Enterprise Software

Review: Bomgar B200 remote desktop support appliance

Help desks, call centers and customer support offices can leverage the Bomgar B200 appliance to implement secure remote desktop access to users, clients, customers and others in local and remote locations.

The Bomgar B200 provides small and medium enterprises with a secure remote desktop appliance that scales to 20 support technicians accessing the device simultaneously. These technical representatives can then support hundreds or even thousands of end users.

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Bomgar Corporation
  • Product: Bomgar B200
  • Version: 10.2.6
  • Operating systems: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Vista; Mac OS X; Linux (SuSe, Fedora, Red Hat and Ubuntu); Windows Mobile; or Blackberry.
  • Free Trial: Bomgar B200
  • Price: Approximately $3,000 per concurrent representative license
  • For a closer look, check out the TechRepublic Bomgar B200 Photo Gallery

Who's it for?

Help desks, call centers and customer support offices can leverage the Bomgar B200 appliance to implement secure remote desktop access to users, clients, customers and others in local and remote locations. The appliance captures remote support sessions, which are subsequently viewable as Flash files. The Bomgar B200 targets organizations employing up to 20 technical support representatives; the B300, meanwhile, scales for even larger enterprises.

What problem does it solve?

Many remote desktop technologies are software-dependent and require that support session traffic and information pass through a third party's servers. Because the Bomgar B200 hosts the remote sessions, all interaction is secure. Further, remote sessions can be recorded for audit purposes.

Users need not install software to enable the remote desktop support functionality, either. Using the Bomgar B200, users can simply connect to a Web address (as determined by the organization's network administrators), from which point support technicians can step in to take over the user's system and provide remote support.

Organizations that support multiple brands, product lines or clients can create customized portals. The Bomgar B200 supports creating separate portals that enable creating tailored landing pages and support options. Because these portals can be set up as separate queues, technical support representatives can simultaneously support multiple brands, product lines and clients.

Standout features

  • OS independent - Numerous operating systems are supported. All of the following are compatible with the Bomgar B200: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista; Mac OS X; Linux (SuSe, Fedora, Red Hat and Ubuntu); Windows Mobile; and Blackberry.
  • Security and auditing capabilities - Because the Bomgar B200 manages the remote desktop connections, including session creation and termination and all the traffic associated with the remote support event, no third party servers are required to host the remote support session. Since the remote support traffic remains on the organization's network, security is greatly enhanced. Audit capabilities (all data from all remote sessions can be recorded, including sessions even where the user is not present at a remote desktop), further strengthen the B200's security capabilities.
  • Enterprise scalability - The B200 supports up to 20 concurrent technical representatives. Further, new versions (beginning with version 10.2) of the B200's software are compatible with the HP Service Manager and HP OpenView ServiceCenter management platforms.
  • Firewall transparency - Administrators need not change firewall settings or network configurations to enable Bomgar B200 functionality; the B200's Web console only requires that basic network information (IP address, subnet mask, default gateway and DNS servers) be supplied. Other than providing a power outlet and a static IP address, a simple registered DNS A record resolving to the public IP of the Bomgar B200 is all that's then required to connect remote clients to the Bomgar appliance.
  • Active Directory / LDAP integration - Because Bomgar appliances integrate with existing Active Directory and LDAP directories, administrators need not recreate support technician user accounts, security groups or other user information. The Bomgar device can leverage existing directory accounts.

What's wrong?

  • Internet connectivity required for remote location support - While an active Internet connection isn't required to support remote users, clients and desktops located within the same physical office, an Internet connection is required for the B200 to enable remote desktop support for clients and customers in remote physical locations.
  • Expense - Many software-based remote desktop support solutions are less expensive to deploy. That said, it is what it is. Software-based remote desktop support is just that: software-based. Many software-based remote desktop support solutions quickly become unwieldy when deployed in an enterprise environment. Options for tailoring software-based technologies for multiple brands/clients can quickly become a tangled web of confusion, too. Because the Bomgar B200 is a hardware appliance, security, reliability and scalability are all ensured within enterprise environments.

Competitive Products

Bottom line for business

Small and medium enterprises typically need a secure, reliable and proven remote desktop support solution. The Bomgar B200 provides a multi-platform appliance that delivers scalable performance, high levels of security and simplified administration and configuration.

User rating

Have you encountered a Bomgar B200 remote desktop appliance? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of the Bomgar B200 in the TechRepublic Community Forum or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

Read our field-tested reviews of hardware and software in TechRepublic's Product Spotlight newsletter, delivered each Thursday. We explain who would use the product and describe what problem the product is designed to solve. Automatically sign up today!

