Danware NetOp On Demand review
Hosted remote access is a flourishing market, but some organisations are unhappy with a third party handling these services for them. Danware’s NetOp On Demand (NOD) takes the middle ground by delivering the mechanisms for companies to offer support services, but without any interaction from a service provider.
The product comprises Guest and Host modules, with the former a customised version of Danware’s standard NetOp Guest utility. The Host is a small program that must be downloaded and run on the user’s system to allow them to initiate a support link, with a technician running the Guest. All the standard security measures apply, as the utility isn’t installed permanently on the user’s system. Instead, it only runs in memory and, once it’s been closed, it will remove all traces of itself from the system. Companies that want to provide support to multiple users will have each technician running the Guest module, but in this scenario a Gateway component is also required to allow incoming calls to be routed to different Guests.
The support process is simple, although, unlike NetSupport 24-7, it will have to start with a phone call. The Host component is placed on the company’s website, where users can download and run it. It then asks for a service ticket number, which is generated by the Guest and must be provided by the technician over the phone. The user enters this along with their name and a brief description of the problem, after which their request then appears in the Guest’s Help Request folder. Double-click on this and a new window will appear on the Host system asking the user to accept the incoming connection. This is an important feature, as companies that are looking to provide remote support to third parties must allow the customer to have full control over the process. The users can also terminate the connection at any time by pressing F11 – with NetSupport 24-7 they just unload the client utility.
Once permitted, the Guest can remotely control the Host, run file transfers in either direction and open a text-based chat session. However, the features on offer to the Guest are far more basic than those provided by NetSupport 24-7. There are no facilities to quickly run a program remotely or execute a task. You can’t access the inventory tools, and the Remote Management feature provided in the standard NetOp Remote Control software isn’t available either. In fact, the majority of tools included with the Guest are largely academic, as these are provided for the standard NetOp Remote Control package, which must be purchased separately.
As part of the package, you get a configuration tool that allows you to customise the Host. First, you’ll need to provide the IP address of your Gateway, as the Host will search for this when a user runs it. You can also decide which services the Guest is allowed to activate on the Host, select encryption levels and change the appearance of the Host interface.
Companies that want complete control over the support process should consider NetOp On Demand. However, it’s limited in terms of features and its price does look a tad steep when compared to NetSupport 24-7 and other similar hosted remote services.