What is Remote Access Software?

Remote access software enables a technician to get access to a computer even though he is in a different location. The computer to be accessed has to be reachable through a network connection or across the internet.
Remote Access Meaning & Definition
Once the link has been established, the technician can perform many tasks on the remote computer including install software, change settings, and run applications.
Remote access software can also be useful for members of the public. It gives the user the ability to use the home computer while out of the house. This means that the remote user doesn’t need to copy over important files and also can utilize the larger processing power of the home computer from a much smaller mobile device.

Remote Desktop

One type of remote access tool is the remote desktop system. With this type of tool, the user that accesses the computer from afar is able to get a live image of the screen of that computer. This is possible because the screen is just one possible output device that the CPU can send an image to.
Many remote access tools give options on whether to duplicate the desktop image, simultaneously sending both to the screen and to the remote computer, or to divert the image so that it doesn’t appear on the connected screen but gets sent to the remote accessor instead.
There are advantages to both scenarios. When a technician is able to share the desktop view, she can use the opportunity to educate the user about how to use a piece of software. Also, some users prefer to be able to see what the technician is doing.
On the other hand, if the technician just wants to troubleshoot and fix a problem quickly, removing the sight of the desktop from the user temporarily means that the technician can work faster without interference or feedback from the user.

How Does Remote Access Software Work?

Remote access and remote desktop tools are mainly used in business. They are particularly prevalent in situations where an IT department serves a large number of users across an organization. The software is essential if the support department is located in a different building to the user community.
Remote access and remote desktop software remove the need for technicians to be physically present at a computer in order to fix it. It also means that the support technician can implement changes to a computer in order to fix a problem rather than trying to explain the required steps to a user who has no technical knowledge.
So, the main uses of remote access software is for IT support. Remote desktop software is particularly useful for a Help Desk, which answers calls from users.
Another business use of remote access software is to allow employees to access workplace computers from their own devices. By making a CPU available without a screen, keyboard, or mouse, the business enables the employee to bring in a laptop to work on in the office and continue to use the same computer when at home. The employee doesn’t need to copy documents onto her local hard drive and the business doesn’t need to pay for software to run on the employee’s own computer.
Remote access software can be useful in order to make the resources of a powerful static computer available anywhere, accessed from a mobile device. So, sales agents and educators can use a remote access system to make supporting materials available when visiting a client site.

Useful Features of Remote Access Software

When assessing remote access software for use in your organization, there are a number of essential features that you should look for.
  • Multi-monitor support — One technician should be able to access multiple endpoints
  • Multiple sessions — One technician should be able to open several sessions on the same endpoint
  • Collaborative access — The access portal should include facilities to enable multiple technicians to work on the same endpoint including facilities to allow them to communicate with each other as they work.
  • User communication channels – the access portal should have an integrated communication channel to enable the technician to liaise with the end user. This could be a text-based chat system or a voice communication channel.
  • Live desktop viewer – Help Desk technicians particularly need to see what the user can see on the remote computer in order to speed up problem resolution.
  • End-monitor blackening – Technicians who are fixing a problem rather than educating a user will benefit from the ability to remove the view of the Desktop from the user for the session.
  • File transfer utility – Technicians need to be able to copy files onto the remote computer and also transfer files from the remote device.
  • Access and process automation – Remote access software that has process automation included enables technicians to script repetitive tasks and also bulk fix a series of remote computers.
  • Access privilege controls – Technicians should be able to establish access rights to supported devices without the intervention of a user at the remote site granting permission each time. This utility enables technicians to work when the supported computers are unattended.
  • Connection security – Session security to protect the connection from being tapped into by snoopers is essential because most remote connections are carried over the public medium of the internet.
  • Session logging – All actions performed by the technician on the remote computer should be recorded. This is an important security measure to guard against the rogue actions of individuals and also prove to the client what work took place.
  • Help Desk platform integration – Remote access tools that integrate into Help Desk management systems save time and remove the need for the technician to have several different utilities open at once. Systems that can automatically log session time help to automate billing procedures.
  • Access from mobile devices – Support technicians need to be on call all of the time. In small organizations that have only one technician, that person shouldn’t need to be permanently chained to a desk.
Remote Access Software from Atera's Dashboard

Remote Access Software for MSPs

Managed service providers (MSPs) could not operate in their current form without the existence of remote access software. The international nature of outsourced services means that the idea of site visits by technicians rarely makes it onto the contract. If the technician isn’t expected to get physical access to the computers she is supporting, she will need remote access tools.
Remote access and remote desktop services enable outsourced technicians to install new software, set up new computers, test new applications and standardize software provision over the internet. Remote desktop software is especially necessary for MSPs that provide user support.
MSPs that serve clients in many countries might run up against language barriers. Even if the service employs technicians who speak the languages of the company’s clients, they might not be able to speak them very well and those linguists might not always be available for every call.
If the technician is able to explore the troubled computer and fix the problem without having to pass on instructions to a user both the MSP and the client save time and money.

Integrated Remote Access Software

The remote access tool is an essential utility for the technicians of an MSP. However, it is not the only piece of software needed in the industry. An MSP needs to supply all of its technicians with a full remote monitoring and management suite. The remote access software should be an integrated module in that RMM platform.
In order to properly track technician time on a project and properly allocate resources, MSPs also need team management software as well. This is called PSA, which stands for “professional services automation.” Tasks performed with remote access software need to be tracked and timed, so integrating data collection functions in the remote access software rules out data entry errors when it comes to the technician filling in a timesheet.
An MSP needs a combined RMM and PSA system that has integrated remote access tools in order to properly serve its clients profitably.
Remote Access Integration

Try a Remote Access solution

Atera is a fully integrated RMM and PSA system that includes remote access software. The remote access tool in Atera’s platform is called Splashtop. This includes a remote desktop viewer.
The Splashtop screen can be launched directly from within the Atera support ticketing system, which integrated time and task tracking, so you don’t need to worry about your technicians filling out their time4sheets incorrectly – Atera takes care of task tracking automatically and flows those statistics through to billing.
The Atera system and the Splashtop tool can be accessed from any device because it is resident in the Cloud. That means that it is available through mobile devices running iOS and Android as well as from desktop computers.
The Splashtop remote access system presents a screen with multiple panes, the features in those views include an integrated live chat system, so the technician can type in advice and then go back to operating the remote computer through remote desktop view which dominates the central panel of the console.
Another facility in the Splashtop system lets your technicians transfer files to and from the remote computer. All interaction over the internet is protected with military-grade encryption – a 256-bit AES cipher.
Like all of the other integrated features of the Atera platform, Splashtop is very easy to use. Fortunately, you don’t have to take anyone’s word for that because Atera is available on a 30-day free trial. With Atera, your technicians are better equipped to deliver a quality service to your customers. Thanks to Atera, you can do more, faster!