Remote Utilities 6.9 Beta is available for download. (X) Dismiss

Community

Detect and alert user about version mismatches

MaxBlitzer, User (Posts: 20)

Aug 21, 2018 7:10:08 pm EDT

Since Host and Viewer are not bundled together and if backward compatibility breaks or changes on every version, then it should be more obvious to the user when there is a version mismatch that would prevent connection.

The Viewer knows the version of itself. The Viewer knows the version of the host. Very easy to pop up and alert user to the documentation about needing to upgrade Viewer first and that they are not compatible.

The typical user (*cough* *cough*, myself included here. Though in this case, I KNOW I've read that before, just forgot) doesn't read documentation until they run into a problem. Errors and messages help tell the user where they should look in the documentation. The pop up informs the user what the exact problem is and what to do about it. Problem solved in minutes.

Norton always blocks

MaxBlitzer, User (Posts: 20)

Aug 21, 2018 1:58:01 pm EDT

Issue resolved.  Turned out it was the Viewer being 6.8.0.1 and the server host being 6.9.1.0.  I didn't realize 6.8.0.1 Viewer couldn't talk to 6.9.1.0 beta.  So just upgrading her Viewer to 6.9.1.0 made the connecting work.

You might want to make that clear on the Beta release notes page that 6.8.0.1 viewers can't talk to the 6.9.1.0 hosts.

I also saw the check marks she was seeing. Doesn't look like my screen and I didn't take any screenshots. But it's not intuitive as to what the check marks mean, since it was green for the offline connection and red for the online connection.  Also, it frequently only showed the Internet-ID connection as online and the Direct connection Offline/unknown until double clicked and connected.

Norton always blocks

MaxBlitzer, User (Posts: 20)

Aug 21, 2018 5:18:38 am EDT

Conrad wrote:

However, I'm trying to remotely help someone over the phone, she says she disabled both and still same result, "double clicking or selecting Full Control doesn't connect to server or give any errors or popups".

The feedback is on the connection icon/icons in the address book. If connection isn't possible, the icons will be in offline state.

I haven't found I could trust or use the online/offline/unknown status as accurate.  I have always had older servers appear under Online but never be connectable anymore (less of or not much of an issue after 6.6).  Out of 4 online hosts, 3 have 'Last IP' and 'Version', the 4th didn't.  I connect to the 4th, it fails on first try but successful after 5 second retry. Not sure how it determines its online but not getting Last IP and Version, I'd expect that to be part of your handshake or keepalives or whatever you're using.

Just now, if I try and connect to a powered off offline host, I get a pop up with 5 second count down 'unable to connect'.  Is that new or fairly recent?  

When I first set this up, I made two entries in the address book and sent it to her.  One was the remote machine using direct connection through router port forward, and the 2nd the same settings but using the Internet-ID (in case the router changed or something). When I initially set it up, I could often see one appear online and the other unknown, both online, or both unknown. But they both worked if double clicking. Now both appear for me under Online.

I just checked one of her text messages from first tries when Norton firewall was still enabled.

I do see the 'Direct Server' and 'Fallback Server' as you describe. However, Fallback has a red check mark and says online, Direct has green check mark and says unknown.

So before trying to connect, or perhaps describing after unsuccessfully double clicking (the text is written after she tried, so I think this is the state AFTER her attempt), the direct connection shows unknown and the Internet-ID connection showed Online.  

I don't know what she means by "check mark" (hmm, maybe she thought and meant check BOX). It's a little computer screen, obviously :P  But for me, green computer screen is what I see for Logged on, orange for Online, and black for Offline/Unknown.  

Hopefully I'll find out what exactly she was talking about in the morning.  She uninstalled Norton completely and still didn't have any success, but made it sound like maybe something changed in her last update:

Tried to take full control of each, it says `logging on` `then the offline/unknown error comes up.

I'll try and clarify if she was always seeing "unable to connect" pop up like I do for an Offline host for real, or if she could see the address book connection change from Online to Offline/Unknown or what.  She is not a technical person and so some details could be (read: likely) mistaken.

