Helping friends fix their computer, remotely using

I originally saw this on BBC Click and it has been invaluable since then.

The site allows you to take control of a relative’s PC (let’s face it – mum or dad’s PC) remotely. You can see what is happening, move the mouse, click in stuff and operate the keyboard, giving you full control to make those necessary tweaks and updates. Obviously the machine needs to be working enough to get Internet access, but there is still a lot that can be done using this tool.

The main issue I see with it, is explaining to the remote party what they need to do. The website has quite a visual front page, that can confuse some people a lot. They also deliver different front pages to different people. I’m not sure whether this is some kind of A/B testing, but trying to work out whether people are on the right site and describing the links they need to click on, is very difficult when their description does not match what you can see. Some of the flashy messages they put on the front page also sound very spammy, so I often doubt they have got to the right site when they read out the, “have fun join your friends” message that is bizarrely put up there for some people. That is just something to be aware of.

Overall though, I would recommend giving it a try.

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