Social Enterprise

Podcast: IT pros can solve computer problems for money with CrossLoop

Last year, TechRepublic identified CrossLoop as a useful new utility for remote user support. On Tuesday, CrossLoop introduced its new "Marketplace" for technical experts to offer their services to users and small businesses in a community and freelance approach to technical support.

Podcast

Last year, TechRepublic was one of the first publications to identify CrossLoop as a useful new utility for remote support. Since then it has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, CNET, PC World, and others as a simple program for quickly and securely connecting to someone's computer and providing remote technical assistance over the Internet.

On Tuesday, the company took its next step forward by introducing the CrossLoop Marketplace. The idea is allow technical experts to offer their services to users and small businesses that need technical assistance. Experts create profiles that list their services and rates and then when they use CrossLoop to help others, some of the basic session info gets tracked and recorded in the profile (see screenshot below), and the users can respond with ratings and comments. It is a community and freelance approach to technical support.

Learn about about CrossLoop and the details of the new program in this interview with Mrinal Desai, co-founder of CrossLoop, in today's Tech Sanity Check podcast.

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About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

31 comments
ihfwt
ihfwt

I've been using Crossloop for awhile now. I registered on their site and made my profile public. There are literally thousands of techs registered so the chances of getting work are slim.

scorpion_saga
scorpion_saga

Cool, now I can have a job at home as well as the two I currently balance. For money. Hmmmmmm. Still, gone log right on and buy the full version of Crossloop in a second or so. It's one of things you just cannot let go by. Lots of guys here will understand that.

cvoller
cvoller

not a fan...i have tried the service and its toooo flakey...i have had many times were i would be disconnected from the connection....just because it s free does not make it a end all be all solution for remote access.

Terabyte Computer
Terabyte Computer

Forgive me if I missed this information somewhere, but I didn't see it. Is end user billing done through CrossLoop, or are techs on their own to get paid?

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

Yet another informative post. I think this is a great idea.

Mrinal.Desai
Mrinal.Desai

Thank you very much for the opportunity Jason and I couldnt agree more that Techrepublic was one of the first to have discovered this small company!! Its been an extremely exciting launch of the CrossLoop Marketplace and we look forward to the success of our users - only after which we will be successful.

vinnyboy3
vinnyboy3

Used Crossloop for a few months, found it to be too unstable. Was told about Teamviewer and couldn't believe how fast and stable it was. Best of all free with more tools.

Mrinal.Desai
Mrinal.Desai

... if possible. This is not what we hear usually and that is why I would love to learn more about your experience since we are all about listening, learning and improving. I would love to have our Customer Service person understand your problem. If you are willing, please email me directly at mrinal [at] crossloop.com Thanks

jortegadec
jortegadec

I too have been using the application to help relatives. Although it is a great tool, the connection to the remote computer is very slow most of the time and one gets disconnected very often. Great tool, but they have to work on performance.

Tech_Monkey
Tech_Monkey

may also want to consider LogMeIn, which has a free version available, which can be managed thru a secure browser connection.

Mrinal.Desai
Mrinal.Desai

bring billing internally so that will enable all our users to take care of payments within CrossLoop. We are working on it and until then, everything is free We will announce and provide all the details on it with fees etc with ample time on our blog when we are ready.

djmorrissey
djmorrissey

I was wondering if they were going to bring on-line a billable interface for IT members. This is a nice step to let users get that extra help when they need it and IT people, control the calls for help when they're not at work.

devilgas
devilgas

You had better check into the state laws to have a Professinal Liability policy and an "Errors & Ommisions" insurance policy before you all jump in and start trying to fix problems at a customer site as an individual support tech!

edpallo
edpallo

I've been using Crossloop for months now and have had no issues. I'm surprised that some people have had enough disconnections to sour their experience with Crossloop. I'm on a Canadian wireless ISP, and have used Crossloop to fix issues with remote users as far away as Florida. I even fixed one user who was on a satellite link in northern Ontario. Yes it was slow but it saved the client time & money...

teksmith
teksmith

Thanks for the info! I will be testing this beginning today with a limited number of free connections and some of the non-profit organizations I support.

johndewood
johndewood

I am now using WallCooler VPN from a new company called Vedivi (http://www.vedivi.com). It is better than LogMeIn because it gives access to the whole remote nework, not just the remote computer. I tried LogMeIn and WindowsVPN before using WallCooler. The real plus is the VPN access so RDP, filesharing, vnc or other TCP apps are supported (I use it to access a Database home directly). I have been hooked a while ago, definitely a neat idea!

