GoToAssist Express

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Its not often that I talk about non virtualized things, but a recent run-in with this new piece of software created by Citrix has me delighted. Most tech heads know that your typically the first line of support for your friends and families desktop repair needs, with this being said its typically a nightmare providing phone support for non-techie people without getting frustrated and pulling your own hair out, or even worse yelling at the person.

We all know there are services out there for remote support, GoToAssist being one of them but they typically come with a fee, they are extremely cumbersome and require client side software to be preloaded before initiating the support call.

What’s nice about GoToAssist Express is that on your PC a session is created and is assigned a session ID (almost like a phone number). You give your mother that number along with a website which they visit, they input their name and the Session ID and within seconds you see their desktop. In the background GoToAssist Express uses a Java applet that connects to their servers which maps to your PC via the Session ID. Best thing about this, its absolutely free because this product is currently in beta, once the beta ends the service will cost $10 per day for use, which IMO is sometimes better than having to give instructions over the phone.

I know there are tons of free services, for example installing LogMeIn on your client side PC, but like I said earlier, GoToAssist Express makes it so simple that I’d be willing to pay the $10 per-day fee.

Earlier this week I had my mother contact me saying that her PC was running slow, rebooting often and just being a pain – within seconds I was on her desktop; ran CCleaner to clean things up, updated her Avast AntiVirus installation and found a lovely Trojan that was removed and all was good. Thus, saving me a two hour trip up north this weekend to fix it. Thanks Citrix.