Remotely controlling an end user's PC across the Internet can be complicated. Remote support tools, like Windows Remote Desktop and VNC, simplify the process, but even these programs can trip up a frustrated, novice user. Add firewalls and routers to the mix, and remote support becomes a real headache. CrossLoop might be the cure.
CrossLoop is a remote control application that distills connecting two PCs via the Internet into a simple one-button interface. The program works through firewalls and routers, making it easy to connect two computers on different networks. CrossLoop uses GPL-licensed TightVNC, which protects all transferred data with 128-bit encryption
In this IT Dojo video, I demonstrate how easily you can establish a remote connection with CrossLoop. To run CrossLoop yourself, you'll need a machine running Windows 98 or later, with a Pentium 500 MHz or better processor, at least 128 MB of RAM, 2 MB of free hard drive space, and a high-speed Internet connection.
CrossLoop is one of the best remote support tools I've used. It's not perfect, and it sometimes drops connections, but it works as well as any remote control application on the market--only without the hassle. I frequently use CrossLoop to support my technically-challenged friends and family.
For more information on using CrossLoop read Mark Kaelin's article, "Take control of any Windows PC on the Internet with CrossLoop." From the article page, you can print Mark's review, save it to your TechRepublic Workspace, e-mail it to a friend or colleague, and even Digg it.
For more remote support and system administration advice, check out the following TechRepublic Resources:
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Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.