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

Encryption is equivalent and I have been having issues with CrossLoop traversing firewalls. Teamviewer: 1. Allows file transfers. 2. Lightweight. 3. Runs without installing Thanks for mentioning it.

corcorac
corcorac

Teamviewer is cool. Found I can do the same things with GoToMeeting and cheaper too!

HoagieBP
HoagieBP

We used CrossLoop for a couple of months supporting ~50 outside users. Have since moved to LogMeIn which has proven to be more stable and user friendly. I still use CrossLoop on the personal side when I need to set up an ad hoc connection to help family and friends. Good product. I'm going to take another look at it with this new service.

deepsand
deepsand

Not even file transfer capabilites are included. If the only thing one needs is remote access, it may suffice.

Mrinal.Desai
Mrinal.Desai

... a billable feature that will enable all our users to take care of payments within CrossLoop. We are working on it and until then, everything is free We will announce and provide all the details on it with fees etc on our blog when we are ready.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

I'd recommend the same thing. In fact, I think I'll mention this to CrossLoop and recommend that they post some links on their site.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

That's valuable information, I appreciate it. Working on that research right now. There is a surprising number of remote access applications that are available. The problem I'm seeing is that it's almost impossible to test for all of the remote perimeter device configurations that may block or break the remote access. Still at it though and hope to have something fairly soon.

johndewood
johndewood

You are right, they is not much details on security on the website, I have just sent an email to WallCooler's support about security, let's see what they come back with. A post on the solutions available would be a very good idea Michael. As far as WallCooler is concerned, it does not come with remote screen or file management tools like LogMeIn does. All it does is connect you to the remote computer/network. From there you can use the app you want (supposedly). We use Windows RDC and Remote Assistance as we would do on the LAN (using computer name or the IP). We also map drives, and once WallCooler is connected, our mapped drives are available (we normally have to refresh the explorer -F5- though). I can access my Source Control (SVN) transparently as well as our MySQL DB using Toad directly. We had to take a Pro account, because we needed access to the network (free account gives you access to the remote computer only) Hope it helps you for your post on the subject.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I may have missed it, but I did not see any actual details on the level of encryption. Only that it uses SSL. That is pretty important, IMO. I also am moving away from LogMeIn. It is rather difficult for a remote user to install. It does have the feature of not needing the remote user's help to log on. I assume WallCooler has that option since it is an installed application. I really appreciate hearing about all of these other remote access applications, I may write a post about them to get all the different choices in one location.

Mrinal.Desai
Mrinal.Desai

Since that is what makes us work easily and has allowed us to log more than 32M minutes of desktop sharing in just 1.5 years. Also - as an FYI - and not very commonly known, we do provide file transfer with no limits, for free. Here is a detailed write up on PC Advisor from UK that just came out in their latest print edition (and this is not the work of a PR team - its organic) http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/index.cfm?newsid=12646 Something that they did not cover is that we allow drag and drop as well for multiple files/folders. Did you feel our software size, 2.5MB was big? Yes - we do need an installation. Would love to learn more about your use case and how we can improve with your feedback Michael. Email is mrinal [at] crossloop.com or you can reach me directly, like before, through TR.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I have tried to setup CrossLoop with three different remote users and it would not initiate. I used TeamViewer and it worked fine. I then used TeamViewer to install LogMeIn on the remote computers and LogMeIn also worked fine. There was nothing unusual about each remote client. Typical NAT router at the perimeter and no software firewall installed on the computers. Please take no offense, but TeamViewer right now is a better remote access application. When I can get CrossLoop to work, TeamViewer is faster and more stable, it even has file sharing.

Mrinal.Desai
Mrinal.Desai

As I said earlier in the comments, this not a common and hence all the more important for us to address. We would love to get in touch and learn more - unfortunately I couldnt contact you directly through TR due to your settings. Would you be able to email me at mrinal [at] crossloop.com?

JCitizen
JCitizen

You have my interest now, this is the solution I've been looking for, in quite some time.