If you have multiple computers or have to provide support to a remote Mac or PC used by a family member or friend, or if you travel and need to contact your computer at home, you're a customer for some sort of remote access. There are lots of choices, both free and paid. I've tried many, like some of the varieties of VNC, and solutions like LogMeIn Ignition and RDM+. They have all worked, but I was looking for more.
After reading a review of TeamViewer by our Erica Sadun last fall, i decided to give it a try. For home/personal use, it's absolutely free. I was only using personally, so free sounded good. I installed it on my Mac, on a Windows laptop, and grabbed the iPhone and iPad clients. Each computer you want to contact needs to run a version of the TeamViewer app appropriate for the computer it's installed on. There are versions for Windows, Macs and Linux. With that done, you run the program and your shared machine is assigned an ID. A password will also be assigned, but you can choose your own.
Connecting to a remote computer is as easy as typing in the ID of that computer, and logging in with your password. In a couple of seconds you'll see the remote screen and some extra buttons that allow you to do file transfers, remote reboot a computer, and tune the connection by adjusting the quality and scaling of the remote display. You can also bring up a chat window if you are working with someone on the remote computer. The is no reason to have to fool with firewalls or chase changing IP addresses. TeamViewer just works. Sound is not supported on the Mac side. PC to PC, there is a VoIP chat and video option. These features are coming to the Mac version, but no dates.