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... Shucks, I'm still hoping for a way to remotely view someone's iPhone, so I can help faraway clients. (That's not possible yet, is it? I've been out of touch.) ...
Greetings Colleen;

There is a way of remote viewing another's iOS device but one won't have control of the other party's iOS device. It's slow, but it works. *It involves both parties to have Macs.

Method:

1. Do a Screen Share of the other's Mac.
2. Have the other person plug their iOS device into their Mac.
3. Have the other party close iTunes when it automatically launches.
4. Launch Quicktime on the other's Mac.
5. From the File menu, select "New Movie Recording."
6. In the window that appeared, where the start recording button is located, just to the right of it is a small arrow pointed down. Click on it and select the connected iOS device.
7. In a few seconds, you'll see the iOS screen displayed from their Mac.

It's klunky, but it works. You'll have to have the other party do the things you want them to do on the iOS device.

Good luck.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's a relevant discussion:
Remote Control iPad from PC? (or from another iPad)?
Is there no way to remotely control an iPad from PC? I've been looking and cannot find a way to do this. I know there may be solutions with TeamViewer, but if I'm not mistaken it requires the iPad to be connected to a MAC computer and then you can view remotely from another desktop?

If it's not possible to do from a PC, connecting to one iPad from another iPad would also work for me. Is this possible?
 


Shucks, I'm still hoping for a way to remotely view someone's iPhone, so I can help faraway clients. (That's not possible yet, is it? I've been out of touch.)
It is possible to remotely view someone's iPhone if they are running iOS 11. There is some setup required.
  1. Remote user needs to install the TeamViewer QS app for iOS.
  2. User launches TeamViewer and tells you the machine ID.
  3. You use a TeamViewer app to connect to the remote machine ID.
  4. User uses Settings to add the Screen Recording button to Control Center.
  5. Users goes to Control Center and uses the Screen Recording button to start a screen recording broadcast to TeamViewer.
I happened to try this yesterday; it works.
  • You can't remotely view the iPhone without the user's cooperation.
  • You can only view. You have to tell the user what actions you want them to take.
  • Unlike when Apple Support does a remote viewing session, you can't highlight anything on the user's screen.
 


I have the need to assist an elderly friend some 3000 miles away. I have a 2015 i7 Retina 27-inch iMac. He has an iMac around 2012/13 running OS X 10.11.6. I have worn out my welcome useing TeamViewer.

Can someone please recommend a "value for money" app that I can purchase to help me assist my old mate remotely?

Thanks in advance.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I have the need to assist an elderly friend some 3000 miles away. I have a 2015 i7 Retina 27-inch iMac. He has an iMac around 2012/13 running OS X 10.11.6. I have worn out my welcome useing TeamViewer. Can someone please recommend a "value for money" app that I can purchase to help me assist my old mate remotely?
Coincidentally, I'm dealing with the same issue currently.

What exactly is the problem with TeamViewer for you? It seems like the easiest way to accomplish the task, especially as far as getting through firewalls goes. I've used it in the past successfully. The two issues I have currently are 1) I don't think it supports OS X 10.7, which one of my relatives is using, and 2) It's more than just an app - it's an installer package that makes changes that aren't obvious (so we have to just hope it's not creating security issues or other problems).

One alternative is Apple's screen sharing, but I don't know yet how complicated it is to use across remote networks and firewalls/routers, etc., and I don't yet know what OS X versions are compatible.

Another alternative is Apple's Back to My Mac, which has requirements that may not be simple to implement:
  • Two or more Mac computers that are using the same iCloud account on OS X Lion v10.7.5 or later.
  • An AirPort base station (AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, or AirPort Time Capsule) or other Internet router that supports UPnP or NAT-PMP, with the latest available firmware. AirPort base stations require firmware version 7.6.1 or later for Back to My Mac.
  • AirPort Utility 6.3 or later.
  • For screen sharing, a 300-Kbps-or-faster, bi-directional (up/down) Internet connection between computers. You might be able to use file sharing with slower connections. If file sharing isn't working like you expect, check your settings and connections.
  • A firewall that allows remote connections. Some firewalls might prevent certain Back to My Mac connections. For example, when you're at home, you might not be able to connect to your Mac at work. But when you're at work, you might be able to connect to your Mac at home. If you aren't sure if the firewall will allow Back to My Mac connections, check with your organization's network administrator.
Some other options that I haven't tried:
I'd be very interested in hearing from others and specifically hearing about:
  • what OS X versions are compatible - for each end
  • what's needed to get through various routers/firewalls in the middle
  • what software is required at each end (i.e. apps vs. installers vs. kernel extensions, etc.)
  • what intermediating systems/networks/cloud and accounts are involved
  • how difficult it is for a non-technical (and elderly) user to get the remote control system up and running on their computer without on-site support
  • any and all security concerns
  • prices/costs
 


