I recently had the opportunity to look at Proxy 4.0, the newest client-side remote-control software from Funk Software. I found Proxy 4.0 to be a solid upgrade prospect, providing simple remote support in enterprise help desks or call centers. Networking administrators can also take advantage of these remote-control offerings to trouble-shoot problematic PC clients from using a single desktop.
Proxy 4.0, available now, costs $2,200 for 100 licenses with volume discounts available. It supports Windows 98, 2000 and XP, and adds authentication via NT Domain with Active Directory.
Proxy 4.0 allows users to remotely view and control another Windows PC or server over any IP or IPX connection, over LAN/WANs, dial-up connections, or the Internet. The Proxy is best suited to help desks and network administrators who provide remote client-side support.
Proxy 4.0 has two components: The Proxy Master allows users to take over other PCs on the network; the Proxy Host agent is installed on the PCs or servers to be managed.
A single Proxy Master system can take over several Proxy hosts, each with its own window. The Cyclic Monitor allows administrators to cycle through remote sessions at their convenience, and files can be transferred between the systems via simple drag-and-drop actions.
Previous versions of Proxy allow only password authentication, which can be harder to manage in large sites. Version 4.0 allows authentication via Windows NT Domains and Active Directory, providing more robust authentication that will be especially useful in large enterprises.
A new "Send Keystrokes" menu allow users to send complicated keystroke sequences to the host.
Proxy uses data compression to decrease the hefty network bandwidth that remote access software usually requires. However, although software-based solutions are much cheaper and easier to roll out than hardware solutions, appliances such as those from Raritan or Apex are still the best way to get optimal remote control over the network hardware.
Proxy only supports Windows-based systems—sites with Mac, Linux or Unix systems must look at other software or go with hardware appliances.
Technical Analyst Francis Chu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.