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314 posts

Ultimate Geek


Topic # 32824 24-Apr-2009 13:04
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I'm talking Windows XP here. I have used remote control comms from before the Internet in different environments - but I have never used these standard MS tools. This week, I tested them between mine and my wife's laptops - and apart from a problem when going to a higher resolution, all was reasonable. I have most recently used Terminal Services under Windows 2000 - so even have some familiarity with the basic concept of MS version of remote control.

Today I had a thought - my wife's at home and I'm at work - so I tried again. I thought there might be a problem - and there is. I get the following message.

A Remote Assistance connection could not be established because the DNS name of the remote computer could not be resolved.

Now thinking back I seem to remember that the documentation says I need to be connected to a network with a domain - but of course our laptops are set up as standalone machines, just using peer to peer networking. Naturally this particular info I recall has gone walkabout - but we don't have DNS enabled.

Also I should say I don't have any of MS XP's standard security features installed. I use the router firewall - plus ZoneAlarm. I use AVG for virus protection, plus Spybot.

None of this would be a problem if it wasn't for the fact that it would be useful to be able to connect to other machines and see the specific issues they are struggling with. These are not technical computer / MS issues - just programs like QuickBooks and MYOB and others that I could resolve problems with without having to go on-site.

So does anyone have any suggestions as to what is going on? Have I forgotten something? Is the fact that I don't have the MS first option of MS Messenger installed a potential problem?

Thanks

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  Reply # 209091 24-Apr-2009 20:32
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It's exactly because of the above and many reasons people don't use Remote Desktop. It's just not worth it, trying to dig through all the port / protocol / firewall / NAT mess.


Just get TeamViewer. Tell the person on the other end to download/run the QuickSupport module. (It's just 1.6 MB). Once they start it, they'll get a unique ID with password. On your end, you can run the full version of TeamViewer, enter the ID and password, and you're done!


 


Now here's some reasons why using TeamViewer has pure "win" written all over it:


 - No need for admin rights on both ends (unless installing full version)


 - Fully portable (you can run the full version without installation)


 - Goes through all sorts of firewalls and network setups


 


 


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  Reply # 209096 24-Apr-2009 21:03
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+1 for Teamviewer.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 209100 24-Apr-2009 21:35
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Work not long ago started using a Citrix program called gotoassist for that kind of stuff, seems to work well from what I've heard about it

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  Reply # 209110 24-Apr-2009 22:28
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Remote assistance requires Windows Messenger to be installed on both computers if either person is behind a firewall or NAT.  Also your work might be blocking outgoing traffic on port 3389 which could problems

So you either install messenger on both or you install some 3rd party remote tool on both.  Six of one half a dozen of the other imo.

If for some reason outgoing traffic on port 3389 is blocked at your work then use 3rd party software that uses port 80 (http).

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  Reply # 209118 25-Apr-2009 00:32
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PhilANZ: A Remote Assistance connection could not be established because the DNS name of the remote computer could not be resolved.


I have never been able to get this to work successfully, and I've tried many, many times to do it.

I also vote for TeamViewer, to me it seems quicker than Remote Desktop, plus it scales nicely on your computer which saves you having to use unwieldy scrollbars.

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  Reply # 209143 25-Apr-2009 09:13
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I never use Remote Desktop because it requires NAT configuration, firewall configuration, etc.

I just use LogMeIn - I have about a dozen machines with LogMeIn, including the Geekzone servers.





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Reply # 209225 25-Apr-2009 13:33
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freitasm: I just use LogMeIn - I have about a dozen machines with LogMeIn, including the Geekzone servers.



Can you flick me the server address, username and password just so I can verify?




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Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 209456 26-Apr-2009 12:42
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OK - thanks for the info all. I might have known that an MS product would have catches. I'll have a look at the other options. Thanks.

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Reply # 209461 26-Apr-2009 12:59
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PhilANZ: OK - thanks for the info all. I might have known that an MS product would have catches. I'll have a look at the other options. Thanks.


I disagree and don't think RDP as it is because it is a Microsoft product. Remote Desktop is a secure product and requires specific configuration to remain secure. It's basically a tool to access servers, but you can if you want tweak the whole configuration. If you need or want something more flexible and end user friendly then there are alternatives as pointed out.

For example VNC is an open source product (some implementations are free) and also requires firewall configurations. Is this firewall configuration requirement a "catch" of being free?

My point is that not all products/software/services are for everyone.




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  Reply # 209476 26-Apr-2009 14:10
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All the services (like LogMeIn) that bypass any firewall or NAT problems pass data through a reflector service, if they wanted they could watch exactly what you are doing steal passwords (man in the middle attack).

So you weigh up whether you'd rather do some firewall configuration at both end and have a more secure solution, or whether you trust LogMeIn and get a more flexible service (LogMeIn are a reputable company that have been around for awhile).







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Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 209491 26-Apr-2009 14:45
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Well, way back when I made frequent use of NetOp over ISDN. But now I have people who would like a bit of help now and then. I currently visit them when this happens - but that imposes delays, and travel is more difficult (I had a stroke) and expensive (petrol). So being able to get at stuff without having to setup firewall config first is useful. And since the program is not running except when the client requests it, it hopefully minimises the risks.

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  Reply # 213278 7-May-2009 19:32
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Hmm following this thread now as I am considering deploying Teamviewer as a solution to radmin my mother-in-laws pc based in another part of the country.

So does anyone have any good / poor experiences of this app, I see Mauracio is using logmein - unsure where these two apps differ.. may dig a bit to find out.

Any thoughts on the teamviewer app appreciated.

mjb

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  Reply # 213290 7-May-2009 20:17
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I honestly don't understand why people pay for such services.. no matter which way you put it, just like Ragnor says, they're man-in-the-middle services. If you value your data or privacy in any way what-so-ever, then you'd steer clear.

Opening a single TCP port on a firewall for RDP, and if needed, configuring a dynamic dns hostname is so much easier and cheaper. For desktop *sharing*, VNC is a perfectly adequate alternative.




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  Reply # 213304 7-May-2009 21:32
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LogMeIn isn't that great compared to TeamViewer. The biggest drawbacks of LogMeIn are

a) It's browser based, meaning it'll always be limited (performance/features) compared to a standalone optimized desktop app.

b) It requires installation on the client end. Installation is messy, uninstallation is even messier (From personal experience). It installs its own drivers and requires a reboot. TeamViewer on the other hand, installs/uninstalls quickly and easily, and best of all - it can even run directly off the exe without even requiring admin rights!

TeamViewer is also updated regularly (once or twice a month), adding new features/fixes. Infact, a new version has just been released a few hours ago! (build 6080)

Also, if you're paranoid about the whole man-in-the-middle stuff, TeamViewer can be configured to connect directly without going thru their servers (needs an open port, of course).

Oh, and did I mention that it's free?

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  Reply # 213318 7-May-2009 22:14
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d3Xt3r bro.

WTB URL for Team Viewer :D




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- Hone , Often accused of Excess Verbosity
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