall. But give us a call and we’ll sort something out.
The main advantage is the assistance can be instantaneous as I don’t have to drive to the customer’s site. It also means that I can run routine maintainance tasks when the customer is not using the machines. It also means that requests aren’t prone to the misunderstanding or misinterpretation that plagues telephone support.