Geeky/Programming Life

Family Tech Support Lifesaver – TeamViewer

Earlier this week I read about TeamViewer on Lifehacker. I figured, yeah, just another gimmick, like GotoMyPC, whatever. So I just made a mental note and moved on.

If you ever have had to deal with long distance friends and family and their computers, you know what I am talking about. People don’t know what they are doing when it comes to setting things up, and since you aren’t there, they try to get you to help over the phone or IM, and it ends up being a debacle.

Steve Tech Support

Microsoft tried to add remote support in XP and Vista, but it just doesn’t work! Remote Assistance is what I am talking about. Every time someone tries to request “Remote Assistance” from me, I can never connect, it always ends up being back and forth trying to get connected, and not solving the person’s problems.

So, today my mom was like “I just bought a new printer, hooked it up to the desktop in the basement, but I want to use it on my laptop, shared , you know”

Well, trying to talk a relative through windows networking is basically like trying to talk Spanish to someone in China. (“Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature dude” [Walter from The Big Lebowski])

Anyways, I’m like, ok, good test for this new “TeamViewer”. I install it quick, on my desktop at home, Vista, no issues. Mom – install it. Give me the “Partner ID” and “Password”, in 2 seconds, I am connected. And remember now, this laptop she is on has 1 or more firewalls running, which is what is causing the problems in the first place with the printer sharing. I connected to her with no issues. So I poke around, get the computer name and just check it out. Good. “Mom – go install TeamViewer on the desktop, give me the info so I can connect”. I go play a song on the piano, before I am done, she IM’s me back the info, and I connect. No issues.

So now I have 2 remote’s up. I first disable Windows Firewall on both, try to ping each by name. The laptop can get to the desktop, the desktop cannot get to the laptop. Go back to laptop, dig around. Trend Micro running as well. Tried adding a subnet rule so it trusts the internal network. No Dice, not intuitive and I’m not spending all afternoon on this. Disable the firewall. Try pinging both again by name. Works. Add a printer, search the “workgroup” (I verified earlier they were the same). Find printer, add it, print test page. Done.

Tell mom – “you don’t need a firewall (or two) because you are behind a router”

Close TeamViewer, all is well.

I would recommend to anyone who needs to connect to someone remote this new TeamViewer app. Works great, and saved me time 🙂

Go here to get TeamViewer:

BTW, that picture is a representation of my l33t graphic skillz. Yeah, look out graphic designers, I’m coming for ya!

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By Steve Novoselac

Director of Digital Technology @TrekBikes, Father, Musician, Cyclist, Homebrewer

2 replies on “Family Tech Support Lifesaver – TeamViewer”

I guess I could have figured out the printer problem eventually. I did have my old printer on my network. But, since I have this wonderful, techie, brilliant son…who is SO helpful…I asked him to help me out. Made my day!
Love that boy!


I use TeamViewer since many weeks and it’s really great.

I don’t need to visit my friends anymore if they have problems with their computers.
I just need to connect to them and do my job.

It’s very pleasant that TeamViewer is free for private use.


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