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Setting up NetMeeting (NetM) for Remote Assistance (RA)

NetMeeting is a relatively OLD program for sharing many things between two (or more!) PCs but the downside is that to use it safely you need a secure LAN (Local Area Network). The good news is that you can setup exactly what you need for that LAN using a free (for personal use) tool called Hamachi - see Setting up a network of experts before you take the trouble to install NetMeeting (NetM)

The guide below gives advice about the options to take when installing Netmeeting. When you have installed it you should see the guide to using it with Hamachi at: Assistance by NetMeeting.

Each of the screen shots can be 'blown up in size' by hovering over them. This is to help those users who have a high resolution screen but not the eyesight to match! - let me know if it doesn't work for you!

Firstly you should click on the normal Windows Start button (or just press the 'Windows Logo Key' to the bottom left of your keyboard) and then click on 'NetMeeting' if it is listed on the left - see the fourth item on the left hand list to the left as an example of the Icon and wording.

If it isn't in the left hand list then click on 'All Programs' (bottom left) and then look for 'NetMeeting' in that list. It MAY be in a subfolder, possibly under the 'Accessories' folder in 'Communications'.

If it is already shown in any of the above lists then you can skip this (setup) guide and go straight to: Assistance by NetMeeting

If you CANNOT FIND 'NetMeeting' then it is easy to rectify the situation by clicking on the 'Run' button which is usually very near the bottom of the right hand column of options in the IMAGE ABOVE - i.e. the Start menu.

You will then get a pop-up asking you what to Run and you need to type "CONF" - that is "C O N F" without the quotes or spaces, then click on OK.

This is what Netmeeting has been able to do for several YEARS...

BUT - until we could easily set up a secure virtual Private Network (e.g. using Hamachi - see Setting up a network of experts) it was NOT SAFE TO USE other than on a standalone Local Area Network (LAN)

The rest of this guide concentrates on using setting up Netmeeting in a manner that is suitable for remote assistance.

Obviously you click on 'Next' on this page of the dialogue.

To retain your privacy I suggest that you provide BRIEF details here bearing in mind that the other party in the Remote Assistance session will need to identify you somehow.

The e-mail address can be totally ficticious so by all means use bb@bb.com or similar.

By choosing the 'Cable' option that is simply telling Netmeeting what SPEED of connection to expect - slower than a LAN but much faster than a modem. If you DO USE a (dial-up) MODEM then please give me a call to discuss before you try to use these technologies as it MIGHT not be appropriate.

Putting a shortcut on your DESKTOP is normal but if you prefer to go via 'START' and 'All Programs' when you want to use Netmeeting then untick both boxes. I certainly would not expect anyone to use Netmeeting frequently-enough to justify being in the Quick-Launch bar.

There may be one or more prompts / pages which attempt to setup the Audio devices on your PC (if it has any!). I suggest that you simply click on Next at each page as the defaults will be alright until you have a need to use Audio which MAY be never. Obviously click on Finish when that replaces the 'Next' option.

You MAY get a prompt from your Firewall(s) - Windows or otherwise which asks if it should allow Netmeeting to communicate - obviously you need to 'Allow' or 'Unblock' whatever terminology is appropriate.

After a few seconds you should get the window shown to the left and as a first time user you would need to key in the number shown to contact me via Hamachi on the assumption that you have installed Hamachi AND asked me (my PC) to connect to YOUR network.

If you haven't setup Hamachi then see Setting up a network of experts

You should now be able to connect to other Netmeeting users securely IF they have:

  1. Installed Hamachi and joined your network
  2. Installed (i.e. setup as above) Netmeeting
  3. Launched Hamachi and see you as a 'green blob'
  4. Launched Netmeeting and have it in the state that you see to the left.

and all you need to do is key in their 'address' at the top of the screen in Netmeeting (e.g. 5.152.... as shown to the left) and click the yellow telephone. See Assistance by NetMeeting for the guide to using these tools for remote assistance.

I hope the information above has been useful, let me know if not! Any Comments, suggestions or corrections to: Contact us please. This would be especially useful if the software environment you have is different to mine and the headings, text or prompts are different.

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