Viable Alternatives to TeamViewer Remote Access Tool

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TeamViewer is a remote access tool that provides you easy and secure access to multiple computers. But if you are looking for alternatives, there are other  products available out there that can fill the slot. This article looks at a few viable alternatives to TeamViewer.

Join.me

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Join.me is a meeting service (paid and free) that also offers remote control. All you need is a web browser on the controlling computer to use this service. The person using the host computer simply goes to Join.me website, clicks on Start Meeting, and downloads the relevant file.

You need to run this file which will provide a passcode that users need to enter in the Join Meeting field on the Join.me website. This will make the meeting starter’s desktop appear in the browser. After establishing remote control, you can send files, chat, and do more stuff. On the flip side, Join.me is not suitable for unattended remote control.

Windows Remote Desktop

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Windows Remote Desktop is a built-in tool that is fast and free, and provides complete remote control over computers. But unlike TeamViewer and Join.me, it does not support screen-sharing as the controlled computer’s screen does not stay live, but goes blank. It is also possible to access Apple products by using the Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac.

Windows Remote Desktop helps users remotely control their office PC and enables them to work at home. However, only the Ultimate, Business, and Professional Windows versions can be remotely controlled. Windows Remote Desktop is fine for one PC, but if you wish to control a number of PCs, you can try the next tool in our list.

Virtual Network Computing (VNC)

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VNC is an open-source remote-control technology that is offered by Ultra VNC and Tight VNC (both free), as well as RealVNC (paid and free) among other vendors. VNC is more difficult to use compared to TeamViewer and Join.me as it requires the user to know proper IP addresses.

As mentioned earlier, VNC is a viable alternative if you need to regularly control multiple computers. Simply install VNC on the computers you wish to connect and set them to listening. To add another PC, open the VNC client, enter the computer’s IP address, and access it. It may be necessary to open port 5900 on your router and firewall, and direct this port to the computer you seek to control.

You can open and use more ports to utilize VNC to connect to multiple computers behind a public IP. Both the server and viewer software are installed by default (similar to TeamViewer), enabling you to control in both directions. VNC is cross-platform (Linux, Mac, and Windows) and works really well after installation.

WebEx Free

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WebEx has become popular as a product for multiuser meetings in the boardrooms, but you can also use it for small-scale, live support and remote control. You need to install software at both ends to get started.

During the meeting, users can initially view only the originator’s desktop. The originator can pass control over the keyboard and mouse to other users, chat, share files, and use webcams for direct interaction. Though you may need some time to learn to utilize the less important features, on the whole, WebEx is easy to learn and use.

Ammyy Admin

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Ammyy Admin can be compared to VNC in that it does not offer sophisticated features like remote audio and screen scaling. Moreover, it can only be used on Windows platforms. Non-commercial use is free just like TeamViewer. Access limits are imposed if the software is used for more than 15 hours a month. The paid version does not cost much as a lifetime license without restrictions for two PCs is available for just $120.

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