TeamViewer is a powerful and incredibly useful application which allows you to remotely access and control any computer connected to the internet, Mac or Windows. The app is 100% free for personal, non-commercial purposes and compared to its competitors, I found it packed full of groovy features making it my new defacto standard for “family tech support” needs… With that said, let’s take a closer look at all the features as well as a few screenshots detailing what I like about it.
TeamViewer has a very clean interface without any unneeded features on display. From the main screen, you can do the two most basic features: either send your ID and Password to another person to let them gain remote access to your computer, or input another person’s ID and password so you can begin controlling their computer.
You can also create a TeamViewer username and password which allows you to control your PC’s (work or home pc) remotely with a click of a button. You can see this from the lower right side of the main screen called Computers & Contacts. I’ll detail this in later groovyPosts for you.
The lower left has a small traffic-light style indicator letting you know whether you are using a secure connection. The light turns yellow when someone is attempting to connect and is inputting the password.
From the main screen you can also access some of TeamViewer’s other features, such as the Meeting tab, the available extras, and you can even setup unattended access to control your computer while you’re away from home at any given time.
Above is a screenshot of TeamViewer being used to control another PC with TeamViewer installed. One nice thing about TeamViewer is it acts as a proxy to connect both sides of the connection. This way, no firewall rules need to be updated to allow the connections to be opened.
TeamViewer also automatically optimizes the quality of the screen sharing based on the connection quality on both ends. Testing it out with a friend who had a very very slow internet connection, TeamViewer performed flawlessly!
If your remote controlling someone’s PC with TeamViewer or if you just need to drop them a file, TeamViewer allows you to copy files from one machine to another easily. Here’s what File Transfer looks like on the remote computer once a file transfer is initiated. A log file will appear to inform the user a file is being transferred.
…and here’s what it looks like on the local computer initiating the transfer (a full file browser UI + log). Notice the Interface is very compact and simple to use. You can copy, move and delete files including creating folders if needed as well.
Right next to the File Transfer option on the top menu of the local computer is the Extras button. From here you can access additional features, such as VPN, Taking a Screenshot, Performing a Remote Update and more. The feature which impressed me the most however, is the ability to record sessions.
After recording a session, you can save it in a TeamViewer specific format, which allows you to view it as long as you have TeamViewer installed. Luckily, you have the ability to convert your video to any traditional video format, as well as choosing an output resolution.
Both the recorded and exported videos look very good, with little difference from the original and with a fairly acceptable frame rate.
As we mentioned, TeamViewer packs a whole bunch of features, but since we won’t have time to cover all of them, here is a list of some other features which TeamViewer stands out with:
- Instead of installing TeamViewer, once you download the installation file (exe/tar.gz) you can choose the “Run” option, which runs TeamViewer as a portable application – great for single time use on remote computers.
- Built in VoIP functionality, chat, conference calls, and the option to add video via a webcam on any meeting or remote access session.
- “Switch sides with partner” option, which can be triggered from the local computer – where the local computer instantly becomes the remote one and vice versa.
- “Actions” menu – allows performing more advanced Windows actions, such as rebooting in Safe Mode, pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del, pressing Windows+L and so on.
- You can register a free account in order to keep a list of different computers and contacts which can be accessed instantly after authorization
- You can set a predefined password – useful when setting up unattended access or if you often need to use your computer remotely.
- You have the ability to get past the Windows Logon screen once a user connects to the computer remotely (requires a password and needs to be additionally configured).
- You can send invites to friends for TeamViewer meetings and remote access sessions via E-Mail with the pre-made E-Mail form.
- TeamViewer is also available for Mac OSX, Linux and Mobile Devices like Android Tablets and Phones, as well as the iPad and iPhone. Groovy!
Keeping in mind it is free, it has a friendly UI, and it packs so many useful features, TeamViewer is definitely a must-try for any tech geeks or for anyone who uses remote access daily.