I have the need to assist an elderly friend some 3000 miles away. Can someone please recommend a "value for money" app that I can purchase to help me assist my old mate remotely?
No purchase necessary when you use Apple's Messages app to initiate the connection. Go to Messages and start a new message thread to the remote user by clicking the New Message button and typing their name in the To: field. Make sure to select a phone number or email address that shows "iMessage" rather than "Text Message" next to it in the list of numbers/email addresses available for that contact. Verify that the remote user is connected by having him or her reply to your message.

In the header of the Messages app window, next to the remote user's name, click Details. In the pop-up panel that appears will be the user's name, and next to their name are three icons. Left to right, those icons will initiate: Screen Sharing, FaceTime Video, FaceTime Audio. Click the icon for Screen Sharing, which looks like two blue rectangles (screens) with one partly overlapping the other, and choose "Ask to Share Screen."

The remote user will receive a notification pop-up at the top right of their screen that you are asking to share their screen. The default choice is to allow their screen to be observed, but they can allow you to have control of the mouse by checking the box next to "Allow x to control my screen." Screen Sharing will open on your Mac showing the remote Mac's screen, and a two-way audio chat is initiated, so you can talk to your buddy while you work on his Mac.

This is explained by Apple more clearly on their help page:
Share screens with another person

Apple also has information on setting up a screen sharing connection without using Messages here:
Set up and use screen sharing

Of course these help pages have been updated for High Sierra, but from my memory the procedure has been the same (or very similar) since at least El Capitan 10.11, if not earlier.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Can anyone give actual experience in using apps "Screens" and "Remotix"?
I don't have any experience with Remotix, because using Russian software for computer access seems like rather a bad idea to me.
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Registrar URL: http://www.webnames.ru
 


I'd be very interested in hearing from others and specifically hearing about:
  • what OS X versions are compatible - for each end
  • what's needed to get through various routers/firewalls in the middle
  • what software is required at each end (i.e. apps vs. installers vs. kernel extensions, etc.)
  • what intermediating systems/networks/cloud and accounts are involved
  • how difficult it is for a non-technical (and elderly) user to get the remote control system up and running on their computer without on-site support
  • any and all security concerns
  • prices/costs
Addressing Ric's questions, regarding using Apple's built-in Screen Sharing functionality:
  • Screen Sharing has been built-in to Mac OS X since Leopard 10.5. The ability to connect remotely was originally handled by iChat (starting with 10.5?), though the feature required an AIM, Gmail, Jabber or Yahoo account. It appears that the switch to using Apple's iMessage protocol for session setup happened with the release of OS X Yosemite.
  • Nothing is needed to get through a firewall, since the connection is set-up using a third-party server (Apple). As far as I know this is the same method used by TeamViewer.
  • No software needs to be installed. It's included with macOS.
  • An AppleID signed in to iCloud and the Messages app on each Mac is required.
  • It is extremely easy for a non-technical remote user to accept the connection request from the person providing tech support.
  • I don't have security concerns, since my Mac and all of those for whom I provide support are already signed-in to iCloud with their AppleID. your milage may vary.
  • Free!
One final note, if you use Screen Sharing frequently, you can add the icon for the Screen Sharing app to your dock. The app is located at System > Library > CoreServices > Applications, which is also where you'll find other help things, such as Wireless Diagnostics, Network Utility, etc. When the Screen Sharing app is launched manually, it starts with a "Connect To:" window which allows you to enter a Hostname or Apple ID directly, without using the Messages app as an intermediary.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
An AppleID signed in to iCloud and the Messages app on each Mac is required.
Do you have to sign into iCloud on each computer using the same Apple ID? (I always worry about unintended consequences from signing into iCloud....)

