Remote desktop access is nothing new – Windows has had it for years – but as with everything else, Microsoft is rapidly losing the monopoly by smaller companies determined to bring out their own alternatives. One such alternative is Crossloop.
I have been watching Crossloop for a while and so far I have been extremely impressed. Now that they have brought out a new version, I am now totally blown away. Profiles and details of your remote sessions makes this a serious tool in the remote access market.
But before I get into the nitty gritty details, let’s take a moment to help out the non-techie crowd by explaining what remote desktop access is. Say you are in the United States and your computer-savvy genius friend is in Germany (hey, I’m in Germany! What a coincidence!). Obviously your computer genius friend in Germany can’t fly over to the United States everytime you have a computer issue and giving computer support over the phone is very hit and miss (“yeah, it’s a squiggly thingie-wingie with weird colours man!”). So what’s the alternative? Letting your computer genius buddy access and take control of your computer from where they are in the world. That’s “remote access”.
Now before you start getting all paranoid, no-one can remotely access your desktop without you allowing it first. You have to provide a password to the person wanting access and you can revoke the access at any time. You will also have to allow the person through your firewall. But when the person finally does get access, they can see your screen and advise you on what to do. Everything is “view only” so if you don’t know the person advising you, you don’t have to worry about them changing anything or copying anything off your hard-drive. They will only see what you want them to see.
OK, now with Crossloop, both parties need to have the program installed on their computer. Whenever you need to use it, fire it up and you’ll see the following box (see graphic). If you are the one wanting to grant remote access, you would click on “share” and then give the person wanting access the unique password. If you are the one trying to gain access, click on “access”, enter the password you are given by the other party and wait to be connected.
Now the person who wants you to access their computer will probably have to confirm to their firewall that they want to let you through, but normally this is nothing more than clicking the right box. This is what I like so much about Crossloop – the sheer simplicity of it. There’s no difficult set-up to take care of. It’s just choose your option and click. So easy even the baby could set it up for you.
Once the person is in, you can revoke the access at any time using the disconnect button. So if you are the remote accesser, be nice and don’t make fun of the Britney Spears desktop wallpaper. Just advise the user how to delete the 500 toolbars and then get out of there.
But the part I REALLY like is the ability to set up a free account which you can then use to publicise your IT skills. Here is my page for example. People who do IT support for a living will find this feature invaluable as it will not only help you to advertise yourself but the page also keeps detailed records of each remote session. After the remote session is over, each party can then rate and comment on one another. To gain customers, you can put a widget on your blog / website / social network page.
If I had to nominate a program for Best New “remote access” Software Program of 2007, Crossloop would be it. No other contenders!
For some Crossloop videos see CrossLoop review in MUO directory. In case you’re interested in collaboration-focused remote screen sharing Offeools make sure to check out 7 easy Screen-Sharing and Remote-Access Tools
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