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Commercial use - Connection time out

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  • Currently TeamViewer determines commercial vs Non-Commercial usage based solely upon the source and or destination IP Address. I suspect it's a simple check to see who the IP of the Source and Destination is assigned to and if it's not assigned to a residential service (Like Shaw, Telus, Verision or AT&T) it simply considers it as a commercial IP and shoots out the five minute warning or simply drops the connection.

    And fair enough. However, Universities and other educational establishments fall afoul of this as they also seems ot be considered "Commercial" for whatever reason. Perhaps someone needs to look at and or update the Algorithm to take into consideration that Students attending a University (Living on Campus) are NOT commercial. 

     

  • Steve-in-FL
    Steve-in-FL Posts: 27 ✭✭

    <<Currently TeamViewer determines commercial vs Non-Commercial usage based solely upon the source and or destination IP Address.>>

    Well, their algorithm can't be that simple. I have 13 TeamViewer IDs and 12 of them are OK. One gets the commercial warning. They all use the same IP address outbound from my location (and they all go to private home on the other end). Why would only one of my IDs trigger their warning? In fact, it is one of 7 IDs that are used within my home that has a problem. There is no difference among the 7 at home.

  • In my conversations with the "TeamViewer Sales" guys that's how they informed me it works. They split IP Blocks into two seperate categories, Home and Commercial, which IMHO is a pretty narrow view of things as Internet Cafe's, Libraries, Schools, Colleges and Universities, Hospitals even, all seems to fall under the umbrella of "Commercial".

    And with over 37,000 Students at the University I work at, it seems a bit of a stretch to be asking them to fork over $500+/year to be able to use TeamViewer.

    The real question here is how and why do they consider such institutions as "Commercial" and block TeamViever usage on campus?

    And try as I might there's no real way to open a ticket, or speak with TeamViever 'proper' to address the issue either.

  • I think the issue here is that we are talking about a free service and expecting paid level support.  Customer support is extremely costly to maintain.  I am glad there is any kind of support and quite surprised that I was able to get my case handled in as short amount of time as it did (3 days).

    Another issue is that, as advanced as we are, technology is not nearly as precise and standardized as it needs to be in order for industry-wide simplification to be a reality. I am sure that TV does not want to wrongly classify a personal user as commercial, but the system to determine the difference between them is just not standardized or simple enough for them to be able to 100% accurate all the time.  That is just a reality of a rapidly and ever-evolving techno communication system. Things are just changing too rapidly for any sort of industry-wide standard to get a foothold long enough.  And about the time things start to smooth out, a new technology arises to throw the whole industry in havoc again.  Just think of 5G for example. It is just the nature of the ravenous beast that is technology.  To survive, it must and needs to feed on constant innovation. It's all part of the waste and churn economy of technology.

    I believe that TV cares about its free users.  But it also knows that TV is an extremely powerful tool that can be made to make good money and that some people are dishonestly claiming to be personal users but are actually making money with it.  So, they have to have a system in place to keep honest people honest.  Unfortunately, that means occasionally personally users might get caught in their net.  So, they have provided a form you can fill out to have your case looked at by a person to determine if you are legitimate personal users.  But that human person that is looking at your case manually does not work for free and needs to earn a paycheck.  So, the reality is that each time you file that form to have your account loked at, you are cost TV money for a service you are not paying a penny for. 

    I am just grateful for the service at all, and also grateful they even have a human CS department that handles request from FREE users.  I own PAID software that does not even have that level of service. 

     

     

  • @Johnhoward28 

    No, not really expecting nay level of support per se. I'm looking for some way of addressing a glaring oversight on their end of things where they have only two types of users, "Home" and "Commercial" and from what I was told during my phone conversation with TV it's IP Based.

    Although I totally understand their need to ensure that people who are using this softwar3e for commercial gain are in fact paying the licensing fee(s), and I fully support that. The medhodology they are currently using is, well somewhat difficult to comprehend. A simple IP Lookup using the ARIN Database will give you results in none to uncertain terms as to who actually owns a block of IP Addresses. check the "OrgName" and exempt those from the "Commercial" list of IP's they are blocking. 

    As I have said, I totally agree with TV imposing the restrictions and doing what they can to get those who are using TV for Commercial Gain to pay the licensing fee(s). I don't however agree with their assumption that Universities and other Educational Establishments should be considered as "Commercial" when they are doing those IP Based checks....

