By Nerino Petro at 3 March, 2009, 4:43 pm
How do you give or receive computer help when you or someone else needs need it? It seems the folks at CrossLoop think that they have your solution. According to the Company:
CrossLoop is redefining the tech support category for consumers and small businesses by providing immediate, low-cost access to qualified help anytime and anywhere. Through its easy-to-use desktop sharing software and Help Marketplace, CrossLoop connects computer users with trusted, qualified service providers and tech-savvy friends who can provide the support they need immediately. Consumers and small businesses lose productivity due to lack of accessible, knowledgeable tech support resources. CrossLoop makes finding and working with tech support professionals fast, friendly and affordable. Available in 21 languages and used by individuals and businesses in over 190 countries, CrossLoop serves over 1 million unique users and has enabled more than 65 million “help minutes” to provide technical support, training and collaboration around the globe. CrossLoop is backed by El Dorado Ventures (www.eldorado.com) and Venrock (www.venrock.com).
So what’s so novel about this approach? Traditionally, getting or giving remote technical support involved using the telephone, but this is often difficult as it is often hard to walk someone through a fix without actually seeing their screen. With wider adoption of broadband internet, technical support providers and even sophisticated law firms can use paid services such as GoToAssist or LogMeIn Rescue, but these are pretty pricey for most folks. If you have a GoToMyPC or LogMeIn account, you can give others access, but then you are giving others access to at least the first level of your account and need to create one time passwords for use. For the DIYers with good technical knowledge and skills, you can use free products such as UltraVNC or TightVNC to setup remote access for troubleshooting and support but these products can be challenging to install and configure especially behind firewalls and proxy servers. This is where a pre-packaged solution such as CrossLoop can be of assistance and has created a solution for this problem that works for both individuals and tech support folks.
The CrossLoop solution consists of two parts: a free desktop sharing software that users install on their computers and a service that “…connects computer users with trusted, qualified service providers and friends who can provide the support they need quickly and conveniently.” What is unique is that the CrossLoop desktop sharing software is free for both personal and commercial use and can be used not just for connecting with technical support personnel, but can also be used between individuals.
Another unique feature of this software is that the end user (i.e. the person getting the help) is the one who controls access to their desktop: the support person is provided with a randomly generated 12 digit access code by the end user. A new access code is generated each time the software is run. CrossLoop users can also transfer files during a CrossLoop session as well as switching control thereby changing the role of the two computers.
You can receive assistance from people who have registered as a “Helper” with CrossLoop and see their profiles and reviews before selecting them to assist you. CrossLoop handles the payment via credit card or PayPal and provides a 48-Hour Money Back Guarantee. To take advantage of CrossLoop or other remote service solutions you will need a reliable broadband internet connection and it will not work from behind certain types of proxy connections and you may be asked by your firewall to allow a connection to CrossLoop which you must do to use it. Full details can be found in the CrossLoop