SolarWinds DameWare Remote Support 12.1 review: Stellar support tools

A versatile and affordable remote support solution that’s suited to both small businesses and enterprises

IT Pro Recommended
Price
£290
  • Technician-based licensing offers great value; Many tasks don’t require remote control session; Available as server-based or standalone packages
  • No agentless client access

DameWare Remote Support (DRS) is all about choice. If you're supporting a modest number of users on your LAN then you can run it in standalone mode, while those with a larger workforce can opt for the centralised server version. Either way, it's great value, as licensing is based on the number of technicians and covers an unlimited number of clients.

The server-based version comprises three core modules, namely the Central Server, Proxy Server and Mobile Gateway Server. All three are accessed via the main administrative console, and can be installed on a single Windows host or on different ones to spread the load.

One slight drawback of this version of DRS is that it doesn't offer agentless client access: every computer you want to support needs an agent loaded. This isn't difficult to set up, though, as the proxy server provides a secure download URL.

Once the software is installed, many tasks can be initiated without opening a remote control session. Selecting a client from the main console presents an impressive list of tasks: you can remotely check a system's hard disks and storage properties, view the Event Log, monitor running processes and stop or start services. The client's Registry can also be edited, and if the Remote Registry Service isn't running, DameWare can start it for you.

When the time does come to take full remote control, Windows users can choose between RDP and DameWare's Mini Remote Control (DMRC) utility, which loads as a separate utility and presents a desktop view with a toolbar offering buttons for chat, locking the client's keyboard and mouse, entering view-only mode, transferring files and rebooting the system.

You can connect to Mac devices from the console too, but the feature set is more limited as only standard VNC connections are supported. Still, having enabled screen sharing on our macOS clients, we were easily able to fire up a remote control session from the DRS console. We also had no problems using the DameWare software on our iPad; after connecting to the gateway, we were able to view the host list and open remote-control connections to selected clients.

Almost all of the features of the server installation apply equally to the standalone version. You can browse the network, create local groups of hosts and access the same tools and remote control utilities. Active Directory (AD) integration is available in both versions too, with direct access for administering domain objects. All that's missing from the standalone installation are the global and personal host lists.

The choice of installation methods makes DameWare Remote Support a good choice for businesses of all sizes. Whichever approach you choose, the software is easy to deploy, and the technician-based licensing makes it excellent value.

Verdict

The standalone and server versions make DameWare Remote Support a good choice for SMEs and larger businesses alike. Both are easy to deploy, offer tight access security and outstanding AD integration while the technician-based licensing makes them excellent value.

Featured Resources

Next-generation time series: Forecasting for the real world, not the ideal world

Solve time series problems with AI

Free download

The future of productivity

Driving your business forward with Microsoft Office 365

Free download

How to plan for endpoint security against ever-evolving cyber threats

Safeguard your devices, data, and reputation

Free download

A quantitative comparison of UPS monitoring and servicing approaches across edge environments

Effective UPS fleet management

Free download

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox
Microsoft Windows

Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox

5 Oct 2021