Connect and Control with TeamViewer
YOU’LL NEED THIS TEAMVIEWER Grab the app from www.teamviewer.com.
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 www.teamviewer.com. 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.