TeamViewer is my favorite free remote access program. It's filled with features you don't normally find in similar products, is very easy to use, and works on pretty much any device.
You can download and use TeamViewer on a Windows, Mac, Linux, or mobile device.
Read on for more on all the details about TeamViewer, what I think about the program, and a quick tutorial on how it works.
Note: This review is of TeamViewer version 9.0.29480. Please let me know if there's a newer version I need to review.
More About TeamViewer
- TeamViewer downloads are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems
- You can remotely reboot a computer into Safe Mode and then automatically reconnect with TeamViewer
- No router configurations are necessary to setup TeamViewer
- Remote sessions can be recorded to a video file so you can easily review it later
- TeamViewer can share a single application window or the entire desktop with another user
- Files, images, text, folders, and screenshots can be transferred to and from two computers using either the file transfer tool in TeamViewer or the regular clipboard function
- TeamViewer can be used as a portable program for quick access or installed to always accept remote connections
Pros & Cons
As is probably obvious, there's a lot to like about TeamViewer:
- Completely free to use
- Supports chat (text, video, and voice over IP)
- Remote printing is allowed
- Supports Wake-on-LAN (WOL)
- No port forwarding configurations are necessary
- Spontaneous support
- Portable version is available so no install is required
- Can control a remote computer through the desktop program, a mobile device, or an Internet browser
- Can not be used for free in commercial settings
How TeamViewer Works
TeamViewer has a couple different downloads you can use to access a remote computer, but they both work nearly the same. You would choose one over the other based on your needs.
Each TeamViewer install will give out a unique 9 digit ID number that's tied to that computer. It actually never changes even if you update or reinstall TeamViewer. It's this ID number you'll share with another TeamViewer user so they can access your computer.
All-In-One is the name of the full version of TeamViewer. It's absolutely free and is the program you need to install if you wish to set up a computer for constant remote access so you can always make a connection when you're away from it, otherwise known as unattended access.
You can log in to your TeamViewer account in the All-In-One program so you can easily keep track of the remote computers you have access to.
For instant, spontaneous support, you can use the program called QuickSupport. This version of TeamViewer is portable, so you can run it quickly and immediately capture the ID number so you can share it with someone else.
If you're helping out a friend or family member, the easiest solution would be for them to install the QuickSupport program. When they launch it, they'll be shown an ID number and password that they must share with you.
You can connect to the QuickSupport computer with either the All-In-One program or the QuickSupport version - they both allow remote connections to be established. So you can actually both install the portable version and still make a solid connection with each other, which would result in the quickest method of remote access for both parties.
If you're looking to setup unattended access to connect to your own computer when away, you just need to setup a master password in TeamViewer that never changes. Once that's completed, you just have to sign on to your account from a browser, mobile device, or computer with TeamViewer installed to make the connection.
My Thoughts on TeamViewer
TeamViewer is by far my favorite remote desktop software. The QuickSupport version is so simple and easy to use, it's always my first suggestion when providing remote support to anyone.
The fact that TeamViewer doesn't require port forwarding changes is a solid plus because most people won't want to go to the hassle to configure router changes to accept remote connections. On top of that, all that must be shared is the ID and password that's clearly seen when you first open the program, so it's rather simple for everyone to use.
If you're looking to always have access to your own computer from afar, TeamViewer doesn't fall short with this demand either. You can setup TeamViewer so you can always make a connection to it, which is wonderful if you need to exchange files or view a program on your computer when away from it.
One thing I don't like all that much about TeamViewer is that the browser version is difficult to use. It's quite possible to connect to another computer through a browser with TeamViewer, but it's just not as effortless as the desktop version. However, I can hardly complain because there is a desktop version available and it is easy to use.