IT management can be a single, big expense for medium- and small-businesses; it's an easy target to try to save money. Whether you have in-house IT help, you use offsite contractors, or even if you have a savvy employee who doubles as a help desk, just getting to an afflicted PC can be your biggest cost. Techinline Remote Desktop gives access through a browser and quick download so that even if you're manning a backyard barbeque on this holiday weekend with one hand, you can instantly help someone in the office with the other.
The initiating PC establishes a Techinline account, downloads and runs a small utility, and can then invite the remote PC to connect. The connection gets made without knowing or setting IP addresses or any other networking functions, and it encrypts everything through an SSL connection. Techinline works with all recent Windows operating systems--going back to Windows 98--and Internet Explorer or Firefox. (Look for other options if you need other operating systems.)
You'll likely benefit most by using the software to quickly troubleshoot remote PCs; even if a troubled system is in the same building as the IT staff, those quick trips to different desks and floors add into a full day of walking back and forth. And since Techinline shares screen information between PCs, you could also use it for one-to-one presentations with remote clients.
Techinline offers flexible pricing choices, especially for small businesses. You can pay an ongoing subscription fee of $30 each month--or cheaper for longer terms--and get unlimited use. Or if you'd only occasionally use the service, you can buy groups of sessions; these are 12-hour windows to make a single connection, costing $20 for 5 and getting cheaper if you buy in bulk.
Ultimately, Techinline and other remote access services save your travel costs. You can go anywhere and still reach back to work PCs if needed, without having to leave the barbeque.
Zack Stern is building a new business from San Francisco, where he frequently contributes to PC World.