TeamViewer is remote access and remote control computer software, allowing maintenance of computers and other devices. It was first released in 2005, and its functionality has expanded step by step. TeamViewer is proprietary software, but does not require registration and is free of charge for non-commercial use. It has been installed on more than two billion devices. TeamViewer is the core product of developer TeamViewer AG.
Rossmanith GmbH released the first version of TeamViewer software in 2005, at that time still based on the VNC project. The IT service provider wanted to avoid unnecessary trips to customers and perform tasks such as installing software remotely. The development was very successful and gave rise to TeamViewer GmbH, which today operates as TeamViewer Germany GmbH and is part of TeamViewer AG.
TeamViewer is available for all desktop computers with common operating systems, including Microsoft Windows and Windows Server, as well as Apple’s macOS. There are also packages for several Linux distributions and derivatives, for example, Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, and Fedora Linux. Besides, there is Raspberry Pi OS, a Debian variant for the Raspberry Pi.
TeamViewer is also available for smartphones and tablets running Android or Apple’s iOS/iPad OS operating system. Support for Windows Phone and Windows Mobile has been phased out after Microsoft discontinued support for the two operating systems.
The functionality of TeamViewer differs depending on the device and variant or version of the software. The core of TeamViewer is remote access to computers and other endpoints as well as their control and maintenance. After the connection is established, the remote screen is visible to the user at the other endpoint. Both endpoints can send and receive files as well as access a shared clipboard, for example. Besides, some functions facilitate team collaboration, such as audio and video transmissions via IP telephony.
In recent years, the functionality of the software has been optimized in particular for use in large companies. For this purpose, the enterprise variant TeamViewer Tensor was developed. With TeamViewer Pilot, TeamViewer sells software for remote support with augmented reality elements. TeamViewer offers interfaces to other applications and services, for example from Microsoft(Teams), Salesforce, and ServiceNow. The solution is available in nearly all countries and supports over 30 languages.
Incoming and outgoing connections are equally possible via the Internet or local networks. If desired, TeamViewer can run as a Windows system service, which allows unattended access via TeamViewer. There is also a portable version of the software that runs completely without installation, for example via a USB data carrier.
The connection is established using automatically generated unique IDs and passwords. Before each connection, the TeamViewer network servers check the validity of the IDs of both endpoints. Security is enhanced by the fingerprint, which allows users to provide additional proof of the remote device’s identity. Passwords are protected against brute force attacks, especially by increasing the waiting time between connection attempts exponentially. TeamViewer provides additional security features, such as two-factor authentication, block and allow lists.