TeamViewer 6 review
An impressive array of capabilities, good performance and extremely easy to use. It's our new favourite remote control software
There's a lot of competition in the remote control software market, and for personal use our money has been on the free, browser-based LogMeIn for quite some time now. But with the new version of TeamViewer, that's set to change.
Fundamentally, TeamViewer's appeal is much the same as that of LogMeIn: it's completely free for personal use, and you can remote control as many PCs as you like. With tweaks to speed in the new version, performance is comparable between the two, and both are pretty much platform agnostic, allowing you to control Linux, Windows and Mac computers.
The key advantage TeamViewer holds over LogMeIn, however, is its flexibility. First off, you don't have to set up an account at all to get going with TeamViewer - just install the software on each machine, give them passwords, and all you need do to connect is type in the generated unique identifying number at the other end. Alternatively, for one-shot support jobs, a non-installing executable can be downloaded.
Creating an account and registering PCs to it, however, makes managing multiple machines easier, and also opens up the ability to use the browser-based interface for machines on which you don't want to install the software permanently.
Once you're in, it looks even more impressive. The toolbar along the top of the remote control window offers not only the usual scaling and image quality options, but also a quick file transfer window, video, VoIP and instant messaging tools, the ability to set up conferencing calls between multiple machines, and even establish a VPN connection for transferring files via Windows Explorer.
New to this version is a presentation mode, which allows you to broadcast your screen to many other PCs simultaneously. And smartphone owners will be pleased to discover there are free apps for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android handsets available too - a feature for which LogMeIn users have to pay upwards of £18.
There are a few niggles - we don't like not being able to stretch-to-fit in full-screen mode, and the software launches a nag box every time you finish a session - but these are small complaints in the overall scheme of things. TeamViewer's nippy performance, simple operation and sheer flexibility make it our new favourite remote control tool.
Operating system support
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Operating system Linux supported?||yes|
|Operating system Mac OS X supported?||yes|