Lantronix SpiderDuo Remote KVM-over-IP Review

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Zanthexter

Honestly, that was a pretty clueless review.

Software solutions require the OS on the system to be installed and functioning properly. In that situation, they are by FAR the best solution for day-to-day remote access. No question, beating ANY other method of remote access.

The point of this device is to be able to work on your system WITHOUT needing an OS that's working well enough for remote access software to function.

Here are some examples of what that's good for -

You can watch a system boot, and even make changes to BIOS settings.

You can control something that doesn't permit remote control software to be installed, such as a firewall or point of sale system.

You can remote control a damaged computer, for example one so infected with malware that it can't get online. (I support offices in several states, this IS an issue.)

Using the Virtual Media capability you can mount a .ISO from elsewhere on the lan and install Windows from 1,000 miles away.

Using the Virtual Media capability, you can boot off of a CD/DVD containing outside-the-OS troubleshooting and repair tools. (malware removal again)

You can use this with an existing KVM to make it remote accessible over the internet.

You can combine this with a KVM that supports a USB hub for use with four systems. (I haven't found a large KVM with shared hub yet.) I've successfully used the SpiderDuo w/ PS2 and a CablesToGo KVM to share the Spider across four systems, including virtual media, for a total cost of about $300, around half what a 4 port IPKVM with Virtual Media support costs from other vendors.

As I write this, the SpiderDuo is on sale for $199, making it easily the least expensive single port IPKVM I know of. Every time I've bought one, it's been enough cheaper than the competition that I've yet to try a competing model.

I suppose it's possible that a competing model might be faster to work with remotely. But the thing is, as the review says, software remote control actually is better, with more features, for day-to-day remote use. (I like LogMeIn, there are many others.) I can handle a laggy and less than color accurate display if it saves me three hours stuck in traffic driving to and from an office across town, or lets me work after hours from the comfort of my own desk, rather than stuck in some cramped server closet at 11pm.

I'm actually going to send one of these to my mother, who lives 1,500 miles away, because I'm sure at some point she'll get her computer to the point where it won't boot.

So, if you compare this device to other devices in it's category, rather than software remote control solutions intended for entirely different use patterns, I'd personally rate it a 9 of 10. It's a great device, but could use improvements in speed and fine tuning.

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Zanthexter

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ljhighq

I have a Spider and so does my aunt who lives 100 miles away but I have just one question... what did Lantronix do to this guy to get the bad IMAX movie analogy? It's a good KVM that allows a computer to be accessed via the Internet!  Not just a network, but from anywhere!   It's sometimes sluggish but so is all remote access software!  It depends on the transmission speed.  It may also be due to the security.  I love this thing because it saves me from driving 200 miles both-ways and several hours to help my aunt. 

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smartvmusa

I have also ip kvm switch for kvm over ip. I think your reviews is not quite good because the functionality is not according to current scenarrio. So upgrade the kvm switch.

Thanks

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Havok

 Dave 'Dave, The Murph' Murphy is writing a review for Maximum PC? Does this mean everyone's favorite competitive eating, open source aficionado is back as a Maximum PC member? Or is this still free-lance work?

 

 

YES! This post made it through the Spam Filter!

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TheMurph

I've always been a Maximum PC member... just not a full-time editor.  ; )

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miraclesdohappen

In the review titled: "KVM-over-IP Review"... you keep referring the SpiderDuo as a "KVN"... what is a KVN?  It's a KVM!  "Lantronix’s SecureLinx SpiderDuo KVN switch" and "As a dedicated KVN switch"  I use it at a university to maintain remote computers.  It does a good job.  On an earlier firmware version, I noticed a little speed issue, but not with the latest firmware.  I agree with the poster that said it deserves a better review because there really is nothing else out there like it. I tell people all the time to get it.

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TheMurph

Gah.  My apologies for the typos, all.  :o

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mmanalyst

I bought a Lantronix SpiderDuo and I have subscribed to MaximumPC for years so I was excited when I received notification that the publication reviewed the SpiderDuo.  Let me tell you, I really like the SpiderDuo and I never had a problem with connection speed... in fact, my customers have bought dozens for me to connect to their systems. The connections are always fast for me no matter who's system I connect to.  Because I've had so much success with this, I was shocked when the author started the article by saying"it's a lot like a crappy IMAX movie"!  He goes on to talk about how one can get a software solution.  YEP, if your operating system isn't screwed up, yes, you can go get a software solution.  Unfortunately, when customers call me, software solutions don't work.  There are TONS and TONS of options on this unit. The author didn't mention ANY of them. It was not an in-depth review and MaximumPC must have better reviews or else companies will ask their products not be reviewed!  In closing this comment, I have to say, there is no better product out there that does what it does. The reviewer gave it a 7, but compared to what?  In my book, it is a 10.  One thing I do agree with him about is that I would like to see a lower costing consumer version though, but most of the people I do business with can afford the $300.  Right now, hosting companies and I.T. consultants primarily buy it.

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