Meanwhile, "Messages" is a relatively recent Apple app, isn't it? I'm trying to remotely support one system that's running OS X 10.7 (Lion) and another running 10.10 (Yosemite), both running off hard drives.
 


Do you have to sign into iCloud on each computer using the same Apple ID? (I always worry about unintended consequences from signing into iCloud....)

Meanwhile, "Messages" is a relatively recent Apple app, isn't it? I'm trying to remotely support one system that's running OS X 10.7 (Lion) and another running 10.10 (Yosemite), both running off hard drives.
You do not need to use the same AppleID on both Macs. In fact I'm not sure how it's designed to work if both Macs are signed in using the same AppleID, since that's the scenario that the Back to My Mac feature of iCloud is designed for. Indeed, I would be concerned about the unintended consequences of signing in to System Preferences > iCloud on someone else's Mac using my AppleID.

Messages is the evolution of iChat. Messages was released as part of Mountain Lion 10.8. I'm not exactly clear on when Apple's iMessage protocol became the only supported method of setup for Screen Sharing, but I did find a reference to that switch happening with Yosemite 10.10.

The issue for connecting to Lion 10.7 will be finding a supported chat protocol that is still up and running. Between AIM, Gmail, Jabber or Yahoo, I know that AIM has been shut down, I'm not sure about Google or Yahoo chat, and I have no experience with Jabber. Although, creating and configuring an account in iChat on the remote Mac running 10.7 may be beyond the capability of the remote user. But for your user running 10.10, I wouldn't hesitate to use the built-in Screen Sharing functionality.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
TeamViewer reckon I've had my share of the free quota that they provide.
So, you've run afoul of these rules, then?
TeamViewer said:
Why do I see 'Commercial use suspected' / 'Commercial use detected'
Some free users have been asked to purchase a TeamViewer license because their usage pattern suggested that they were using TeamViewer in a commercial environment and/or for commercial purposes. This might include connecting to a work computer to quickly check an email or file, for example.
 


... Apple Remote Desktop

I'd be very interested in hearing from others and specifically hearing about ...
Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) used to be a great tool for administrators. Given its current state of dysfunction, I can't recommend it. macOS's built-in Screen Sharing has a subset of ARD's features. Screen Sharing is what most users need.

Like much of Apple's software in the last few years, ARD's quality has slipped. ARD 3.9 has not been updated since March 2017. In October 2017 I posted a long list of ARD's broken features. ARD 3.9's broken features all work in ARD 3.5.3. To update a client's 20 Macs running El Capitan and Sierra, I use ARD 3.5.3 in Snow Leopard running in VMware. It just works.
 


...
  • I don't have security concerns, since my Mac and all of those for whom I provide support are already signed-in to iCloud with their AppleID. your milage may vary
The organization for which I work has prohibited use of Apple Screen Sharing from the beginning. I don't know whether it's because they felt it could be used as a way to pirate export-controlled information (an issue they had with Skype until good, old Microsoft came up with the current version with the spyware backdoor for special friends with court orders) or because the data transfer was not encrypted. Given concerns about man-in-the-middle attacks on everything over IP, it would be nice to know if all Screen Sharing content (rather than just keystrokes) is encrypted, or if I'd be exposing my banking website or family addresses to clever bad actors.

My understanding from the recent past is that it is not encrypted and that you need to establish an ssh tunnel to make it so.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Given concerns about man-in-the-middle attacks on everything over IP, it would be nice to know if all Screen Sharing content (rather than just keystrokes) is encrypted, or if I'd be exposing my banking website or family addresses to clever bad actors. My understanding from the recent past is that it is not encrypted and that you need to establish an ssh tunnel to make it so.
For what it's worth, here's what TeamViewer says:
Engineered with award-winning cloud-based network compression and end-to-end encryption with 256-bit RSA keys, TeamViewer enables you to access your desktop files securely anytime — even using public Wi-Fi, mobile hotspots, or slow connections.
But the pricing for TeamViewer is onerous: $49.99/mo. minimum for non-personal use?!
 


