Have you ever tried to help a friend or family member who was having a computer problem? It can be difficult – especially if you are attempting to help from a distance. Not being right there in front of their PC and trying to explain certain steps to diagnose or solve the problem can be maddening.
There are several services now that allow “remote control” of another person’s computer with their consent. Utilizing a program like this allows you to directly control someone else’s computer while at the same time you can be on the phone with them explaining what you are doing.
There are actually tools for this that come preinstalled in both Windows and Mac – but using these tools is too complicated for the average user. Even if you have a strong understanding to solve common problems, the use of these tools is probably over your head. There are others too, but they aren’t free and you are required to establish an account with the service.
There is another option, however. This remote-controlled service has been designed for the collaborative help session that is solicited by the person needing help. Crossloop is free, easy to use, and you don’t have to create an account to use it.
They also maintain a directory of geeks who are standing by to help you (for a fee).
This is a free download from Crossloop. Currently it is only compatible with Windows, but they plan to release a Mac version soon.
- Both “helper” and “helpee” must download download and install crossloop.
- When you start running it, you’ll be invited to create an account for added tracking abilities, but this is easily skipped and you can run the program without it.
- There are two tabs. One labeled “Share” and one labeled “Access.” The share tab is for the “helpee” and the access tab is for the “helper.”
- A remotely controlled PC cannot be unattended for security reasons. The help session begins with the “helpee” clicking the share tab. This generates an access code that is unique for every session. The “helpee” then provides this code (over the phone) to the “helper.” The “helper” clicks the access tab and enters the same code. The “helpee” then confirms that they wish to proceed. This last confirmation opens the connection.
- At this point the “helper” will see a large window that shows them the desktop of the remotely controlled PC. They are now able to use their mouse and keyboard to control this PC. The “helper” is even able to transfer files between PCs.
- The “helpee” can be passive during this or they can share the control of the computer. The “helpee” can end the session at any time.
I think this is a great resource between friends…however I see a potential for risk if you decide to utilize the “geek pool” to solve your computer issues. You have no way of knowing how knowledgeable or reputable any of these geeks may be and you could be opening your PC up to mistakes they may make or even data theft or viruses.
**This is NOT a sponsored post**