Teamviewer accusing me of commercial use, and my new alternative

I’ve been using Teamviewer for quite a few years now. It is a great piece of software to remotely control another computer. No matter if it is a windows PC, a linux machine, a MAC or even an Android cellphone.

It has helped me personally a lot. I was able to access my own desktop computer from work. I have a personal plex media server that I run at home, for me and my wife no other people have access to it. And once in a while my dad, my wife or a friend needs help because they can’t figure out how to do whatever it is on their computer.

I don’t really do IT anymore that much, but once you’re in it there will always be a friend who needs advice and I am happy to help out.

Teamviewer sent me an email

A while ago I got an email from Teamviewer Licensing titled “WARNING: Possible Violation of EULA”. It was clearly a form email that had been sent out to me by probably an automated system.

The email states a part of the license agreement:

“solely permitted for the Customer’s own, private, non-commercial purposes (e.g. free computer support for a spouse/partner). The use of the Freemium Software for the exercise of the Customer’s own trade or profession or the use for purposes for which the Customer directly or indirectly receives compensation (e.g. team work with colleagues, free support provided to third parties which have bought software of the Customer) does not qualify as private use.”

None of these apply to me. Well, I thought, no big problem. I’m not using Teamviewer commercially. I don’t have anybody that pays me and I use it very infrequently. But I respect the effort that they put into their program and so I filled out the “declaration of personal use” signed it and sent it to Teamviewer.

That was it!

I haven’t heard anything back (even an automated message would have been great, though), my account is still active, so I guess everything is good, right?


4 months later I need to move some files and update my plex media server. Most of the time I do that via the console, but for some reason I used Teamviewer to connect to it, and it went fine. But since there was an update, it had to reboot and when I reconnected, Teamviewer just didn’t.

It presented me with a message that my account is suspected to be used commercially and that I need to wait 10 minutes to reconnect.

Of course, there was no other indication. As mentioned before, I never heard anything back from Teamviewer!

What is commercial use?

So now I am pissed and start looking on their website and digging in the forums. Of course I am not the only one that had that happening to them. There is plenty of other people with the same issue.

So many, that of course they have a FAQ page for that. Also here is the page that tries to clear up what personal use is.

Going through their list, in my case:

  • I don’t get a direct payment
  • I don’t sell a software (or any other) product that I give free support for
  • I don’t do teamwork with anybody
  • I don’t use it in any association, non-profit etc.
  • I don’t use it in a company or even private fashion for work-related activities.
  • I don’t use it with friends and family and get compensated

Now, the only gray area might be this paragraph:

“If your machine runs a Windows Server operating system (e.g. Win 2008, Win 2012…), this will classify your usage as commercial automatically.”

I am not quite sure what that means. Am I using it commercially just because I happen to have Windows 10 Pro on my computer? Or is it because my media server runs Ubuntu?

However, how does that make it a commercial operation? It would be great to have that explained to me.

Not forced?

On the FAQ page, they have a couple Questions that address that they are not trying to force people into paying for their software. They say, they want Teamviewer to be free for people who “are using it to help family and friends: we do not want this user group to pay for the usage of TeamViewer”. Well, that’s definitely up for discussion!

The alternative remote desktop solution: AnyDesk

In the end, it doesn’t matter to me any more. Teamviewer has given me a reason to look for another piece of software and I am glad they did!

I am now using AnyDesk. The great thing about Anydesk? It can do everything that Teamviewer can do. Plus, it is a lot smaller and faster! The clients are very small and it is also free for personal use.

So, if you are interested in using a fast, easy to use and light-weight remote desktop solution, why not use AnyDesk?

Flying cheap with Spirit Airlines, or what customer appreciation has come to.

We all want to save money on the everyday things. Most of us work long for our hard earned money. The corporate world is all about customer appreciation and they are very thankful for every dollar we spend with them. And that’s why they appreciate us as customers.

Well, here is one story that just shows you how much they appreciate us.

My wife and I are currently living about a 2 hour commercial flight away from each other due to our jobs. So we try to see each other as much as possible and due to flight prices being pretty affordable with the cheap airlines, it is only about $100 for a full round trip flight from Las Vegas to Portland, OR. This is flying with Spirit Airlines.