     

  • John,

    you are clearly missing the point here. Yes its great to provide a free service and this is not a given,. What I and most others have an issue with is to go and interupt a granted fee service and as part of a upsell campaign they use the worst way posible to determine who is a comercial user and who is not. Using an unreliabel WHOIS record to see who is comercial user and who is not is just stupid. In my case i help my wife with her personal laptop from time to time. Even so the Ip she uses belongs to a corp network does that mean its comercial use ? No it does not so i will go out and bet that the IP schema they are using is producing a true / false not anywhere near 50%. And if you pay for service and support with another product and dont get a response in 3 days i would reconsider the vendor. Now if you buy software and no support , you might not get a responed fast if at all. There is software and there is a service and TeamViwer is a Service that uses a software to deliver that service. No Response no Service = no Revenue.

  • @ilikethat44 

    I can see why they did it, it's just a little to heavy handed IMHO. 

    I've worked in the IT Field for over 30 years and I suspect that TV is probably using an PBL (Policy Block List) to determine who or what is or is not 'Commercial' and what is or is not "Residential". It's not the best methodology, but it owuld be the simplest way to implement they type of restriction they are imposing.

    But that's just a guess....

  • @WB4IUY 

    Possibly, check your terms of service (Any my previous post) I'm just speculating here as to how they are differentiating between resedential and commercial....

    73's de VE6OMC

  • @ScratchMang

    You clearly have a better understanding of technology than me.  Maybe you should apply to TV for a job and help them fix this issue since you seem to know what they should do.

    As far ar Universities go, they are FOR-Profit institutions.  They make billions off of charging outrageous fees to young impressionable students for degrees that are not worth the paper they are written on.  If I had my way, I would make a law that universities could only offer internal financing, so that they would have the incentive to encourage students to choose degrees that could actually make money to pay back their 100K loans.  There is no love loss between me and the US university system. 

  • Steve-in-FL
    Steve-in-FL Posts: 27 ✭✭

    In an earlier message, TeamViewer said,

    "The free version can only be used in a private environment - for example if you help friends or relatives in your free time and do not receive any money for it.
    Commercial use is every usage in a business environment. This means, if you use it at work or support customers and colleagues, it will be commercial usage. Therefore you are not allowed to use the free version of TeamViewer in any office environments. As soon as one of the PCs participating in a session is connected to a commercial network (office/school/etc.) it is considered commercial use."

    So it is not a mistake when they wave the commercial flag at someone in a school or a non-profit or any business environment. It is the result of a conscious decision they made as to what they consider commercial. I may not like it, but it's their decision. People who complain because their own definitions of commercial aren't the same as TeamViewer's are just out of luck.

    My beef is the arbitrary way multiple IDs in the same environment are considered differently. I have 7 IDs that I use in my house and one of them gets the flag, the other 6 do not. The inconsistency and lack of predictability is the problem.

  • @ilikethat44 

    I have been using TV since it first came out.  I can't remember the exact date but it was the same month when **Third Party Product** started charging for their service.  Ten years or maybe more. 

    This is the very first time I have ever got flagged for commercial use, and I know exactly why it happened.  It happened because I used the new Andriod Quik-Support app to help my 78-year-old father who is traveling and needed to use Uber to get a ride on his smartphone. He was standing on the side of the road while I walked him through the installation of the Quick-Support, setup his uber account and showed him how to use it.  It was really amazing to be able to help him 2000 miles away like. 

    A few days later he was having trouble with text messaging and he called me to help him.  As soon as I logged onto his phone, I got the warning that I was suspected of commercial use.  My guess is that, after ten years of connecting to the same computers, that when TV saw me suddenly start connecting to a new IP address 2000 miles away, they assumed that I was doing some kind of remote support for a client.  That is just my guess.  When I filled out the form to have my account reviewed, I explained everything to them about why there a sudden change in the pattern of my usage of TV and got reinstated. 

    It is my experience that tech companies do not like to argue with customers.  If the answer is YES, they will tell you.  If the answer is NO, then they will just say nothing at all.  If you have filled out the form and waited a reasonable amount of time (A week or more), I would say that they probably have looked at your account and did not believe your explanation, or did not have enough explanation or information for them to positively rule out commercial use.

    Believe me, I know it can be a real pain in the **bleep**. I was pretty ticked off when I could not help my father.  My father has no patience.  He wants what he wants RIGHT NOW!  If I don't help him, he will try to do things himself and that usually means him breaking stuff that I have to fix.  When I could not help him the other day, he went looking for help from strangers.  He found so-called "Tech Expert," told him that the memory on his Galaxy S6 Active smartphone was full and that he needed to install a Micro-SD card to expand his meory.  So the tech expert started prying around on the phone trying to open it up to get to the SD card slot. 

