Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect



  • Viewing Clients

    SC requires a Java client on Linux, and a native app on Windows to work. This is fine, but not "transparent." It's also not as fast as a web client. SC had a web client for Chomebooks but limited it to Chromebooks for some reason, and then killed it off in favour of only offering an Android app (which leaves a lot of people with nothing working.) That worked better than their other clients, but is gone.

    MC uses all web client and it is screaming fast and simple. Nothing to be installed, ever, on the tech's end.



  • Attended and Unattended Management

    SC is strong in that you can have an installed agent to "monitor" a remote system. Or you can share a link to the user, have them follow basic instructions and get temporary agentless (attended) remote access. Agents are better for most MSPs. Agentless is better for most consumer support.

    MC uses an EXE for Windows to allow this, rather than a web link (but I suppose that you could host that somewhere, too.) Does not appear to work for Linux at this time.

    Both support Windows, macOS, and Linux agents. MC seems to have way better Linux support, SC's is flaky at worst and overly cumbersome at best.



  • Non-OS View

    SC can show the OS, at least with Windows, even with the OS itself is not present. For example, while Windows is applying updates and the user is no longer engaged, it can continue to show the status of the patching.

    MC loses connection during this time and cannot show the same information. This is not a time when you normally have a need or even a capability to interact with the machine, so not the biggest deal. But it is a short coming and makes it difficult to ascertain status as easily.



  • So it could be used well to manage your own machines, but it's missing the support element?



  • Linux Login

    SC has issues with some Linux systems that when no user is logged in, it is not always able to present the login screen to allow a remote user to assist. This means that any system that is currently logged out, locked, or needs to be rebooted cannot be serviced without a human sitting at the other end. Rather a significant deficit in Linux support.

    MC has no such limitation and handles this with aplomb. MC definitely comes out the major winner, for once, with this one.



  • @StuartJordan said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    So it could be used well to manage your own machines, but it's missing the support element?

    Where "your own" means anything of your own company or your clients. It's ad hoc clients that don't have any tooling that you can't support. So generally only applies to one-off consumer situations. If they were your MSP customers, you'd expect that they would have tooling like SC Agent, or an RMM installed.



  • We are starting to use MC instead of SC to test it out. In early tests, I am liking using MC more than SC. It is dramatically faster and lighter. Easier to get the job done quickly.



  • Infrastructure

    SC prefers Windows to Linux, but the cost of Windows licensing spent on more hardware for Linux seems to grant the best bang for the buck. In either case, even a small deployment wants around $10/mo in cloud hosting costs. We've found that at least two vCPU are needed, and the experience tends to be a little laggy. With more clients attaching, it is easy to end up needing $40/mo or more.

    MC runs screaming fast on a 1GB RAM instance with a single vCPU. Making hosting costs around $5/mo.

    Both systems are good on RAM and use very little. But MC is light on CPU, too.



  • @scottalanmiller I was just playing with this before leaving work and the menu worked really well. What was your client system? (Win /Linux?)



  • @notverypunny said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    @scottalanmiller I was just playing with this before leaving work and the menu worked really well. What was your client system? (Win /Linux?)

    I've got agents on Windows, Fedora, and Deepin currently. I'm accessing them from Fedora.



  • @scottalanmiller I can't speak to the Linux agent, but the windows one offers a connect button that does a 1 time connection without installing. Better than team viewer as it pops in the tech console instead of having to get a user id an pw from the user



  • @notverypunny said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    @scottalanmiller I can't speak to the Linux agent, but the windows one offers a connect button that does a 1 time connection without installing. Better than team viewer as it pops in the tech console instead of having to get a user id an pw from the user

    Oh cool, I had not looked at that button as it was part of the installer. That's awesome. One MAJOR issue resolved! Looks like it must be Windows only, but where else does that really come up? That basically solves our second biggest issue!

    Thanks!



  • @notverypunny : As you've apparently tested this, does this bypass the need for admin credentials for the user?

    Remote support isn't very useful if you have to provide them the domain admin info to run the support tool 🙂

    Also, for @scottalanmiller : How does copy/paste of text and files work? The same as it does in SC?



  • @manxam said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    @notverypunny : As you've apparently tested this, does this bypass the need for admin credentials for the user?

    Remote support isn't very useful if you have to provide them the domain admin info to run the support tool 🙂

    No tool gets around that. That's what the agent based installs are for.



  • @scottalanmiller : A standard support session with SC does not prompt for admin creds as is why I was wondering if the "1 time connection" option worked the same.



