Remote Assistance

From MissionTechWiki

Remote Desktop Access

  • As of August 6, 2004 Missions have free access to formerly called NetworkStreaming. This tool allows a home-office IT guy to see the screen of the remote missionary's laptop and fix problems that might have occurred (remove viruses, install new programs, etc). Has security built in, but is Windows only.
  • VNC is another tool which allows remote desktop access. Is it open source, and popular versions are
    • TightVNC integrates with ssh.
    • RealVNC.
    • UltraVNC is windows only version with some extra integration features and an encryption plugin.

Depending on the version and its capabilities, you may also need to added an encrypted tunnel (eg ssh) to ensure privacy etc.

  • Windows Remote Desktop is another name for the Microsoft Terminal Services product. It uses a protocol called RDP. This allows you to have a window on your PC which is a session on a remote PC. All that travels through the network or internet is the contents of the windows on the screen. All the processing is done on the remote computer. The Microsoft website has more details. In brief, clients are available for all Windows and some Unix/Linux operating systems. If you have one of these you can connect to a computer which has the server software. Windows XP Professional has such software built in. As well as remote assistance this allows people with less powerful computers to use the power of another server. It allows those working remotely, even with a dial-up connection, to use the software on the server they are connecting to.

Communication tools

  • Teamspeak is a tool that allows voice communication with the missionary while helping them troubleshoot their computer with
  • Skype is a free tool that allows voice communication over the Internet. It is easier to use than teamspeak, but not as light-weight. But it is a great tool none-the-less. It also runs on various platforms and is somewhat secure.

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A great way to service missionaries on the field is through the Sideros missionary conference trips. Sideros tries to raise computer IT folks to go where there are missionary conferences. They bring all their tools to fix computers, so while the missionaries are at the conference, the team can fix the computers.

For individual cases, has a web forum and email-based support. They have volunteers willing to help out missionaries. These volunteers have access to networkstreaming and so if the missionary on the field has broadband, they can often connect up to the laptop to walk the missionary through fixing the issue.


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from the MissionTech Wiki created by the International Conference on Computers and Missions

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