Product Reviews

Control Thyself

Remote control with ease with CrossTec's NetOp 7.01

I'm always intrigued to see someone remote control another machine. No matter how much you understand about the bits and bytes behind the scenes, there still seems to be a bit of black magic and hocus-pocus when someone from another city or state can move your mouse. How would you like to perform some of this magic yourself?

NetOp's Remote Control 7.01 offers an amazing set of features for a competitive price. The core components of the NetOp product are the Guest and Host modules, which will allow you to perform a multitude of tasks. Along with polished remote control performance, you can accomplish file transfer, text and audio chat, remote keystrokes and remote restarts. The remote control feature is tightly integrated with several security options, along with such communication protocols as TCP/IP, NetBIOS, IPX and Infrared.

To start testing NetOp Remote Control, I used three different systems: a Windows 2000 Server, a Windows XP Professional Workstation, and a Windows 98 SE box. I tested all systems with the standard Guest and Host modules. The installation routine consists of a GUI-driven interface, but I was also offered the Windows Installer option. Each of my tests went fairly smooth. I did experience one minor glitch. My rock-solid Windows XP Pro machine experienced its first "Blue Screen" as a result of performing some Remote Control tests. I couldn't duplicate this event on further tests, so it may have been an isolated incident.

After I set up the Guest and Host modules on my test machines, I launched the NetOp Guest Interface. To connect to a remote Host, I simply filled in either a NetBIOS name or IP address or clicked on the Browse button to populate a Browse list. After "calling" the Remote Host and waiting a few seconds, I was presented with a second window displaying the contents of the Remote Host. On the top, left-hand side of the window are several icons that allow you to quickly access the features for remote control properties, file transfer, and so on. The bottom right-hand side of the display includes a running session time and status of the remote keyboard and remote mouse.

Two of my favorite features include file transfer and the remote Clipboard. If you've ever used a product that sends files from one PC to another, you'll enjoy the flawless file-transfer capabilities. Another feature I always dream of having in my home lab is the ability to retrieve the contents of a clipboard from some other machine. You can choose either to send or receive the contents of the Clipboard with the click of an icon.

There are plenty of other advanced features with NetOp Remote Control, but I simply can't leave out one of my favorite items: the NetOp manual. Simply stated, "Wow." It's a beefy, 500-page manual that's well documented and thought out. In this day of the ever-shrinking manual, it was a bit surprising to see a reference like this. Believe it or not, NetOp products come with toll-free, pre- and post-sales support in North America. Sounds too good to be true, huh?

NetOp
The NetOp Console provides you an easy launch pad for Remote Control and other features.

In general, I thought the product had as many features as I could possibly imagine wanting in an enterprise-level remote control software. The performance of the product appeared to be extremely efficient. NetOp would be a great choice in deploying remote control software in your IT infrastructure.

About the Author

Michael Feuda, MCSE, NNCDS, is an independent writer. He has worked with Microsoft products since the days of LAN Manager.

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