I have had similar problems requiring remote access to machines and have used the Apple Screen Sharing, Logmein, Bomgar, TeamViewer and even attempted to use the built-in Windows Desktop or the remote assistance.

Recently a client required me to be able to monitor and support her PC running Windows 10, and I had just installed iDrive as a backup system for her. They have a new product, RemotePCSuite, which is only $50/year for up to 10 computers and the first year is just $10. It works quite well, very little time lag, no issues with Mac/PC interface and can work between computers of both varieties.

One of the pluses is that the hosting computer remains "live", so the user can see what you are doing. It does not have the audio capabilities of Apple Screen Sharing, so a phone may be needed to instruct, but that's a really minor detail in a world where most PCs still do not include a microphone, let alone a camera.

I suggest this may be a very good alternative for people who do a bit of remote assistance and do not want to get into the heavy investment that some of the PC software requires.
 


Given concerns about man-in-the-middle attacks on everything over IP, it would be nice to know if all Screen Sharing content (rather than just keystrokes) is encrypted, or if I'd be exposing my banking website or family addresses to clever bad actors.
According to this, Screen Sharing is fully encrypted under Mountain Lion and later. If Lion or earlier is involved, the graphical content (screen refreshes) is not encrypted.
The issue for connecting to Lion 10.7 will be finding a supported chat protocol that is still up and running. Between AIM, Gmail, Jabber or Yahoo, I know that AIM has been shut down, I'm not sure about Google or Yahoo chat, and I have no experience with Jabber.
GoogleTalk was based on Jabber, but has been shutdown/migrated to Hangouts. AFAIK, Yahoo Messenger was never supported for initiating Screen Sharing (and Yahoo Messenger shut down 2 weeks ago anyway). So, apparently the only remaining way to initiate Screen Sharing though iChat on Lion and earlier is via a 3rd-party Jabber server. There are public Jabber servers available.
 


If I might make a suggestion...

My elderly father lived by himself, and over the years his eyesight got poor, and he was a little shakey. He was forever messing up the sort order in his email. He would call saying he wasn't getting email that he knew should be showing up.

I installed a program called Deep Freeze by Faronics.com. The Mac version cost $66. You install it and set up the machine the way you want it. Then you freeze the settings. If anything happens from that point... misconfiguration, malware, whatever, when you reboot, it goes back to the way you set it up.

To upgrade software, you thaw it, update and refreeze.

Works. He would mess it up and reboot, and it would fix it!

Parallells has a remote access option I used for a while. It is a pay service.

Take a look at AnyDesk.com
 


For screen-sharing and/or VNC you could try NoMachine (https://www.nomachine.com). It's free. I used it extensively back with, I think, Yosemite, and it worked pretty well in those days. As I recall, it installed fairly easily, but I don't know the level of skill you or your distant-other have for such things.

These days I swear by Remoter for iOS for VNC connections from my iPad to my Mac. I haven't tried their Mac-to-Mac setup, but I will assume that it is equally reliable and easy to use. (https://remoterlabs.com/store/) It seems they have a free-to-try version, as well as a sale right now for about $10 (for an upgrade price, the apps also do SSH).
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
For screen-sharing and/or VNC you could try NoMachine (https://www.nomachine.com). ...
We may have a winner. They say that connections are encrypted, and it supports back to OS X 10.7, which has been problematic for other options.
NoMachine said:
NoMachine's commitment has always been to provide packages for the widest range of most frequently used platforms and operating systems. NoMachine software runs on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux operating systems, the minimum required versions are:
  • Mac OS X 10.7
  • Windows XP
  • Red Hat Enterprise 4.4
  • SLED/SLES 10.x
  • Open SUSE 10.x
  • Fedora 10
  • Debian GNU Linux 4.0 Etch
  • Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron
  • Raspberry Pi 2/3 ARMv6/ARMv7/ARMv8
 



