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Review: Remote access your computers with LogMeIn
For many years I have been looking for the ultimate remote access tool. I was almost sold on Citrix Online’s GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting line of products until I saw the price. I needed something inexpensive, easy to use and reliable. That product is LogMeIn.
Lets talk usability first. LogMeIn allows mere mortals to gain access to their computer from a remote location, even if both sides are behind a firewall. I can install a nifty little client on my Dad’s laptop and tech-support him no matter where in the world he is, as long as he has a broadband Internet connection. This in and of itself is not that impressive. Free services such as VNC or Windows Remote Desktop (terminal services) allow me to remotely access a computer from anywhere; however, they are not easy to use and require some muddling with firewalls on both sides of the connection to make it work. Even behind a NAT I can still use LogMeIn, unlike VNC and Remote Desktop (that’s where each computer gets an internal only IP address). In fact, no matter what network I have thrown my computers on, even one with almost every inbound and outbound port blocked, I was still able to get LogMeIn to function.
To use LogMeIn simply go to their web site at http://www.logmein.com and register for a free account. Basic remote access is completely free. That’s right, you can set up an account and access your computers from anywhere in the world for free. Once registered you’ll need to add computers to your list of available remote devices. Go to the system you want to control, log in to the LogMeIn site, and download the remote client. Once installed this client will talk to the LogMeIn server and update your computers status in real time. To gain access to that remote machine, go back to the LogMeIn web site, and simply click on the computer you want to control. All systems are protected by password, either by one that is set up by you when you install the remote client, or by the same username/password used in your Active Directory domain. This helps prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your system. From a security standpoint the entire line of products is incredible secure with 256bit encrypted tunnels over SSL.
While the free version is nice, being an IT guy I really appreciate the LogMeIn IT Reach product. This is one of the top 5 products in my ‘must have’ list for System Admins. The IT Reach product allows administrators to install not only the remote access tools on a server or client workstation, but also get vital system statistics from those systems such as hard drive space used/left, CPU usage, running applications, and much, much more. I can set up alerts so if a certain server goes offline for more than X number of minutes, or if the processor stays above X percentage for X amount of time it will automatically page all of the tech support staff indicating there is a problem about to occur on that box. When one of my staff logs in to check the issue, they can mark it resolved and LogMeIn will alert everyone letting them know that it’s being taken care of. That same staff member can leave notes on the system letting everyone know what happened and what he did to resolve it. This is an incredibly powerful tool that allows companies to help prevent outages before they occur by monitoring the health of all of their servers. I was amazed at how well it worked, and was even able to tweak the performance of a couple of boxes because of the data I got back from LogMeIn IT Reach. While this product is still not free, it’s ½ the price of GoToMyPC and has a ton of more features.
You’ll want to take a look at their web site and find the product that best suits your needs. If you just need to control a couple of computers and you’re the only one who can have access, the free product is probably right for you. If you’re like me and need to administer a lot of servers and desktops, you’ll probably want something more like IT Reach. If you run a help desk and need to be able to log into any system not just those in a list, then the Rescue product is probably correct. While only one of their products are free, I found that the entire system was far less expensive than the other name brands such as Citrix and WebEx, yet offered better quality, higher speed, double the encryption and many more features. If you can’t tell, I really think these LogMeIn services are the cat’s meow.
I want to close with what I think is the best part of this entire package. While I have my Treo with me at all times, I don’t always have my laptop. The LogMeIn line of products, including the free one, allows for access to your computers from a Windows Mobile based device, such as a Treo 700, Audiovox 6700 or any other broadband enabled WM5 system. I tried this on my Treo 700, and it works extremely well over EVDO. There’s a bit of a lag in drawing the screen, but it’s more than usable. While using the IT Reach product I also get access to the system performance information and allitional features specific to IT Reach, all from my mobile phone and formatted properly for my screen. The mobile version does not work on Palm at this time, which is a bit of a bummer.
