Posted by SkyLukeQc
Tetragon

"Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Dear TeamViewer staff and experts, :smileyhappy:

My free TV account has been flagged 3 times in the past months (first time in June 2018, and twice this month with an interval of only a few days) as being suspected to be used commercially.

The issue was resolved very quickly the first 2 times this happened to me after I filled out the Form to submit Commercial Use Suspected support ticket found in the Knowledge Base.

I just filled out the form for the thrid time a few minutes ago and now waiting for a reply.

At first, I thought that my account was flagged this way twice due to the fact that my TeamViewer ID had changed between the first and the second time (see @Ann-Kathrin's reply to the post titled Master Account change regarding this change of ID), but given that this has now happened a third time only a few days after the previous one, I don't think this ID stuff has anything to do with it after all.

My question therefore is: if someone like me who uses the application for free while respecting the "non commercial use agreement", what would/could cause the "Commercial use suspicion algorithm" to keep flagging my account as suspicious?

Could it be that it's related to my travels? 

I live in Europe, my primary residence is in Spain (Barcelona) where my personal Windows PC is located and remains turned on and conneced to the Internet at all times so that I may connect to it from my MacBook whenever I need and wherever I'm located from in the world. 

I do travel quite a bit, mostly because, well... I can work from anywhere I please. 

I have family in Rome (I'm in fact visiting them right now), friends living in France, Belgium and The Netherlands, Canadian friends visiting european cities that I haven't been to yet and therefore make plans to meet them there, etc.  During most of these travels, I would work during the day and "play" during the evening....

Could this be what's causing the algorithm to flag my account as suspicious of commercial use activity?  If not, what else could it be?  How can I prove once and for all that I'm not using TeamViewer to earn a living?

Thank you all in advance for your kind replies !  

Regards,

Luca (SkyLukeQc) :smileyhappy:

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions
Posted by TeamViewer Staff
TeamViewer Staff
Solution

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Hi Luca,

Thank you for your question - I am your expert for today ;)

It is possible that one of the remote device you connected to triggered the new PopUp after you got your un-block initially.

We are already working on improvements to just show the PopUp to the one who is triggering it. Per se, travelling is not causing a commercial use suspicion.

Please stay tuned, we gonna take actions soon and are continuously working on improving TeamViewer based on the feedback here in our community (even when we do not reply - we are of course reading every single comment in this community and forwarding feedback internally).

I hope my answer helped you.

Cheers,

Julia
Senior Support Engineer - 2nd level Support
Did my reply answer your question? Accept it as a solution to help others.
Find this helpful? Say thanks by clicking on the Thumbs Up button.
29 Replies
Posted by TeamViewer Staff
TeamViewer Staff
Solution

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Hi Luca,

Thank you for your question - I am your expert for today ;)

It is possible that one of the remote device you connected to triggered the new PopUp after you got your un-block initially.

We are already working on improvements to just show the PopUp to the one who is triggering it. Per se, travelling is not causing a commercial use suspicion.

Please stay tuned, we gonna take actions soon and are continuously working on improving TeamViewer based on the feedback here in our community (even when we do not reply - we are of course reading every single comment in this community and forwarding feedback internally).

I hope my answer helped you.

Cheers,

Julia
Senior Support Engineer - 2nd level Support
Did my reply answer your question? Accept it as a solution to help others.
Find this helpful? Say thanks by clicking on the Thumbs Up button.
Posted by Elliander
Digon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

I've never seen this, but then I've never been able to login until recently. This has me concerned, because wouldn't Teamviewer have to actually spy on you in order to make a determination? Without being able to see what you are doing they wouldn't be able to make a determination outside of looking at the IP addresses you connect through, so unless one of the machines are at a registered corporate IP address they'd have to run spyware, wouldn't they? 

Posted by sunnyside
Photon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

I am one of them, keeps flag me as "Suspicion of Commercial Use", I fill the form but they told me I am totally a commercial usage and ask me to sign something or just buy another commercial license. I just use TV to connect to my home at other country, may be they hate me own 2 house in other country. (I always travel between 2 country).

My company had the commercial license, but TV had a few bug which make some app's windows totally black (may be related to hardware acc graphic.), there are some limitation such as file copy speed(better with TV's VPN). Last year we start looking for another solution.

So fine,  it is a joke to ask me to sign an aggrement to prove I am non commercial usage which clearly I am personal. I will just stop using Teamviewer, today there are better product out there and even chrome can do it with basic function. I also order my company IT department to stop renew any TV license (yes, my company use TV and we have license)

Teamview not allow to talk about other similar product in here, but google will point you to the correct one.

