Technology Tuesday: TeamViewer. Best Remote Desktop Access

I typically access one of my computers remotely about once a day. Having a dependable, quick, easy and functional way to do this is of critical concern to me. Regardless if you are a heavy user of remote computer access or only need to occasionally pop onto your computer remotely, it is nice to have an app that just works.

I’ve been using LogMeIn for years and thought that this was the cream of the crop and richest in its feature set. While I have been very pleased with LogMeIn, I was thrilled last week to find an even better alternative. This week we’ll take a look at TeamViewer.

Basics

TeamViewer gives you the ability to remotely connect to a PC from another PC or mobile device. The host computer can be running Windows, Mac or Linux. Mobile devices can be either Android, iPhone or iPad. The host computer runs the program in the background waiting to be accessed. Once you connect, you have full control over the computer as if you were sitting in front of it. No doubt you’ve probably already used a similar program or had technical support from some company dial into your computer at some point so you know how it works.

So what makes this the best and what features blow LogMeIn away?

Speed 

TeamViewer is hands down the winner in speed. The connection time from once you select your computer until the time that it is accessible is blazingly fast and makes LogMeIn seem archaically slow in comparison. Check out this quick video comparing TeamViewer with LogMeIn Free:

[Initial Connection Speed]

Of course, initial speed to access is of little importance if there is lag and sluggish performance. TeamViewer is crisp and performs without much, if any, difference from when you are actually in front of your machine.

Cost

TeamViewer is completely free for non-commercial uses as are many other remote access solutions. But what separates this from other options is the fact that the mobile apps are free as well. So if you have both an iPhone and Android tablet and want to access your computer, you can download the apps for iOS and Android and it will not cost you a penny. Contrast this with LogMeIn where you will be set back $30 for each app.

File Transfer

TeamViewer has a fantastic file transfer utility. While previously looked at DropBox does a great job for syncing, sometimes it falls short of a full featured transfer utility. TeamViewer can fill the gap when you need to transfer more data than your DropBox size can accommodate, don’t want to copy or move original files into your DropBox or need better speed. Simply selecting the folder or files from destination computer and location you want them saved to on receiving computer is all you need to do. Transfer can go in either direction.

 [File Transfer Utility]

True Full Screen

One of the big drawbacks of many of the other remote desktop options is the lack of true full screen viewing. By this, I mean being able to view the remote computer EXACTLY as if you were sitting in front of it and not embedded in a browser window or cropped to a difficult to read size or some other odd contortion of your display’s proper proportions. Check out this screen shot of a remote session with my desktop:

[True Full Screen]

Robust Feature Set not equaled with any other solution

Dozens of features, some of which may be found on other apps, but not all of them. A sampling of features include:

  • Ability to “switch sides” with remote computer
  • Blanking remote screen
  • Reboot/Restart
  • Screen Recording
  • Chat, Voice over IP & Video
  • Full control over screen resolution, scaling and quality
  • Log Files of sessions

Remote Control or sharing with other people

We have been focused on using TeamViewer as a remote desktop solution for your own computers. The same rich features are available for ANY computer. Simply giving or receiving an ID & Password that is generated when you open TeamViewer and you can log onto someone else’s computer or let yours be controlled.

Drawbacks

Not many. A minor annoyance is a pop-up that remains on the screen until dismissed after a session thanking you for using the product and reminding you that it is for non-commercial use.

Bottom Line

TeamViewer is rock solid, stable, blazing fast, free and full of advanced features all while being easy to setup and use. You can access your computers remotely, share your computer, or access someone else’s machine from a mobile app or another PC.

TeamViewer Download Page

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Hidden Track Technology Tuesday
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5 Responses

  1. Great review. The free mobile apps are a BIG win!!!

    Parker, I want to follow your technology posts – not all of Glide or HT, just this – without having to check in on the site. Do you have an RSS feed for only your posts? Or a Twitter account I can follow without any other “noise”?

    Thanks!

  2. Ammyy Admin is quite useful if you are looking for a remote control program very easy to use and do not give you any annoyance to the configuration of ports, firewalls and more.

    1. Although Ammyy software itself is legitimate and doesn’t bring any harm, scammers can use it maliciously. Ammyy gives an official warning on their website not to grant access to people you don’t know. This statement can be related to any remote access software.

  3. Too little, too late for me. I used to be a huge TeamViewer fan, but now I have switched to RHUB. Its remote support servers are easy to use and is only one time cost.

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