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Screen sharing and remote access solutions

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Last Modified: 2019-04-10

Can someone provide some suggestions for reliable and easy-to-use remote access or screen sharing solutions?

I have been using a free service from TeamViewer for several years but since their latest version, I get a pop-up whenever I attempt remote access which states I am required to upgrade to a paid service in order to have that functionality.

By the way, my screen sharing needs are not commercial, but personal (due to paralysis from quadriplegia).

I have a desktop PC as well as a hybrid laptop/tablet and both are running Windows 10. I want to have unattended access in either direction so that I can transfer files as well as see and work on one system from the other.

I'm sure there are a number of different solutions but I'm hopeful that someone here can point me to one which they have found to be simple, straightforward and reliable — and preferably free.

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Personally, I use RealVNC.. But its mostly for machines on my local LAN.. Pretty sure its free for < 5 users.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

I put Radmin Server on my desktop and Radmin Viewer on my laptop. I can control my Desktop from my laptop.

Radim is from Famatech, and the Server cost is modest one time. The viewer is free.

This is how I do it.
Ron MalmsteadInformation Services Manager

I am reaching out to the top brass at TeamViewer to let them know your situation.  Fingers crossed... maybe they will help.
SuhaibIT specialist

AnyDesk is good alternative for TeamViewer

Chrome has an addon that works with any device that can use a Chrome browser.
It's free and works quite well.
Owen RubinConsultant

I like RealVNC as well. And Macs screen sharing is VNC compatible. The RealVNC client viewer works on all platforms and supports a number of different options.

For mobile (iPhone, Android, iPad) I believe Jump Desktop has the best client of any I have tried. Especially their handling of cursors, where on the client there is a circle below the pointer so you can actually see what you are pointing to. It also supports Windows Remote Desktop if you decide to use that. Lastly, it supports viewing over SSH connections if you want the extra security.

For Mac and PC viewing client I use RealVNC's viewer which is great.

For VNC you will have to port forward different external ports to internal VNC ports. Real VNC allows you to assign any port as a listener, but I set them all the same so I dont have to remember which has what port internally, and then give them different external ports for each machine I want to reach.

Also, if your external IP is not static, you will need a service like dynamic DNS so your site always has a named pointer if the IP should change. I like Oracle's dyn.com services. Cheap at $55 per year for multiple domain names.  For example, I can be owen.dyndns.org, and dont care what my ISP does to my IP address. Then I can connect to VNC with owen.dyndns.org:5901 as an example (and no, that is not my real dyndns address or port!)

I use these every day and they work great.
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independent Technology Professional

Can you please clarify for us if you want to remote access from within the same network, or over the internet?

I am assuming you want to use it over the internet since that's why you are using Teamviewer. If that is the case, I would look carefully at some of these suggestion as I would not recommend using a program like VNC, which is designed for local network remote access over the internet. It exposes you to additional security risks.

To answer your question though, it sounds like Teamviewer has detected something that has flagged your account as commercial. So it may be able to be resolved pretty easily by contacting them. That or they have taken some functionality out of the free version.
Agree with Brian, VNC is not the solution if its not local network.

I assumed that based on your initial question and mobility issues, this was going to be a local use between a desktop PC and laptop/tablet.

I use RealVNC for local control, and GoToAssist for unattended support outside the network. But its expensive.
Owen RubinConsultant

Brian, what issues do you have with VNC? I use it all the time remotely outside the network, but I do connect via an SSH remote connection. But have been using it for over a decade or so, and never had a problem.  So I cannot fully agree with you. VNC alone over the internet can expose the password if set up wrong, but that is a correct set up issue.
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independent Technology Professional

Just that is not what it was designed for. You have to expose additional ports, which means additional attack vector. I would expect that it works, but is best for experienced users.

I don't want to detract from the question. The point may be moot unless we hear back from the Author.
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Owen RubinConsultant

Thanks Brian. FYI: Just checked and only 1 port passthrough was necessary (as I thought), typically 5900. Maybe it used to require more ports?. I port forward one very high random port to my inside port. And in10+ years, I have seen attacks on RDP port, 80, and 590x looking for holes, but never my higher port so I suspect not such a vector after all.

Your mileage may vary.

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