IT Pro Verdict
Stocked with features
Great security controls
Pricing structure may be poor value for SMBs
Part of Solarwinds' burgeoning IT service management portfolio, Dameware Remote Everywhere (DRE) is a web-hosted service aimed at businesses supporting a large, geographically distributed workforce. Its pricing plans are clearly geared up for this as they are based on concurrent technicians and each license enables support for 500 devices.
DRE comprises five components with the Admin Area providing a central account administration web portal for viewing active support sessions, managing departments and technicians and creating detailed reports. Along with applets and agents for on-demand and unattended support sessions, each technician receives a personal tech console app for providing remote assistance and end users can join sessions from the SolarWinds' 'startcontrol.com' web portal.
Privilege levels are assigned to technicians to determine the administrative functions they can access, if they are permitted to start on-demand sessions and the tools available to them in their desktop console. Organising technicians into departments ensures incoming support requests are sent to the right person. And, you can save on license costs by making some 'end users' that have no access to the Admin Area and can only perform remote control and file transfer on a limited number of devices.
Security is excellent as profiles are used to restrict access to the Admin Area and tech console while custom email templates reassure users that connection requests are coming from a legitimate source. Both the applet and agent can be customised; you can apply a weekly schedule that determines when on-demand support services are available and embed a predefined support request script in your own website.
The tech console allows support staff to create on-demand support sessions, view endpoints with unattended agents installed and connect to them. Starting an on-demand session is swift as you pass a unique 9-digit PIN code to the user who enters it in their portal and downloads the DRE applet.
Technicians can run multiple sessions and swap between them by selecting their icons at the bottom of the interface. Separate desktop consoles are loaded for each session, open with remote control and provide an upper ribbon menu for tools such as file transfer, registry editing, remote screen blanking and transferring or sharing the session with another technician.
The technician's own screen can be shared with the user, audio or video calls made between them and the endpoint can be rebooted with the applet reconnecting when it's up again. When session recording is enabled for a technician, they can elect to store sessions locally or in the cloud and play them back from the tech console history page or Admin Area report section.
The unattended agent is deployed either manually by adding a device and emailing a download link to the user or, for Windows systems, by running an on-demand session and adding the PC to your list of computers. Either way, security is great as you can protect the agent with a master password or require technicians to provide local Windows account details and lock endpoints when unattended sessions have ended.
To test mobile support, we logged in to a technician account using the DRE iOS app on an iPad and viewed available unattended endpoints, connected to them for remote control and created on-demand sessions. We also installed the DRE Support Applet app, joined an on-demand session and used its broadcast feature to show technicians our iPad's screen.
SolarWinds Dameware Remote Everywhere isn't great value for small businesses with modest support demands and its overwhelming range of features can present a steep learning curve. That said, it will undoubtedly appeal to larger businesses with busy support departments that place a high priority on access security.
Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.
Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.