Take the stress out of IT support with Crossloop


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By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

The chances are that if you are the computer-literate member of the family, you’re probably constantly getting hit on for free IT support. You know the situation – the parents who think it’s “interesting” to install every font they can find and then wonder why it takes 30 minutes for Microsoft Word to open. Or clueless but well-meaning friends who get an email attachment called “ToplessBritneySpears.exe” and eagerly open it, only to wonder later why they can’t access their email accounts (and why there’s no photos of Britney Spears to be found – dammit!).

The problems start however when that family member or friend is nowhere near where you live and you have to rely on them telling you over the phone about “a little black box thingie next to a sort of bar….what-da-ya-call it?”. It’s descriptions like that which can make you smack your head in despair on that nice new keyboard of yours.

But with a remote desktop program like Crossloop, you can now tell that relative or friend to cease their crazy ramblings and you can see for yourself first-hand what is going on in that PC of theirs.

Now I know what you’re going to say : “So what? Windows has had remote desktop access for ever!” and of course you would be right. Remote desktop access is nothing new in the slightest. But being a bit of a geek, I have a healthy distrust of anything connected with the big kid on the Redmond block and so I much prefer third-party apps such as Crossloop. It’s easy, free, secure and even the pet dog can operate it. Just make sure that the Crossloop app is already pre-installed on the repeat offender’s computer beforehand – along with a huge desktop logo so they know where to find it. An icon title such as “CLICK HERE!” would also probably help.

Crossloop interfaceSo when the time comes when your mother is describing “pretty little flashing thimmy-ma-jig boxes” to you, tell her to open the Crossloop application and choose “host”. She should then tell you the name and access code. On your side, choose “join” and enter the details that clueless Mama just gave you.

Clueless Mama will then get a warning box on her computer telling her that you are attempting to take over their computer (which will probably scare the living daylights out of her – “another flashing box-thingie! Help!”). Get them to calm down and accept the program request.

When they start this for the first time, they will have to approve Crossloop on the Windows Firewall (which may involve explaining what a firewall is!). This just involves clicking the “unblock” button. In fact this is one of the most appealing features of Crossloop – the sheer simplicity of it. There are no difficult configurations to take care of. It’s just click and you’re in.

Once you get past Mama’s firewall then you now have total access to her computer. But be nice because there is a big red “disconnect” button which she can use to cut you off! So just delete her 500 toolbars and then get out of there.

What I REALLY like about Crossloop is that there is a file transfer facility which allows you to send files to the other PC. So while you’re trying to figure out why your father has set up 50 email addresses in Mozilla Thunderbird, you can send him some reading material to keep him quiet!

Is there anything about this app that is bad?! I think not!







20 Responses to Take the stress out of IT support with Crossloop

  1. It uses TightVNC, so it seems silly that the tech has to also be using Windows to help the newb. Actually, one of my cousins says “the trouble with Windows is that anyone who’s any good with computers doesn’t use it.” We run screaming from it :D Does it go through the browser like LogMeIn or something? If it doesn’t, you’re still stuck with the usual “port forwarding? router? what? what’s a port? like a boat?” questions. The fact that the computer illiterate person needs to know enough to be able to forward a port on their router to their computer is always an issue. If they could do that, I highly doubt there’s anything on their computer with which they’d need my help.

    • Well, if you would check it out, you would see that it requires NO port forwarding or anything of the sort. That is what makes it great. It connects OUT to their central server, and you connect OUT to the central server. It makes the appropriate connections so that you can navigate the hell that is NAT, and everyone is happy. No port forwarding, no confusion.

      Give it a try, and you’ll see how much easier it is.

  2. It uses TightVNC, so it seems silly that the tech has to also be using Windows to help the newb. Actually, one of my cousins says "the trouble with Windows is that anyone who's any good with computers doesn't use it." We run screaming from it :D Does it go through the browser like LogMeIn or something? If it doesn't, you're still stuck with the usual "port forwarding? router? what? what's a port? like a boat?" questions. The fact that the computer illiterate person needs to know enough to be able to forward a port on their router to their computer is always an issue. If they could do that, I highly doubt there's anything on their computer with which they'd need my help.

    • Well, if you would check it out, you would see that it requires NO port forwarding or anything of the sort. That is what makes it great. It connects OUT to their central server, and you connect OUT to the central server. It makes the appropriate connections so that you can navigate the hell that is NAT, and everyone is happy. No port forwarding, no confusion.

      Give it a try, and you'll see how much easier it is.

  3. I’ve been recently trying this program out and it has worked wonderfully. I use logmein.com(free version) for logging on my own computer from far away or the next room.I’ve tried a couple of others and so far this is the simplest. I’ve noticed though you have to add a simple plug-in for Firefox otherwise it works fine.

