Remote support is the process used when a technician (me) connects to a computer over the internet where the client (you) is providing active permission for the host to access the device. The device could be a laptop, workstation, server, tablet, etc. I will not offer remote support as it is configured in many popular online solution providers with names similar to GoToYourPC, or FixMyComputer, or any of the recent barrage of low budget television and radio ads offering help.
What I am going to offer customers is a remote support solution that is entirely self-hosted so there should no longer be any worries about data passing through a server in a foreign country that may or may not hold security as a priority. This remote support method will support customers running Windows, Linux, and Mac computers or servers and will be equipped with AES-256 encryption with an SSL certificate added to the web application on my server.
The technology is here now, I am able to use it capably, and once the time and expense of building and securing adequate in-house servers has been dealt with, I will be able to offer this service to my customers thereby lowering the impact on our schedules, the environment, and your finances. When this service is available there will be an announcement on the main page and it will certainly find a prominent position on the site.
The end product will operate much the same but this comparison may help explain the fundamental differences between the two basic types:
- Hosted – The remote support software vendor, such as the fictitious CleanUpThisPC, hosts the server installation at their data center, located anywhere there is electricity and broadband, and the vendor facilitates the connection between the host and guest via installed clients. This method includes technicians that rent the usage of these servers and software on a case by case ad-hoc situation. This method also include the recent flood of internet based companies who wish to install scanning programs to clean, disinfect, and streamline you computer.
- Self-Hosted – The remote support software server installation is hosted on the computer/server selected by the host. In this case it is a server that I have built and secured and am storing my own data within. The software vendor is no longer in the middle of the connection between the host and guest. The whole support session transpires between your computer, my computer, and the server at my arms reach. I believe you should know who you are inviting into your computer and that the invited party has taken steps to protect your data. I am taking those steps.
- Protocols –
There are a variety of protocols and encryptions utilized by remote support tools but generally speaking most work via a client on the guest computer that transmits the screen data, pixel by pixel, typically in rectangular groups of encrypted data packets to the host computer. The host computer reconstructs the data packets in their proper order reconfiguring the appearance of the guest screen onto the host desktop. The host can then transmit mouse data and key strokes from the keyboard back to the guest computer to provide remote control of the device.
Types of Support Sessions
- Listed Sessions – These sessions are displayed publicly on the Technoworries site for all guests to see and join. By default the listed sessions will display the host’s name and the session notes field. This method will be used for those who want to keep a perpetual session constantly available. Alerting guests to go to a site and select a particular session number or host name for example. Alternately I might alert the guest that the session is for them by putting the guest name or company name in the notes field.
- Code Sessions – One of the more popular connection methods, code sessions, require that the customer enter a predetermined and communicated code into the identified field on the guest page. The code can be manually created by the host when creating the session or automatically generated by selecting the “generate code” button when creating the session type. The generate code button works from a predetermined algorithm that can be configured by the administrator to match internal compliance policies or processes.
- Email Sessions – The Host creates a session and then instead of defining a code or listing the session publicly a link is created and then delivered to the customer via email. Email sessions really help simplify the process for guests, by not requiring them to go to your website first to join the connection. Email sessions are sent behind the scenes using the configuration determined by myself.
- Recurring Sessions – Although Technoworries does provide a full featured remote access solution a hybrid version of unattended access is available as part of our remote support model. When disconnecting, hosts can choose to leave a session open for future action rather than ending the session. If left open, hosts can reconnect at a later time to continue the support. Suited for business.