ConnectWise Control Editor’s Score: 95/100
|Ease of use||90|
Why ConnectWise Control Is Best for Communication
Many customer service departments rely heavily on VoIP phone systems for meetings as well as support and access sessions, but surprisingly, VoIP is not supported across the industry. ConnectWise’s Standard subscription option is $39 per month and includes VoIP to let customer service teams use their existing communications hardware and technology. Communication with customers is seamless with the ConnectWise View extension, available with the Premium plan, which lets technicians access an end user’s mobile phone camera through a browser-enabled livestream session. This option allows agents to see exactly what their customers see to quickly resolve hardware issues in real time.
- There is VoIP audio for meetings, as well as support and access sessions.
- ConnectWise Control offers optional browser-based livestream support through an end user’s phone camera.
- Agents can capture sound from a guest’s device to help troubleshoot an issue.
- Not all communication tools are available at every subscription level.
- The mobile features are not supported equally across all devices and operating systems.
- Installation and removal may be difficult for some users.
ConnectWise Control is a set of three products – Access, Support and Premium – that combine to offer remote access and technical support for individuals, remote workers and IT teams. For the purpose of this review, we spent the majority of our time using the access-related features to control our unattended computer for a variety of tasks in a hybrid-remote work scenario. Once you move through the various security permissions required for your second machine to hand over remote access, connecting to your remote device for full use takes only seconds.
One reassuring security feature we liked is that the advisory warning on our second machine let us know we received a link from a trial version of ConnectWise. That gave us an easy way to report any malicious use – a solid indication of the company’s emphasis on security. At the end of every remote session with a customer, ConnectWise Control automatically removes the support client to mitigate the possibility of leaving their machine open to an attack.
Tip: If you want technicians to access users’ mobile phone cameras in real time, sign up for the Premium plan, which includes the ConnectWise View extension.
|Compatibility||Enjoy seamless remote access and support across major operating systems and browsers.|
|Integrations||Access a library of more than 100 integrations and extensions as well as custom options.|
|Security customization||Choose from role-based permissions, multiple authentication methods and self-hosting.|
ConnectWise Control is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, browsers and mobile devices. For operating systems, it supports Windows 7, 8.1 and 10; Windows Server 2008, 2012 and 2016; macOS and Mac OS X; and Linux (requires x86-64 architecture and Glibc 2.17 or higher). The high level of compatibility also extends to web browsers, including Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Edge. Technicians can also access and support these machines and browsers through a mobile client that’s available for Android and iOS.
ConnectWise Control includes more than 100 integrations and extensions for productivity, communication, administration, configuration, translation/localization and other ConnectWise platforms. Users can easily add third-party integrations for the tools they use daily, including Zendesk, Acronis, Freshdesk and Microsoft Outlook. You can also use the extension developer tools to create, edit and implement custom extensions; the myriad templates make it relatively easy to build custom solutions on the fly.
ConnectWise offers some of the most comprehensive security customization of all of the remote access companies we reviewed. While the 256-bit AES encryption is fairly standard across the industry, the ability to control access at every level is unique. This includes role-based security that allows administrators to determine user permissions down to features, functions and groups of unattended machines, and administrators can also implement specific IP address restrictions. Access is controlled by multiple forms of authentication, including Windows and Forms, as well as two-factor authentication for added layers of defense against threats.
Other features that make ConnectWise Control stand out among the competition include session timeout, server-level auditing and self-hosting options.
Key takeaway: ConnectWise Control offers some of the best security customization options in the industry.
ConnectWise Control offers three bundled subscription options with different features and session limits. There is also a fourth paid option with the stand-alone Access plan that starts at $30 per month. Most competitors in this category offer far fewer subscription options, forcing many users to pay for features and services they may not ever use. One unique offering we liked is the limited free option, which is perfect for new and growing businesses. It is limited to one tech license, three access agents and a remote connection to one end user per session.
Here is an overview of ConnectWise Control’s plans and pricing:
- One: This plan, which costs $24 per monthly user when billed annually, includes one session limit, 10 unattended access agents, remote meetings, file transfer, remote printing, a remote toolbox, remote support and mobile technician support.
- Standard: The Standard plan costs $39 per monthly user when billed annually and includes unlimited unattended access agents, up to three sessions per user, expanded chat options, wake-on LAN, a remote command line, iOS and Android mobile guest clients and VoIP audio.
