I have a friend who is about as skilled with computers as I am with nano-technological engineering. That’s a thing, right? Anyway, every month or two, he asks me to ‘fix his computer’ which usually means cleaning junk, malware, and uninstalling anything he shouldn’t have installed. Often, I do this from my computer at home, sometimes from within my GNU/Linux partition.
Teamviewer is a program that essentially lets the user remote control another PC. Teamviewer is also available for mobile devices, which can be incredibly handy for remotely accessing your/others machine from your cellphone. I have ‘fixed’ his computer many times, while on the bus or in a car (as a passenger) thanks to the ability to connect via my cellphone.
Teamviewer is available in most repositories, but can also be downloaded from the Teamviewer downloads page, as of right now Teamviewer 13 is the stable version for GNU/Linux.
You find installation instructions on the TeamViewer Community portal if you need help with that. On most systems, all you have to do is double-click on the downloaded file, or right-click on it and select the "Open With Package Manager" option to do so.
As far as requirements are concerned, TeamViewer runs on 32-bit, 64-bit and ARM devices, and supports Ubuntu (and derivates), Debian, RedHat, CentOS, Fedora, and SUSE officially
Once Teamviewer has been installed, accessing a remote machine is incredibly simple; in this article we will just use the basic connection features, but unattended access and other more complicated features are also available.
First, you / the owner of the remote machine, needs to give you the ‘Partner ID’ for the remote machine, and the password. Simply enter the ID number into the appropriate box, followed by the password when requested, and voila, you will shortly later be in total control of the remote machine!
The user who owns the machine that is being remote-controlled, has the ability to end the session at anytime, lock the remote user, etc, in order to help preserve security and prevent someone from doing things they would prefer not done.
You’ll note that there is usually some performance issues on the computer that is remotely accessing the other machine, so using Teamviewer for things like remote-gaming isn’t really feasible. However, navigation of the file system, program installation/management, web browsing, etc, are all quite easily done.
Security wise, all data sent between machines is highly encrypted using RSA 2048 public/private key exchange, AES (256 bit) session encryption from end to end, which is the standard encryption used in most things nowadays; so no need to worry about sensitive information being sniffed or procured in transit, making Teamviewer safe to use for business needs as well.
Teamviewer is free for personal use, so feel free to give it a try if you are unfamiliar with it, or if you too have that one friend who always needs help with their computer.
Now you: Do you use remote access tools? Like what, and for what? Let’s hear about it in the comments!
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.