Dec 29, 2011

Free Remote Support Extension for Chrome

A while back I blogged about a free remote support program called ShowMyPC that allows you to support a user remotely by having you both download and run their program that opened a VNC session so you can control the other user's desktop. It was kind of clunky, just like regular VNC, but it worked well enough. I supported many remote users with ShowMyPC.

Being able to remotely control a user's computer makes life way easier for an IT person. With remote support tools, you no longer have to try to explain to a user where the Start button is located. You can just remote in, and fix their issue without hastle, and without having to dumb anything down so they can understand you easier.

I found a new extension for Chrome that works a lot like ShowMyPC, except it's built into your Chrome browser, and works cross platform. The only requirement is that both computers need to have Chrome. The extension is called Chrome Remote Desktop BETA. From the Chrome store:

Chrome Remote Desktop BETA is the first installment on a capability allowing users to remotely access another computer through the Chrome browser or a Chromebook.

The goal of this beta release is to demonstrate the core Chrome Remoting technology and get feedback from users. This version enables users to share with or get access to another computer by providing a one-time authentication code. Access is given only to the specific person the user identifies for one time only, and the sharing session is fully secured. One potential use of this version is the remote IT helpdesk case. The helpdesk can use the Chrome Remote Desktop BETA to help another user, while conversely a user can receive help by setting up a sharing session without leaving their desk. Additional use cases such as being able to access your own computer remotely are coming soon.

Chrome Remote Desktop BETA is fully cross-platform, so you can connect any two computers that have a Chrome browser, including Windows, Linux, Mac and Chromebooks.

Here are some screen shots:


I like how this tool is cross-platformed. At my company we have a few Mac users, so it's nice to have a tool where we can remote in with to fix their issues. In reality, I don't like this any better than other tools like Teamviewer or ShowMyPC, but it is nice to have yet another tool in the bag to remotely support users.

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