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Provide remote support via a web-based service Internet
LogMeIn.com has a free beta Mac OS X server and a Safari plug-in that allows you to control a remote Mac's keyboard, monitor and mouse. While similar to VNC (i.e. ), LogMeIn's main advantages are that it transparently crosses home NAT routers, it is not bothered by DHCP assigned IP addresses, and the session is encrypted. This is really great for helping friends and relatives, as well as accessing your own Macs remotely.

You do need to sign up for a free LogMeIn.com account. The client and server use the LogMeIn account to exchange IP addresses and port numbers -- this is how LogMeIn deals with DHCP assigned IP addresses and home NAT routers. While most browsers can be used as the client, LogMeIn does have a Plug-In for the Safari browser. The Plug-In will be downloaded when you first attempt to connect to one of your LogMeIn enabled systems. You can even connect to your Mac from Windows, Linux, or any other operating system with Java enabled within the browser.

I use VNC a lot, but it can be difficult to set up a VNC session over a secure SSH tunnel across the internet through a home NAT router that has a DHCP assigned IP address. And trying to explain this to someone else can be frustrating. LogMeIn simplifies this. Mac OS X Leopard's iChat is suppose to have some kind of screen sharing, but I don't know if that will also include remotely controlling the keyboard and mouse; I guess we'll know in a few months. Until then, LogMeIn can aid your support of distant friends and relatives. For reference, here's a list of other similar services: [robg adds: I haven't tested this one yet, but I'll give it a shot the next time the relatives call for help!]
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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: jaysoffian on Jul 10, '07 08:39:58AM
http://copilot.com/ is a similar service. I have not used it, but it purports to work with OS X.



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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: frgough on Jul 10, '07 09:07:17AM

I get around the DHCP assigned IP address by having my mac email me its IP address using an automator script. Just drop the system profiler task from the system library into your workflow, check the Network box, then drop in a new mail message task and address the message where you want it to go. Save as an application and either add to your login items if your machine turns off and on like mine does every day, or add it to a cron job to send you the email on a regular basis.

Works great for me. Each morning not only do I know that my work machine is up and running (I telecommute a lot), but I also get the assigned IP address for that day. It's just a simple matter to VPN into work and connect via vnc to do whatever I need to do.



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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: dmmorse on Jul 10, '07 09:48:35AM

How about turning your suggestion into a more detailed hint for the rest of us?



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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: frgough on Jul 10, '07 12:34:00PM

It's actually pretty straightforward.

1. Launch automator
2. click System in the library.
3. Drag System Profile from the Action list to the right pane.
4. Uncheck all boxes except Network in the action (unless you want to be emailed the other information).
5. Click Mail in the library.
6. Drag New Mail message below the System Profile action.
7. Fill out the mail address as desired.
8. Click the Automator library
9. Drag the Pause action as the first action (above System Profile) and set it for 5 minutes. I do this because my work's DHCP server is slow to hand out addresses, so I let the machine sit for five minutes before running and sending the report so that I get a valid IP address.
10. Save the workflow as an application and add it to your login items. (I use the energy saver pref to schedule my machine to automatically shut down at midnight and start up at 6 AM, so putting the workflow in the login items works perfectly for me).

Hope this helps.



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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: vasi on Jul 11, '07 09:29:51AM
Have you tried just using a service like DynDNS? It's free, and lets me keep a human-readable address for my home Mac--vasi.dyndns.org in my case. There are numerous other similar services.

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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: tom larkin on Jul 10, '07 09:51:32AM

I have used logmein for a little while now for PC user clients of mine. It is so simplified and a decent product for people who are not tech savy enough to figure out dynamic dns for dynamic IP ranges. You can completely circumvent that type of stuff by using their software. It also is fully encrypted which is nice as well, and completely web based.

I have not tried the mac version yet though.



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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: BobHarris on Jul 10, '07 01:21:37PM

I assume this works for you because you have VPN software to get you past the corporate firewall, and your VPN software is providing encryption to keep your sessions secure across the internet.

Bob Harris



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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: BobHarris on Jul 10, '07 01:26:31PM

I intended my comments about VPNs and Firewalls to be to "frgough" and using Automator to email his IP address. Sorry about that.



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Works great
Authored by: Lectrick on Jul 10, '07 01:43:35PM

I should have posted this hint myself as I discovered it by accident soon after its release a few weeks ago ;)

I discovered LogMeIn back when it only worked on Windows machines and quickly saw its remote adminning potential.

