Con­nect and Con­trol with TeamViewer


Maximum PC - - R&D - –IAN EVENDEN

TEAMVIEWER IS AN AP­PLI­CA­TION that en­ables you to view—and re­motely con­trol—an­other com­puter. Not just any old com­puter, how­ever; the ma­chine you’re con­nect­ing to must have the client soft­ware in­stalled, and ap­prove your con­nec­tion—this isn’t an app for hack­ers. The link be­tween the two com­put­ers is also en­crypted, so no one can spy on what you’re do­ing.

There are mo­bile apps, too, so you can com­plete a task on your home PC—left run­ning and logged in—from a ho­tel room half the world away. All you need is your smart­phone and some Wi-Fi.

TeamViewer is use­ful for train­ing—you can al­low your stu­dents to view your PC as you carry out the task you’re teach­ing them. Or you can broad­cast a pre­sen­ta­tion to a “meet­ing” filled with peo­ple scat­tered across the globe. Let’s take a look! 1 RE­MOTE DESK­TOP Be­fore you dive into TeamViewer, Mi­crosoft might be able to help with the Re­mote Desk­top re­mote-con­trol tool that’s built into Win­dows [ Im­age A]. It’s been around since Win­dows NT 4 in 1998, and crossed over into our homes with Win­dows XP. In Win­dows 10, go to “Set­tings > Sys­tem > About,” and make a note of your PC’s name, be­cause you’ll need this to al­low other users to con­nect. 2 NEVER SLEEP Set your PC so it doesn’t go into Sleep mode in “Set­tings > Sys­tem > Power & Sleep.” Then make sure your PC can ac­cept Re­mote Desk­top con­nec­tions in “Con­trol Panel > Sys­tem Prop­er­ties > Re­mote.” If you’re on the same net­work, the Re­mote Desk­top app on the PC or smart­phone try­ing to con­nect should scan for you. You may need to find and sup­ply your IP ad­dress. 3 EN­TER TEAMVIEWER Down­load the ap­pli­ca­tion from If you only want to use the pro­gram once, it’s ca­pa­ble of run­ning from the .exe file, rather than be­ing fully in­stalled on your PC. Se­lect this box in the in­stal­la­tion op­tions if that’s what you want. The ap­pli­ca­tion is free for per­sonal use, so check the “Per­sonal/ non com­mer­cial” box for the free ver­sion. 4 AD­VANCED OP­TIONS There are some more op­tions avail­able dur­ing setup. For in­stance, you can choose the di­rec­tory the ap­pli­ca­tion is in­stalled into [ Im­age B]. The other op­tions are for an Out­look plugin to co-or­di­nate meet­ings, plus ad­vanced fea­tures, such as a VPN (vir­tual pri­vate net­work), and a print­ing server. Th­ese are the sort of things that need to be con­fig­ured, and aren’t re­quired for ba­sic use of the app. 5 BA­SIC CON­NEC­TION A good way to test whether it’s work­ing is to use your smart­phone. There are free TeamViewer apps for iOS, An­droid, Win­dows Mo­bile, and Black­berry, so in­stall one and link to your Wi-Fi. Run TeamViewer on your PC and smart­phone, and type the user ID and pass­word from your PC into the smart­phone app [ Im­age C]. You should get a good con­nec­tion on the same Wi-Fi net­work. 6 MO­BILE APPS The mo­bile app strips out the wall­pa­per from your PC desk­top, but you should see all the icons of your Win­dows desk­top in front of a plain back­drop. Pinch to zoom in and out, scroll the mouse pointer around, and click to launch apps and open win­dows. The apps are use­ful for check­ing in on a rel­a­tive’s com­puter, or for ad­min­is­ter­ing a home server. 7 SHARE YOUR SCREEN Now let’s try con­nect­ing with an­other com­puter. There are apps for Mac and Linux, as well as Win­dows, so if you have a mix­ture of com­put­ers at home, they can all use the ap­pli­ca­tion—they don’t all need to be us­ing the same op­er­at­ing sys­tem. Once con­nected, you can op­er­ate the re­mote com­puter just as though you were sit­ting at its key­board.

8 VIDEO CON­FER­ENCE You can use TeamViewer as a video-con­fer­enc­ing fa­cil­ity to hold meet­ings. Ev­ery­body tak­ing part needs a com­puter with a we­b­cam, and a de­cent In­ter­net con­nec­tion. Now make sure the com­put­ers you want to in­clude are in the “Com­put­ers & Con­tacts” list, then start a video chat with one, and add the oth­ers to it. If you’re us­ing TeamViewer for busi­ness, though, you do need to buy a li­cense key. 9 FILE TRANS­FER If your team is logged into TeamViewer, they can pass files among one an­other with the File Trans­fer func­tion­al­ity. With your con­nec­tion es­tab­lished, right-click the com­puter name in the “Com­put­ers & Con­tacts” list, and se­lect “File Trans­fer” in the menu that ap­pears. The per­son on the re­mote com­puter may have to au­tho­rize the trans­fer, then you can copy files from their hard drive to yours. 10 IN­STANT MES­SAG­ING There are more fully fea­tured in­stant-mes­sag­ing apps avail­able, but if every­one’s logged into TeamViewer, it saves hav­ing to use a sec­ond app. It’s much like any of the other apps, but it doesn’t send no­ti­fi­ca­tions when some­one adds a com­ment—this means you need to keep the win­dow in view at all times [ Im­age D]. The chat sys­tem sup­ports mo­bile de­vices, too.

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