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I guess most of us know the likes of TeamViewer, NetViewer or Copilot which all work more or less great for doing remote control and/or remote support.

Edit In light of UnisoftDesign's answer: Additional clarification:

These tools make it trivial for non-technical users to set up a Remote Control connection to a support engineer. Typically, both sides are behind a firewall they have no control over. Noone involved has to deal with IP addresses, ports or any technical stuff. Both sides just open an app, and one side has to enter a number. That's it.

One crucial point with these tools is also that the support engineer and the user see the same desktop.

What I am looking for atm. though would be a product that gives a user experience on par with above tools, but one that is self-hosted, that is all data transfer only passes through our servers.

I had a few hits through Google, but having someone recommend a tool who's actually used (and administered) it, would be far more useful than the marketing fluff on the company sites.

Note: The reason I'm looking for a fully self-hosted and self-controlled solution is paranoid IT departments, so there's really no arguing.

Edit: Hmmm ... given Combo's answer and my own Google Searches, it seems I could also have phrased the question: What other decent tools beside ScreenConnect are there?

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closed as not constructive by EEAA, Ward, Michael Hampton, Jenny D, Jim B May 6 '13 at 15:21

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5 Answers

We use ScreenConnect for our ad hoc remote support requirements - it works very well for us. Free to try. http://www.screenconnect.com/

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Could you elaborate if you are just using the tool, or if you also are involved in administering it's server? –  Martin Apr 11 '11 at 12:22
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I installed it on one of our servers and administer it, and also use it regularly. Six of my technical colleagues use it multiple times daily when they need to provide remote support to machines that don't already have our primary remote support and management tool (Kaseya) installed. –  Combo Apr 11 '11 at 13:01
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I think for large organisations, you will need to break this down, to get a good management system for: - SSH for your UNIX servers - (RDP for windows 'terminal' servers is trivial: just stick to active directory and powershell) - remote helpdesking - roll your own VNC setup for your Windows servers in field offices that do have a screen (and 'power'-user) attached to them

The organisations I deal with are on the small side (less than 50 in the head office), so I tend to use whatever management app comes with the local distro, and I don't really need a proxy (we install a VPN client and 'showdesktop' icon/script on each computer).

Sometimes that means I use a combination of RDP-MMC/Vinagre/Putty

For incoming remote helpdesking and field office windows servers, I use ultraVNC, DynDNS and clever port forwarding. I don't use a proxy solution, but the ultraVNC people have got a package that makes it easier to roll your own.

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We use Dameware Mini Remote Control. It works pretty well for everything we need to do with it. It has a ton of features we really don't use. But for a basic remote control program it works great.

You can try it out for free for 30 days too to see if you like it.

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Hmmm... It doesn't seem to tick the boxes. The solutions I listed "just work", because they rely on a publicly available server through which traffic is routed. I wanted to self-host this publicly available server, to avoid the traffic going through a third party and/or country. –  Martin Apr 11 '11 at 12:21
    
The newest version has a Proxy Server that comes with it. You can setup a server to be a proxy that you setup your firewall to direct traffic to it. So your public IP address to access whatever you need through it. dameware.com/support/kb/article.aspx?ID=300040 –  Nixphoe Apr 11 '11 at 16:16
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We use a Bomgar device. It is an appliance that we have in our server room. It is accessible to the outside network and a simply link on our website directs customers to it. It enables full screen sharing and control. see http://www.bomgar.com/

I do not work for or with them. I just use the wonderful orange appliance.

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Hmm ... I don't really care whether I have to install something on a server our IT puts in the rack, or whether IT just plugs in the Orange Box. Can you comment on the application on the client and supporter side? Are they decent? On par with TeamViewer et al? –  Martin Sep 1 '11 at 6:38
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we use http://www.freeremotesupport.net . It is like Teamviewer, but it is completely free. And we assemble ourselves from a few opensource software. So can do you.

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