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Other Approaches

Aside from Microsoft’s offerings and the VNC products, a number of companies offer remote-control products or features. They include (among others) NetOp Remote Control from CrossTec and Anyplace Control from Anyplace Control Software.

Not all of these programs work the same way. For example, GID Software’s Remote Helpdesk works "backwards" in the sense that the host computer makes the connection to the guest. GID says that this strategy eliminates problems with the host’s firewall possibly blocking contact.

Some products, such as LogMeIn’s RemotelyAnywhere, are specifically aimed at remote administration rather than Help Desk functions. In addition, most network management software from companies like IBM (Tivoli) have some remote control features built in for system management purposes. These are aimed more at management than Help Desk functions.

A relatively new category of remote control software is what might be called computer controllers, which work like VCR controllers. These are designed to remotely manage the entertainment features of home computers, such as DVD and MP3 players.

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