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Working for a large-scale support department, we have a good solution for remote control and support for users who work for the companies I support. I am, however, from time to time called upon to provide support for friends and family. While I do prefer sitting at the computer in question, whenever that is not an option, I have a decent backup solution.
The backup solution is called TeamViewer. TeamViewer is free for non-commersial use, and supports all Windows versions since Windows 98 (including Windows 7), as well as Mac OS X. The download link can be found from the main website, and when downloaded, the program offers options to install or run the program.
When run or installed, the program displays this screen:
In a supporter role, all you need to do is ask the person at the problematic computer tell you their client ID and Password, enter the ID into the ID-box in the create session field, and click “Connect to Partner”. When prompted, you enter the Password, and hey presto! – you’re in.
There is also an option for manually setting a password, which can be useful if you want to remote control your home computer whenever you want, and are unable to rely on others being there to provide the information.
All in all, TeamViewer is simple to use, and effective to boot!