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Remote Access

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by OADesign, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. OADesign

    OADesign Active Member

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    Hi All,

    Those of you that are (or contemplating) having employees work from home, what software are you using? I get it that certain obvious operations can't be done remotely. And I understand the security etc. Those things are not the question. Just looking to see what others are using. I used to use Logmein Free when I was on the corporate side to support my stores but they have since moved to a (very expensive) paid only plan. I'm looking at Zoho Assist (Cheap) and there is also a (free) chrome extension that seems to work well. Just looking for more options.

    We are already on CoreBridge so that is a plus, in this case. But I need to be able to access files on our server and downloading/uploading files remotely doesn't seem efficient. Also, I need to utilize the horsepower of my design station. Remote access seems like the right choice for a solid, quickly implemented, solution. Also, I've heard about Windows having built in Remote Desktop support but I'm not finding any clear instructions on line. Your thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
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  2. brycesteiner

    brycesteiner Member

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    Dropbox works great for us. We have been using it for years and it provides an offsite backup. Teamviewer works great as a support for those users if their computer has issues.
     
  3. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Depending on what one is needing for remote access.

    Linux has built in sharing for a lot of distros, so I do have that if needing a GUI. Otherwise I SSH and do what I need to do.

    As far as transferring large files, have our own servers for that as well. I actually got one that isn't the main one to connect to the internet more consistently then the others for security reasons.

    If going to use something that is on someone else's servers, I would strongly suggest encrypting it before uploading it to their servers. But that's just me. I have used Dropbox and GDrive as well, use rclone to set up shares on the system, but always encrypt the files before uploading.
     
  4. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

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    No
    Windows Remote Desktop only works on Pro versions or higher. We use Chrome Remote Desktop. It was the easiest thing for us to use and it's stuck with us. I use it from my phone to connect to my main work station just about every day. I hadn't heard about Zoho Assist, but we're actually switching to Zoho Books as I type this, so I'll look into that.
     
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  5. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Most people that are running Win 10 for businesses, should be on at least Pro. I know a handful of those that are on Home and I feel for them, but if this is for a business with some mission critical "stability", should be on Pro. Enterprise if they want to pay monthly (for Enterprise done legally anyway) for that if they don't qualify for bulk licensing.

    Love KDE Connect. Don't know how much one will like it until they start using it. Desktop control, issuing commands, even as simple of seeing missed calls and/or replying to text on the workstation. It's the small things.
     
  6. hazartilirot

    hazartilirot Member

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    The best way to provide a secure remote access is use a router like Asus RT-AC87U with the merlin firmware. You switch an OpenVPN server on and then any PC client connects directly to the router entering to a Virtual Network.
    You don't need to pay for rubbish software like LogMeIn or TeamViewer. You simply use Remote Desktop Connection.

    It's really straightforward:
     
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  7. Marie

    Marie Member

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    - May be you can help me: I have been trying to get the Chrome Remote Desktop to work this afternoon. It looks like the computer at the shop has to be attended by someone so that a code can be send to the person working remotely to gain access. So I don't see how this would work for me since the point is not to have anyone at the shop. Am I doing something wrong?
     
  8. OADesign

    OADesign Active Member

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    Glad to see a nod for Google Remote Desktop. It seems too good to be true. Works well so far. I'm going to put it to the true test tomorrow. Working from home: Day 1
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
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  9. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

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    No
    There are two methods of connection, one is "temporary" and requires and access code for tech support and such and the other is like a regular remote desktop. You do need to download and install the app/extension on both devices, setup at least one for remote connection and password protect it. Both devices need to be logged into the same Google Account. I have about 5 computers connected in one account that I access, and as long as that computer is not set to off or asleep, I can connect. It can be logged out and will still work. I hope that helps.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

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    No
    I can't watch the video right now, but for PCs I believe this still requires Windows Pro versions or higher. My personal laptop is Windows 10 Home and lacks any sort of built in Remote Desktop abilities, pretty ridiculous if you ask me.
     
  11. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I actually can understand that limitation on something labeled as "Home". I wouldn't imagine those users (for which Home was marketed for) needing a built in functionality for that type of application. Just like I wouldn't expect Hyper V or Power Shell (or it's successor coming up, name of currently is escaping me) or WSL.
     
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  12. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Merchant Member

    We like Chrome Remote Desktop. They remote into their own computers. Works pretty well.
     
  13. SignMeUpGraphics

    SignMeUpGraphics Moderator

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    • Like Like x 2
  14. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Gotta love open source.