If you need access to a computer from home, work or anywhere else in the world but don’t want to pay the high-fees that other services charge, check out LogMeIn. It’s by far the best remote desktop and system monitoring tool available on the market today at a price that will simply make you smile.
2. Posted by: S Tucker on July 6, 2006 11:04 AM:
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You wrote: "This is one of the top 5 products in my ?¢‚Ç¨Àúmust have?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ list for System Admins."
I agree, and would love to know your other 4!
3. Posted by: T Harrington on July 12, 2006 2:04 PM:
I can't agree more with your review. Simply a great, fun, versatile, and extremely powerful program. Can't speak highly enough of it!
4. Posted by: Paul Smith on July 14, 2006 8:14 AM:
You are right about Logmein IT Reach but do answer Tucker's question: what are the other four?
5. Posted by: Hagar on January 14, 2007 8:41 AM:
have to say the browser is somewhat platform-challenged, only working properly in windows/activeX, with the java/mozilla versions giving hiccups &/or failing to function on OS X & some linux distros.. otherwise nice...
Has anyone seen a security audit for this product? all remote access software presents a security risk, and it would be good to know just how much of a risk this is...
finally.. one of the advantages listed in the pro etc. versions is 256bit ssl. so is the free version limited to 64? 128? doesn't say....
6. Posted by: Charles Pouliot on March 27, 2007 9:50 AM:
It seems logmein is a great product at a great price, but lately it's been very intermittent, going offline for no apparent reason, and staying offline until I go to the target computer, disable and re-enable it.
7. Posted by: ramesh on July 6, 2007 1:00 PM:
It worked from Laptop to PC but failed at my office where there filter the name wwww.logmein.com. is there any way to overcome this?
8. Posted by: Anil on July 23, 2007 11:50 AM:
I am just wonder how i can use my laptop (I am in canada) to in install some software in my computer at home(India). Can anyone suggest me way for this.
9. Posted by: Anil on July 23, 2007 11:52 AM:
I am just wonder how i can use my laptop (I am in canada) to install some software in my computer at home(India) using logmein. Can anyone suggest me way for this.
10. Posted by: William on November 19, 2007 3:33 PM:
If you need to be able to access your outlook or transfer files using a "regular" cell phone you should take a look at I'm InTouch.
11. Posted by: bilal on November 22, 2007 5:29 AM:
when logmein starting it will be enibel but offline
12. Posted by: kaleem on February 4, 2008 2:04 AM:
i cannot access logmein website from my office building, but when i access the same site from other building and from outside of my office it is accessable. somebodby can suggest me what is the solution for it.
13. Posted by: Fernando on March 1, 2008 10:52 AM:
My Logmein is Enable but it shows OFFLINE so I can'y use it Â¿How do I mange to put it back Online? Please help, thank you
14. Posted by: Jean-guy on April 2, 2008 9:36 AM:
I useNTRglobal's NTRsupport and it is very firewall friendly. It uses six ports and will go to the next if they are blocked. I love it works as well in the UK as it does in the US
15. Posted by: Bryan on May 13, 2008 8:19 AM:
I have been using logmein from work and loved it. Now after this weekend it is knocking my Comcast internet & phone offline when I try to access my home from work. Can someone please help?
16. Posted by: text to screen on November 16, 2009 2:24 AM:
I'm having the same issue with Snow Leopard and my computer showing as offline
17. Posted by: Anthony on November 17, 2009 9:07 AM:
How much is IT Reach:? I had used LogMeIn Rescue in the past, but that is by far NOT an inexpensive remote support tool. Although it offers great functionality, my small IT consulting business just can't fit $120/month for a remote support tool into the budget. I am aware of at least two solid (although not as fully-featured alternatives): Techinline (http://www.techinline.com) and ShowMyPC (http://www.showmypc.com). These are solid bang for the buck alternatives to some of the higer-end tools out there
18. Posted by: denis on January 12, 2010 10:26 AM:
I use Remote Office manager for remote access Windows 7