TeamViewer (news, site) has been updated to version 4.1, offering a host of new features to improve the ways that distributed groups can communicate, share and offer support.

How many "i"s in your team?

We last covered TeamViewer a couple of years back when it began to offer a free version for personal use. That is still the case, but the software has evolved since then to keep up with the ever-changing world of online communications. The latest edition --  Version 4.1 -- now offers instant messaging as part of the package to help maintain its status as an all-in-one connectivity solution.

The IM feature works in a similar fashion to most other tools, allowing you to see who from your team or group is online, talk to them and launch TeamViewer sessions to collaborate or solve a problem via remote desktop.

IM joins the feature list of remote administration, presentation and support, now all accessible with a one-touch instant connection.

In collaboration mode documents can be edited by anyone in the meeting using an interactivity mode or displayed as a presentation for others to follow. Other enhancements include improved network performance to boost the speed with which sessions run.

Sharing Your Desktop

You can share your desktop to work on a document with remote colleagues or show a presentation to a client. Note that only the chosen document is displayed, not the entire desktop as with some packages.

You can also take over another user's machine to fix a problem or apply updates, and reboot and reconnect to remote machines as an administrator, all without worrying about network security, NAT issues and firewalls.

Security is guaranteed by ISO 9001:2000 certification, full encryption with RSA keys and ESA 256-bit encoding, session passwords and VeriSign coding.


TeamViewer adds chat to its set of connectivity features

Join the crowd

Now boasting over 15 million users, TeamViewer is available as a seven-day free trial, and as a lifetime purchase, currently US$ 649 for the Business and US$ 1,299 for the Premium version. Or, it can be taken on a six-monthly license -- ideal if you are working on short-term projects.

It runs under Windows and Mac OS-X, and you can access a system from anywhere using a browser-based session with the Web Connector feature.

We would hope to see VoIP added in a future iteration of TeamViewer to allow group chat. If you're not sure which version you want, this page provides a useful role-based guide.