I'm sure this topic has been discussed before, but I couldn't readily find a topic on these boards. Even if it has been discussed, it wouldn't be so bad to bring it up again, would it?
My small-time business has been growing recently (thanks in large part to running a Google AdWords campaign). I have only been in business for almost two years and my annual profits are still only 4-figures so far. But, things have been improving and I have been trying to reinvest into my business like crazy. I purchased the full version of d7+dCloud a couple of months ago and I am trying to look to the future a bit and wanting to try and establish some recurring monthly income by promoting remote support.
I have been using a modified logmein.msi (kudos to Lalo from Podnutz and his video tutorial showing how to do that) to create a "remote.exe" that would install the LogMeIn Free software on clients' systems. I could continue to do this, but the free version limits me to only having 10 systems available to remote into at any given point. Such a low cap really limits my earning potential if I want to push my remote service subscriptions. I could upgrade to LogMeIn Central ($49/mo or $299/yr for up to 100 "Free" systems) or even LogMeIn Central plus LogMeIn Pro licenses (additional $70/system/yr), but I'm not really thrilled with how the initial installation works (more on that later).
My question to you all is what are the best options out there right now?
My current method is limited as I can't seem to host the remote.exe file on my website for some reason. Even if I could, the auto-block or security warnings that people would usually get when trying to download it makes it difficult to get someone to download and install it without me talking them through it. I also can't email it as the file is around 15MB. That means I would typically need to install it for them on-site (I'm a mobile tech) or while I have it on my bench. That's not TOO terrible, but it limits my potential subscriber base to my existing clients.
Ideally, I'm looking for a remote software that even the most computer-illiterate client could install without much instruction from me. Something that would let me just send them a link or a very small file would be good, or something I could even install remotely without their intervention would be best (though I doubt something like this exists). I would certainly be using d7 as my primary tool, so I would need to be able to run that quickly and easily as well.
Cost is also another primary concern. As I am still a very small shop with zero remote subscribers at the moment, I can't afford to spend $100/mo on remote software on top of my dCloud subscription. It might take me several months to have enough remote subscribers to cover that expense. Something that can grow with my business without being prohibitively expensive early or later on is key.
Other features that I would like to see would be things like custom branding and file transfer. I would like to be able to make drive images to my NAS, VM or external HDD before I start working in case something goes awry. Perhaps I could even offer a hosted backup option at some point. Or would that be a separate software altogether?
What remote software and d7 combination are you using to service your clients remotely? What are the pros and cons of it?