Teamview serve me and my company very well but it's time for a change.

Posted by juanc37
Henagon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

I think every person that is getting flagged for commercial use that is actually using the software personally would really appreciate a pinned post on the community forum giving the fix for this issue once the developers have figured it out. If this sounds like something that could be done, I would really appreciate you letting me know. I just want to be able to use teamviewer again and be able to recomend it to others.

Posted by jongodfrey
Henagon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

I support a local charity as an unpaid volunteer which clearly comes under non-comercial use.  Today they are trying to open a new site.  TeamViewer have blocked me as the connection times out in less than 5 mins and says i'm commercial.

Your algorithm clearly sucks... I'll be cancelling my commercial licences too now... one more customer lost.

Posted by SkyLukeQc
Tetragon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Dear TeamViewer Team,

Yes, it happened again...  :smileysad:

This will be the 4th time since June 2018 that I'm being suspected of using TeamViewer commercially, and therefore getting the "5 minutes" PopUp.

Last time I used TeamViewer (Friday, Sep. 21), it was working flawlessly ever since my account had been unlocked for the 3rd time on Wednesday, Sep. 19, from the "Suspected Commercial Use" flag / popup.

On Sunday, September 24, I travelled from Rome (Italy) to Mallorca (Spain).

Yesterday morning (local time here in Spain, which is CEST (GMT+2)), I tried accessing my Windows PC which is located back home, in Barcelona from my MacBook Pro through TeamViewer.

Guess what... My account has once again been flagged as "Suspected (of) Commercial Use". Once again, this is the 4th time since June 2018.

During the last several weeks, I've only been using TV to remotely connect to my Windows PC from my MacBook Pro. I did not remotely connect to or from any other device when the last 2 popups occurred (yesterday and on September 19). I don't remember about the 2 previous occurrences, but I rarely connect to other devices anyway and, from what I can remember, the popup never occurred while I was trying to connect to any other device than my own Windows PC.

At first, this reinforced what I've been suspecting all along: that the issue is triggered when I travel to a different country / city / location (IP address ?) with my MacBook Pro.

 

However, after running a few more tests, here's what I was abe to discover :

I hadn't realized that the "popup" / suspicion of commercial use was not directly linked to my TeamViewer account, but rather to a specific computer (TeamViewer-ID)

During my tests, I saw that, from my MacBook Pro, I was able to access other devices remotely and unattended without issues. For example, I was able to connect to one of my family member's computer without a glitch.

It's only when trying to connect to my Windows PC, which has its unique TeamViewer-ID, that I would get the "5 minutes" popup. It seems to be latter that has been flagged as suspicious and causes the popup to appear when attempting to connect to it from my MacBook Pro. I also tried connecting to it using my Android phone and the latter also gets the popup, so it's definitely my Windows PC computer that has been flagged as suspicious and causes the problem.

I'm still wondering what causes your algorithm to flag it as such, though... As you told me before, the location from where I use TeamViewer isn't a factor, and I now believe this to be accurate since I'm able to access other devices, either local or abroad, flawlessly using the same TeamViewer. Could it be that I very rarely connect to my Windows PC during weekends and most often during week days, then ? Could this pattern be interpreted as a potential commercial use by your algorithm ?

Thank you once again for your kind help !

All the best,

Luca Albanese

Posted by m0r0
Photon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Dear TeamViewer Team,
I have the same trouble. The software reinstall and cleaning the registry does not help.
Your help is really need!!!
WBR,
Roman
Posted by Elliander
Digon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Out of curiosity, what if you simply changed the ID used to connect? I mean, I can create several different IDs easily without even logging in and all of them can be forced to use the same password I configure. If you did this, would the problem persist? Alternatively, what if you tried reinstalling or install an old version of Teamviewer?

I'm still curious about how they actually determine commercial use or not. If the above doesn't fix the problem, that would to me imply spyware behavior. It would mean there is something on that computer they don't like.

An account based lock wouldn't make sense to me because accounts are not required for Teamviewer to work. If an account was locked out, just don't login at all. So if, for example, the account on your home PC is marked as commercial you'd just log it out and then connect, but a PC based lock also doesn't make sense because you can just reinstall unless it hid malicious files on your computer or made registry entries that could easily be removed manually.

