A big fan of MS products (don't down-vote me because of that, I have my personal reasons) I have always used MS products without investigating the alternatives.

For a number of years I was using MS SMS for remote management of user PCs, but soon found it to be too frustratingly slow, and buggy as hell.

I soon discovered that I was physically travelling to remote locations rather than using SMS to manage machines.

In recent times I have discovered Netopia's Timbuktu. This allows you to perform the remote-control functions that MS SMS does, but is extremely quick at refreshing the screen. So much so that at one stage we had a 128Kbit link to a city 300 miles North of me and then a 64Kbit link from there South to a city 500 miles South of where I am now (there was no direct link from here to there at that stage) so the link travelled 1100 miles (600 of it unnecessarily). The update speed was the same as sitting in front of the console.

So impressed was I, that the cludgy and expensive MS SMS was dumped in favour of this product.

You may have your favourites, but it is worth looking into alternatives as well if they do the job better.