Product Review – In the prior articles of this series I described in “How to Remotely Access Your Mac – Part 1” how you can access your Desktop Mac from a MacBook when they are both on the same network and in “How to Remotely Access Your Mac – Part 2” I outlined how you might be able to use Back to My Mac to access your Mac from a remote network. But Back to My Mac does not work for everyone. There is an easier solution though – “TeamViewer“.
TeamViewer is a third party solution with the parent company having been launched in 2005. The focus of the product is to provide online support and collaboration. Some of the statistics claimed on the website for TeamViewer:
- has been installed on over 1 billion devices (each device generates a unique ID)
- creates 750,000 new IDs every day.
- has over 20 million devices online at any given time
- speaks your language with the software and support in more than 30 languages
- 90% of Fortune 500 companies rely on TeamViewer to bring colleagues together across all platforms and all devices
TeamViewer IS a commercial product:
- Single user business license $49/month
- Multi-User Premium license $99/month
- Corporate Team license $199/month
HOWEVER, it is completely free for personal (computers and devices that are not being used for business or other commercial tasks) use. Per their website:
100% FREE for personal users! If you’re a student or are using TeamViewer to help friends and family, it’s completely free FOREVER. You’ll never be charged.
To install, go the website and click on the TeamViewer 13 Download button. This will download the TeamViewer DMG file onto your Mac. Double click on the DMG file to mount the volume. Then simply double click on the icon in the window to install the package on your Mac and follow the provided instructions.
To make my discussion a little easier I will henceforth call the Mac I want to remotely access the ‘server’ and the Mac I want to access it from as the ‘client’. You have to install TeamViewer on both the remote ‘server’ and the local ‘client’ Mac.
Once you have TeamViewer installed and running on the ‘server’ Mac, a blue icon will appear in the Menu bar. To set the Mac up for remote access, click on the icon and a drop-down menu will appear. Click on the “Setup unattended access.”
Use the resulting panel to set the name and a password for remote access on the ‘server’ Mac. Make the password something you will remember or write it down in a secure location. You will need this when you attempt to access the ‘server’ Mac remotely.
Now click on the TeamViewer icon again and select “Show TeamViewer” from the drop-down menu. In the column headed “Allow Remote Control” will be the ID for the ‘server’ Mac. For me, this is a nine-digit number similar to “123 456 789”. Write this down as you will need it when you attempt to access the ‘server’ Mac.
Now install TeamViewer on the ‘client’ Mac and run it. Click on the TeamViewer icon in the Menu bar. In the “Control Remote Computer” column enter the ID of the ‘server’ in the “Partner ID” field. Leave the selection as “Remote Control”. Now click on the “CONNECT” button to connect to the ‘server’ Mac. When prompted, enter the password you set up on the ‘server’ Mac for unattended access.
A window will open with the login screen for the ‘server’ Mac. You can then access the ‘server’ as if you were sitting at its keyboard.
If you are going to use TeamViewer I would suggest that you set up both the ‘server’ and ‘client’, then verify that the remote connection works while you have physical access to both. It is much easier to work out problems when you have both machines in front of you.
I have used TeamViewer a few times now to access the Mac Mini in my office in Round Rock, Texas from Henderson, Nevada. While it isn’t as efficient as being there, I can certainly access the data stored on the Mac and run Apps.
Having used it now a few times, I would consider TeamViewer a requirement for my Mac Toolbox on both my home desktop and my MacBook.
- Free for personal use
- Gives you complete access to your remote Mac
- Depending upon connection bandwidth, the response can be ‘laggy’
- Depending upon connection bandwidth, the image in the ‘server’ window can pixelate
- Third-party software
Read my other macOS articles