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View Full Version : Remotely assist a relative (macmini to imac, both on Lion)




JayWill2000
Dec 7, 2011, 03:55 PM
My father in law regularly requires computer assistance. He recently just purchased an iMac (his first). I have a macmini 2011, what is the best way to remotely assist him when he has mac problems? I would like to use software that comes "out of the box" with OSX Lion.

I am new to mac also, so any guides out there to assist me? I've heard of Screen Sharing and Remote Desktop but don't know which is better for this or how to set them up.

Thanks



GGJstudios
Dec 7, 2011, 03:56 PM
I use TeamViewer (www.teamviewer.com) for remote assistance, which works with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Ubuntu, iPhone, iPad, etc. It's very secure and quite simple to set up and use.... and it's free for personal use.

squeakr
Dec 7, 2011, 08:39 PM
Screen sharing is native within Lion and works like a charm, especially with Lion allowing one to share the display or create a virtual display. It might be a little involved to set up from a distance, but once done it works great. There is also the iChat remote assistance feature. Remote Desktop is not a built in software to Lion (one of the requests you made).

JayWill2000
Dec 7, 2011, 10:23 PM
Any guides on how to setup screen sharing in lion???

I tried it myself with no luck. From reading on the web you can screen share with someone by using their apple id, I'd like to do that. Here's what I did so far that didn't work.

1. Had my relative create me as a user on his mac.
2. Had him set my apple id to the newly created user.
3. Open system pref >> sharing.
4. Turned on sharing and he added me to the allow access list.
5. Opened screen share application on my mac mini but I don't know what should go into the HOST field?? I tried his apple ID no luck.

Suggestions???

squeakr
Dec 8, 2011, 08:13 AM
This part is the tricky part that I referred to. You would need to get his ip information for his router/modem. I have used dyndns in the past (still use it somewhat, as it is free) on the system to set up a known dns name association that will be updated to maintain the correct ip address of the remote machine as it changes. Then you set the remote router to forward the screen sharing ports to the correct machine. When you then want to connect to the machine you would type in the dns name and connect. Like I said it is involved and may be hard to do remotely if the person doesn't really know networking. Things can be easier with a static IP, but they are not necessary.

There are other ways, but they are not native, such as GoToMyPC.

tkermit
Dec 8, 2011, 09:00 AM
There is also the iChat remote assistance feature.

iChat screen sharing (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=iChat/4.0/en/11883.html) is almost certainly the easiest to set up (in fact, there really isn't anything to set up beyond entering your account information in iChat) and also dead simple to use. It's how I assist my parents with any issues that come up.

http://f.cl.ly/items/0t1s0D1e2A3L3U3A2H1J/ichat1.jpg
http://f.cl.ly/items/0Z093G2C2i2r1P37443g/ichat2.jpg

GGJstudios
Dec 8, 2011, 09:12 AM
Any guides on how to setup screen sharing in lion???
I tried it myself with no luck.
Suggestions???
This is why I recommended TeamViewer. In a fraction of the time spent trying to set up another method, you would already be connected with TeamViewer and able to provide assistance to your father-in-law. Even if he's not very computer literate, talking him through the setup is so easy, it would be done in a minute or two, and doesn't require anyone to have a .Mac, AIM, Jabber, or Google Talk account. I've done this with more non-computer-literate users than I can count.

tkermit
Dec 8, 2011, 09:14 AM
In a fraction of the time spent trying to set up another method

Less time than it takes to enter your account information in iChat? :confused:

GGJstudios
Dec 8, 2011, 09:17 AM
Less time than it takes to enter your account information in iChat? :confused:
iChat requires that you have a .Mac, AIM, Jabber, or Google Talk account. In most cases I've encountered, they don't, which means added time to set up such an account before iChat will work. I don't have any of those accounts since I let my .Mac account expire, and haven't found the need to use any of them. I would naturally prefer using iChat as it's more in line with the "Mac experience", but it's not worth making sure everyone has one of those accounts. Plus, I can provide support on Windows systems using the same tool.

tkermit
Dec 8, 2011, 09:22 AM
iChat requires that you have a .Mac, AIM, Jabber, or Google Talk account. In most cases I've encountered, they don't, which means added time to set up such an account before iChat will work.

And with Teamviewer there's no need to set up an account? In any case, you definitely need to download and install the application first?


I can provide support on Windows systems using the same tool.

That's a good point of course (although it doesn't seem to be relevant here).

GGJstudios
Dec 8, 2011, 09:25 AM
And with Teamviewer there's no need to set up an account? In any case, you definitely need to download and install the application first?
Right, there's no account involved and no need to give any personal information, as you would to set up one of those accounts. The app is very small and downloads in seconds, with a decent internet connection. The setup is just a few mouse clicks and you're done. Then I can connect and make the advanced TeamViewer configuration for them.

tkermit
Dec 8, 2011, 09:29 AM
Not too shabby. :)

Bob Coxner
Dec 8, 2011, 11:28 AM
One more vote for TeamViewer. As the designated IT guy for my friends and family I find it invaluable.

squeakr
Dec 8, 2011, 12:42 PM
I have used Teamviewer a few times, but mainly stick to gotomeeting ( I have an account and just as simple as team viewer). When I set up my own stuff, I like either RDP (for Windows management and there is a Mac version) or Screen Sharing (as most of my stuff is Mac and I set it up so no bassles of dealing with others to talk them through it). The problem is when someone wants it native, there aren't many choices. I added the bit about iChat, but I have never used it as I too do not a prerequisite account it calls for.