  • @manxam said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    Also, for @scottalanmiller : How does copy/paste of text and files work? The same as it does in SC?

    Has simple, direct file transfers. Super easy to use. Just got the file transfer tab and voila.

    Copy / paste does not work that I can figure out.



  • @manxam said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    @scottalanmiller : A standard support session with SC does not prompt for admin creds as is why I was wondering if the "1 time connection" option worked the same.

    It does not, but it also doesn't give you admin privileges.



  • @manxam good question, I can't recall for certain but expect that elevated access might be necessary. That being said, there are options when generating / downloading the windows agent that I can't exactly recall but were along the lines of "unattended & interactive", interactive only or unattended only. Maybe the interactive only option provides a limited feature set but only requires user access?



  • @notverypunny : thanks for the info. I'll spin up an installation and give it a shot and let you guys know!



  • @notverypunny said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    @manxam good question, I can't recall for certain but expect that elevated access might be necessary. That being said, there are options when generating / downloading the windows agent that I can't exactly recall but were along the lines of "unattended & interactive", interactive only or unattended only. Maybe the interactive only option provides a limited feature set but only requires user access?

    Just tested the "Connect" button and it works beautifully.



  • Three new updates released today. We are on "w" now. Updated from s to t yesterday. u, v, and w all came out so far today. We now have great screen selection, so the biggest draw back vs. ScreenConnect has now been solved.



  • Men, I better jump on the train before I get left at the station!



  • Remote Printing

    ScreenConnect has a remote printing feature. Not everyone finds this feature necessary. It can be a little annoying at times when you go to print and have a crazy amount of printers to choose from. However, a lot of our remote users need this feature.



  • @syko24 said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    Remote Printing

    ScreenConnect has a remote printing feature. Not everyone finds this feature necessary. It can be a little annoying at times when you go to print and have a crazy amount of printers to choose from. However, a lot of our remote users need this feature.

    Is this because you are using SC as a sort of VDI tool, rather than as a support mechanism? That's a neat feature, but not one I was even aware that we had 🙂



  • @FATeknollogee said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    Men, I better jump on the train before I get left at the station!

    I think the more that we talk about it, the faster that they update it! Ha.



  • We've started the long process of moving from ScreenConnect to MeshCentral. We will run them side by side for a long time, as they work fine in tandem. But out game plan is to get our production migrated as "quickly as reasonable" and then move our SC hosting from costly production to the lab and keep it purely as a "backup" system until such time as we are forced to retire it based on licensing. It'll just age out till then.

    But my guess is that it will take about a month and from the looks of it, we will just be moved over to MC and won't sign into SC for a very, very long time and mostly just forget about it.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    @syko24 said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    Remote Printing

    ScreenConnect has a remote printing feature. Not everyone finds this feature necessary. It can be a little annoying at times when you go to print and have a crazy amount of printers to choose from. However, a lot of our remote users need this feature.

    Is this because you are using SC as a sort of VDI tool, rather than as a support mechanism? That's a neat feature, but not one I was even aware that we had 🙂

    Correct. Some employees, accountants, work remotely by connecting to their desktop in the office. Remote printing is a must for them. For me I keep a handful of clients on ScreenConnect for quick access.



  • @syko24 said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    @scottalanmiller said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    @syko24 said in Comparing MeshCentral 2 to ScreenConnect:

    Remote Printing

    ScreenConnect has a remote printing feature. Not everyone finds this feature necessary. It can be a little annoying at times when you go to print and have a crazy amount of printers to choose from. However, a lot of our remote users need this feature.

    Is this because you are using SC as a sort of VDI tool, rather than as a support mechanism? That's a neat feature, but not one I was even aware that we had 🙂

    Correct. Some employees, accountants, work remotely by connecting to their desktop in the office. Remote printing is a must for them. For me I keep a handful of clients on ScreenConnect for quick access.

    Yeah, very different workload. SC is definitely better, IMHO, for that. Way more like a VDI system. MC feels more like a support mechanism.

    Obviously those are "look and feel" things, not technical functionality. But I think you know what I mean.



  • @scottalanmiller That was fast...getting rid of SC like a bad habit!



  • For remote users, SC's "pop out dedicated screen" stuff is perfect. But for support techs, it's not necessary. MC's lightning fast in browser system is better, at least for me, doing support tasks. Doesn't look as "pretty", but is faster and more functional for getting support tasks done.