But some additional diagnostics to help the user would be a welcome addition.  Thanks.

Norton always blocks

MaxBlitzer, User (Posts: 20)

Aug 20, 2018 3:26:52 pm EDT

Have you guys received any recent reports of this happening again? I've come across two users this week running Norton.  They cannot use the Viewer to connect outside their home to their office. I'd expect them to block the host, but the viewer?! Jeepers.

On one machine I had direct access to, I temporarily disabled Smart Filter and Auto Protect and was able to use the Viewer to connect to the Host.  However, I'm trying to remotely help someone over the phone, she says she disabled both and still same result, "double clicking or selecting Full Control doesn't connect to server or give any errors or popups".

So my first complaint is to Norton, for being $&#^$&#.

But it is kind of frustrating when you go to connect to a server and there is no error, no pop up, and doesn't connect, the user is kind of left "what do I do now?"  Is there somewhere it clearly says something like "unable to connect to host" or anything? Need something the user can feedback to the tech or just to google the next steps..

Could there be a way to detect when the Viewer is being blocked from making any outbound connections?

Version 6.9 Beta - main discussion

MaxBlitzer, User (Posts: 20)

Jul 07, 2018 5:54:35 am EDT

Conrad wrote:

Hi Max,

Yes, that. Though, I think you mean "local user" (person at the location of the PC) since I am the remote user (person at another location) and I can't click on it and its in the way.

Yes, this depends on where you are. But in our documentation and elsewhere on the site we use these terms in relation to where the tech/admin is located. So the admin is the local user whereas the user who is sitting at the computer to which the admin is connecting in is the remote user.

I guess unattended remote access isn't so much your target customer as remote technicians wh ere this might make some sense.

With unattended access no remote user is present.

Correct. Two remote monitors and two local monitors, and I want to map each remote monitor to a specific local monitor. Since this is not a beta feature, I agree this isn't the place.

This thread  can help.

Thanks.

Awesome! Thanks

Direct connect arbitration

MaxBlitzer, User (Posts: 20)

Jul 06, 2018 4:49:08 am EDT

Conrad wrote:

Hello Max,

Yeah, I don't think you understand what I mean, because businesses would definitely prefer to run traffic between their hosts directly and not through another server unless they had to. We'll just agree to disagree on that. Perhaps if I was unclear, all I really meant is that connections be made using direct connection, but without the user having to configure anything, it is handled automatically by the server. But I do believe you answered my question by not having any plans to implement such a feature. Fair enough.

Perhaps, cascade connection  may qualify as such a feature.

Thanks.

Thanks, that would be very useful for places with more than one machine and I'll look at setting that up in once place.  But not so much when target computers are at different locations.

Version 6.9 Beta - main discussion

MaxBlitzer, User (Posts: 20)

Jul 06, 2018 4:37:23 am EDT

You probably mean the first connection warning. This warning is shown only once and will go away if either of the following is true:

- The remote user clicks on it
- You connect to that Host fr om a Viewer registered with a PRO or SITE license

Yes, that. Though, I think you mean "local user" (person at the location of the PC) since I am the remote user (person at another location) and I can't click on it and its in the way.  Since I would only ever be a STARTER, this is a showstopper for me.  Are you saying in that documentation that "remote user" is actually the person AT the keyboard???  I guess this is a perspective (from a technician point of view) issue, but generally the person AT the PC is local and the person NOT at the PC is remote (local user, remote technician).  I guess unattended remote access isn't so much your target customer as remote technicians wh ere this might make some sense.


You might want to turn off the "Advanced mouse scroll " option in connection properties .

Thanks. So in the viewer, I click "Connection" and then "Properties". Nothing happens. But then I see you set your new default connection settings when editing the properties of an existing connection.  So if making multiple edits on multiple pages, and click "Set as default for new connections", some settings are ignored (ie, Names, ID's, ) and some are applied (tick box stuff)?  You might want to think about making a default connection settings page you can access from Connection->Properties that doesn't include connection specific properties.

