Famatech Radmin 3.1 review
There are concerns about security with any remote-control software. Radmin addresses these issues in a number of ways: authentication, encryption and user control. User authentication can make use of Windows Active Directory accounts or Radmin’s own built-in system. This provides user accounts with individual passwords and permissions, while authentication itself is based on a Diffie-Helmann key-exchange algorithm using 2,048-bit keys for additional security. User login names and passwords are stored on the server systems and not with the viewer software. The software can still use Windows’ user authentication services, avoiding the need to maintain separate sets of user accounts, and Kerberos support is available, too. Since user accounts are maintained on the individual servers, it’s possible to mix authentication methods on the network.
All Radmin transmissions are encrypted using 256-bit AES encryption in both directions, and the default port numbers can be changed as required. The server software can run as a Windows service, starting when Windows boots up, or run as a separate program that can be started when needed. Further security options include the ability to disable features such as Telnet or file transfer, and to prevent a remote viewer from initiating a server shutdown. The server software can restrict access to machines within specified IP address ranges.
One new feature of this release is its enhanced communication options. In particular, the chat facility offers multi-user support for both public and private channels, whether in text or audio mode.
The Viewer component offers full control and view modes, a phonebook to store details of known server connections, and a network scanner to look for active Radmin servers on the network. It can connect to a remote system over the internet, or through a dial-up connection using Windows Dial-up Networking and Remote Access Services software, and can even use a direct cable connection between two systems.
Once a session is established, further features such as chat or so-called Telnet sessions can be established using the existing security settings, obviating the need to enter login data each time. The “Telnet” sessions aren’t real Telnet sessions, but give access to the server system’s command line via the server software’s encrypted connection. They will, therefore, be available even when the Windows Telnet service has been disabled, and will also be more secure.
Transfer rates are respectable, copying a 332MB file in 5mins 53secs over a 10/100 ethernet connection. While this is slower than a normal Windows network copy, all file-transfer operations are encrypted.
The standard software licence includes access to the forum website and technical support via email. For those needing more comprehensive support, Famatech offers a Standard Support Package for a yearly fee of £116.
Radmin 3.1 builds on the successful client-server architecture used in previous releases and is compatible with 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista. The software will operate alongside earlier releases, but some new features won’t be available. However, this backwards compatibility should help with migration issues.
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