Techinline Remote Desktop is a web based remote access system for consultants, IT experts and technical support groups. Techinline works with PCs running Windows, and provides remote control and desktop viewing, clipboard synchronisation, file transfer and text based chat. The combination of remote control and remote viewing mean the suite is equally well suited to providing remote technical support and remote training.
Experts and trainers can either view or control a remote computer, or can allow a remote user to view or control their PC. Of course, the main difference between remote control and remote viewing is that remote control allows the remote user to control the mouse and keyboard, and enables them to add or remove data using the file transfer and clipboard tools. Remote viewing does not allow the remote party to change any data on the remote system.
Setup and installation couldn’t be easier, as no software needs to be installed except the addition of a plugin to your browser, which is downloaded automatically the first time a particular browser uses the service. Techinline works with Firefox 1.5 or later, and Internet Explorer 5 or later. Although if using Internet Explorer, trainers and experts must have IE6 or later.
We tested the system by asking a remote user to visit the Techinline website, where their browser was automatically loaded with the Techinline plugin and a session ID number was displayed in their browser. The remote user then needed to communicate the Session ID number to us so we could enter it into our Techinline console. Having done this the basic remote connection was made almost instantly and we could both use the text based chat.
At this point we could also use one of four buttons in our Techinline console to request the appropriate remote control or remote viewing option. Techinline Remote Desktop does not allow access to the user’s PC without their explicit permission, so the remote user needed to click on a button to accept our request before we could actually see their Windows desktop.
We found Techinline extremely easy to use. For example, the file transfer tools allow files to be copied back and forth simply by dragging and dropping them between one display and the other.
Likewise, the remote desktop was displayed in a separate window rather than in our web browser. This allowed us to easily place it in a convenient location, and meant it didn’t prevent us from seeing other web pages while viewing the remote screen.
We were a little less happy about the text based chat tool, as we needed to click on the “Send” button rather than being able to press “Enter” on our keyboard. And chat sessions are displayed in the web browser, so we needed to remember to open a new browser window for them as chat could be hidden if tabs in the same browser window were used to displayed other web pages.
Overall we liked Techinline because of its clean and uncluttered displays, which made it easy to find the various tools we needed with the minimum of fuss. Unfortunately some help desk staff might bemoan the lack of diagnostic tools to monitor memory utilization or other elements in the Window environment.