Do you mean displaying them on two different local monitors? So you have two remote monitors and two local monitors, and you want to map each remote monitor to a specific local monitor. Is that the case?

Correct. Two remote monitors and two local monitors, and I want to map each remote monitor to a specific local monitor.  Since this is not a beta feature, I agree this isn't the place.

Direct connect arbitration

MaxBlitzer, User (Posts: 20)

Jul 06, 2018 3:54:40 am EDT

If you mean peer-to-peer connectivity though, I am sorry but this is not the way to go for us. It might work for free and personal tools, but since we also sell to businesses they won't be happy to use a P2P application due to security concerns that such applications can bring.

Yeah, I don't think you understand what I mean, because businesses would definitely prefer to run traffic between their hosts directly and not through another server unless they had to. We'll just agree to disagree on that.  Perhaps if I was unclear, all I really meant is that connections be made using direct connection, but without the user having to configure anything, it is handled automatically by the server.  But I do believe you answered my question by not having any plans to implement such a feature.  Fair enough.

A ping fr om your location to our server doesn't say anything about the quality of the server itself. Our servers can sustain far more load than now and are located in one of the largest datacenters in Canada.

Yeah, I failed to make my point clear again, unfortunately.  You could have the single greatest server in the world, but it means very little if the Internet pipe leading to it has problems (like throwing a party when the roads are washed out and the guests can't arrive).  The data I showed you indicated it wasn't your server, but the pipe leading to your server. And I further pointed out that all your server metrics about how lightly loaded and how fast your server is is not going to show this problem. I can only anecdotally report that I have found repeated, very high latency problems.  You did make a point of saying you have a world class data center, which may be true.  But that doesn't change the fact that the Internet regularly has congestion and routing problems and this is a real world problem.

Because I ended up with the relay server that was further away by distance, latency, and reliability it makes me curious whether if the relay server pick is just simply 'you're in Canada, here is your relay' (which isn't the case, since I do see the Cali IP sometimes), or if there is load balancing going on (a problematic data center would show very low load, possibly making your load balancer send more and more hosts to it, exacerbating the problem).

We recommend that you use a self-hosted server or even direct connection wh ere possible.

I understand that. But that just means it'll still be relayed through my connection instead of directly between users. So it will help a lot, but not avoid the problem. It shifts the server maintenance and cost to me (which isn't unfair, you're making a free product). I have endless linux servers both locally and in closer datacenters and if you had a server that ran on linux, I'd be all over that.  But you've also stated that isn't a priority.  For the low amount of usage per month, I can't say I'll be doing that. The time alone on maintenance of the server would be more than amount used.

I appreciate the thorough and honest replies. Thank you.

p.s. the forum seems to be inserting some spaces and eating some letters here and there.

Direct connect arbitration

MaxBlitzer, User (Posts: 20)

Jul 05, 2018 5:17:14 am EDT

Are there any plans to implement a service to facilitate direct connections between hosts instead of connections relaying through your servers unless manually setting up port forwarding and using direct IP's?

The benefits for RUT is the lower bandwidth and server requirements due to less relaying, and much faster performance between direct hosts.

I've frequently ran into performance issues through the various relays used by Remote Utilities.  Way, way, too frequently.  The latency is high and there is significant ping loss. I have a PC next to me that I'm connecting to that has more than 8 seconds of latency (it's varied fr om 4-18 seconds while I've been writing this). The re's the scenic login screen and then the computer boots up with Spotify open and the large pictures seem to bring it to a crawl even with 16 bits colour. I have it on HDMI output to a monitor on my right, and then connecting using Internet ID fr om my main PC next to it.  At this moment, round trip ping time to your relay server in Montreal is 163ms (from west Canada. I normally get 78ms pings to Ontario, so this Montreal hub kinda sucks as you'll see below) with approx 18% packet loss.  

Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=163ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=162ms TTL=113
Request timed out.
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=167ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=161ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=164ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=165ms TTL=113
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=161ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=164ms TTL=113
Request timed out.
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=162ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=171ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=162ms TTL=113
Request timed out.
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=165ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=163ms TTL=113
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=168ms TTL=113
Request timed out.
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=164ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=162ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=164ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=162ms TTL=113
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=173ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=163ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=162ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=164ms TTL=113
Reply from 108.163.130.184: bytes=32 time=162ms TTL=113


pathping /n /4 108.163.130.184

Tracing route to 108.163.130.184 over a maximum of 30 hops

 0  192.168.2.20
 1  96.55.x.x
 2  64.59.152.37
 3  66.163.69.197
 4     *     66.163.76.66
 5     *        *     69.174.2.41
 6  141.136.105.209
 7     *     199.229.229.62
 8     *        *     184.107.1.122
 9  184.107.1.38
10  108.163.130.184

Computing statistics for 250 seconds...
           Source to Here   This Node/Link
Hop  RTT    Lost/Sent = Pct  Lost/Sent = Pct  Address
 0                                           192.168.2.20
                               0/ 100 =  0%   |
 1    8ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  96.55.x.x
                               0/ 100 =  0%   |
 2   10ms     0/ 100 =  0%     0/ 100 =  0%  64.59.152.37
                              13/ 100 = 13%   |
 3   89ms    21/ 100 = 21%     8/ 100 =  8%  66.163.69.197
                               0/ 100 =  0%   |
 4   92ms    20/ 100 = 20%     7/ 100 =  7%  66.163.76.66
                               0/ 100 =  0%   |
 5   92ms    17/ 100 = 17%     4/ 100 =  4%  69.174.2.41
                               0/ 100 =  0%   |
 6  154ms    19/ 100 = 19%     6/ 100 =  6%  141.136.105.209
                               0/ 100 =  0%   |
 7  ---     100/ 100 =100%    87/ 100 = 87%  199.229.229.62
                               0/ 100 =  0%   |
 8  ---     100/ 100 =100%    87/ 100 = 87%  184.107.1.122
                               0/ 100 =  0%   |
 9  167ms    30/ 100 = 30%    17/ 100 = 17%  184.107.1.38
                               0/ 100 =  0%   |
10  163ms    13/ 100 = 13%     0/ 100 =  0%  108.163.130.184

Trace complete.

tracert 108.163.130.184

Tracing route to jobiworks.com [108.163.130.184]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

 1     *       12 ms     9 ms  96.55.x.x
 2    10 ms    11 ms    13 ms  rc1st-be117-1.vc.shawcable.net [64.59.152.37]
 3    90 ms    92 ms     *     rc1bb-tge0-0-0-28.vc.shawcable.net [66.163.69.197]
 4    93 ms     *        *     rc1wt-be90.wa.shawcable.net [66.163.76.66]
 5    93 ms     *        *     ae10.cr2-sea2.ip4.gtt.net [69.174.2.41]
 6   157 ms   159 ms     *     et-3-3-0.cr0-mtl1.ip4.gtt.net [141.136.105.209]
 7   167 ms     *      163 ms  iweb-gw.ip4.gtt.net [199.229.229.62]
 8   164 ms   163 ms   168 ms  po22.cr4.mtl.iweb.com [184.107.1.122]
 9   177 ms     *      166 ms  te8-4.dr7.mtl.iweb.com [184.107.1.38]
10   161 ms     *      162 ms  jobiworks.com [108.163.130.184]

Trace complete.

For some other services like router/NAS logins from the cloud or VPN services I use, in their automatic direct connection stuff, I'll start a ping to a client machine and pings will be 100-500ms for about 8 pings, and then drop to 12ms-23ms (depending on if using same ISP as me or the 'other' ISP in our town) as the connection no longer uses the relay.

I believe you also have a relay server in California, which is closer and lower latency, approximately 50ms with no ping loss so far. So I'm not sure how hosts pick the relay servers, whether its random, first to respond, round robin, or load balanced, etc.  But there is very clear and poor performance using the relay server and I don't see a way for me to bounce it to a better relay server and I don't see anything happening on the server side to migrate me to the better performing server that is 1/3 latency and without packet loss.