Between the two of us we have done the flight a few times and on one of the flights I was lucky to be in the lucky seat and win 5000 airline miles with Spirit. The interesting part was that that flight was late about 3 hours also. Well, at least I won something. I also received an email from Spirit the next day telling me that they were sorry about the delay and are offering me a $50 voucher for a future flight.

“Dang”, I haven’t had that much luck in a long time! And a company is actually pro-actively sorry about their screw-up. I was impressed!

Booking a flight from Las Vegas to Portland with my voucher

Now I am booking another flight with this airline, thinking I will save a dollar or two.

Being on the website and punching in the letters and numbers to choose my origin, destination and flight dates I am kind of excited about seeing my wife and saving some money.

The total amount for this particular flight will be $106.38 and on the checkout page it is conveniently split up into the flight fare and taxes.

That’s good, because the voucher only applies to the flight portion of the fare, not the taxes. Well, at least I’ll save about $28 on that flight. That’s pretty cool!

Flight fare from Las Vegas to Portland

As you can see in the screenshot something is kind of funny. The flight portion is $28.83 but the voucher is showing only $8.11. There must be something wrong for sure. So I grab my phone and call Spirit Airlines. After talking with a computer for about 5 minutes, which has a hard time understanding anything I say, I finally get connected to an agent. Asking them how this all makes sense and being put on hold for another couple minutes, they tell me that the actual flight portion of the fare is only $8.11.

Uhm, what? So how come they show me all the taxes and fees separate from the flight portion, that still includes taxes and fees? Guess what, the agent was unable to tell me why that is the case.

Using airline miles instead of a free voucher

So I am thinking to myself that I could probably use some of my miles instead. That would certainly save me some money, right?

I am going through the reservation process again, this time trying to use my miles:

Booking a flight with Spirit Airline miles

Look at these numbers! They are charging a total of 35,000 miles for a flight from Las Vegas to Portland and back. If you compare that to another airline I used in the past, for about the same amount of miles I was able to fly from Portland, OR to Hamburg, Germany (one way).

Oh, and don’t forget that they will still charge you $86.20 in addition to the miles.

So even if all those miles and vouchers apply only to the flight portion of a flight, the whole thing doesn’t make any sense. The voucher-flight portion is $8.11 and the miles-flight portion is $20.18. In their list of fees, the flight portion is $28.83.

So what is it now? I assume that this is all just made up anyways.
I understand that the margins on those cheap flights are not huge, but at least make up your numbers in a way that they make sense!

And just to check, I also looked at what the same flight is with other carriers.

Use to compare flight prices!

Also, be aware that at least Spirit Airlines Credit card rewards are useless because they rack up airline miles! Here you can see clearly what they are worth. Better get yourself a credit card with a cashback reward, or airline miles for an airline that appreciates you as a customer. They are out there!

What is going on with MoviePass?

I’ve been a MoviePass user for a few months and have been following their (ups and) downs on the media.

I believe the offer is amazing and also think that for some people they just have the best product out there.

There is MoviePass, Sinemia and AMC A-Stubs. For somebudy who goes to the movies a lot, let’s look at the options:


According to their Website it is still $9.95 per month (as of an announcement earlier today, it is actually $14.95 per month). You can watch 1 movie a day (in theory) for that in (almost) any theater anywhere.


$14.99 per month for 3 Movies (including IMAX and 3D)
or $7.99 per month for 2 Movies (no IMAX or 3D)
(almost any theater anywhere)

AMC A-Stubs

3 movies per week for $19.95 per month
(only AMC theaters)

So for an actual movie-goer, 3 movies per month is really not cutting it. That means Sinemia is a no-go for me. I guess it’s better than nothing and it would still save me some money. However I am more thinking about going to the theater 2-3 times per week.

That leaves AMC and MoviePass.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, there is basically no AMC Theaters around, so that leaves you with MoviePass. I was lucky and got the 1 year-subscription for abut $100 total. A steal! But to be honest, I would pay $20 per month to get what I have right now.