- Premium: The Premium subscription tier is $49 per monthly user when billed annually and includes up to 10 sessions per tech, a remote diagnostic tool kit, ConnectWise View, video auditing and a reporting dashboard.
- Access: If you’re only looking for remote access, you can opt for the Access plan. There are eight subscription options for this plan, and the pricing is based on the number of unattended access agents, with discounts available for annual subscribers. Every Access pricing option includes the same features. The entry-level option is $30 per month when paid annually or $38 monthly and covers 25 unattended access agents. On the other end of the spectrum, the largest advertised plan covers 2,500 unattended access agents and costs $1,250 when paid annually or $1,575 when paid monthly. Scaled pricing is available for teams of the following sizes: 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, 750, 1,000 and 2,500. Enterprise-level companies with more than 2,500 agents will need to reach out to a ConnectWise sales representative for pricing.
Getting a second machine up and running for remote access requires a number of permission adjustments that some users may find tedious. However, these changes are not especially difficult to navigate, and you can set up remote access with a second computer in just a few minutes.
Mac users may have more difficulty installing the client setup file; macOS cannot verify that the app is “free from malware” because it doesn’t come directly from the App Store. Mac users will have to navigate to their security and privacy settings in the System Preferences menu to open the installation file. This extra security measure is not unique to ConnectWise; it’s standard practice for any installation file that doesn’t come directly from the App Store.
ConnectWise’s customer service availability is above average, offering 24/7 live chat technical support to make sure customer problems are resolved quickly. The company also offers educational support through ConnectWise University, an online learning center with a robust library of helpful how-to videos, webinars, courses and recorded shows. In our experience, the live chat services were responsive and helpful in resolving our issue. Support is also available through an online form, and three of the company’s four global offices can be reached easily by phone.
Tip: To install the ConnectWise software on a Mac, go to the System Preferences menu to adjust the security and privacy settings first.
One downside of ConnectWise is that it can be very difficult to fully remove the software from an unattended machine if you don’t also uninstall or delete it from the ConnectWise Control dashboard. If an account expires or equipment changes hands, you will need to be comfortable working with a cleanup script – a fairly complex task for a user without some basic coding experience – to remove the software. Given the ability of ConnectWise to control another computer, customers would benefit from knowing how to fully remove this software and its traces in one simple process.
Another potential negative is that, although IT professionals likely won’t struggle with this software, ConnectWise is more difficult for new users to set up than some of the other remote access software we reviewed. In our review of Zoho Assist and our GoToAssist review, we found that both were much easier to start using.
We spent one month with 10 of the most popular unattended access and remote support tools, testing their remote access and support capabilities on multiple Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. For each review, we spent at least two days attempting to find any shortcomings across devices and activities. Once our review sessions were complete, we scored each product on its pricing, ease of use, features, integrations, and security, and offered a relative score that considered the entire industry’s offerings.
What Is Unattended Access and Remote Support?
Unattended access is a category of software that gives business owners, IT staff, and other workers the ability to take control of a second computer or mobile device from anywhere in the world with a strong internet connection. It was developed to allow technicians to troubleshoot computers from a distance, but it has become a very popular tool for hybrid-remote employees who need to access their office computers from home or vice versa. Most unattended access software providers also feature remote support as part of the same subscription plan or as an add-on that functions within the same user interface.
Is ConnectWise Control Access safe?
Yes, ConnectWise Control Access keeps your data safe and private through a number of cybersecurity measures, including 256-bit AES encryption. Other security features include multiple methods of authentication, role-based permissions, server-level auditing and self-hosting.
Is ConnectWise Control free?
Yes, ConnectWise Control offers a limited free version of its remote support solution, which includes a single tech license, three access agents and a remote connection to one end user per session. With the free version, you can provide fast remote support, connect to unattended computers and other devices, and make remote meetings easier and more efficient.
We recommend ConnectWise Control for …
- Small businesses that want a cost-effective solution for limited unattended access or remote support.
- Businesses of any size that are looking for a scalable unattended access solution that grows with their team.
We don’t recommend ConnectWise Control for …
- Businesses that struggle to implement new technologies.
- Businesses that support customers primarily on mobile devices.