Posted by SkyLukeQc
Tetragon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Hi @Elliander,

Thank you very much for your reply and insight on this.  I honestly did think about reinstalling TeamViewer on my Windows PC with the hope that it would be given a different ID and "voilà!", but then I thought I'd prefer getting to the bottom of this for everyone's sake and keep my settings how they are until we can get TeamViewer to work as it should and without unnecessary disruptions such as the one I reported in this thread.

What can I say, I'm a believer...  :smileyvery-happy:

Thanks again !

Cheers,

SkyLukeQc

Posted by Elliander
Digon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

You can create multiple IDs on your windows PC, and just logout rather than reinstall. That might be enough, and if so you can then switch back to the problem ID, but more likely they will have stored something on the PC that will require you to reinstall to get rid of. It's at least something you can try without reinstalling if you just want to get to the bottom of things.

Posted by SkyLukeQc
Tetragon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Thank you @Elliander !

As I've been suspected of commercial use for a 5th time now after getting my PC's TeamViewer ID cleared (unlocked) the 4 previous times, I'll now try a complete uninstall / reinstall, not without first cleaning up the registry and purging the contents of my %TEMP% folder before reinstallation.

We'll see how that goes...

All the best,
SkyLukeQc

Posted by SkyLukeQc
Tetragon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?


I'll now try a complete uninstall / reinstall, not without first cleaning up the registry and purging the contents of my %TEMP% folder before reinstallation.

Hello @Elliander, everyone,

Well, all I can say is that I've tried and failed miserably.  The lesson is...
(joke intended for all Simpsons' fans out there !)

Not only uninstalling, cleaning everything (I could think of) and reinstalling didn't resolve the issue, but the TeamViewer ID associated to my Windows PC didn't even change...  If the latter isn't stored in some obscure location, then it might very well be generated based on the PC's hardware (ex: the NIC's MAC address...) or something similar.

Anyway, I'm not trying to reverse engineer TeamViewer in order to resolve the issue I'm having.  I'll find a different remote access tool before giving it that much attention...  But I would still be interested in knowing how one can create multiple TeamViewer IDs on a single Windows PC, and switch between them as needed.

I do not intend to use any illicit method in order to achieve this (cracks, keygens and so on), however.  But if there's an official way to add or even change a TeamViewer ID on a Windows PC, I'd like to hear about it.

Thank you very much in advance !

All the best,
SkyLukeQc

Posted by ortsruf
Photon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Did I miss the solution for this problem in your text?
Same problem here, cannot go on. First block today after 20 sec, then
10min to wait for the next block again after 20sec and so on. 3 times today.
Then I gave up. Could not assist my father. Very sad.

Would buy a privat licence if there would exist one, the commercial licence is far too
expensive.

Thanks to of of the posts here I could find the form for that problem and it seems that
most is in english only. Not quite helpful for me as a german native speaker,
I never would have searched in the english section for it...

So what is the solution?

 

 

Posted by Elliander
Digon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

This is very odd: In the past, I was able to set and change the ID as many times as I wanted without having to reinstall or be logged in. Now that I have updated and logged in, I can't even log out without explicitly revoking permissions let alone manually change it. 

Regardless of the cause, this topic would be relevant:

https://community.teamviewer.com/t5/TeamViewer-11/Change-TeamViewer-ID-on-clone/td-p/391

In that case, people with cloned computers had cloned TV IDs no matter what they did. The official response was to submit a ticket and they would send you a custom registry file that would then cause a new ID to be generated, so the ID is based on the registry now. Something in there is keeping you from changing it. Since systep is suggested as a way to avoid the issue, it's probably related to the computer security identifier and the MAC address meaning their custom registry entry would override that in some way. 

 

[ Removed by moderator per Community Guidelines ]


As a side note: I apparently don't have privilages to go directly to this thread from the links in my email anymore. I have to find it manually because:

"You do not have sufficient privileges for this resource or its parent to perform this action.

Click your browser's Back button to continue."

Posted by Elliander
Digon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Oh wow. The moderator removed my step by step instructions on how to remove the registry entries that are causing this problem to begin with, citing "community guidelines" even though no guidelines are broken by this.

"This is a TeamViewer forum. Please do not discuss third party or competitor products. Please do not post links to or promote third party or competitor software. Please do not advertise to sell any product or service to anyone and check your links before posting them."

yeah, helping people fix problems cause by false positives by telling them how to modify their own registry. 

This just PROVES to me that the mods don't care about actually helping people with the problem. They are reading this, and actively removing anything that can actually help anyone. 

