Wednesday, 10 March 2010

First Boot: Getting or Offering Remote Assistance with TeamViewer

Whether you've been on the sending or receiving site of remote assistance or just wanted to show your desktop to someone else, you may have found yourself in a situation where selecting the software to use for connecting to the other party's PC wasn't a trivial task.

Some programmes out there might work fabulously within your network, but once you want to go out to the world via your router (or your firewalls actually, one of which might reside on the router), they don't seem to do the trick and appear to be locked inside your home.

Enter TeamViewer. It's snappy, it's fast, you don't need a PhD or spend hours finding out how to use it, and best of all: it works! Being free for personal use is of course another perk we shouldn't neglect... Last but not least for the fruit addicts out there, a Mac version is available as well.

Download the software from and save it to your hard disc. Obviously, the person to whose computer you wish to connect, should do the same.

Start the program by double-clicking it from Windows Explorer. If - like me - you don't fancy installing software but would rather run it 'out of the box', select the 'Run' radiobutton. Click 'Next', put a tick in the 'I accept the terms in the License Agreement' box, and click 'Next' again.

The one who wants to share their desktop will need to let the other person know (via e-mail, IM, phone, mail pigeon, or shouting very loudly if there's a continent in between them) the 'ID' and 'password' numbers you see in the left pane.

In the right pane, the one on the receiving end enters the ID that the sender umm sent, chooses the appropriate radiobutton, and clicks 'Connect to partner', after which a window pops up where the password (received from the sender) is to be entered.

Next... hang on, there's no 'next'. That's it: the sender's desktop will now appear in a new window on the receiver's screen. If 'Remote support' was selected, the receiver has full control over the sender's PC and can provide the assistance that was desperately needed. (In other words, only share your PC with people you know and trust)

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