ConnectWise Control 21.8 review: A sterling support solution

A cloud-hosted support solution with a smart feature set and distinctive custom branding options

ConnectWise Control 21.8

IT Pro Verdict


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    Affordable licensing

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    Excellent branding tools

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    Strong remote access controls

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    Well-rounded feature set


    If you’re looking for remote support with a personal touch then ConnectWise Control is a great choice, as its portal and client apps can be easily branded with your company details.

    Personalisation is built into the system from the start: as soon as you sign up, you’re prompted to pick a unique name to append to the standard Control URL. A focus on security quickly becomes apparent too, as you can tighten technician access by enforcing two-factor authentication, and set up user roles to determine what support functions are available to each individual.

    The technician portal is easy to navigate, and offers two different types of remote-support session. To create an on-demand connection you can visit the Support tab and generate a custom URL and five-digit passcode to be passed onto the user.

    To set up an always-on connection, switch to the Access tab, select your target platform (Windows, Mac or Linux) and provide a few details about your company. A web link to the installer is then generated, which can be run on the target machine to install the resident agent.

    We also tested the Control iOS app on our iPad, and found it an impressively consistent experience. The presentation is the same as the web portal and all the same features are available, meaning technicians can provide support from the road as easily as at their desks.

    Both on-demand and always-on sessions offer a good set of features. You can adjust the video quality to suit the connection speed, chat to the person at the other end via text or voice, send and receive files, run session recordings, annotate the client’s screen and share your own screen across multiple sessions.

    ConnectWise Control 21.8

    One useful tool is a shared folder, where you can drop files for quick access during a session. Another smart feature is the option to reboot and automatically reconnect to a client system: this doesn’t require the always-on agent, and works even when booting to safe mode.

    During a support session, a sidebar in the portal provides plenty of technical information. Across various tabs you’ll find hardware and software inventories, running processes, event logs and messages sent, plus graphs revealing details of current and historical activity.

    You can try Control for 14 days for free, and if you like what you see there’s a flexible range of licensing options. Small businesses may well be fine with the lightweight One licence, which supports up to ten unattended agents and allows one technician to run one connection at a time, for around £17 per month.

    A Standard licence starts at about £28 per month, permitting up to three simultaneous connections and unlimited unattended agents. All packages include remote control, file transfer, web meetings, portal branding and mobile technician apps, with the Standard version adding Android and iOS mobile guest clients for remote screen viewing.

    Simple web-conferencing services are also included through the Meeting feature, which allows participants to use the same connection process to join, have audio conversations and share their screens or applications with other members. Upgrading to the Premium version enables the ConnectWise View tool, which gives technicians the ability to remotely access webcams on client systems.

    ConnectWise Control is a fairly priced remote-support solution that’s suitable for both SMBs and larger organisations that want strong access security and portal branding features. It’s easy to use and has great mobile support – and for those who prefer to keep everything in-house, ConnectWise offers an on-premises version too.

    Dave Mitchell

    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.