Should you choose the FREE Veyon open source classroom management software or Netsupport Classroom instead? Having extensively used both to teach online and offline let me help you choose the right one.
Yes, paying for Netsupport is worth it. If you are charging students you will want a technical support desk and formalised training to teach yourself and the other trainers you work with. Paid software also guarantees fixes through patches and software updates where open source does not. The features in Veyon are still quite simple compared to Netsupport.
So now let us dig further into both software products to further explain this result.
We will discuss the following topics:
- Classroom Management Software
- Veyon vs. NetSupport
- Product Comparison
- Operating Systems
- Technical Support
Classroom Management Software
Classroom Management Software (CMS) refers to the tools that are designed to control students’ attention during classes, monitor what they are doing and supply support to students. Depending on the software you use there are some common and extra features with each tool.
For an understanding of what Classroom Management Software is check out this article:
CMS tools must be installed on students devices and configured from the teacher’s device. This will mean you will have to have admin rights to the students devices or the computers in your computer labs. You IT department will help you with this.
Veyon vs. NetSupport
Veyon is the only open-source classroom management software available on the market at the moment. Previous versions were called iTalc but it has been completely rebranded a few years ago. They had given up development on iTalc and then for some reason now they have rebranded and started issuing new releases.
Like with choosing between other paid and open source software you need to review the features and normally the open source software will have less features. This is balanced out by being able to use it for free as long as you don’t try to sell it to someone after you download it.
If you would like to trial the software you will need two computers and you can then download and install the software directly from the website above.
Here is a quick teacher’s introduction to the software for you:
NetSupport has been creating educational software since 1989. Currently, it boasts a 18 million install base and also offers a wide variety of additional tools to help educators. Their classroom management software is one of the major software tools on the market and is very mature in the space.
The have a suite of products for education and corporate IT teams that allow you not only to manage the classrooms while they are running but also the assets as well. Whether they are school, university or business owned assets or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) assets that the students own.
In terms of compatibility, the two CMS are very different. Being an open-source tool, Veyon is not compatible with many operating systems. On the other hand, as you would expect NetSupport allows educators to integrate the software into multiple platforms.
Another crucial aspect when it comes to choosing suitable classroom management software for your students is the list of available features. I have put into a table the most important features offered by the two CMS tools so that it would be easier to compare them.
|Data Usage Monitoring||Yes||Yes|
|Attention Control Measures||Yes||Yes|
|Shutdown / Restart||Yes||Yes|
|Student Share Screen||No||Yes|
You will clearly see that Veyon as the new kid on the block has all the core features but none of the advanced features that Netsupport has.
For a list of the features for Veyon you can look here:
For a full list of features for Netsupport Classroom you can look here:
As I have mentioned before Veyon is an open-source classroom management software. It means that anyone can use it without paying as long as you don’t try to sell it to someone else.
On the other hand, NetSupport is a paid CMS that requires you to pay a yearly subscription fee. The price depends very much on the features you want to include in your classroom management software. The software is broken down into many components that you can optionally include.
There is no simple pricing model on the website and you will have to contact them for a quote that will be routed to a local distributor. They will charge you per student license regardless of whether the license is actually in use. So be careful with quoting how many licenses you are wanting.
If something goes wrong with Veyon there is a bug submission tool but there is no guarantee of time to fix or if it will be ever fixed. There is no number to call for support or guaranteed Service Level Agreement (SLA).
A SLA is the contractual obligation of a software support centre to fix your problem in a certain time frame or escalate it until it is fixed. This is made clear to you when you first pay and assures you of when you can get back up and running again.
For this reason if the software is a critical class tool you would only ever go with a paid version like NetSupport. They have a dedicated 24/7 number to call as well as email and online help and support.
Veyon apart from a user guide and some third party training on Youtube has no formal training offering. The video tutorials on YouTube are not what you could show a student or enough for a teacher to understand how to use the software. So you will have to create your own training material for this.
When it comes to training, NetSupport literally excels. It offers a wide variety of training methods that are available without having to pay any additional fees.
If you are unsure about how to use NetSupport classroom management software you can reach out to their Training department and opt for one of the following training techniques:
- Online Documentation (PDF, Video, Screenshots)
- Live Online With An Expert
- In-Person (Only Valid In Certain Geographical Locations)
Is Paying For NetSupport Worth It
So now that we have run through the basics of what you should consider with Veyon vs Lanschool you now understand why you would pay for Lanschool. If however you are a non profit and you are providing free training or you have trainers or teachers technical enough to manage the software. You could use the free alternative.
I have used both over the years in classrooms and while the extra features are all well and good you only end up using some of the core features on a regular basis. If you have local IT support at a school or university then you could use Veyon for free.