Need technical help with your Mac? John Carter to the rescue! Here's his report.
"There are a number of ways to get help right in the comfort of your home. The three methods described here are Skype, Crossloop, and GoToAssist®Express.
Skype has a screen sharing mode. This allows others to see your screen, but they have no direct access to your Mac. Skype is free, but requires that you establish a Skype account. Skype screen sharing works with both Mac and Windows. With Skype, the two users are connected in audio/visual mode with just the one application. Using screen sharing with Skype incurs a noticeable and somewhat uncomfortable video time lag between users.
Crossloop is an application for both technical support people and end users (hire an expert or connect with a friend). Crossloop allows both screen sharing and access to your Mac. This application must be installed on each computer that is to use this feature, and there is a free version (comes with ads). This also requires both users to have an account with Crossloop. Crossloop works with Intel Mac (not PPC) and Windows. With Crossloop, the users must use a phone for audio connection. Connecting with a friend or expert is by invitation only. When the session is ended, the connection is lost. Using Crossloop incurs a noticeable and somewhat uncomfortable video time lag between users.
GoToAssist®Express is an application for tech support people for servicing clients. GoToAssist®Express allows both screen sharing and access to your Mac as a "guest" with the tech support person as the "host". This method installs a very small application on your Mac (the "guest") at the time of the session and the application may be removed when the session is over. This method does not require an account for the "guest", but the "host" (the tech support person) has to install an application on their Mac (Intel or PPC) or Windows machine. Using GoToAssist®Express incurs a reasonable monthly or daily fee to the "host" or technical support person. Usage by the "guest" is free and by invitation only from a "host", and this means that you, the guest, must first request technical support from a tech who has GoToAssist®Express. GoToAssist®Express works with both Mac and Windows. With GoToAssist®Express, the host and guest must use a phone for audio connection. There is minimal video time lag between users.
The video "time lag" experience can best be explained this way. When the "host" moves the mouse cursor across the "guest" screen, the guest mouse cursor will lag the host mouse cursor. If the time lag is long (resulting in jerky motions of the guest mouse cursor), the experience is not very pleasing to the host user. The amount of time lag experienced is also dependent on the connection speed of each user.
John tells us that his personal experience is that GoToAssist®Express works flawlessly and in near real time (minimal video time lag) and has the least impact on the client. John noticed that when using Crossloop, "Chicken of the VNC" was also launched on his Mac (that application creates a secure connection between two computers). GoToAssist®Express is John's preference for providing online technical support.