How to Set up Remote Admin using Netviewer

There are plenty of web collaboration tools and plenty of remote access tools, but relatively few that offer features for both.

Netviewer one2one does everything from application sharing and VoIP chat to file transfer and remote reboots. (There's another version, one2many, for group meetings and presentations.) And unlike many so-called web-only conferencing tools that turn out to need multi-megabyte browser plug-ins to work, there's no software to install; just a simple EXE file that can run directly from your own server or from the Netviewer site.

That means you can use it from any machine you're sat in front of and you can send invitations by email or instant message (you can send just the session number or a URL that will run the application and start the session automatically).

You don't always have the luxury of supporting users from your own machine, or the time to go to theirs. Netviewer is quick to get started with and doesn't leave any files on the PC afterwards, so if you're working on a user machine or out at a branch office you can safely run it from that system to connect to another user's PC. The service uses HTTP tunneling on port 80, so you don't have to make any firewall changes and all the traffic is encrypted with 128-bit keys so it's secure.

That's one advantage over free tools like MSN Messenger or Windows Remote Assistance; the others are the extensive range of tools on offer, the profiles you can set up to turn features on and off, and the way users can limit which of their windows you can see on screen.

That way, they won't waste your time while they close all their browser windows and Solitaire games before letting you connect.

While Netviewer is simple to use, with a clear interface, there are a lot of options available. Here's how to make the most of them for solving user problems.

Mary Branscombe

Mary is a freelance business technology journalist who has written for the likes of ITPro, CIO, ZDNet, TechRepublic, The New Stack, The Register, and many other online titles, as well as national publications like the Guardian and Financial Times. She has also held editor positions at AOL’s online technology channel, PC Plus, IT Expert, and Program Now. In her career spanning more than three decades, the Oxford University-educated journalist has seen and covered the development of the technology industry through many of its most significant stages.

Mary has experience in almost all areas of technology but specialises in all things Microsoft and has written two books on Windows 8. She also has extensive expertise in consumer hardware and cloud services - mobile phones to mainframes. Aside from reporting on the latest technology news and trends, and developing whitepapers for a range of industry clients, Mary also writes short technology mysteries and publishes them through Amazon.