    • Lika Robert, I use LogmeIn.com software, a truely wonderful application that works using the browser and port 80, so it will pass trough routers… I had some problems when it comes to proxies, but well, for free, we can’t have everything.

      like CrossLoop you need to have the program installed in the client side, and it’s a process that you have to give your username and password to all be fine (you can send the EXE, but to that computer be added to your “My Computers” you need to provide the user/pass as well, so I keep it with the browser (without sending the exe)…

      it installs the program and it’s very nice, quick and simple

      as free, you cant print locally or send files… but, it’s just to help others :-)

  4. I've been recently trying this program out and it has worked wonderfully. I use logmein.com(free version) for logging on my own computer from far away or the next room.I've tried a couple of others and so far this is the simplest. I've noticed though you have to add a simple plug-in for Firefox otherwise it works fine.

    • Lika Robert, I use LogmeIn.com software, a truely wonderful application that works using the browser and port 80, so it will pass trough routers… I had some problems when it comes to proxies, but well, for free, we can't have everything.

      like CrossLoop you need to have the program installed in the client side, and it's a process that you have to give your username and password to all be fine (you can send the EXE, but to that computer be added to your "My Computers" you need to provide the user/pass as well, so I keep it with the browser (without sending the exe)…

      it installs the program and it's very nice, quick and simple

      as free, you cant print locally or send files… but, it's just to help others :-)

  5. I use crossloop professionally and personally. I have added a run as script to allow using this app when NOT logged in as admin, create a bat with the following, replacing computername and adminusername with the information for the pc you want to "runas" crossloop on.

    Assumed is that you have already installed the app with the defaults selected…

    runas /user:computernameadminusername "C:Program FilesCrossLoopCrossLoopConnect.exe -ap=crossloop -port=5910 -udp =www.CrossLoop.com -webserver=server.CrossLoop.com -startup=server"

  6. I use crossloop professionally and personally. I have added a run as script to allow using this app when NOT logged in as admin, create a bat with the following, replacing computername and adminusername with the information for the pc you want to "runas" crossloop on.

    Assumed is that you have already installed the app with the defaults selected…

    runas /user:computernameadminusername "C:Program FilesCrossLoopCrossLoopConnect.exe -ap=crossloop -port=5910 -udp =www.CrossLoop.com -webserver=server.CrossLoop.com -startup=server"

  7. Mark – a HUGE Thanksgiving from this small team at CrossLoop for this nice review. We are small so bringing us to your readers means a lot to us.

    Please feel free to email me if you or your readers have any questions.
    We will be rolling some exciting stuff out soon so I recommend staying close to our blog (URL against my name)

    @ Mackenzie – there is ABSOLUTELY no port forwarding etc with CrossLoop
    @ Robert – Thank you!!
    @ ipsophatso – I have no idea what you are talking about :) but I am really glad that you use it for personal and professional use! I will probably need to have a tech person look at your comment.

  8. Mark – a HUGE Thanksgiving from this small team at CrossLoop for this nice review. We are small so bringing us to your readers means a lot to us.

    Please feel free to email me if you or your readers have any questions.

    We will be rolling some exciting stuff out soon so I recommend staying close to our blog (URL against my name)

    @ Mackenzie – there is ABSOLUTELY no port forwarding etc with CrossLoop

    @ Robert – Thank you!!

    @ ipsophatso – I have no idea what you are talking about :) but I am really glad that you use it for personal and professional use! I will probably need to have a tech person look at your comment.

  9. I dont know about Crossloop. Looks sweat and easy to use. I just get the feeling, that it doesn't seem to be all to "professional". I use Teamviewer instead. Provides even more features like presentation, multiple monitors, side switchting and so on. Best thing, its free for private use! Give it a try, you'll love it!

    http://www.teamviewer.com

  10. I dont know about Crossloop. Looks sweat and easy to use. I just get the feeling, that it doesn't seem to be all to "professional". I use Teamviewer instead. Provides even more features like presentation, multiple monitors, side switchting and so on. Best thing, its free for private use! Give it a try, you'll love it!

    http://www.teamviewer.com

  11. Logmein is great for accessing your own computer, whereas Crossloop is good for accessing mom & pop's computer (so they have more control over the connection). Also, it gives them that warm fuzzy feeling when they see the code.

    I did a review of Crossloop and Logmein on my blog, and they both have their niche.

    However, to echo Mackenzie, neither one supports Linux. If they did, my remote control suite would be complete!

  12. Logmein is great for accessing your own computer, whereas Crossloop is good for accessing mom & pop's computer (so they have more control over the connection). Also, it gives them that warm fuzzy feeling when they see the code.

    I did a review of Crossloop and Logmein on my blog, and they both have their niche.

    However, to echo Mackenzie, neither one supports Linux. If they did, my remote control suite would be complete!