IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

A Tale of Two Remote Desktop Support Applications

Corporate Armor offers both a low-cost remote support application and a free get-your-feet wet one. By Frank J. Ohlhorst

IT SERVICE PROVIDERS have long embraced remote support solutions as a more cost-effective way to troubleshoot and fix customers’ problems than sending a technician on-site, especially for simple issues. Although the technology has become somewhat ubiquitous, many managed service providers are finding that the licensing costs have been increasing. But there are still some low-cost and no-cost tools that provide value MSPs can avail themselves of.

For example, Corporate Armor, a Temprano Techvestors company, offers two iterations of a remote support package, Connect & Fix (free) and ISL Online (low cost).

Connect & Fix

At a price that’s hard to beat (free), Connect & Fix is a good starting point for providers who are determining what kind of remote support features they really need. Connect & Fix consists of two applications: a client application that runs on the remote system, and a management application that allows a technician to start a remote control session and take control of a system running the client application.

Both applications connect to ISL Online’s servers to establish communications. ISL Online’s data center acts as a connection hub, eliminating the need to set static IP addresses, while also encrypting the traffic between the client and the management system. The caveat here is that the service provider must set up an account with Corporate Armor and then wait for the account to be approved before continuing with Connect & Fix. While it’s free to use Connect & Fix, the intent is to entice providers to eventually upgrade to the premium product, ISL Online.

Connect & Fix provides some basic support functions and proves very simple to use. The user needing support simply runs the ConnectFix Client.exe application, which will prompt the user for a session code. The session code is provided by the technician and is created when the technician logs into the ConnectFix Support Desk.exe application. That application can be run as needed or installed on the technician’s PC.

The ConnectFix Support Desk application (left) shows where a technician would login, while the ConnectFix Client application (right) shows where the customer would enter the session code to connect for support.

Once the connection is established, the technician has several options available: basic remote control, screen sharing, chat, file transfer, and so on. All the essentials are covered quite well.

While Connect & Fix does a good job with basic remote support capabilities, most MSPs may want a few additional features, such as the ability to take over a desktop while it is unattended, record the session, or support a mobile device. For those features, IT service providers will need to upgrade to ISL Online.

Connect & Fix currently supports Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

About the Author

Frank J. Ohlhorst is a technology journalist and IT industry analyst with extensive experience as a business consultant, editor, author, and blogger.

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