TeamViewer: Great Free App For Controlling Parents’ Computer Remotely

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If you’re the person in your family or circle of friends that always seems to be asked computer questions, or are simply the person asking for help, what you really need is software that allows remote access between computers. That way, you can diagnose and fix problems from across the country without having to leave your desk.

I’ve tried a few different apps, but finally stumbled across an app called TeamViewer. The setup is easy, and works without having to mess with firewalls or router settings. You simply download the application on both computers, and then swap the provided access codes in order to let someone else control your computer. As long as the person you’re helping can download a file off the internet, you’re good to go. Now, I can control the mouse on my parent’s computer and see exactly what they are seeing on their screens. You can also use it to transfer large files directly between computers.

It works for Windows, Mac, Linux, and there are even iPhone and Android apps. It got 5 out of 5 stars from CNET Editors, and 4.5 out of 5 per user reviews. Best of all, it is completely free for non-commercial use. This program has already saved me hours of time, without having to provide a credit card or deal with time limits or 30-day trials. I just wish I found it sooner.

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  1. Could a family member, who has occasional access to my computer, load this program onto my computer without my knowledge and access my personal financial information?

  2. Do you know how it compares to using iChat w/ Screen Share on the Mac?

  3. @Margaret, you would likely notice the program’s icon in the tray, and if someone logged in you would see your mouse moving as they attempt to load your files/programs. This software isn’t designed to run in secret, though someone could certainly have that intention.

  4. I no longer do remote connections on other people’s computers. Too many times I’ve seen “questionable” content when fixing their stuff. LOL.

  5. Thanks Chris — it is nice to be aware of that. I am not that computer savvy.

  6. Been using this for a while with my android tablet and home PC, love it. Nice to be able to do something on my home computer no matter where I am.

  7. I have a mac, as does my most frequent “customer” (girlfriend’s mom). We just use the screen share feature in iChat.

  8. Nice find! I never considered this before cuz I figured it wouldn’t be something I could do for free, this will make life much more convenient. thanks!

  9. I been using which does the same exact thing and even you can login from your ipad and iphones. It’s free as well.

  10. Thanks a lot! This really helps me! I am the person who have to help my parents on their computer in China remotely from US.

  11. Windows Live Mesh does the exact same thing. Its free too !.

  12. Thanks for all the additional suggestions. I have a Mac and my parents have a PC running Windows Vista. This let me install iTunes and set up their new iPad for them from 3,000 miles away.

  13. Windows (XP, Vista, 7) comes with a built-in feature called “Windows Remote Assistance”, which accomplishes exactly the thing you are descrbing here – remotely control another computer’s deskop. So, why wasting time installing a 3rd party prgoram when Windows already has it ?!!!

    And even if you

  14. I have been using this program for few years now. Great that I no longer need to bring friends/families’ computer to do little fixes. I just tell them to log on to teamviewer and fix it with click of a few buttons. It’s a great little program.

    I actually use their ‘second tab’ marked as ‘meeting’ where as a person hosting the meeting, you can share your desktop screen with multiple users. You can instantly drag/drop files in their file share box which are instantly available to all meeting participants. If you have webcam, participants can see you conduct meeting.

    Though I have never tried this, there is a conference call feature available with special pin for about 5 cents/min charge.

    There are many positives of this little program and I could go on and on. But, best of all, it’s free for personal use.

  15. I don’t think the native Windows programs will allow a person using a Mac or Linux box to control their Windows computers.

  16. Is TeamViewer still completely “free”? When I used the current version last week (I was forced to download the new version from the website when I tried to set up a new “meeting”), it shut down my session after 15 minutes or so and insisted I pay for the software. Prior versions of TeamViewer let me use it for an unlimited amount of time assuming it was for non-commercial use. Still a great piece of software; I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up. YMMV.

  17. I’ve been using https:\\
    which is also similar. Check it out.

  18. CrossLoop. I’ve been using it for a few years now. TeamViewer sounds just like it. It connects across the web after the remote user gives you the unique code and grants you access. Free for non-commercial use. It has saved me so many times when a relative points to their screen and says to me over the phone, “you see this…” 🙂
    It’s nice to see other alternatives, too. Thanks for sharing.

  19. TeamViewer and LogMeIn are definitely the best in this category! Long time user of both 😀

  20. Does anybody know if there is a limit to how many people can use their webcam at once? We hold a meeting with about 10-12 people and would like everyone to be on camera all at once.

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