TeamViewer is fast, powerful and secure, but business licenses can be prohibitively expensive.
Updated July 16, 2021

TeamViewer is fast, powerful and secure, but business licenses can be prohibitively expensive.

Aaron Pinsker | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with TeamViewer

There are three main features of TeamViewer that are used by myself and across the clients I manage. Specifically, TeamViewer can be used as remote access for tech support. Once TeamViewer is installed on a client's system, it can be used as an on-demand remote access tool allowing for screen sharing and file sharing. Once the tech support session is done, TeamViewer is closed and the computer is no longer accessible remotely. The other main use is for a client to remotely access his or her work computer remotely. TeamViewer is set to open automatically at startup, and set with a custom password that can be used every time.

Pros

  • Sharing a screen via TeamViewer is generally very responsive, even if the internet connection (on either the client or host side) isn't great. TeamViewer seems to use an adaptive compression algorithm, that will sacrifice some screen clarity for a more responsive and pleasurable experience.
  • TeamViewer includes a built-in file sharing mechanism that allows for the easy and secure transfer of files from host to client (or vice versa).
  • During the initial install of TeamViewer, you can set it up to "run-only." As in, it will not actually install itself on the computer but will allow for a one-time use remote session. This is ideal for a quick tech support session where the client doesn't want to, or can't, fully install TeamViewer.
  • TeamViewer is a very secure platform, providing multiple layers of security. First, the only way to connect to a client is by knowing the client's machine id - a 9 or 10 digit randomly generated number created on install. In addition, for one-time connection, a randomly generated pin is created on each use. This pin can be set as a simple 4 digit pin, up to a 10 digit strong password including uppercase, lowercase, number and non-alphanumeric characters. In addition, TeamViewer is initially set NOT to open upon login - meaning the computer is not accessible until TeamViewer is manually opened on the client computer.
  • TeamViewer can be used as both an on-demand screen sharing platform - wherein a client only opens TeamViewer when someone needs to get on remotely, and promptly closes it afterward - as well as an always-on screen sharing system. TeamViewer can be set to open automatically at login, and run in the background. A "personal password" can then be created for unattended access - this password can be as strong or as weak as you choose. One the password is set, you can connect to your computer remotely via TeamViewer at any time by knowing the machine ID and the personal password.
  • Initial setup of TeamViewer is a fairly simple procedure, especially useful when talking a client on how to install it over the phone.
  • While screen sharing is TeamViewer's bread and butter, it also includes a plethora of other features including file sharing as well as both video and audio sharing (great for remote tech support).
  • With a TeamViewer account, multiple computers can be logged in via the account and easily accessible within an instance of TeamViewer.
  • TeamViewer is truly cross-platform, with version for Mac, Windows and Linux, as well as for mobile OSs such as iOS and Android.
  • A personal license is free.

Cons

  • Perhaps the biggest con of TeamViewer is it's pricing and licensing system. While a personal license is free, any form of commercial or business license is a minimum of $50/month. There used to be a one-time fee which was also quite expensive ($600+ depending on the license), but it was perpetual. Now, in order to use TeamViewer on a business level, you must pay the minimum $50/month. For occasional use, this fee is simply too high when there are other, less expensive options out there.
  • During install, you are asked if TeamViewer is being used on for personal or business use. When you select personal, all features of TeamViewer are available, but with a personal license. When you select business use, all the features are again present, but on a trial basis until a license is purchased. Unfortunately, if you accidentally install TeamViewer with a business license instead of a personal license, it is extremely difficult, if not near impossible to change the license. You cannot change the license on your own, you must contact TeamViewer with your machine ID for their support to change the license. However, TeamViewer doesn't guarantee that they will be able to change the license, and they quote you around 30 days to actually change the license, when the free trial itself is only 7 days. Once the business trial runs up, TeamViewer is effectively useless.
  • Continuing along the lines of licensing terms, if you install the personal version of TeamViewer, but TeamViewer detects that you may be using it on a business level, your license will automatically change from personal to business. TeamViewer detects this by monitoring how many client computers you connect to - if that number exceeds a certain value over a certain period of time (both are nebulous), the license is changed. This is an issue if you are using TeamViewer on a personal basis to provide FREE tech support to friends or family. If this occurs, you again have to contact TeamViewer and hope that they will respond to your request and change the license back to personal.
  • On a more technical note, TeamViewer cannot relay certain key commands to a remote machine such as cmd-tab (Mac) or ctrl-tab (Windows) to quickly tab through open applications, ctrl-alt-delete (though there is at least a menu item allowing that key command to be sent), and other interface-related items. Typically, the key commands that cannot be sent are related to deep system integration.
  • While TeamViewer, as a remote access viewer, can be easily installed on iOS or Android - to use it for screen sharing functionality (wherein a user can share the screen of an iOS device) you must be using a business license.
  • Before TeamViewer went to a subscription model, its initial high cost paid off over time. While the initial investment was high, the return on it paid off over the course of a couple of years.
  • With the subscription-based model, for a small business, the high cost may not be worth with the investment.
  • For a large business, or a business who relies heavily on remote tech support, the high subscription cost may be worth it.
  • Because TeamViewer is subscription based, a business must calculate how much money it will make on remote support vs. how much TeamViewer actually costs.
  • In my personal business, I have moved to a competing platform as a result of TeamViewer's shift to a subscription - the investment was no longer cost-effective.
There are numerous remote access systems and software out there. For personal use, TeamViewer is an ideal option, as it is easy, powerful, and secure. Even with the high cost of business use, TeamViewer is still a great system, that is easier to use and more feature rich than many competitors.

