NetSupport Manager 14 review: Delivers a wealth of support tools

The perfect on-premises support solution with a wealth of valuable features and simple licensing

The NetManager 14 dashboard
(Image: © Future)

IT Pro Verdict


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    Easy installation

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    Simple to use

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    Strong security controls


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SMBs that want the best on-premises remote support solution need look no further than NetSupport Manager (NSM). Now well into its third decade, NSM has been continuously updated, with version 14 on review providing a redesigned Control interface, support for Windows 11 and Server 2022 clients plus two-factor authentication (2FA) and SSL/TLS certificates to tighten up access security to remote systems.

Licensing couldn't be any easier: pricing is based only on the number of supported systems. You don't need to worry about subscriptions, either, with perpetual licensing for up to 500 systems costing a straight £10 each.

NetSupport Manager 14 review: Set up

Installation is a breeze. We loaded the Control component on a Windows 10 host and used the separate Deploy tool to scan the local network and push the client to all our Windows desktops and servers. The client executable is now protected from malware actions; if its name is changed, it won't be allowed to run.

The new Control interface focuses on ease of use and has a status bar at its base showing the number of clients plus those currently connected and an icon to disconnect them all with one click. Search facilities have been improved, the tree view can now be minimized, and if you double-click on a client in the main panel you can assign different actions such as starting the remote control or remotely launching an application. 


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The tree view uses dynamic grouping to neatly organize clients into categories such as Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, and Android versions, hardware enclosure types, and geographical locations. You can create custom groups using your preferred criteria and the tree also has options to browse for a client and see those that have sent help requests.

The free PIN Connect server accelerates support connections across large networks. The technician and user simply enter the same unique PIN and an instant connection is created for them.

Selecting a group in the tree shows all members in the main pane and a monitor mode displays scalable screen thumbnails so you can watch user activity in real-time. Users needn't worry about privacy issues as when the Control app connects, their system tray app alerts them and they can disconnect at any time. A remote control session opens a new window with a wealth of support tools presented in its upper menu.

The NetManager 14 dashboard

(Image credit: Future)

Along with choosing to control, share, or passively view the screen, you can launch local apps, have text and audio chats, take screen captures, share clipboards, and reboot the client.

NSM scores over cloud-hosted solutions as its distribution tool sends local files to multiple users, technicians can run training sessions by showing their screen to user groups and they can record Control host activities and replay them. And being an on-premises solution, performance between a host and client on the same LAN will be much faster.

Remote offices and home workers come under NSM's support umbrella, too. The NSM Gateway and Connectivity Server are included in the price and allow technicians to reach out over the internet to systems with the client installed.


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Security is tight: along with 256-bit AES session encryption, the Connectivity Server, Gateway, and clients must all possess the same key. Remote clients can only connect to one gateway, the Connectivity Server connection log can be downloaded for further security analysis and larger sites can improve performance by using multiple Gateways in load-balanced configurations.

SMBs that prefer their support services in-house won't find a better alternative to NetSupport Manager. It delivers a wealth of support tools, including secure access to home workers, while its perpetual licensing plans are highly affordable.

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.