At this point, it’s clear that remote assistance is here to stay.
More and more companies have a partially remote workforce, and IT teams and MSPs can’t serve them without a remote desktop solution.
But what vendors are out there? And what free solutions should you consider?
In this post, we answer those questions and more. Keep reading to review what remote assistance is, find out what your remote desktop software options are, and what you stand to gain from using a fully-featured, free remote assistance tool.
What Is Remote Assistance?
Remote assistance is a method of providing technician support to end-users who aren’t working at the office. Using remote desktop software, IT personnel and MSPs can see and interact with the user’s system in real time — as if they were sitting in front of it. With a remote connection, they can provide excellent assistance for the entire organization without organizing any on-site visits.
While multiple free remote assistance tools exist, not all are created equally. JumpCloud Remote Assist is a notable free remote assistance tool on the market, as it has features like real-time secure peer-to-peer connections, event-logging, role-based access control, and multi-OS support that jumpstart IT and MSP productivity while keeping the organization safe.
Benefits of Free Remote Assistance
Here are just some of the many benefits of remote assistance tools:
With remote assistance, there is no need for physical travel, lowering expenses and enabling IT and MSPs to serve more people in less time. Most plans are relatively affordable, and some are offered as a free add-on to help you consolidate IT tooling.
Quick and Efficient Problem-Solving
Sharing screens and communicating over instant messages or video chat is much more informative than what’s written on a help ticket. Technicians can see the problem themselves, leading to faster triage and resolution. And because assistance can be fully remote, MSPs can serve clients across the globe, expanding their market reach and client base.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
Remote assistance makes support more efficient, minimizing downtime, improving overall end-user satisfaction, and helping them get back to their day-to-day work quicker.
Reduced Travel Time and Expenses
IT teams and MSPs don’t need to be in the same place as users or their devices to help them, eliminating the high time and resource expense of traveling to each location. Remote assistance is extremely valuable in reaching employees in rural areas or when everyone must work remotely, such as the pandemic.
IT professionals and MSPs can provide support from any location with an internet connection, offering more flexibility in their work schedules and enabling 24/7 support services. Besides helping technicians resolve real-time issues faster, remote assistance tools also permit IT admins and MSPs to work proactively, remotely monitoring client systems to perform maintenance tasks like software updates and security patches before they turn into major problems.
Comparison of Free Remote Assistance Options
There are several free remote assistance providers, each with its own unique capabilities. Let’s review a few of the popular ones on the market.
Zoho Assist allows users to transfer files, use remote desktop protocol to screen share, and schedule IT appointments in advance. The platform is known for its strong diagnostics capabilities, with insight into every piece of hardware on a Windows computer. And if a technician isn’t sure how to troubleshoot, they can pull in their peers for extra help and use a whiteboard to outline a solution.
However, Zoho Assist customers have reported significant connection and audio issues, especially when looking at graphics or media. Admins also can’t remotely control Mac devices on version 10.14 or above. App updates don’t always install properly, and customers say it’s difficult to get in touch with Zoho support.
Zoho Assist offers a 15-day free trial of their enterprise plan. When the trial is over, it’s free for personal use.
TeamViewer is a user-friendly remote desktop software built for any size company. The platform enables IT and MSP secure support across iOS and Android mobile devices, tablets, and computers with session recording, multi-platform support, remote printing, and two-factor authentication.
But TeamViewer performance is highly dependent on the stability of admin and end-user Wi-Fi connection, causing frequent outages. Beyond the 14-day free trial, TeamViewer is more expensive than other tools, starting at $230 for 30 licensed users and 500 managed devices.
AnyDesk has an easy installation process and quick file transfer, screen sharing, and chat functionality to facilitate end-user communication.
That said, AnyDesk isn’t ideal for multi-user collaboration because it often loses connection between mobile and desktop apps, especially without steady internet. You can get 6 months of AnyDesk’s free version before you must select a paid plan. These plans go up to $80 per month for 100 licensed users.
JumpCloud’s Free Remote Assistance Features
While each provider has a free trial or freemium experience, Zoho Assist, TeamViewer, and AnyDesk lack features that streamline the IT and MSP experience. Fortunately, there’s an alternative. JumpCloud’s free Remote Assist was created to streamline the IT admins and MSP workflows with remote command execution, multi-user collaboration, and a native integration with JumpCloud’s Open Directory Platform.
Here are just a few distinguishing JumpCloud Remote Assist features:
- Remote desktop access to any operating system (macOS, Windows, and Linux) via a browser-based remote desktop interface. JumpCloud’s Remote Assist works on Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Chrome and can support up to 6 monitor screens in a single session using the same remote toolbar.
- Multi-factor authentication, consent-based access, and user notifications enhance connection security with several layers of authorization. The platform also has end-to-end encryption and uses unique session keys to safeguard company, customer, and employee data while employees and technicians are connected. If needed, admins can also enable unattended access to control a device without the user’s presence.
- Better file transfer capabilities and clipboard synchronization, empowering admins to copy and paste up to 8MB of text, images, and formatting from a local device to a remote machine, and vice versa. Moving content from one location to another without retyping reduces the chances of error and enhances efficiency.
- Chat and video conferencing options enable face-to-face communications, which can help admins get to the root of employees’ problems faster. Not only does this decrease time to resolution and end-user frustration, it also drives IT and MSP productivity.
How to Get Started with JumpCloud’s Free Remote Assistance
Installing the JumpCloud agent is the first step in activating Remote Assist.
Once the JumpCloud agent is installed, you can open and install the Remote Assist application. At that point, you can choose to use:
- Live Assist with a passcode, in which end-users manually launch the Remote Assist app on their devices and enter a one-time access code
- Live Assist with consent, in which the Remote Assist app is launched automatically, and end-users grant permission to their devices
- Silent Assist, where admins can start a remote session without end-user presence
Remote Assist is a completely free feature for JumpCloud users. There is no limit to the number of simultaneous sessions authenticated admins can host, and they can customize timeouts within Remote Assist settings. Remote Assist is also automatically updated with the JumpCloud agent, ensuring any new features or patch updates are reflected in Remote Assist, too.
Use JumpCloud Remote Assist for Free
Serving employees anywhere at any time has been — and continues to be — a boon for companies with a remote or hybrid culture. Their IT team or MSP can provide faster and more effective support to end-users, keeping morale high and business running smoothly.
But often, remote assistance comes with a substantial cost. JumpCloud is the only platform consolidating free remote support with centralized identity and device management.Get started with JumpCloud today.