    I was very fortunate that my father called me before they destroyed the phone completely.  Every person in the Tech industry knows that Samsung did not put an expandable memory slot on the S6 line of phones and that they are sealed and do not have a removable battery.  For some reason, this "Tech Expert" did not know this, or even how to do a google search to look up this information.  Go figure. LOL!

    Just letting you know that I feel your pain. 

  • @Johnhoward28

    As to the comment "You clearly have a better understanding of technology than me." The only answer would be "Maybe". I've been int he business for some 30 odd years now, I do like to think I have a general idea of how things work, but then I'm always learning new things so my overall understanding of all things IT is up for debate :)

    As to Universities being "For-Profit" institutuions I think you are confusing For Profit Institutions int he States to the rest of the world. I know that's not the case here in Canada.
    As to the particular situation I'm in, the University I work for has a "Remote Desktop" solution that we pay handsomly for, and the Helpdesk people use it to great advantage when supporting Staff and the like. It's more about the 37,000+ Students here on campus who are, as you state are already paying those "outrageous fees" and to add in another $500/year for them to be able to help their parents every coupole of months due solely to the fact that they are using Campus infrastructure is a bit of a kick in the nards IMHO.....

  • @Steve-in-FL 

    I agree, it's their call as to what and how they classify things as commercial. And again you are correct it's my interpretation that a "School or University' is not really a commercial environment like say Microsoft or Chevron would be.

    However the same argument could be made for your situation, why would you need 6 or 7 machine in your house to have Teamviewer installed on them? Are any of them Server operating systems like 2008 or 2012? Those would represent commercial usage. I think a far better argument could be made that someone with that many machine on a Local network that require Teamviewer represents a commercial enterrise then a School where the majority of the users would be students. Why are you not using Remote Desktop? If it's Linux SSH and pipe X over that?

    A simple IP blocking mechanism, altogh effective in some ways, needs to be implemented with a bit more selectiveness then two simple categories....

     

  • Here's a fictional family's house, loosely based on mine.

    1) My PC
    2) My laptop
    3) PC connected to TV in lounge
    4) Dad's PC
    5) Dad's laptop
    6) Mum's laptop
    7) Mum's android phone

    Teamviewer is installed on all of the above, so I can access my PC when I'm away, I can schedule and delete TV recordings without having to be in the lounge or even at home, and I can provide assistance to my not-so-tech-literate family. That's how you can have 7 TV instances in a given location.

    As for Universities, outside of the USA, there are a huge amount that aren't "for-profit". As has already been pointed out, TV's policy would appear to prevent commercial use from a University. It would also prevent a student at that University from supporting their friends or family. It's the using a sledgehammer to crack a nut approach.

  • Steve-in-FL
    Steve-in-FL Posts: 27 ✭✭

    @ScratchMang 

    It's nice that you agree with some of my statements. Thank you.

    But when you say, "why would you need 6 or 7 machine in your house to have Teamviewer installed on them," that's really not your question to ask. All of those uses are legitimate. I have a computer that records television and videos and sends the recorded programs to different televisions, I have a computer that has all my house data on it that other computers link to for access, I have three laptops and two desktops. All of them run Windows 10 Home. When my wife is sleeping and I don't feel like walking into the bedroom to get her laptop, I use TeamViewer to access it. When I am watching the television and need to look at the media recording machine at the same time, I use TeamViewer to get into it. Could I use another product? Maybe. But TeamViewer is an excellent product that I have been using for years. I see no reason to change.

    You said, "I think a far better argument could be made that someone with that many machine on a Local network that require Teamviewer represents a commercial enterrise..." I suppose it's your right to think that, but your concept of "that many machines" does not match my concept. And your idea of "too many machines" certainly doesn't imply, let alone define, a commercial use.

    Last, you ask, "Why are you not using Remote Desktop?" Because TeamViewer is a great product, that offers far more capability than many others. None of the other free programs that I have tested gives you a contact list of machines that you connect to. They all require you to keep a separate list of target connection names. I don't think Remote Desktop offers a contact list, but I might be wrong.

    But the point is, it is TeamViewer's definition that counts. And I accept their definitions. As I said in an earlier note, it's the inconsistent and unpredictable way their warnings and penalties are implemented with which I take issue.

  • @DeepestBlue 

    I think you mis-interpreted my comment, I did not mean to ask "What" those 7 Machines were for, as you are correct it's none of my business really. The point i was trying to make was more as to the number of machines ona local netwrok that require TV. I've got 5 Windows Machines, Three Linux Machines, One MAC and a ChromeOS machine in the house. However I only have TV Installed on one of them as they are all on the same internal netwrok in the house, I can access the one with TV and then jump fromt here to whichever other one I need to access, be it Windows, Linux or the MAC (Although I admit I rarely use the MAC). 

