Remote Access Options for System Access

Note: this section does not apply to those using free System Access to Go accounts.

System Access has two remote access options: Remote Control, and Remote Training and Support. Remote Control allows you to control your home computer from another location. Remote Training and Support allows you, with permission, to access another person's computer, to either train the person, or fix the person's computer remotely. Please note that if you wish to use this feature, you must be subscribed to the System Access Mobile Network, (SAMNet.). However, the person you're connecting to need not be subscribed to this service, though they do need to be licensed for at least one Serotek product or service.

Both computers must have Internet access, and serotek software must be installed, but not necessarily running on both machines. Both computers must be running supported versions of Microsoft Windows. This includes XP, Vista, Windows 7, Server 2003 and Server 2008. Voice Over Internet Protocol technology, also known as VOIP, allows you to talk to the person while you are connected. Whether you want to simply tell them what you are doing to their machine, talk them through resolving their own issues, or to train them on changing settings or learning to use software, the options are unequaled by any other remote access technology.

Using System Access Remotely Away From Home

When running System Access from a USB drive, or secondary machine, you can have complete control of your home computer and run any applications you want remotely. You do not have to be running System Access on the home computer; you can even run a compatible third-party screen reader if you prefer.

The default setting for enabling remote control is "off." You must turn it on to enable remote access. From your home computer, go to the System Access Mobile Network Preferences section, select: "Manage My HomeServer", and follow the "Remote Control Preferences" link, allowing you to enable remote control,+other related preferences. If you are running a firewall or router, you do not need to open any ports to access your home computer over the Internet. However, if you're running a firewall on your home computer and wish to access it from another computer on the same local area network, you will need to open port 4663 in your home computer's firewall.

The System Access HomeServer is designed with security in mind, so there is no need to worry about someone breaking into your home computer through this feature. All communication between remote machines and the home computer is strongly encrypted using Secure Socket Layer, (SSL), the same technology used by leading online stores and banks, ensuring your activities stay private.

To access your home computer remotely, open the System Access Menu, with Modifier+F, and choose Remote Control Another Computer. If you have not connected to SAMNet during this session, you will need to log in when prompted. Simply enter your account number and your pin in the usual way. Next, you will be asked which of your machines you want to remotely access; in this case, choose Primary Machine. If you have a secondary machine which is currently online, you can also choose Secondary Machine to control it remotely.

Next, you are presented with options for this remote session, such as whether visual output is enabled. If you don't need visual output, you can check the Disable Visual Output for This Session checkbox to turn it off and save some bandwidth. After setting these options, activate the Start Session button, and after a short delay, you will be connected to your home computer.

At this point, you can use your home computer as if you were sitting in front of it. One special hotkey is active at this time: Shift+Modifier+Escape opens the System Access Remote Control menu. You can close the remote session, toggle visual output, or minimize the remote session, allowing you to use your local computer without disconnecting.

Remote Training and Support

Remote Training and Support allows you to connect to someone's computer to perform repairs or to train them. Likewise, you can allow someone you trust to work on your computer or teach you how to better use your machine. With this power comes responsibility. Never allow anyone you do not fully trust to access your computer. Just because someone wants to do this, it does not mean they possess the proper knowledge of your problem or the good intentions to do what you ask. Treat your computer like you would the doors of your home.

With that said, No one can access your computer without your consent. You must always accept their request by pressing Control+Shift+Y." Even when you do give your permission, you can end the Remote Training and Support session at any time. You always maintain control over your computer. You can watch what is being done, and the remote party can watch what you are doing as long as he or she is connected.

You and a partner can trade places and flip the session back and forth. For example, if a trainer has connected to your computer to teach you a common Windows application, then wants to show you an application that isn't available on your computer, the trainer can flip the session and connect you to his or her computer. When finished letting you see their software, the trainer can flip the session again and get back on your computer. Note: only the trainer, or person requesting access, can flip the session to give you control of their computer.

Using Remote Training and Support

To begin a Remote Training and Support session, open the System Access menu by pressing Modifier+F and choose Remote Control Another Computer. If you have not connected to SAMNet, you will first be asked to log in. Enter your account number and pin. Next, you will be asked which machine you want to remotely access; in this case, choose "Another User's Computer."

You will then be prompted for the username or account number of the remote user; enter whichever credentials they supply. Disable visual output if you do not need to see their screen to save bandwidth. To enable voice conversations if both of you have microphones connected, just check the Start a Voice Conversation checkbox. Then in the Voice Conversation Audio Quality drop-down box, select the option that most closely matches your Internet speed. Then press the Request Remote Control button.

If the remote user doesn't respond, you can cancel the request by pressing the Cancel button. If the remote user accepts your request, System Access will notify you, and within a few seconds, you'll be connected to the remote computer. Once connected, System Access will say "Remote Session." If you receive a Remote Training and Support request, press Control+Shift+Y to accept it or Control+Shift+N to reject it.

If you accept the request, you will be notified when the remote user is connected to your computer. You will also be notified when the remote user has disconnected. At any time during the session, you can press "Modifier+Shift+Escape" for options. If you are the person remotely accessing a computer, you can toggle visual output, minimize the session (to temporarily return to your local computer without ending the session), or close the session. If your computer is being remotely accessed, you can force the remote user to disconnect. If you initiated the Remote Training and Support session, the menu that appears will include the option to flip the session, allowing you to reverse roles. Remember, only the person who initiated the session can flip it, but either person can end the session.

Differences Between the Two Forms of Remote Access

Though these two forms of remote access have much in common, they also differ in a few important ways. First, when using Remote Training and Support, the person sitting at the computer to which you want to connect must allow the connection. This is not needed when using Remote Control to access one of your own computers.

Second, when using Remote Control to access your own computer, speech output from System Access and SAMNet is disabled on the remote computer for the duration of the remote session. This is because you're accessing your own computer, so there's no one sitting at the computer who needs to hear what's happening. However, when using Remote Training and Support, speech output is enabled at both ends, since people at both ends need to hear what's happening.

When using Remote Training and Support, the person remotely accessing a computer doesn't hear arbitrary audio from the system or from applications running on that computer. Therefore, you can not hear audio from media players, web browsers, or audio recorders, though some Windows sounds will be played. Finally, when using Remote Control to access your own computer, you can't flip the session as you can with Remote Training and Support, since there's no one at your computer to control it.

User Comments

J: remote access

I use this product all the time. I support friends, help family and have delivered training to my father and others. I have also used Serotek's RIM product which is fantastic too. Serotek should be commended for offering this feature for free to SAM net subscribers.

Posted on December 10, 2011

Last modified December 10, 2014

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