About

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

15 comments
JAverett100
JAverett100

Another self-hosted solution that does not require an appliance is ScreenConnect. It can be hosted on any windows-based machine. It differs from Bomgar in that it does not require the appliance "box". Depending on the size of the business you are running, ScreenConnect may be a better option than Bomgar. http://www.screenconnect.com/

infosmith
infosmith

IT industry provided many jobs to young generation and in future approximately 60% population of any country will be depend on IT industry. Support for Technology

infosmith
infosmith

today we are going very fast in it industry and many countries are so ahead with the help of it expert Support for Technology

infosmith
infosmith

earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Louisville and completed Sullivan College's Microsoft Engineer program. He holds MCP, MCP+I, MCSE and Network+ certifications. Its good for user

jcm3721
jcm3721

RHUB remote support appliance provides similar functions at $600 per concurrent supporter comparing with $3,000 from Bomgar. You may want to take a look at http://www.rhubcom.com.

jeremial-21966916363912016372987921703527
jeremial-21966916363912016372987921703527

My company uses several of the other tools mentioned (Go2Assist, built in Windows Remote Assistance, etc.). My question would be about the user experience. Is the end user required to go to a website, and do a challenge/response of some sort, or can you simply select a machine from AD and offer the assistance? Also, does the device only work with a specific IP scheme, or could assistance be offered to a remote worker that may be able to get on the internet but not into the VPN for some reason?

Krista.Ciccozzi
Krista.Ciccozzi

We love it! We have been using the product for over 5 years now. The way I see it, there are a few things to consider when looking into remote support. The cost, the features and functionality, and the after-sale relationship that you have with the vendor. Bomgar makes the grade in all of those categories. The licensing model makes it so you can start small and grow. They have a virtual appliance as well- so if you want to go that route you can. The cost investment is not too significant and the ROI is found very quickly. The software has the features and functionality that are logical and work consistently. They provide updates that have meat- not just fixes to issues (which I haven't come across many). And Bomgar as a company have me wishing that all vendors were like them. They ask for feedback and really care about implementing your ideas. They know about how important relationships are with their customers. I would purchase all over again if I had to. Our support professionals love it and so do our customers!

gerrycrop
gerrycrop

This article is missing a leading competitor and that is NTR Support. I tried all of the products and NTR Support had the most flexibility and bang for the buck. I installed it on a virtual server with everything delivered on a thumb drive. The VM server reader and sql all wrapped up and ready to go. It is also more affordable. I recommend checking out NTR Support before investing in hardware.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Supporting customers and users is often a quagmire to administer. The Bomgar B200 tries to mitigate the problems with a dedicated appliance. Has your organization considered using an appliance for remote desktop support?

smcneill
smcneill

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Bomgar employee, so forgive me for being a bit biased :). In answer to your questions: 1. The standard way of initiating a session would be through issue submission or clicking a rep's name on your support portal (this is configurable via the admin interface). Also, if the end-user is on your network or has a Jump Client installed, you can access them any time (the former requires admin rights). 2. No, Bomgar is not specific to a particular IP scheme (in this respect it is like GoToAssist. You could support your CEO if he is on a hotel's wireless network, even if he can't access the VPN. Basically, you should be able to replace most, if not all of your current remote control tools. And if you have any sort of ticketing system, Bomgar can integrate with it. Let me know if you have any more questions, and check out our website for more info.

tenaciouJk
tenaciouJk

I created an account just for this reply. NTR is definitely not the best solution for someone looking for remote support solutions. Having evaluated NTR (and several others), NTR far and away was the worst. My key areas of concern: Support, features, usability Ultimately we ended up going with Log Me In and have been extremely satisfied. However the low-end Bomgar is on our radar because of the multi-platform admin interface support. (Log Me In Rescue admin only supports Windows)

mitchbryant
mitchbryant

We loved the concurrent license structure and have truly had a great relationship with Bomgar.

daniel_greeley
daniel_greeley

We have been using Bomgar for about 2 years, very happily and very successfully. My technicians think it is the cats meow... end users find it very easy and understandable. Over the years, we have used a variety of software based remote support solutions, none compare to what we have with Bomgar. You can't go wrong by going this route in remote support. The ability to record sessions or to build training movies is just icing on the cake. About a month ago, we were able to spend some time with the owners and staff of Bomgar. Getting to know them personally made us feel even better about the decisions we made to go this route because they genuinely do care and are a great bunch of people. We're not going anywhere else. Respectfully submitted, Dan Greeley

mitchbryant
mitchbryant

We have the 200 and we love it. Every agent enjoys working with it. It had paid for itself 10 times over. Our customer love the ability we now have and it has truly become an essential tool in our support. We tried several other options and finally decided this appliance was well worth the cost. We got an ROI quickly and our calls stats improved as well as lower call time.

KingPinComputers
KingPinComputers

@smcneill  @smcneill  Does Bomgar require a separate license per technician or once you buy the appliance you can use as many techs as you want?

Editor's Picks