In this review, you will read about the functions of Dameware and how you would use them. You will also read about alternative remote support packages and how Dameware compares.
Who would need Dameware?
Dameware gives a support team remote control access to of users’ computers. This enables the technician to access supported endpoints in order to investigate problems and fix them. The Dameware remote access system is protected by encryption, so it is safe to use across the internet.
The transmission security makes this an ideal package for a centralized Help Desk for a multi-site corporation. It also works well for managed service providers (MSP) who deliver outsourced Help Desk services to many clients. Software houses can use Dameware to provide support guarantees to their buyers.
The ability to serve any site means that this remote control system can even be useful to software producers that sell to the general public as well as corporate systems.
Any Help Desk technician who deals with home users knows that language barriers and general technical incomprehension can lengthen the time it takes to successfully resolve a support call. Being able to get into the problematic device, discover the causes of errors, and fix them saves a lot of time, effort, and money.
The Dameware system is offered in two packages. The cheaper option is called Dameware Mini Remote Control. This gives you all of the secure remote access functions that you need for troubleshooting and problem resolution. This package works well for Help Desk functions to support remote customers.
The higher package is called Dameware Remote Support. This includes all of the capabilities of Dameware Mini Remote Control and also has license control and user management features. These extra tools are needed by IT Departments to manage software provision and resource access. MSPs that run these services on behalf of corporate clients would also be better serviced by the higher Dameware package than the Mini Remote Control package.
Remote control capabilities
The remote access functions that you get with both Dameware packages offer access to machines both on the local area network and at remote locations. The software can communicate with target devices running the Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems. The technician can reboot remote computers and also use a Wake on LAN function to start up computers.
The Dameware software won’t give operators access to any computer in the world. The remote computer needs a piece of client software installed on it to facilitate communications. This client can’t be installed without permission, so the initial phase of any support contract requires a technician to install the client on each supported device. However, in businesses where permissions to all devices have already been granted in favor of a central support department, those access rights can be used to load the client software in bulk over the network.
If remote control is granted by an individual device owner, that customer will need to download and install the client program before the remote control session can begin.
The central remote control console includes a viewing window that gives you a live image of the Desktop of the remote device. You also get a VNC Viewer (for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux) and Intel AMT KVM support for direct reboots and to turn a computer on or off remotely.
Some connections can be slow, particularly if the remote device that you are controlling is in a country with a slow local internet service. In these cases, you can reduce the resolution of the transmitted screen view to speed up view refreshes.
Any experienced remote support technician knows that the supported user can complicate error resolution by intervening in the exploration or solving of problems. Dameware Mini Remote Control includes a button that the technician can press to disable the keyboard and mouse of the remote device during remote control operations.
Software installation management
Mini Remote Control includes an Installation Package Manager. This lets you create a standardized software installation bundle to send to remote devices in bulk for execution.
The package will emulate any preset properties and initialization settings to give you a standard installation. These MSI (Microsoft Installer) packages can be tailored according to device groups so you can create subsets of installation routines for different user roles or device types.
Communications between the central administrator and remote endpoints is covered by Transport Layer Security 1.2 (TLS). This is the same security system that protects HTTPS web transactions.
The Dameware console offers the option of enforcing two-factor authentication on the access procedures used to manage user rights on the managed system.
Extended package features
The full Dameware Remote Support package includes a license management feature. It enables you to keep track of which software is installed on which endpoint. You can also standardize device configurations, check on them remotely, and export them. Access rights are managed through Active Directory and you can get access to the AD objects for a remote site, alter them, and export them. The AD access also enables a central administrator to add and remove users and change passwords.
Remote access facilities in the utility give you access to the operating system and there are also system testing tools built in, which include Traceroute and Ping.
Help Desk software
The lack of a Help Desk utility for ticket management is a big gap in the Dameware package. It stands to reason that any user requiring support that would use remote control would contact the Help Desk first. So, the majority of the work that you will perform with Dameware will probably originate from a support request.
Dameware doesn’t include Help Desk software because it is designed to integrate with SolarWinds Web Help Desk. This Help Desk system is driven by a ticketing structure that enables team managers to schedule tasks to support technicians as requests arrive through a support portal.
The system also includes asset management tools with inventory discovery, logging, and monitoring features. You can buy a combo package that includes both Dameware Remote Support and Web Help Desk. This is called the Help Desk Essentials Pack and you can get it on a 14-day free trial.
