Remote help: How to set up your own server for RustDesk and MeshCentral

We have already presented three open source tools for remote assistance in an article: RustDesk, MeshCentral and Remotely. What they all have in common is that you need a server to announce clients, provide a web interface or act as a relay and pass data through. You’ll have to put in some work, but you’ll be in control of your data and spared from restrictions or ads that encourage you to take out a paid subscription.

If you have family and friends who are PC doctors and are familiar with TeamViewer or AnyDesk, RustDesk will be the quickest to get to grips with. The easiest way is to install the server software, which creates an encrypted point-to-point connection between the helper and the client being helped. If you use RustDesk clients in a closed network without Internet access, you can do without the server and request access to another computer in Direct IP mode.

On the other hand, as a professional helper, you might like MeshCentral with its management functions, extensive logging and rights management. A software agent or the limited MeshCentral wizard must be running on systems for which remote assistance is to be provided. MeshCentral is comprehensive software that admins use to manage and remotely control large fleets of PCs, optionally even without a software agent, by remote maintenance bypassing the operating system via Intel AMT (Active Management Technology).

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