Addressing Ric's questions, regarding using Apple's built-in Screen Sharing functionality:
  • Screen Sharing has been built-in to Mac OS X since Leopard 10.5. The ability to connect remotely was originally handled by iChat (starting with 10.5?), though the feature required an AIM, Gmail, Jabber or Yahoo account. It appears that the switch to using Apple's iMessage protocol for session setup happened with the release of OS X Yosemite.
  • Nothing is needed to get through a firewall, since the connection is set-up using a third-party server (Apple). As far as I know this is the same method used by TeamViewer.
  • No software needs to be installed. It's included with macOS.
  • An AppleID signed in to iCloud and the Messages app on each Mac is required.
  • It is extremely easy for a non-technical remote user to accept the connection request from the person providing tech support.
  • I don't have security concerns, since my Mac and all of those for whom I provide support are already signed-in to iCloud with their AppleID. your milage may vary.
  • Free!
One final note, if you use Screen Sharing frequently, you can add the icon for the Screen Sharing app to your dock. The app is located at System > Library > CoreServices > Applications, which is also where you'll find other help things, such as Wireless Diagnostics, Network Utility, etc. When the Screen Sharing app is launched manually, it starts with a "Connect To:" window which allows you to enter a Hostname or Apple ID directly, without using the Messages app as an intermediary.
I use screen sharing also to help my mom. When it works, it works very well. The Connect To destination is the person's Apple ID who is sharing their screen.

They, on the other end, have to answer Yes to connect, which can be hard if the dialog box is buried under other open folders and applications. I usually ask to quit all running apps when screen sharing is running.

Screen sharing seems to come and go, but lately I have been using beta updates on my laptop, so screen sharing is more problematic. Also, I think screen sharing success varies as IT folks (at retirement homes etc.) alter router ports and thus vary connectivity.

Another fairly foolproof method is to use video FaceTime on their iPhone to see what is on their computer screen. This works when they just need a little help and you need to see what actually is on the screen.
 


We formerly used Screenhero, which was bought by Slack about a year or so ago. They developed a similar function embedded in the Slack client that also works very well. There is a cost of a few dollars per month, but we use Slack for other purposes, so this is not a burden here. You can invite non-Slack users to screenshare with you (and the direction is reversible), so you don’t need to sign up both ends for Slack (unless they’ve changed that).
 


TeamViewer reckon I've had my share of the free quota that they provide.
Can anyone give actual experience in using apps "Screens" and "Remotix"?
I've been using Screens for several years, now Screens 4. I have an occasional need to remotly access 4-5 different Macs and often with only my iPad Pro. Screens works well with a touchscreen device, with natural gestures and easy zooming.

After a major system update, screen sharing often needs to be deactivated and reactivated to get things working again.
 


I was big fan of ARD until they updated it and it became unreliable. Now I use Chrome remote desktop, and it just works. I never (but maybe should) have looked into its security features or lack thereof. But I am surprised after reading this thread no one else is using it.
 


I use screen sharing also to help my mom. When it works, it works very well. Screen sharing seems to come and go.
That is indeed the problem. It's touchy, from system to system and between combinations of systems.

Right now the situation is that I help my mom via Screen Sharing very successfully ever since I updated both her machine and my machines to Sierra (10.12). But if I am using my High Sierra partition (10.13), then when she accepts the connection, Screen Sharing abruptly quits at my end.
 


No purchase necessary when you use Apple's Messages app to initiate the connection.
I just tried this and could not get it to work from my office to my significant other's Mac at home. After she selected "Allow x to control my screen.", I was informed that "x is not available for screen sharing". I assume it's a company firewall issue.

I'll continue to use Screen Sharing via my home VPN as needed.
 


Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but I've never been able to get any of Apple's sharing services to work if one of the machines is behind a double NAT. Now and then I need to get access to a Mac at my condo, where my AirPort Extreme has a non-routable (private) IP address. At home I have a public IP address and an AirPort Extreme. Although Bonjour Browser knows that my condo-Mac is out there, it always reports "Can't resolve link-local name". The condo-Mac is also shown as a shared device in the Finder sidebar, but the Finder is never able to connect to it.

However, for screen sharing, Chrome Remote Desktop works just fine. It seems to be able to get around the double NAT.

Why can Chrome handle the double NAT while Apple cannot?
 


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