    I just have to wonder how actively maintained that project is though. Last merge into master was in 2018. There have been a 7 pull requests last year though, just not merged into master (although there could be a variety of reasons for that, not just not actively maintained).
     
  15. SignMeUpGraphics

    SignMeUpGraphics Moderator

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    Installed it last week on a Windows 10 Home 1909 install and got it working pretty quickly.
    Just needed to add the latest rdpwrap.ini file and everything has been working great since.
     
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  16. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

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    I do design, pre-press and a bit of sales at my shop. All easy to do from home, and I was already WFH two days a week before this all started.

    • NAS (network attached storage) – we have a QNAP device on our office network that stores all our files and mirrors on two large drives for redundancy. It has a control panel you log into to set up any type of remote access you can imagine. It does VPN, SAMBA, AFP, FTP and has a web-based file browser, so you can remotely access your files however you like.
    • Corebridge – like most modern point of sale/estimating/job board systems it's in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere via your web browser.
    • Chrome Remote Desktop – for the rare occasion that I need to log into my office computer.
     
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  17. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Careful with Teamviewer - They had a security flaw awhile back where even with a secondary pin, someone could remote into your PC. I had all my paypal passwords and bank password auto saved in chrome... Someone used it to buy tons of stuff. I luckily got it all reversed, and it made me realize never, ever save passwords or keep yourself logged in.... So lesson learned!

    Chrome remote desktop is ok. I don't like their file transfer though.

    We use a VPN to connect to our network (Part of our Fortinet firewall options) And just mount the file system there - Then we can access all our files, all our POS/Estimating programs and accounting software just as if we were plugged into the office... No need to remote control a PC, much smoother and better operation that way.

    I'd look into VPN/tunneling in to access the network before remote controlling... It's safer to do it that way.
     
  18. OADesign

    OADesign Active Member

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    Just revisiting this to post my findings.
    Its been a week and 2 days since I've been working from home. And I gotta say, now that the newness anxiety has worn off, I actually like this scenario.
    I'm at the home office churning through proofs, placing orders with my fab partners, and quickly responding to emails. Our estimator is doing the same. Its only production/install coming into the office fro now.

    It seems to work a little better overall, IMO. More focus and less jibber-jabber. It forces me to be more succinct in most correspondence. It's forcing my estimator to be very clear and explicit on work orders (as should have been the case from the jump but...) Its also forcing my production guys to really pay attention and read work orders thoroughly (again, as should have been the case from the jump). Previously both issues were solved by walking back and forth across the shop and asking questions, often before fully reading work orders.:rolleyes: And then engaging all the distractions and stuff we encountered on the way. I love not dealing with traffic and people in the morning and at the EoB. When I'm off, I'm off. Just a short distance from the couch or fridge. And as a direct result of these adjustments payroll numbers are shrinking. I'm betting the guy that writes the checks is happy about that! It makes me think, were we really that inefficient? Is this the new state of being? I kinda like it.

    Here is the setup.
    • NAS (network-attached storage) – Well not really. It's just a headless Win10 box with carbonite running. It works (well) for now. And we are going to upgrade to a real NAS system soon.
    • Corebridge
    • Chrome Remote Desktop – Works great!
    Only a few mishaps since we have been working like this. The server went to sleep and I was not able to log in. One of the guys had just locked up and was not too far away, so he came back and woke it up. Once I was in, I changed some settings so that it only sleeps during the late hour.
    Then, my production guys loaded some banner material BACKWARDS! Fortunately, the job was only for some construction banners and not mission-critical prints :D.
    So far so good. We might be ok through this thing. That is is business does not slow down (any more than it alreadyhas). We'll see!
     
  19. GB2

    GB2 Very Active Member

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    I use GoToMyPC, which may be owned by LogMeIn, I'm not sure. I started using it a few years ago when it was $69 a year and then it went to $99 and the next year it went to almost $500! So I called to cancel and they gave it to me for the old price, now each year when I get the bill, I call them to complain and they give it to me at a discount. I don't really like to do that or be cheap about it but really, that increase was ridiculous. That being said however, I use the program all day, every day and it works flawlessly. I can drag and drop files between computers, copy and paste between computers, remotely operate all functions, reboot and reconnect or anything else. For me it is well worth it but if you are trying to set up multiple people or a complicated office then I can see where it would become prohibitively expensive as you pay per computer that you set up for remote access. I will take a look at that Chrome Remote Access also as that could be handy even though it seems to have limitations.
     
  20. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Interesting. Where did you get a cmd prompt/powershell only version of Carbonite?

    That would be really good for automating some backup processes.

    Oh wait, is this just headless as in no monitor, not as in no UI?
     
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