Posted by olegai
Proton

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

moderators remove any mentions of people being tagged with 'commercial use' ... they try to take all your money thats all and this time they disabled suport

Posted by SkyLukeQc
Tetragon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Hi @ortsruf,

Sorry for not replying sooner.  I've been quite busy lately and couldn't find the time to come visit this forum.

The post I've flagged as the solution is the one that followed it, written by @Julia.  At the time, the TeamViewer ID that was being suspected of commercial use was unblocked and I could resume using TeamViewer to connect from my MacBook to my PC.  @Julia also stated that TeamViewer development team are aware of some issues with their detection algorithm and that they're looking to improve it.  This was good enough for me at the time.

Unfornately, the same TeamViewer ID (my Windows PC) was again suspected of commercial use (5th time), and this time around I was requested to fill out and sign a form stating that I do not make use of TeamViewer commercially, which I did as I have nothing to hide.  I'm still waiting for my TeamViewer ID to be unlocked following this action, however.

I've been trying to "fix" this on my own, trying to uninstall TeamViewer completely (registry entries included) from my Windows PC and then reinstall it, but my ID remained the same and the problem persisted.  Maybe there were other keys in the registry that needed to be deleted, or the TeamViewer IDs are generated based on hardware or something similar.  Following @Elliander's latest posts, I believe it might be the former (registry) rather than the latter (hardware).

Anyway, I'm not going to spend much more time on this.  I really do love TeamViewer, otherwise I wouldn't have spent so much energy to try to make it work again for me.  If the ID of my Windows PC finally gets unlocked after filling and signing the form I talked about earlier, that would be great.  Otherwise, I know there are other great remote access solutions out there and I'll sadly move to one of those in order to fulfill my personal needs.

Regarding the link to the Form to submit Commercial Use Suspected support ticket, I don't know if it exists in German.  But since you do have at least some basic knowledge of English and can read the form, I would personally fill it out in German.  I'm sure TeamViewer's support will be able to translate your answers at their end.

Hope this helps !  :smileyhappy:

Regards,

SkyLukeQc

Posted by SkyLukeQc
Tetragon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Hi @Elliander,

Thank you very much for all the efforts you've put into this.  I'm sorry I didn't read your most recent posts before today, as I've been busy with other things.

It's unfortunate that the moderators removed your instructions on how to potenitally solve the problem by altering the registry and getting a new TeamViewer ID.  My guess is that these instructions are not meant to be widely known, but more to be used as a workaround to individual use cases in order to resolve, at least temporarily, problems that could not be resolved by any other means (e.g. using the application's normal behavior or its embedded algorithms).  If that's the case, then I believe TeamViewer's team are simply trying to protect the intellectual property of their product and I truly respect that.

As I worte @ortsruf a moment ago, if my issue can't be resolved by any official means, then I'll simply have to switch to a different remote access solution.  It will make me sad, as I truly love TeamViewer and I've been actively using it for years now, but I won't begin to use unofficial or illicit tricks to make it work...  It will simply be like breaking up from a relationship that simply isn't working anymore, and then I'll move on.  :smileywink:

Thank you once again for all your inputs on this matter.

Cheers mate !

SkyLukeQc

Posted by Antz74
Digon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Hi, I to have the exact same problem on and off for at least 12 months now.. And to be honest i have had enough with the **bleep** detection and i've had enough of re justifying myself every few months. I suggest trying **Third Party Product** . It does exactly what i want it to do, and has a few better features as well ;)

Posted by mrvoland
Digon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

same thing here, i suspect my ISP is change IP range addresses ( i have real ip) and then TW BAN ME FOR COMMERSIAL USE!

Posted by Technut
Trigon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Why are there soooo many false detections? This has been going on forever. Are you actually working on improving the algorithm?

It seems very unfair to falsely accuse and suspend so many users who are actually living within the "free for personal use" restriction.

Even though you are willing to consider an appeal, it takes weeks or even months to regain proper full access. In the meantime they are forced to look for alternative solutions because the "5 minutes" limit is insufficient to continue with TeamViewer (and usually is even less than 5 minutes).

You are falsely judging these users as guilty and forcing them to appeal and then wait forever to be reinstated. That seems pretty harsh when the majority of these people are just trying to support their friends and family, many who DEPEND on their support.Try telling your parents that you can't help them to use their computer for the next month or so because you've been falsely accused of abusing a product, when in fact you are innocent.