    As to other software, remote Desktop does the trick for 99.9% of what I would need it do to as far as accessing the other machines in the house, or BitVize SSH Client for the Linux & MAC Machines.

    The point I was trying to make here, was that TV need only really be on one machine that can be used as a "Jump Point" to access the other machines in the household, it's basically a quick and easy replacement for a VPN which I suspect is a lotmore hassle then most people are willing to go thru unless your running something like a SOPHOS home firewall.

    Regardless we are getting off topic here. My point is, was and always will be that the methodology that the higherup at TV have currently chosen to implement this Commercial vs Home usage is, in my humble opinion, quite flawed and is, again in my opinion, hurting a segement of their "Free" userbase who in due time, once they enter the workforce would, or could, potentially be their next generation of paying customers. happily convincing their future employers to purchase a solution that they are nto only familiar with, but they, and their peers, have used for a number of years previous. 

    Now, those students, those future employees will simply head off and look for a different solution that they can afford on a students limited budget (Free) and will work within the networks that they use (University Internet is provided free to Students)

    Anyway... I wish there was some way to actually raise this with TV corporate themselves but without paying the $500/year....

  • I would not have thought I would have tripped some security measure

    I think it's important to remember that TV's security mechanism is not some sensitive mouse trap that a slight breese can set off, but rather a software program that appears to be bug ridden. It's primary use is to generate revenue.

    You can try reaching out to TV ahead of your trip and see what they say. You may end up having use of the telescope during part of your vacation before you have to file an appeal.

    It's also possible that a note was placed on your account  after your first appeal so you wont have similiar problems again.

    Regards.

  • lol finally got an email today saying they reset my account back to free user and they were sorry for the accident and blah blah. i go log in and i sill get the commercial pop up lol. waste of time. they didnt fix it anyways

  • I accessed my home from my mom's house. Normally it is the other way around. I wonder if it is atypical activity that screws with their system.

     

    Regards.

  • Teamviewer is free in the same sense that free breakfast pancakes are free, because someone wants something, that is to say, because something is being sold, whether it is a religious or political agenda or a product. In the case of TV, TV, Inc. is trading access to a “free” license of their product for advertising and the hopes that we will tell our bosses and co-workers about this miraculous program.

    Yes John, they are a for profit company, and they let us use the software but the software is not free, not close to it.

    Regards.

  • @DeepestBlue 

    I think you mis-interpreted my comment, I did not mean to ask "What" those 7 Machines were for, as you are correct it's none of my business really. The point i was trying to make was more as to the number of machines ona local netwrok that require TV. I've got 5 Windows Machines, Three Linux Machines, One MAC and a ChromeOS machine in the house. However I only have TV Installed on one of them as they are all on the same internal netwrok in the house, I can access the one with TV and then jump fromt here to whichever other one I need to access, be it Windows, Linux or the MAC (Although I admit I rarely use the MAC). 

    As to other software, remote Desktop does the trick for 99.9% of what I would need it do to as far as accessing the other machines in the house, or BitVize SSH Client for the Linux & MAC Machines.

    The point I was trying to make here, was that TV need only really be on one machine that can be used as a "Jump Point" to access the other machines in the household, it's basically a quick and easy replacement for a VPN which I suspect is a lotmore hassle then most people are willing to go thru unless your running something like a SOPHOS home firewall.

    Regardless we are getting off topic here. My point is, was and always will be that the methodology that the higherup at TV have currently chosen to implement this Commercial vs Home usage is, in my humble opinion, quite flawed and is, again in my opinion, hurting a segement of their "Free" userbase who in due time, once they enter the workforce would, or could, potentially be their next generation of paying customers. happily convincing their future employers to purchase a solution that they are nto only familiar with, but they, and their peers, have used for a number of years previous. 

    Now, those students, those future employees will simply head off and look for a different solution that they can afford on a students limited budget (Free) and will work within the networks that they use (University Internet is provided free to Students)

    Anyway... I wish there was some way to actually raise this with TV corporate themselves but without paying the $500/year....

  • @Steve-in-FL 

    You said "It's nice that you agree with some of my statements. Thank you."

    Of course I would, they are accurate and valid, so not respecting those statements would be pointless. Agreeing with different points of view is of benifit to us all :)

    I've got to stepo away fromt he keyboard here until tomorrow, this whole "Community" forum (is it a fourm? ormore of a BLOG? or some bad clone of a facebook feed?) is drivingme nuts as things do not seem to stay in a single thread... I've had a long day and need to get some sleep :) Please accpet my apologies but I'll come back tomorrow to continue the discussion as I have found it to be quite insightful and productive.