Dameware system requirements
The resources needed for Dameware are not unusual. The probability is that you already have the hardware needed for this system. A useful point of flexibility for the tool is that it can be run on a computer with the Windows operating system. So, if your server runs Linux, you don’t have to set up another with Windows Server in order to run Dameware.
Dameware can be installed on computers running any of the following operating systems:
- Windows Vista
- Windows Server 2008 (including R2)
- Windows 7
- Windows Server 2012 (including R2)
- Windows 8
- Windows 8.1
- Windows 10
- Windows Server 2016
The computer running Dameware needs the following properties:
Hard drive space: 1 GB (2 GB or more recommended for database expansion)
CPU: Quad core, 2.0 GHz or greater
RAM: 4 GB (8-16 GB recommended)
The Remote Support environment allows you to open views on several devices simultaneously, even those of different operating systems.
Investigative tools help you spot connection problems.
Technicians can access the system and control remote devices through their smartphones or tablets.
Active Directory controls in the Dameware console enable you to manage user permissions.
License and user management functions are available with the higher Dameware plan.
The charge structure of Dameware is based on the number of technicians that access the system. Licenses are charged for on a per-seat basis with a different rate, depending on the number of support staff that will be using Dameware. All of these charging bands allow you to connect to an unlimited number of ends users.
You can get Dameware Remote Support or Dameware Mini Remote Control on a 14-day free trial.
The functions of Dameware support Help Desk teams and systems administrators that serve users distributed across multiple sites. The ability to access remote computers is also an advantage for MSPs and software support teams.
Dameware is not the only remote support package on the market, so in this section, we will look at a number of alternative packages.
Dameware vs N-Central
N-Central is a remote management and monitoring (RMM) tool that is recommended for managed service providers. It would also be a good solution for in-house IT departments.
The software for N-Central is much more complicated than Dameware. It requires two servers in order to be installed onsite, which makes the management of this service a lot more complicated than Dameware. You need a bare server with no operating system for the core N-Central software and then a machine running Windows Server for connection monitoring functions.
N-Central is more than just an RMM because it includes a number of sophisticated network monitoring tools as well. If you just want to connect to a remote computer and control it, then all of the features of N-Central might be unnecessary.
Patch management and endpoint configuration standardization are equally possible with both Dameware and N-Central.
One big advantage that N-Central has over Dameware is that it can exchange data with other packages that your Help Desk uses, such as Autotask, Connectwise, and Tigerpaw.
You can evaluate N-Central 12.0 on a 30-day free trial.
Dameware vs SolarWinds RMM
SolarWinds RMM is part of a suite of tools tailored towards managed service providers. If you run an MSP and need to track teamwork for billing, then the ability to expand SolarWinds RMM by including all of the other SolarWinds MSP modules gives this RMM solution a distinct advantage over Dameware.
There are a number of similarities between SolarWinds RMM and Dameware Remote Support. Both enable you to update software on remote nodes manually through remote access or automatically through bulk or targeted automated distribution processes. SolarWinds RMM includes facilities for remote management of endpoints in bulk, which Dameware doesn’t include. You can get SolarWinds RMM and all of the other SolarWinds MSP modules install on Windows Server and you can get them on a 30-day free trial.
Dameware vs Comodo One
Comodo One is a product of a well-known IT security firm. This is a free tool, however it is a loss-leader to the company’s system and connection security services. Although you will need the security protection for your connections to remote devices, that service is a charged-for extra.
The Comodo One module that rivals Dameware is called Comodo Remote Monitoring and Management (CRMM). This gives you endpoint access, and remote desktop sharing, which competes exactly with Dameware. CRMM also includes a professional services automation (PSA) that gives you ticketing, task allocation, and policy enforcement, and logging. Although Dameware includes activity logging and policy enforcement, it doesn’t have ticketing or team management functions.
Comodo One includes free network monitoring functions that Dameware doesn’t provide; other paid extras with Comodo One include DDoS protection and DNS services. Patch management is a paid extra with Comodo One and you also have the option of adding in Cloud storage for backups.
Just like Dameware, Comodo One can monitor devices that operate Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. You don’t need to install any central software to use Comodo One because it is a Cloud-based service. However, as with Dameware, managed endpoints need an agent installed on them before they can be accessed remotely.