As of this moment, the packet loss has stopped (and pings down to 82ms from 162ms) and the responsiveness is back to wh ere mouse movement is not noticeably lagged, buttons respond, windows draw, etc.  UAC prompts are still 6-8 seconds slow, though.  I'd say the issue was approx an hour or so before it cleared up. So if you're only thinking servers are good because they are online only and not the quality of the connection, then users are going to continue to experience poor relay performance.  Congestion and outages can happen many places along the path wh ere your server is up and running fine (or even being under served due to datacenter bottlenecks). I recall previously when complaining about very high lag that you checked and your servers were not experiencing any high loads or issues.  This fits when the problem is not at your server but along the Internet pipes.

(p.s. Yes, I know I can direct connect since its on the same LAN, but the PC is just getting driver updates then powering down and going back to my nephew and it's already in my viewer. If it was going to be a headless machine in my own home, then taking the time to do direct connection makes the most sense.)

Version 6.9 Beta - main discussion

MaxBlitzer, User (Posts: 20)

Jul 03, 2018 6:48:55 pm EDT

Just made a new MSI one-click to upgrade a PC that already had Remote Utilities installed but wasn't in my viewer, so wasn't sure the ID and what not and wanted it re-sent to me to add to my viewer.

Here is what the options screen looks like, and I later set a single password.  But the main point here, is that I'm NOT getting a new code emailed to me.  If the same .exe is used on a never-installed-RUT computer, then the code is emailed.



Edit: Geez, after I posted this, I see now I do NEED to check "Also generate new Internet-ID code for existing hosts".  I was expecting to get a code emailed regardless of whether it was a new or existing host.

I think the balloon message made me uncheck it and also in the above "Generate a new Internet-ID code", the use of "new" seems redundant if that is only meant to don't-already-have-an-Internet-ID-in-the-first-place.

I thought the use case for the one-click installer was for new installs and for reconnecting failed Remote Utilities hosts due to bugs (ie, Windows 10 upgrades) or other reasons.  For me, no client that was installed pre-6.4.0.1 still works to this day without manually upgrading through another connection method. Which the one-click is nice for.

Edit 2: Ok, I just ran it again on an existing host with the option "Also generate new Internet-ID code for existing hosts". I did get an email containing the Internet-ID, but no code.  I was expecting the copy/paste output to add to viewer using "Add using code". The code is supposed to the host password, ID and something else encoded in the code, no? Does a code not exist when you choose single password authentication?

Edit 3: Ok, with further testing, I think I have two showstoppers (for me) for expanding use of Remote Utilities beyond the half dozen machines I've used it on.
 
1) The hard pop up above the taskbar settings that prevent you fr om accessing taskbar icons and settings that a person at the desktop needs to click to make it go away.  You don't even allow it to be moved.  This just aggravated me so much, and it's already caused me hassle in the past.  If the RUT host icon is in the taskbar and shows the red colour when someone is remotely accessing it, you really should relax that stupid hard pop up. It really is in one of the worst places.  For my use case, wh ere I typically login after hours when the user is not at the keyboard, this is a showstopper issue.  Just now, I installed it on a machine I use when I work at a friend's house. It's a 30 minute drive. I haven't needed to be there in 6 months.  To get past this hard coded popup, I either need to give my password to someone or drive there to click a box.  I understand your intentions of wanting to inform the user in case the one-click was used maliciously, but you do that like how Microsoft shows the version in the lower right corner of the desktop in beta builds.  A simple watermark that doesn't intrude yet still informs the user.


2) The screen display for stretch and full screen just don't make for a productive setup.  Needing to scroll or having unexpected scroll when moving the mouse is terrible.  Do you guys test with 2 monitors much? That was my test PC just now and it was not usable.  With other remote solutions, I just don't have to touch display settings, they just adjust full screen to my current screen. None of the 4 options presented to me just now allowed for that same display. It was not usable at all.  Edit: Had to change it from "Entire Desktop" to a single display and then Full screen stretch looks nice.  So I think the next feature I'm looking for, is being able to display both displays at the same time in separate stretched full screen views.
Edited:MaxBlitzer - Jul 03, 2018 7:32:04 pm EDT
Page:
This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.