    Hopefully it will allow more than one post in a 10 minute period.....

  • OK, One last reply...

    @WB4IUY 

    You also have to consider that your Home all looks like One IP to TV. not multiple ones, what you have there is 6 or 7 machines working off a single IP address. In the case of the University where I work, we have two class B Subnets, That's 32768 (Minus a couple hundred for subnetting) individual IP Addresses. All of them routable. So the TV Account on my IP addres si mine, not multiple accounts.

    Maybe they should limit it to the number of accounts on a single IP rather than this Commercial/Home IP detection they are doing. So a "Free" version would allow for one or two accounts per IP Address and Commercial Versions woudl ahve that limit lifted....

    OK I'll leave that one hanging....

  • The Declaration is a pointless exercise IMHO. TV checks the source and destination IP Address, and if either one is from what they determine to be a "Commercial" IP then you get blocked, end of story. I've doen the same thing, actually got a reply indicating that my account was cleared for personal use and it kept happening. So I called and the reply was that because the machine I was using (At the University) was on a Commercial IP Address I was blocked. However if I were to use it form my Home to connect to my folks home PC I woudl not get the blocking warning.

    So check the IP Address of the source and destination, IP2Location will give you a "Usage Type" which in my case is "(EDU) University/College/School" which TV considers to be Commercial and get's blocked...

  • @edawen 

    I don't think that accessing in reverse will cause this, because I have been doing that for over ten years from my parent's house when I visit them.  

  • @edawen 

    TV is professional-level software that they allow us to use for free.  They are not giving a free version, they are giving the pro version.  Very few pro companies I know of do this.  And if they do, the software bugs you incessantly with ads.   I have pro software that I pay for that bugs me with ads all day long.

    My statements were about Customer Support. To expect paid level support from a free service is not rational.  I am not saying anyone here is doing that, but there is an old saying that I think a lot of people on here would do well to learn.

    "You can catch more flies with honey than with poison."

     

  • @Johnhoward28 

    I don't think anyone here is expecting a "Paid Level of SUpport" in fact I don't think what we want is any sort of "Support" at all, at least not support with the software itself.

    TV has implemented a new medhodology of chekcing what is or is not "Commercial" and people, moreover the free users, are being negativily impacted by the heavy handed way in which this was implemented. Trying to get an issue resolved, and issue that TV themselves have caused has proved to be not only frustrating, but in the long run futile as even after signing declerations and jumping thru hoops, if your IP is on thier list of "Commercial" IP's you are still going to get blocked.

    Again I don't begrudge them in trying to clamp down on people who are using TV in a commercial capacity I just wish they would take a closer look at how it's being implemented and maybe listen to the feedback here on this message board...

  • Exactly,

    And really part of my personal displeasure with the methodology they are employing to determine who is "Commercial" and who is not. 

    Calssifying a University or educational establishment as a "Commercial" environment is, IMHO, shooting themselves in the foot. The University I work at has close to 40,000 Students, many of whom I suspect would use TV to continue to support thier family now that they are no longer livng at home. Eventually these Studentsa will graduate and enter the work force. And possibly bring their experience and apprciation of what TV can offer to their new jobs, at which point you have hundreds, if not thousands of people telling their employers that TV is the cest soloution for Over the Shoulder support.

    There are 96 Universities in Canada, and some 1,400 (Conservative count) in the United Stated. (So call it 1500 for easy Math) If only 10 Graduates from each of these enter the work force and start touting the benifits of TV and how it's helped them so much int he past, that equates to 15,000 people, every year, entering the workforce extolling TV and it's benifits.

    Seems like a bad idea to cut them off from being able to use TV and forcing them to find some alternative....

  • @ScratchMang 

    "Seems like a bad idea to cut them off from being able to use TV and forcing them to find some alternative...."

    I agree.  I know I have told a lot of people, including professional businesses, about TV, because of my positive experience with it.  

     


  • @Johnhoward28 wrote:

    @ScratchMang 

    "Seems like a bad idea to cut them off from being able to use TV and forcing them to find some alternative...."

    I agree.  I know I have told a lot of people, including professional businesses, about TV, because of my positive experience with it.  

     


    As have I. And I can work aroudn the "Commercial" blocking as I have the infrastructure in place both at Home and at work to now really be all that troubled by it truth be told. But yeah, it's a shame the took such a heavy handed approach to this. As I mentioned when I was talking to the TV 'Sales" guy about my issue (They actually called me) and heard that they were limiting it by the Source and Destination IP I was dumb struck. I work with firewall and IP restricitions almost daily, and I was dumb struck with the methodology the decided upon.

     

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