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I'm trying to use the windows Remote Assistance to be able to hop into a friend's computer so I can assist him with something (he's out of state) but I think he needs to be in my network for it to work. Is it possible to use the windows Remote Assistance to hop into his computer, or is there another type of software I could get (that's free hopefully) in order to be able to do this?

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TeamViewer is the easiest for the end user. Have them download the TeamViewer QuickSupport and it's a single executable, they run it and then tell you the ID number and password. You can then connect. It works great through NAT and I've never had a problem with it.

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+1 - better than for the simple fact that you don't need to register an account with anyone or even install the software. they can download, run, give you the id/pass and you can connect. very simple and very powerful. – Cypher Jul 1 '11 at 18:24
TeamViewer has caused headaches for me in the past because it wants to use port 80 & 443, so if your system is using these ports for other things (webserver, etc.) then it can be annoying. I do believe in the new version there is an option to disable the utilization of these ports though. – Chase Jul 5 '11 at 17:00

try They have a free version and it is great! You will need to setup an account, and your friend will have to install the software on his pc. If you pay for it, then they do not need the software on there pc, but can use a browser.

They also have a free VPN client called Himatchi if you would rather go that route

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Ah, I'll have to check that out! Thanks! – nekroblivion Jul 1 '11 at 17:50

I completely recommend Team Viewer. It is free for personal use and can be run with or without installation. I will never use anything besides Team Viewer again. It is available for Windows/Linux/Android/Mac.

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I've found FogCreek's CoPilot to be wonderful for this kind of assistance. It's easy enough that I can even use it with my non-tech-savvy father in law for remote assistance.

Also, it's free on weekends and frequently free on holidays (Father's/Mother's day, etc). If you're using it frequently, they also have pretty good package deals.

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