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One of the major challenges of enterprise IT support in a remote environment is troubleshooting when you need to help someone with something software related. There are several ways to support Remote Desktop on macOS, so let's take a look at the options available.
About Apple @ Work: Bradley Chambers has managed a corporate IT network since 2009. With his experience in deploying and managing firewalls, switches, mobile device management system, professional Wi-Fi, hundreds of Macs and hundreds of iPads, Bradley will highlight the ways in which Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices, create networks to support them, train users, stories from the trenches of the IT management and ways in which Apple could improve its products for IT services.
Low budget option: FaceTime
For small businesses with no budget for a dedicated solution, using FaceTime will work for minor requests. I had someone FaceTime use me on another device and point it at the screen in a pinch. When concerned about an error message, it was helpful to guide someone through how to resolve it.
The good thing about FaceTime is that it's free and doesn't require any additional setup.
Easy to install: Splashtop SOS
My favorite tool right now is Splashtop SOS. I pay $ 199 / year and then I can do remote support on any machine without needing to preinstall anything. When I use SOS, I can email people to download a small app that will generate a code that I can enter on my end to start the session remotely. On macOS, you'll need to ask the person to grant Splashtop permission to record screen, get accessibility features, and other miscellaneous macOS permissions before you can take control, but the app does a great job of guiding users through the process.
I have used this service for years and it is by far my favorite way to do remote support on macOS. I love that there is nothing to install up front and that I can use it to connect to Macs, PCs, Android or iOS devices.
Integrated into your MDM
Addigy is a popular Apple mobile device management solution, and they added built-in remote desktop support to their solution in 2020.
LiveDesktop provides an unmatched experience for remotely controlling macOS devices. Unlike third-party tools that install a separate app to control the device, LiveDesktop uses the remote management framework built into macOS. Then, LiveDesktop securely channels traffic for that service to a single URL that you can access from Addigy.
LiveDesktop requires no additional software installation, no additional local user creation, and no privacy preferences to connect to macOS devices.
By using Addigy's MDM solution, you will enjoy integrated remote access to all Macs in your fleet without an additional subscription to a third-party solution. If your organization wants to permanently move to work from home, you need to consider robust remote access to your fleet of devices.
LiveDesktop uses the remote management setup built into macOS, so you won't have to worry about future versions of macOS breaking functionality. Suppose a user is already logged on to a machine. In this case, they will receive the built-in screen sharing alerts from macOS, informing that someone is trying to control their computer remotely and approve or deny. I expect other MDM manufacturers to add this feature over time.
Conclusion on remote desktop support for macOS
These are not the only solutions. Companies like LogMeIn and GoToMyPC offer many options for individuals and businesses. Depending on how many people you support and how often you use, you'll likely end up going with an inexpensive / easy-to-use solution or a more managed solution. I have been using Splashtop SOS for a while, but know of several great solutions. If you are performing remote IT support for macOS, which solution do you use? Let me know in the comments below!
Photo by Vadim Sherbakov on Unsplash
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