Well, it finally happened to me… again (A warning to others)
I had been a happy “free” personal licenced user of Teamviewer for 5+ years now. Its a great product in terms of performance and features for maintaining all of my various computers and operating systems from Linux, windows, and MacOS that I keep in my home. It even worked from a rasberry pi like a thin client. I could help maintain my kids computers and minecraft servers with it, and even help them with their homework when I was traveling, able to see their screen at the same time.
Nothing that I was aware of, violated their terms of the personal use license. All computers were owned by me and kept in my home save for when I took a laptop or cell phone for travel using their app. I did get flagged 2 years ago erroneously, and I suspect it was because I was remote connected to my daughter’s computer from a hotel room to help her with her homework. Back then they had a fairly straightforward ticketing system for reporting issues and someone got back to me the next day and removed the flag after manually reviewing my logs.
Fast forward to yesterday… I was out and about at lunch and wanted to check on the progress of a backup sync operation on one of my windows systems. I launch the app on my phone and am greeted with a big (Commercial Use Detected) error and now I’m limited to about 30 seconds connect time before it cuts me off on all my systems.
I went to their customer service links and discovered that I can no longer submit tickets as a “free” license customer and am restricted to asking questions in the forums which are full of people in the same boat as me with no way to contest the situation and no real answers from TeamViewer staff.
So now I’m left in rough situation. I get that I can’t really complain since it was a free service they were providing but the way they handled it was very poor. I even recommended this software at work for which we purchased (very expensive) licenses to be able to help support our international staff where VPN and other network blocks are in place causing most remote software to fail. We were thinking about possibly expanding this to a larger user base but after this experience, I think I’ll be looking at alternatives going forward.
Now, for the main reason I started this post, I’m obviously looking for alternatives for free, personal use at home (work is another situation I don’t want to get into here). I’m not interested in going with another closed source company that can arbitrarily cut me off without warning no matter how good their software is, I want control.
I have a VPN setup on my network so I’m not worried about how to access remotely. I would prefer phone app support. I’m not interested in a monthly fee although I might consider a one time purchase or a very low yearly fee if the software is worth it.
Unfortunately after a brief search, I’m afraid my only option for cross platform support is VNC… an aging, slow standard that only has a fraction of the features I was hoping to have in 2019…
Anyone know of any other great alternatives? Preferably OSS?