NetOp Remote Control 12.65 review

NetOp delivers joined-up cloud hosted and on-premises remote support and teams them up with great security and value

IT Pro Recommended
Price
£625
  • Strong security and access controls; Plenty of support tools; Easy deployment
  • Mac setup is slightly more laborious

Now in its fourth decade, NetOp Remote Control has always had a sharp focus on access security. This latest version goes further, as it can enforce multi-factor authentication, where technicians enter their username and password followed by a security code to access its web portal.

There's more; NetOp has streamlined client, or host, installation by implementing enrolment packages with unique signatures. Instead of entering a password on each host, now you just run the deployment package which links the host directly to the web portal account.

Profiles are created in the portal where you provide a name, decide how long they are valid for and the number of times they can be used. The package can also place hosts in a specific group once they've enrolled.

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After creating an enrolment package, we downloaded it to our Windows 10 desktops where it took less than a minute to install on each one. No further user intervention was required and once it has loaded, the hosts popped up in our web portal ready for action.

Manual intervention is required for Mac users as the host DMG file must be downloaded from the NetOp support site. We tested this on our MacBooks running macOS Sierra and found each host had to be manually configured with our NetOp account details before they appeared in the portal.

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From the portal, we created new users and decided what functions they could access by assigning roles. These make NetOp even more secure, as we used them to determine whether technicians had full access to host systems, could control their keyboard and mouse, use tools such as chat and file transfer or only view remote systems.

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Clicking the Connect button next to a host initiates an instant remote control session over HTTPS. The portal is designed to provide basic host access and offers remote control plus options to lock, restart or shut down the host.

For greater levels of control, we installed the NetOp Guest console which has been updated to support Windows Server 2016. This linked up seamlessly with our NetOp Portal account and displayed all registered hosts in its Quick Connect window.

Host connection is a simple double-click manoeuvre and the remote control window offers a toolbar ribbon for quick access to all functions along with facilities to use the clipboard and reboot the host system. From the guest console, we could also use the host's drop down menu for direct access to tools such as remote control, file transfer and chat.

The remote management tool presents views of the host's hard disks and provides access to the Windows event viewer and task manager plus host registry editing. It listed running services which could be stopped or restarted remotely and allowed us to directly control the host, log the user out and restart or turn the host off.

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The Demonstrate mode proved useful as we used it to display the guest's screen on the host where we could show clearly how to complete a particular task. Host sessions can also be recorded by the guest console and saved for posterity.

As well as accessing hosts directly over the LAN, another reason for using the guest console is its inventory feature. Selected from the host's drop-down menu, it scans in plenty of useful details about hardware and software and stores them on the guest for later reference.

The neat combination of on-premises console and cloud portal makes NetOp Remote Control a great hybrid support solution. It offers a wealth of support tools at a good price and is recommended for SMBs seeking tight security and strict access controls.

Verdict

The neat combination of on-premises console and cloud portal makes NetOp Remote Control a great hybrid support solution. It offers a wealth of support tools at a good price and is recommended for SMBs seeking tight security and strict access controls.

NetOp Guest/Host: Windows 7/Server 2008, OS X 10.7, Linux, Android 4.0 upwards

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