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  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
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    TeamViewer vs MSRA

    I recently had opportunity to use TeamViewer to help a client who lives far from me. It was my first experience with it, and it went very well. I used TeamViewer on a recommendation I got from within the Lounge. Since that experience, I happened upon a reference to Windows Remote Assistance or Remote Desktop or something like that. I suppose I'd heard about this feature that's built into Windows. I'm sure some of you have used the built-in application and TeamViewer. What advantage does TeamViewer have over the stuff that's baked into Windows? I have no experience with the Microsoft stuff.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    MS Remote Desktop lets you 'remote' into another PC but doesn't share it with whoever is at the other end. Instead it logs off the person at the other end and logs you in remotely instead. Whilst it's very effective, it's best used to log into your own PC from a remote location (although I find TeamViewer Host mode better).

    MS Remote Assistance is the 'same but different' to TeamViewer and other remote assistance solutions (VNC, uVNC, LogMeIn, etc.) but with one important caveat, i.e. whilst every (recent) version of Windows can send a request for Remote Assistance, only Windows Pro and above can respond. (This may have changed but I haven't used MSRA since Windows 7.)

    After 15 years working in IT Support for a major government service (supporting remote workers in distant offices and at home) and supporting family and friends living far away, I've used many remote assistance solutions since the days of Windows XP's NetMeeting. In my experience, nothing beats TeamViewer for ease of use, speed of connection, stability of connection, speed of screen updating and additional tools like file transfer. In addition, it's very easy talking a remote user into getting it up and running, for example from the TeamViewer website.

    If you choose TeamViewer then, in light of recent concerns, I suggest you do not create a TeamViewer account to 'manage/group' remote connections.

    Have a look at this HowToGeek article for more info. It's 3 years old but still relevant.

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2016-07-01 at 11:25.

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  4. #3
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    It does help, indeed! Thank you for the thorough and very enlightening response!

  5. #4
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    I've used Windows Remote Desktop on our home network to access a computer in another room of the house. It works great; you get the remote computer's desktop screen on your screen just as if you were there in the other room. It's also pretty quick and responsive with almost no lag at all. The only caveat is that i have to log in to the computer in the other room with a username and password that's the same as a user account on the remote computer. That's quick and easy enough, no problem. The main room PC is Windows 10 while the computer in the other room is Windows 8.1. This has not caused any problems. I suppose i could even use this Remote Desktop to connect when i'm away from home but have never tried it.

    I've used TeamViewer to assist someone over the internet. I installed TeamViewer free-for-personal-use version on my PC then phoned the other person and told them how to go to TeamViewer.com and download the small applet/control thingy to their computer. Some numbers pop up and you type those in and, bang, you've got their computer's desktop screen on your screen and you can then do pretty much everything you need to do on their computer including transferring files. Basically, i was asked to help with speed up a slow computer and to free up some space on their 240GB SSD which had become rather full. MalwareBytes was run immediately, during which time i looked at what was taking up space on the C: drive (the 240GB SSD) and where we might offload some data to. I was able to quickly transfer a recent version of CCleaner to their PC and install it and run it's cleaner and registry cleaning. Then i moved a bunch of photo & video files to their secondary hard drive and directed Windows to store data on that secondary drive by default in future. This preserves the most space on the SSD for programs and games. Including copying all the files it took about 30 or 40 minutes for the whole session. When completed i ran a couple of quick internet speed and SSD speed tests to confirm everything was as it should be. TeamViewer made all of this very easy to accomplish.

  6. #5
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    There's a new kid on the block called Microsoft Quick Assist which should be available to all in the next general release of Windows 10.

    Tenforums have a review of it here.

    I have tried it myself controlling my tablet from my desktop and it does what it says on the tin!

  7. #6
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Browni
    There's a new kid on the block called Microsoft Quick Assist which should be available to all in the next general release of Windows 10.
    ... and will no doubt be ignored by everybody that thinks it's ridiculous to have to have an MS account to use it.

    I loved the bit about "You must be signed in as an administrator on both computers to be able to get and give assistance with the Quick Assist app." What happened to the advice to always be signed in with a least-privileged account unless absolutely necessary? I can just imagine it now... Ring, Ring... "Oh, hello Granny, I hear you're having problems with your email. I just need you to log off as GRAN then log in as GRAN-ADMIN so I can use this Quick Assist thingy. No, I said 'LOG off', not 'BOG off'. Yes, I'll wait... oh, never mind, I'll come over, it'll be quicker. See you in 30 minutes."

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