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Free Screen Sharing/Remote Access Tool

Free Screen Sharing/Remote Access Tool

  • A client turned me on to teamviewer.com, and I was really impressed. It was a person in an IT department hundreds of miles away - I gave her remote control access to my computer through this free tool, and she was able to install and configure several things for me that would have taken me probably an hour to do on my own (I am not as tech savvy as I pretend to be). She was on some kind of PC - I am on a Mac.

    According to the web site, remote access provides:

    • Instant remote support – no need for any installation on the client side
    • Remote maintenance – 24/7 access to remote computers and servers
    • Remote access – access your data and applications – anytime, anywhere
    • Home office – access your office computer from home

    As it's free, it seems like a great tool for nonprofits - I can see several scenarios where I might want to use it with online volunteers, or when I'm volunteering online (I'm trying to help an Afghan colleague with her online activities - this is going to be a HUGE help!).

    Anyone else out there use it? Do you love it as much as I do, or did you have a very different experience?

    (I noticed there was a thread that mentioned teamview.com on TechSoup from April 2011).

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    Jayne Cravens
    TechSoup Community Forum Manager

  • I've been using it for personal tech support for family/friends for about a year now. Absolutely great program. Much easier than a typical VNC or remote desktop program.

  • I took a look at teamviewer and it looks like it might be a really good match for us here in the office. However, everything I've seen on their site says it's free only for private/non-commercial use with no exception mentioned for non-profits. That said, can this product be used by non-profits for free? Does anyone know for sure?

  • I've used it with a nonprofit, and the TeamView virtual police didn't descend upon my house and take my computer away... if you are at all worried that your use of TeamViewing isn't within their guidelines, why not contact them and ask? Then report back here about what you learn - would be interesting to hear how their customer service is!

    Also, I really hope you will fill out your TechSoup online profile. Here's advice on how to do that:

    forums.techsoup.org/.../33966.aspx

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    Jayne Cravens
    TechSoup Community Forum Manager

  • Sorry for the late reply, however...

    TeamVewer's license agreement DOES NOT exempt non-profit operations. Their definition of "private use only" means exactly that. The definition of "indirect payment" renders it useless for our organization despite the quality of the software. To their credit, they address the question quite well in their support documents:

        http://www.teamviewer.com/en/help/213-How-exactly-is-private-use-defined.aspx

    Also, for individual use, the licensing fee is pretty steep, starting at $749 (US). The good news is that it's a permanent license and it's licensed per technician rather than per user so some situations may really benefit from the arrangement.

    Finally, I have used the software extensively on a personal and trial basis and it WORKS VERY WELL - getting through almost any barrier with no problem at all. The only issues I've had were related to bandwidth - most often not related to TeamViewer with its default settings.

    Love the software. Unfortunately, between the licensing and the cost, it's not useful for our small organization.

  • look at screenconnect.com

  • Why not Zoho Assist? An annual subscription for unlimited use is pretty reasonable.

  • TeamViewer is not free to use for nonprofits.  It's a bit misleading because TeamViewer advertises itself as a free remote access and screen sharing tool.  However, the company has their own definition of what "free to use" means, which in essence comes down to this:

    TeamViewer is free for "private use" or personal use, but it  cannot be used for free in any kind of office environment where employees are getting paid directly or indirectly.  Any such office environment (which includes non-profits) is considered non-personal commercial use. The point is that any organization where people are paid is considered commercial use according to the company.

    Now it's possible that TeamViewer can still be used for free in a non-profit environment composed of only volunteers, since there is no form of direct or indirect payment made to these people.  However, this is a possibility and not a certainty, so if this is your situation you'll have to ask the company to get a clear answer from them.

    Please refer to this page on the company's website to understand what "free for private use" means:

    TeamViewer: How exactly is "private use" defined?

    Yann Toledano, Digital Marketing Strategist
    YTConsulting.com
    Host, Web Building Forum, TechSoup.org
    Twitter: @webmanyann

  • I would check out CrossLoop as another free alternative to TeamViewer.  They also have a paid version, but the free version is 100% free (for everyone).  Pretty easy to use as well.

    Yann Toledano, Digital Marketing Strategist
    YTConsulting.com
    Host, Web Building Forum, TechSoup.org
    Twitter: @webmanyann

  • Yann,

    The link in your post appears to have a typo that sends folks to a bogus search page.  Could you please check on it?

    Thanks,

    -ENO

  • Good catch, ENO.  Thanks, I fixed that link now.

    Yann Toledano, Digital Marketing Strategist
    YTConsulting.com
    Host, Web Building Forum, TechSoup.org
    Twitter: @webmanyann

  • Hello Yann: you have re-inspired me!

    I brought the issue up here in TechSoup because of my experience with the folks at TeamViewer.

    I called the support folks at TeamViewer directly and they walked me carefully through their license definition on the issue; well enough to see that our organization would qualify for the non-profit discount but not for free use. Since we are incorporated and have paid employees (including me), the organization receives the "indirect benefit" of TeamViewer's use, we would need to pay for it.

    I agree with your concept of a "non-profit environment composed of only volunteers" and I would hope that TeamViewer could include such a group under its "personal use" definition. Our organization supports 12-Step recovery groups all over the world who are, by definition, all-volunteer groups. They would do quite well supporting each other, member-to-member, using TeamViewer on an individual basis.

    I love the application so much that I'm seriously considering paying the full fare price so I can use it in my consulting practice. Your idea is incentive to consider buying the license as an organization just so I could promote its use.

    OTOH, we ARE 12-Step and governed by our own ethics (Traditions) in these matters. Our groups pay for meeting space even when it's offered free and so I wouldn't be surprised to find our members willing to "donate" to a company even when they are allowed to use its product/service free of charge. AND YET... I would catch serious flak from some of them if I did anything more than use this application as a tool when they call me for support.

  • recently I've seen an article related to easy screen sharing and remote access tools..link: [link deleted by moderator] might be helpful..!

  • Dear nani11,

    Welcome to TechSoup.  Unfortunately, the link you provided leads to a totally different topic so I've deleted it.  Feel free to re-post the correct link.  Also, please let us know which nonprofit you work for.  You can also fill out your profile so we have a better sense of the context for your recommendations.  

    Robert

    Forum Moderator

    Robert L. Weiner Consulting
    Strategic Technology Advisors to Nonprofit and Educational Organizations
    San Francisco, CA
    robert [AT] rlweiner [DOT] com
    www.rlweiner.com

  • Something else you might consider, depending on the use case for your needs, is Meraki's remote desktop tool. Although it is mostly designed for use by organizations to provide support to their own machines (there is an installable agent involved) the program is light weight, but most of all, it is FREE. All the connecting person needs is a browser, so your platform doesn't even matter.

    You'll have to sign up for an account, then add the client and install the agent (agents are available for Windows and Mac computers) and then you can connect using the Remote Desktop tool.

    http://ww.meraki.com