It's time for a little JUSTICE for the innocent! Fix your detection or turn it off!

I know your FAQ says you are not intentionally trying to push free users off TeamViewer, but that's hard to believe that because the false accusations followed by long delays definitely has that affect. 

 

Kse Dyna --
Posted by Curly
Henagon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Hi there,
Well I just got back from the USA where I helped our dad of 91 move to another home. And I have been helping him with his computer for years through teamviewer. Now I had to set it all back up in the new home. Just before I left, to go back to the Netherlands, I did one test on my computer to his computer, to make sure it was all fine. Since then Teamviewer is suspected me as a professional user. Since I am back home I get this popup every day, so now this old guy of 91 needs my help but I can only help him for 1 minute and then I am kick out of his computer. I can only think it is because my computer was on the same Wifi and location, as his that caused this. Or that teamviewer changed something in their update. I hope I can call somebody in the morning, so I can help our dad again so we can skype this week. WHY IS THERE NOT A INSTRUCTION ON THIS FORUM HOW TO GET YOURSELF BACK TO THE PRIVATE FREE LICENSE. THERE SHOULD BE A QUICK WAY TO PROOF YOU ARE NOT A PROFESSIONAL, RIGHT? I HOPE SOMEONE CAN HELP US OUT SOON !

Posted by chriscat
Henagon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?


@Julia wrote:

Per se, travelling is not causing a commercial use suspicion.

I prepared a brand new laptop for my parent, everything worked fine in the same house, in London. I brought it to her, in France, and when I'm back to London I get this "commercial use" message. Changing the client (and ID) didn't change anything.

The exact same thing happened with my sister in Switzerland.

Travelling seems to be the cause to me...  thanks for the link to the form, I didn't find it myself. I hope it will solve it. But I also travel a lot.

Posted by Finnish
Henagon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

I don´t have answer for the problem, but the thirth time message for commercial use on private myself, i think the only thing in these commercial use suspends are money, it´s simpliest buy this "free" program, so far they seem suspend commercial use on you.

Posted by Curly
Henagon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

I still get those messages so I hope they will get back to me (after a week) as they promised to me in all 4 messages I send them and we are a month later so I dont know what they try to do but it is damaging their reputation for sure🥴
Highlighted
Posted by Eddie101AMR
Photon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

Hi,
I'm getting this message everytime I remote control my pc, 
I already submitted two tickets with no response, 
I'm using team viewer with only two computers that I remote control them from my smart phone to check on my personal stuff running on them.

can you please help.

 

thanks

Eddie

[personal information removed per Community Guidelines]

1 Reply
Posted by nz06lh
Henagon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

I am having the same problem. I only use this to help my parents and sister out.
Posted by ebocious
Henagon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

I see this message was posted a year ago, promising improvements based on feedback.  Clearly, the improvements have failed miserably, as my computers are still getting flagged.

I have one machine in particular that I frequently use to move data around.  It stays on 24/7, with an ethernet connection and no monitor plugged in.  I was controlling it with my MacBook Air from about 10 feet away, and got flagged for suspected commercial use.  It always says my session will be limited to 5 minutes, then times out after 60 seconds, if that.  After it times out, it's 20 minutes to a half hour before they'll let me reconnect.

The second time this happened was while I was on my honeymoon in Florida.  I asked on the ticket I sent at that time about whitelisting my account somehow, to prevent recurring false positives.  They just quietly unflagged the unit and slunk away.

This is the third time.  I've learned from my highly subpar experience with TeamViewer to install extra remote control apps for redundancy, so I can still access my unit whenever TeamViewer fails me.  I sent a ticket over the weekend, I believe.  They say they try to respond to tickets within 2-3 business days.  It's now Thursday, my computer is still flagged, and I have yet to hear back.

Shoddy programming and shoddy service don't inspire a lot of trust.  If I were using my computers commercially, I certainly wouldn't come to TeamViewer; I would use something a little more dependable.

Posted by gbtota
Henagon

Re: "Suspicion of Commercial Use" algorithm: how does it work?

TeamViwer has a stupid and inaccurate mechanisms for detection of commercial use. They basically look up your external IP to see if its in "residential" space. If you use VPN or have a business connection of any kind it will automatically think you use it for business. Its pretty idiotic way of detecting; and only creates user friction. I suggest you look into other solutions from Google or **Third Party Product**. 

 

This product will die since its not user friendly; they are hurting themselves by creating user problems or whats already a buggy product.