ISL Online review: A stellar remote support product

Easily managed, versatile and secure cloud-hosted remote support at a great price

Editor's Choice
Price
£259
  • Heaps of bundled services; Intuitive console; Wide range of supported platforms
  • Cloud licensing can be confusing

SMBs looking for a low-cost cloud hosted support solution will find ISL Online has the answer. It's very simple to use and also offers a range of flexible licensing options with the basic pay-per-use version starting at 70 for 500 minutes of unrestricted sessions and time.

The Cloud licensing model is a tad confusing as it's based on active sessions with the starting price of 259 allowing one active session to be shared across all support staff. For multiple technicians to open sessions simultaneously, you need a Cloud license for each one and if you want each technician to open simultaneous sessions with multiple clients, that costs an extra 89 per Cloud license.

ISL Online provides remote control, file transfer, text chat, voice and video calls plus session recording for Windows, Mac and Linux clients. Free iOS and Android Remote Desktop apps mean technicians can do remote support on the move.

Starting a remote session from the portal runs the ISL Light app which presents the technician with a unique 8-digit code. The Invite button emails a web link to the client which opens the session when they click on it.

Clients can also visit the 'islonline.com/join' web site and enter the code there. Either way, it loads the ISL Light app on their system which adds an upper control bar for granting or revoking remote control and stopping sharing.

The technician's window shows the client's screen and presents a toolbar across the top with quick access icons for a range of tools. They can share their screen with the client, request control, transfer the session to another technician, invite others to join and start session recording.

Client reboot controls are available when a technician enables the administrative mode from the Tools menu. This activates a 'restart and resume' mode so they don't lose access if they reboot the client machine.

The file transfer tool offers options for sending or receiving files. For the former, technicians specify where on the client they want to send them (or the client can decide) while the latter allows them to pull files from the remote machine.

Unattended access is supported for Windows and Mac clients and requires the ISL AlwaysOn app installed permanently. We had no problems loading it on our Windows 10 desktops while our Macbooks received a DMG package from the portal which took seconds to install.

Security is solid as the app requires the client to provide an AlwaysOn password which the technician must enter to gain access. Furthermore, the app is preconfigured for your cloud account, is only initially available to the technician that sent the installation request and if permitted, clients can switch remote access on and off at will.

The web portal is easy to use with icons at the top for starting on-demand remote sessions and accessing clients running the AlwaysOn app. You can create any number of user accounts, place selected AlwaysOn clients into groups and share access to them with other technicians.

Live chat services come courtesy of the free ISL Pronto application which requires an on-premises Windows or Mac host and uses quick access links embedded in your company web site. Even better, web conferences can be run from the portal where it loads the free ISL Groop app for all invitees for online meetings and sharing slide presentations or your screen.

SMBs that want easily managed cloud-based remote support will find ISL Online delivers the goods. Platform support and features are excellent and although the Cloud licensing scheme is a little muddled, it allows businesses to tailor costings precisely to their needs.

Verdict

SMBs that want easily managed cloud-based remote support will find ISL Online delivers the goods. Platform support and features are excellent and although the Cloud licensing scheme is a little muddled, it allows businesses to tailor costings precisely to their needs.

Windows 7/Server 2008 upwards, Linux, OS X/macOS 10.8 upwards. Mobile app – iOS 9.0/Android 4.2 upwards

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