AnyDesk follows TeamViewer by Turning Against Users

As you can imagine, I've used AnyDesk to help my family on their computers, as well as used it to link my phone to my PC. So when I got the AnyDesk nag-notice that I must be lying about being a non-commercial user, I contacted them and asked them why they had followed TeamViewer down the annoy-users-enough-to-make-them-use-something-else route. 

They responded that I could apply for a waiver to continue using AnyDesk to help my family and this would remove the nag to buy a license. One thing I don't do is apply for permission to use software that claims to be free for non-commercial use. So I switched again. There is plenty of truly free software for remote desktop services, and yes it's annoying to learn ANOTHER one. But it's well worth it when you consider the security issues that AnyDesk's tracking of users entails.

AnyDesk is tracking users. Now, there is a certain amount of tracking necessary for servers to function correctly. When you use AnyDesk you connect to their servers, which in turn connect you to a remote desktop running AnyDesk. So at the server level, tracking is important for QoS and performance measuring.

BUT, they're not just tracking users for service level metrics. They're now using that tracking information to decide if a user is commercial or not, and then nagging them to buy a license if that time exceeds a certain amount. 

As a Cyber Security Consultant and lifelong IT guy, I suppose helping people blows right by that made up limit they impose about how much a non-commercial user should be using their "free" software.  Many of the hours were just connecting my phone and PC as I responded to texts from friends and family. Their metrics are very inaccurate. 

If AnyDesk is monitoring my use of their software to decide I ought to pay them, then what else are they doing with all my user data that crosses their servers? What other metric will they employ to decide I've gone beyond the "free" limit. I don't trust them anymore. 

When you google AnyDesk, you'll find they fell into the same money-hungry trap as TeamViewer. They went the VC funding route, which changes founders from developers intent on helping the world, to CEOs who must provide a return for the Venture Capitalists that are now providing them a comfortable life. Are there any companies out there who accepted VC funding and yet stayed true to their founding vision? It's sad that software meets a need  and then is charged for once the bean counters come along and flash dollar signs or euros in front of their eyes. The internet was suppose to be a freedom inspiring invention too, but it has also been over run by mega corporations sucking the soul out of users.

So, if you're on a Windows machine, you can use Microsoft's Remote Desktop to access  Windows machines remotely. Linux has many remote desktop options but the best I have found  is NoMachine. It works for Windows, Linux, and some ARM boards and is free for non-commercial use. But even their commercial use licenses aren't near as crippling as TeamViewer or AnyDesk. As a private small business owner, I get tired of the "free except for commercial use" licenses on software. Then it's not free is it, it's just another attempt to soak businesses for every dime they can. Could you imagine the possibilities of economic growth from small businesses if we didn't expect businesses to pay 20X what non-commercial users pay? 

As a provider of a service, I understand we don't want people using our gratuity to get rich. Then license cost should be commensurate with the size/income of the business using it. Not everyone sells out to VCs and has millions to throw around.  

Anyway, there's the latest software company that turned on its users. Don't use AnyDesk. You can even forward desktops over ssh (on Linux). By the way, ssh is free software that AnyDesk built their remote desktop service on.