The Mac release has already enabled me to do the "family tech support thing" from the comfort of my couch. I can also connect to my work machine from home, which is behind the corporate firewall, in case I forget something. Great stuff, go try! I've also used copilot.com on Macs, that also works, but it's time-limited.

---
In /dev/null, no one can hear you scream



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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: Maraklov on Jul 10, '07 04:59:05PM
The company also has a free (and premium, if you dig their features) service called Hamachi that allows for NAT transversal. It essentially sets you up on your own private encrypted network (VPN). I use it in combination with VNC software as their LogMeIn app on my Mac crashes rather frequently. I've used Hamachi for a long while and it allows me to use Bonjour connections from anywhere I am accessing the internet.
https://secure.logmein.com/products/hamachi/default.asp

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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: BobHarris on Jul 10, '07 05:16:40PM
There is also HamachiX which provides a nice GUI interface to Hamachi. HamachiX will also handle the installation of Hamachi under the covers.

http://hamachix.spaceants.net/

But do you have any step-by-step instructions on how you setup Hamachi, make a connection, and start the VNC server (which VNC server do you use), and establish a VNC session (which VNC client do you use).

That might be useful information.

Bob Harris

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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: shmuel on Jul 10, '07 05:57:43PM
Another similar service I just discovered is http://yuuguu.com which works for both Mac and PC.

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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: BobHarris on Jul 13, '07 07:05:34PM

I just tried YuuGuu.com and it is very easy to install and establish a screen sharing connection.

The largest difference between YuuGuu.com and LogMeIn.com is that LogMeIn allows you to take control of your system without anyone around.

YuuGuu needs someone else to offer to share the screen. This can be good when you are giving others help. But if you need to do remote maintenance while your Mom is away :-)

Both have their advantages, and I think YuuGuu can be very useful to help your friends and family.

Thank you very much for pointing out YuuGuu.

Bob Harris



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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: BobHarris on Jul 13, '07 07:06:44PM

I just tried YuuGuu.com and it is very easy to install and establish a screen sharing connection.

The largest difference between YuuGuu.com and LogMeIn.com is that LogMeIn allows you to take control of your system without anyone around.

YuuGuu needs someone else to offer to share the screen. This can be good when you are giving others help. But if you need to do remote maintenance while your Mom is away :-)

Both have their advantages, and I think YuuGuu can be very useful to help your friends and family.

Thank you very much for pointing out YuuGuu.

Bob Harris



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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: dmas on Jul 11, '07 02:02:11AM
I'm using NTRconnect right now, and I love it. It has both a free and paid versions (I digged the features so I'm paying, it's really worth the few bucks). I can connect to my Mac, and even through my PDA!! Love it.

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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: BobHarris on Jul 11, '07 01:58:27PM

When I tried NTRconnect, it would download a file, and I would have to then launch that file to connect.

I'm using Firefox and to avoid auto-run issues, I always have it save files.

How do you use NTRconnect? Which browser? And how do you have your preferences set with respect to downloads?

Thanks.
Bob Harris



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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: BobHarris on Jul 27, '07 07:36:31PM
2 more possibilities for remote control of a Mac (both of them are commercial products). I have not tried either of them, but I figure this is a good place to collect Mac remote control utilities.

"Desktop Transporter" from DEVONtechnologies
http://www.devon-technologies.com/products/desktoptransporter/
Says it can deal with NAT routers, plus it is designed for the Mac.
At trial copy is offered.


NoMachine's NX software
http://www.nomachine.com/getting-started.php
However, I'm unsure how this will work. What I've read seems to strongly indicate NX is X11 X-Windows oriented, but there are hints that it will transport VNC sessions.
A test drive is offered.

Bob Harris

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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: BobHarris on Jun 01, '08 04:58:26AM
TeamViewer is a new service that allows controlling a remote Mac.
http://www.teamviewer.com/

They use encrypted connections and can get through firewalls via your web browser's proxy setting.

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Provide remote support via a web-based service
Authored by: LauraWilliams on Apr 29, '10 02:43:04AM

Another good solution that I know is RHUB TurboSupport (www.rhubcom.com). Itís a 4-in-1 appliance that provides secure web conferencing, remote support, remote access and web seminars. It's easy to setup and simple to use. It's not free even though, they do offer free trails. Why don't you try this?



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