Using Host vs. Using Agent

On the remote side of a connection you can use either Host or Agent. Their features mostly overlap and in many cases you can use either. In some scenarios, however, using Host may be more appropriate than using Agent, and vice versa.

Using Host

The Host is a persistent remote module. It runs as a system service and starts automatically with Windows. This lets you establish a remote connection with an unattended remote computer which is the main reason behind using the Host, although the Host is also suitable for attended remote support. If you need to access “headless” machines (i.e. those without a monitor plugged in) then using the Host is the only option.

You can tell if the Host is running by looking at the system tray area of the Windows task bar. If the Host is installed on the PC and is running, there is the Host icon in the system tray:

Host icon in the system tray with menu


Version Improved MSI Configurator + Simple Update

Remote Utilities offers an improved MSI Configurator and a new update mechanism that makes updating Viewers and Hosts easier.

MSI Configurator has been improved

If you ever mass-deployed custom-built Hosts and Agents across your network you probably already know how to use the MSI Configurator tool. With each new version we have been continuously improving it and this version is no exception.

Internet-ID settings in one place

Previously, in order to change the Internet-ID server settings you had to select “Pre-configure Host settings” in the last step, wait for the "Settings for Host" window to appear and change the settings there.

In version we moved the server settings to the “Internet-ID” tab. Now all Internet-ID related settings are in one place:

Enable or disable overwrite options

There is more than just combining all Internet-ID settings under the same tab. The logic behind choices made in this tab was also improved. Namely, two new check boxes were added:


Version 6.6 of Remote Utilities has been released

Remote Utilities 6.6 is now available for download. Learn what’s new in version 6.6.

Search and navigation

Now you can do instant search across your address books in the Viewer. Start typing in the search field (1) and the Viewer will be updating the search results (3) on the fly to match your search criteria:

Searching scope (2) is limited to the currently selected folder or address book. If you want to search in a different address book just select that book in the left pane.

The new “All connections” item in the Navigation pane works as a smart folder that lists your connections across all folders and address books:

When used together with columns in the Details view the All Connections folder allows you to quickly manage your connections regardless of the folder they are located in.

Host notifications are less intrusive

Previously, if a remote user tried to install a custom Host package (e.g. a one-click installer) with the “Generate a new Internet-ID…” option selected, the program would prompt the user with a modal message. Clicking the Yes button was the necessary condition for the Host installation to continue:


Local address book encryption

This blog post gives some details about how address books work in Remote Utilities and introduces local address book encryption that became available in version 6.5.

Unlike many web-based tools Remote Utilities is stand-alone software that always stores its address book on the local disc. This also applies to synchronized address books - in this case the local copy is in sync with a remote address book.

Default address book

Address books are stored as .xml files with each book in its separate .xml file. When you first install the Viewer it automatically creates your first address book called “General address book” that you can populate with folders and records (connections):

The General address book is your default book. Its corresponding .xml file is stored in the current user’s %APPDATA% folder under the name connections_4.xml:


Version 6.5 Beta 4

Version 6.5 Beta 4 is available for download. This version includes minor fixes, namely a fix that should reduce an excessive number of antivirus software false positives.

You can download the latest beta here

Version 6.5: Online statuses in Viewer address book

This blog post is the first in the series of posts that highlight the most prominent new features added in version 6.5.

We have significantly changed the way the statuses are displayed in the Viewer address book. Previously, for Internet-ID connections you couldn’t easily tell whether the remote PC was online and ready for connection and now you can. Below you can learn what each status means.

LOGGED ON status

This status means exactly the same as in previous versions – that you have been connected to (and authorized on) the remote Host. You may or may not be actively using any of the available connection modes.

When a connection is in the LOGGED ON state, just double-click on it to immediately start a Full Control session without entering your password. Or, you can right-click on the icon and select another connection mode to start:

Note: Do not confuse Remote Utilities “logon” with Windows logon, as these are two different and unrelated things. You may be logged on a Remote Utilities Host but still not be logged on in Windows on that remote PC. The Host works as a system service and doesn’t require a Windows user to sign in on the remote machine.