For business use where only one or two computers need to be accessed, LogMeIn is a far more attractive offer as it considerably less expensive.

Depending on your business environment, one of the best solutions is a VPN server and using Microsoft Remote Desktop, Apple Screen Sharing, or VNC to access the remote computers. While the initial setup is far more involved and potentially expensive, than TeamViewer, LogMeIn, or other services, once the system is in place you have full control over and no subscription fees are required.

Finally, a newer service, Jump Desktop, is beginning to gain traction that works very similarly to TeamViewer. It is far less feature-rich - no file sharing or audio/video sharing - but it is generally quite quick and responsive, and drastically less expensive.

Do you think TeamViewer delivers good value for the price?

No

Are you happy with TeamViewer's feature set?

Yes

Did TeamViewer live up to sales and marketing promises?

No

Did implementation of TeamViewer go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy TeamViewer again?

No

There is no doubt that TeamViewer is generally easy to install and setup. The biggest "gotcha" with the install is when setting it up the license for business or personal use. Personal use is free, whereas business requires a subscription. Unfortunately, once you set the license type you can't change it. While this isn't an issue if you choose personal and you meant to chose business, choosing business when you meant to choose personal can essentially make the software useless. The only way to change the license is to contact support - and in my experience support sometimes never responds to the request. The only other complication, and this is not TeamViewer specific, on the Mac a number of security features must be configured to allow TeamViewer to have access to your screen and allow a remote user to control the screen.
The main security feature used is single sign-on - wherein a randomly generated passcode is created prior to each session. This passcode must be provided to the user attempting to access the remote computer. The strength of this passcode can be configured, with the maximum strength being 10 characters with a mix of different types of characters (upper/lower case, numbers and non-alphanumeric).
In general, as a piece of software, TeamViewer is excellent. It is fairly easy to both set up and to use, while also being quite feature-rich. Screen sharing is generally both high quality and responsive and adjusts to bandwidth demands and requirements on the fly and effectively. In addition, because TeamViewer can be used as both an on-demand type system (mainly for tech support sessions) as well as an always-on type system, TeamViewer can be used as a one-stop shop for remote access, screen sharing, and tech support.

Unfortunately, TeamViewer's licensing system is borderline awful. Not only is the base price ($50/month) extremely high, making it out of the reach for many small businesses, it is nearly impossible to switch from a business license to a personal license if that is needed. To make matters worse, TeamViewer support is generally unresponsive when it comes to licensing requests.

TeamViewer Feature Ratings

Screen sharing
9
File transfer
8
Instant message
8
Secure remote access with Smart Card authentication
Not Rated
Access to sleeping/powered-off computers
Not Rated
Over-the-Internet remote session
8
Initiate remote control from mobile
9
Remote management of servers & workstations
8
Remote Active Directory® management
Not Rated
Centralized management dashboard
7
Session record
Not Rated
Annotations
Not Rated
Monitoring and Alerts
Not Rated
Multi-platform remote control
9

TeamViewer Security and Support

I did not purchase premium support. Based on previous experience with the standard support team, and the price of premium support, the cost of premium support did not seem to be justified. Standard support was beyond lackluster with no phone option and only an email/contact form option. More often that not it could take days and sometimes week to hear back from support. On more than one occasion support never responded to an inquiry, and the solution had to be found via other means (i.e. a Google search).
The main security features used have been related to machine passwords. There are three types of authentication to connect to a remote computer, a randomly generated passcode that is provided to you via the remote user, an "easy access" password that is set on the remote computer that never changes, and setting up a TeamViewer account and connected the various machines to the account. The strength of the randomly generated passcode can be adjusted (such as length and a mixture of number, letters and special characters) and can be set to expire after a couple of hours or after each use. The "easy access" password can be whatever you want it to be, obviously the stronger the better. Finally, if connected via a TeamViewer account, the TeamViewer account itself can be setup with two-factor authentication. For the most part, TeamViewer is used on-demand - meaning it is not connected to a TeamViewer account nor does it have an "easy access" password setup. In these situation, the strength of the randomly generated passcode is put at the maximum level (10 characters with a mix of different types of characters) and is set to change after each session.
I would not purchase TeamViewer again. It's cost compared to alternatives is extremely high and its feature set does not justify that additional cost. In addition, my experience with support has been beyond frustrating, reducing the value of the software. Finally, there are a plethora of other remote-access software out there that work just as well, have a similar feature set, significantly lower cost and better support.

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