I have been a fan of CrossLoop forever. Well, forever in terms for how long the company has been up and running. Actually thought it was a European start-up when I wrote about how the software saved my sanity back in February 2008. I waxed prosaically back in August 2009 when a friend called from Cairo, Egypt with a problem and I was able to fix it, using Crossloop.
Today I have stopped using CrossLoop. Mostly because it no longer works on my computer when trying to help out Dad. Didn't work on any computer in the house when trying to get through to Patrick as a test case.
Crossloop help insists it's my security software settings. Which haven't changed any time lately. And I have Popeye running WinXPSP3 with ZoneAlarm and Avast Anti-Virus Free while Quincy runs Win7SP1, the native Microsoft firewall and Avast Pro. Since I've said I've set the security settings (well, checked them) and they've said do it twice, despite what I've said, I started looking for a new Remote Viewing Software option.
And I have a winner. A BIG winner it looks like. TeamViewer Free from TeamViewer Software works with my current security settings (Although I had to add an exception to the MS Firewall for an incoming request from Patrick). And it BLOWS away the free version of CrossLoop.
At least in one night of trials it does. The remote viewing between Patrick and I was fast, smooth and pretty to look at. We switched who was viewing whom and Patrick could see all of my monitors, individually, or as one big desktop. I could see HIS desktop, which is deeper than mine. The video scaled impressively. Mouse movements were responsive.
And I didn't crash nor freeze once during the (admittedly, short) test.
All I had to do was send Patrick via email a small TeamViewerQS.exe file to run. He ran it, got an ID and a password for me to enter and we were connected. The ID is a nine-digit number and the password is a four-digit number. Compared to CrossLoop's single, different every time, 12-digit number. But there IS a trick. TeamViewer's main program, the one I'M running, remembers that ID, so I can just pick it from a list. Sooooo, it's the password, which changes with each running, that I have to have and type in.
The difference also includes no verification on the part of Dad's end, as adverse to Dad having to click Connect and then Approve me looking over his shoulder. The less Dad has to do in this support issue, the better.
It's hard to contain myself over just how impressed I am with TeamViewer.
I like the price, performance and ease of use. It also delves less into the nagging than does CrossLoop these days. CrossLoop on start and exit nags away at you to go pro. That's fair. I AM willing to look at ads for the product and the occasional email, all promoting parts of the service from CrossLoop that I don't need. TeamViewer is more restrained with the on-screen pleas and rather than the every-time exiting nag, it shows an ad some of the time. And it's not necessarily a TeamViewer ad. Both Patrick and I saw an ad for Vipre Security after the initial running. But I haven't seen it since.
The one thing for sure is that TeamViewer has a MUCH WIDER GAP between its free and pro product lines. Say about seven hundred smackers!!! The Free version is for the kind of thing that I'm doing. And nothing more. Any commercial licence STARTS at $695. Wow! At least that's the case right now.
Who knows in the future? I still use Remote Desktop Connection for the various companies I work with, with UltraVNC going the last mile (or some number of feet) between the corporate servers and the individual workstations. Normally, I wouldn't mind seeing how TeamViewer might work, since it supposedly has a Virtual Private Network feature. But no way I could get any of the bosses to fly for that kind of money for a three-user licence.
But rather than fret about what isn't going to be, I'm going to address an issue Pops had with his scan-and-email routine last weekend. And ten minutes later, after I've solved the problem, asked how Mom is and found out when the folks are coming up for a visit this month, I'll be done with TeamViewer for a good little while.
Back to the ballgame.