Remote access is one of the most valuable tools in a computer user’s kit. With it, you can reach your own machines from anywhere, help a friend, or even remotely control USB devices.
Though Windows has its own built-in Remote Assistance feature (that not many people know about), some users might need the more powerful features available in other software.
One of the most popular remote control programs is TeamViewer, which has continually added features and become the standard for its kind. With version 12 releasing this month, we thought it would be a good time to have a look at what TeamViewer can do for you. Let’s review the most popular features of the software, along with what’s new in version 12.
Install and Meet TeamViewer
Getting TeamViewer (TV) installed on your PC is simple. Head to the TeamViewer website and click the Download TeamViewer button to grab the installer. During setup, choose the Basic installationand make sure you indicate that you’re using TV for Personal / Non-commercial use. The software is free for home users, while business folks pay a fee for more advanced features.
You don’t have to dive into any menus to enjoy the basic functionality of TeamViewer. Every time you open it, TV assigns you a nine-digit ID, along with a four-digit password. To connect to someone else’s machine, all you need to do is ask them for these two codes. Punch them into your Partner IDbox and make sure to check Remote control, and you’ll be connected to them in seconds.
If you’re using TeamViewer as a short-term solution to help someone, they don’t even have to install the full software. Scroll down a bit on the homepage and click the Join remote control session button to download a temporary version of TV that only stays running until you close it. This is a great way to get the service running for someone who isn’t tech-savvy.
Once You’re Connected
Once you’ve connected to a remote machine successfully, you’ll control this computer as if it was your own. Unlike some other remote assistance software, TeamViewer lets you respond to user account control (UAC) prompts to allow administrative actions. This is why you should exercise caution about who you let connect to your computer, as fake tech support scammers use this software to rip you off.
You’re not just limited to using the controls on the remote machine, however. TeamViewer includes an action bar at the top of its window with several useful commands. Under the Actions tab, you can send commands to reboot the computer, press Ctrl + Alt + Del, or black out the remote screen.
Under the View tab, you can choose to show the remote user’s cursor, change the connection’s balance between speed and quality, and adjust the resolution.
The Communicate tab lets you start a call with the remote user if you haven’t already done so using Hangouts or some other tool. You can also open a text chat to get feedback from your user, and even switch sides if you need them to control your machine for a bit.
Whether you’re connecting to someone’s computer for five minutes or working on a remote machine for hours, these tools go a long way in giving you all the control you need over the remote machine.