Dameware vs OpenRSM
OpenRSM is a free package that is available from a Sourceforge code repository. Getting a free RMM is a great option. However, be aware that its interface is not a sophisticated as that of Dameware, and you won’t get any support if you have problems installing or running this package, which you do get with Dameware. The OpenRSM system is an RMM solution that can be extended by free plug-ins. Those extra modules add on the ability to monitor IoT and wireless devices.
As with Dameware, you need to install a client program on any remote device before you can get access.
OpenRSM has the ability to manage virtualizations and it has extra network monitoring features that exceed the capabilities of the basic Ping and Traceroute tools built into Dameware. The asset management feature of OpenRSM match the license, configuration, and access rights management functions of Dameware.
If you want to create a custom RMM environment for your site, the OpenRSM will appeal to you more than Dameware. You get access to all of the code for OpenRSM, which means that you can get a team of programmers to rewrite it. The code is written to run on Windows and Linux.
Dameware vs Teamviewer Remote Management
Teamviewer has a range of products that facilitate remote connections. For example, the company produces a free tool for home-based users to access their office computer’s Desktop. This remote access software is also available with the company’s Remote Management package.
This system is particularly aimed at companies that employ mostly telecommuters. However, it could equally be used by independently-contracted support technicians and also by software companies to access the computer of customers experiencing problems.
Teamviewer is much cheaper than Dameware, but it probably wouldn’t suit a large company that has a large number of endpoints to manage. The Teamviewer service is a Cloud-based platform.
Both the controlling computer and the remote computer need software installed on them. This software can be installed on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, and Android. As most of the processing is performed on the Teamviewer server, the on-premises software for this service has a much smaller footprint than Dameware.
Dameware vs AnyDesk
AnyDesk is a straightforward remote control system. The technician software installs on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Unix, Android, iOS, and Raspberry Pi.
The remote desktop viewer enables you to connect to several user endpoints simultaneously. A menu slider at the bottom of the screen enables you to switch between users. As with all other remote control systems, including Dameware, the target device needs to have an agent program installed on it before the technician can access it remotely.
As with Dameware, AnyDesk protects remote connection with TLS 1.2. AnyDesk is a much simpler package than Dameware Mini Remote Control and it doesn’t have any of the end- user license management features of Dameware Remote Support.
This tool would be great for smaller companies supporting remote workers or software house that need to fix home users’ installation problems.
Dameware vs BeyondTrust
Although it includes a remote access module, the main thrust of the BeyondTrust system is to secure widely-spread networks. The system includes vulnerability management and threat detection. The Remote Support module competes directly with Dameware.
The software for this system can be bought separately from the wider BeyondTrust system. It is actually more expensive than Dameware Remote Support, so you really need to assess this system well before deciding to pay that higher price.
You can get this system on-premises or as a Cloud-based service. On premises, the service runs on its own appliance or you can run it on top of a virtualization set up by vSphere and Hyper-V, or you can install it on your own Cloud servers running Azure, or AWS.
If you opt for your own on-premises installation, you can set the system up as an internet-connected server, making the control console available to your technicians through any device or browser. Supported endpoints for BeyondTrust include Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. It can also remotely control Android and iOS devices and a number of different IoT gadgets including cameras.
The camera control function provides a number of interesting possibilities that go beyond remote support. It would enable you to access the cameras of mobile devices of field operatives to conference your own live video channel. This would enable a team of consultants spread over global locations to view an event, site, or lecture.
Dameware’s market niche
Dameware fits well in the middle of the RMM market. That is, this is a good choice for mid-size to large companies operating support across multiple sites. The combination with Web Help Desk completes the picture and enables Dameware to provide a complete technical support management system.
MSPs could use Dameware, but probably the SolarWinds RMM system, which is integrated into SolarWinds MSP would be the best option for very large MSPs. N-Central also would attract MSPs and probably has a slight edge in this market over Dameware.
Sole operators working as independent support consultants would probably be better off using the lower budget Teamviewer or AnyDesk. The free option of OpenRMS might tempt independent operators. However, its unsupported enthusiast-developed code would be better as an option for a large corporation looking for base software to customize.
Dameware Mini Remote Control will provide you will all of the utilities needed to connect to buyers of software packages that are experiencing installation or performance problems. The top Dameware Remote Support package would be a better option for companies that need a facility to support their own users.
Dameware is definitely an RMM package that we would recommend and its no-cost 14-day trial offer is well worth checking out.