Offsite vs Onsite Computer Support
Now you see me, now you don’t.
Thanks to widespread high-speed access, tech support is now available in two flavors: onsite computer support, with a tech professional physically present, and offsite computer support wherein the tech pro accesses the network and connected devices remotely through an Internet connection. Both have merits so let’s take a look at each approach.
Offsite Computer Support (remote support)
Offsite tech support has been around for awhile now, and a growing number of users have become more comfortable with it. Advantages of remote computer support include:
- Lower cost: with no travel involved, the support company can reduce its rates, although, this isn’t always the case.
- Less wait time for actual repairs: support can be rendered much more quickly and still in real time.
- Global reach: tech support pros can accommodate clients anywhere in the world.
A good example of offsite computer support is the average call to your Internet provider or your web hosting company. What you get is a technical support professional at a computer who remotely pings your router or logs into the server your website resides on. In many cases, this is very effective and efficient.
When you have problems with your home office computer or your company computers and network, this approach can work well. However, it also has distinct disadvantages:
- Security issues: Most remote access software requires the client to accept screen-sharing with the tech support pro. While a client is able to see the tech’s movement and presence, this is very thin security — handing over login credentials to an unknown person is, by and large, a risky prospect.
- Security scams: Security scams, particularly those that use popups, trick people into responding by calling a phone number or visiting a website and then giving out the requested info to the scammer.
Offsite computer support for your Macs and PCs can be a great option. Having an ongoing relationship with a trusted local computer support provider like The RetroTechs removes much of this risk. While some services may occur offsite via remote access, a dedicated local professional can also provide onsite computer support for you when needed.
Onsite Computer Support
Having a tech support professional has always been the most reliable option. While onsite support is subject to some element of travel and possibly a longer wait time, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in most cases:
- It is much easier to diagnose more vague problems onsite in person than remotely. For instance, a client who calls with a problem such as a black or blue screen can likely not be helped remotely.
- In general, computers which have failed completely cannot be booted up remotely and troubleshooting which requires a “safe boot” or alternative boot drive cannot occur remotely.
- A computer support professional can often diagnose a problem by listening to the computer sounds and must be onsite to do this; a good example is the “click of death” sound that a failed hard drive makes.
- There are many issues which simply cannot be resolved remotely, including: hardware failure, power failure and physical damage.
In short, both onsite and offsite computer support have their merits and most reputable support companies will employ either depending on the situation.
The key to getting the best computer support is establishing a relationship with a reliable and capable support company. The RetroTechs are celebrating 25 years in business and we are always available to assist you in with any support issues you have!
CONTACT US with any questions or to discuss your situation.
Here are two good articles about tech support scams from the FTC:
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