That brings me to the question what MoviePass is trying to do. I personally just don’t get it. They have a product that differs from their two main competitors but still are trying hard to undercut them. I don’t think that’s necessary. Wouldn’t people prefer to pay $20 per month and go to the theater as many times as they want knowing that the company actually will stay around for a while?

MoviePass is in serious trouble financially and I am not surprised. They pay full price for the ticket to the movie theater but get only cents for that dollar from their customers.

It just doesn’t make any sense and I hope they will get their senses back together and come up with a plan that will be sustainable. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that somehow it will happen and people not living in huge metropolitan areas will be able to go to the theater without getting broke in the future.

Moviepass introduces Bring-a-Guest, Peak-Pricing and Premium Showings

I bought my Moviepass a few months ago and have been using it quite a bit. My wife and I went up from probably about twice a month to about 2-3 times a week. It is really nice if you don’t have to think about the cost of watching a movie any more.

We found ourselves sometimes just driving by a theater and ending up just walking in to watch a movie.

Over the last few months, there was quite some rumor about what Moviepass is going to do, in reaction to the market getting more interesting, so to say. There are a couple alternatives to it, but for us it’s still the best bet.

They just announced that they will roll out a few new options over the next few weeks:


This new feature will allow you to bring a guest with you to a theater. You will have to pay the full price for that person. So how is it useful? Mostly at theaters that have the e-ticketing feature with Moviepass. That way you can buy the tickets in one transaction and you will be able to sit right next to each other.

Also, in case that person buys themselves a Moviepass within 24 hours, the ticket price will be refunded!

Peak Pricing

This is kind of a bummer, because it brings up the price. They will start charging extra if you choose to see a movie at peak times, so I would think it is opening weekends of big movies for example.

Although this kind of sucks, I find that because of the Moviepass, we actually prefer seeing movies a little later and not on opening weekend. There is usually less traffic and it’s a nicer experience doing that. So this might be unfortunate for some moviegoers, it is not really for us.

One upside though. We have an annual subscription and we are not affected by this price hike until our annual subscription renews. The same applies to quarterly subscribers. Also they will introduce a once-per-month peak time for free-feature soon.

Premium Showings

This is actually a cool new feature and I like it! Until now you were not allowed to watch 3D, IMAX or other premium showings. That will change, although it will cost a couple bucks extra. I think this is totally fair and I am OK with paying a little extra for that.

So all in all I think the changes are OK. They don’t influence me too much since we live in an area where a lot of theaters don’t even have assigned seating.

I wonder if they will introduce the family plan soon. They mentioned it in an email a while ago, but not in the latest one introducing these features.

$500 Gift Card from Regal Cinema

I recently got my wife and I a Moviepass Card. We love to see movies and the price of $9.95 per month for basically unlimited movie watching at the cinema is a pretty good deal.

If you are interested in that, visit Moviepass here.

However, because of that we have a Regal Crown Club Membership. Since we don’t have to pay to see a movie, we can at least get some perks from the Regal Club Membership. A free popcorn or soda pop once in a while is really nice to have.

Today I came across a Regal sweepstakes. They are raffling of a $500 Gift card!

In order to participate you only need to sign up for the free Crown Club. No other purchase needed.

Follow this link to participate.

Certbot / Letsencrypt certificate uninstall

I had to delete a couple domains from my server lately due to them either moving away from my server, or just simply not being used anymore, so they got deleted.
So I digged around a little bit to find out what to actually do with those certificates.
I was thinking of just deleting the affected certificates but wanted to make sure that that is the appropriate way of doing things. Worst case certbot would just go ahead and renew the certificates again.
After a short time of researching it turns out that there is a delete function built into certbot. So that’s pretty handy and works simply by using the following command:

certbot delete −−cert-name DOMAIN

However, unfortunately this command does not take care of the associated apache configuration. So next time you restart the server or apache, it will break.
So you have to manually take care of that part of the configuration. In my case that is by deleting the ssl-config-file and symlink:

rm /etc/apache2/sites-available/DOMAIN-le-ssl.conf
rm /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/DOMAIN-le-ssl.conf

also, edit the non-ssl config file if you are reverting back to non-ssl (which you shouldn’t) removing the following lines:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]