Remote support allows a technician to use software to connect to your computer and control it via the internet. While this may seem technical, there are many simple to use programs that are available for free if they are being used for personal or non commercial use.

Some of the more popular examples are Teamviewer, Logmein and Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection (a feature built into Windows). While using Microsoft’s solution may seem the easiest as it is already installed, it is somewhat more complicated to set up for example:

  • The user must configure Windows to allow remote connections to their computer.
  • The user’s router must be configured to forward traffic received on the RDP port (default port is 3389) to the local IP address of the computer on the network they wish to allow control of.
  • Firewalls must be configured to not interfere with the incoming/outgoing traffic.
  • The WAN (Wide Area Network) or public IP address must be provided by the user to the technician to allow connection.

While it is possible to guide a user to perform these steps over the phone – it is often far easier to use software that even a novice user can download install – with guidance if necessary – then it is usually just a matter of providing a technician with the unique ID or address and a password that is generated for you by the software.

When the technician enters these details a connection is created that allows them to view and control your computer as if they were sitting in front of it. The software generates a new password every time it is started and a connection can only be made if the program is running and the password that is displayed on the screen at that time is entered. This prevents someone from connecting to your computer without your permission/knowledge.