LogMeIn: Access Your Computer From Anywhere

August 27, 2008 – 7:43 am by Gabe Anderson | 5 Comments

Going on vacation? Visiting a friend across the country or across town? Or just going down the street to work from the local coffee shop for the day? Sure, you brought your laptop, but what if you need to access that important file or document sitting on your home workstation?

If you haven’t configured FolderShare (see blog entry) or DropBox (see blog entry), or simply forgot to sync a particular folder or file, then why not just access your computer remotely?

Enter LogMeIn.

logmein.gif

LogMeIn is incredibly simple and secure to use — and it’s free. Here’s all you do:

  1. Create a free account (note that they do offer premium services, too).
  2. Click the option to Add Computer to your account for each computer you’d like to access remotely (a small app runs in your system tray). You must do this from the computer you’re configuring for remote access.
  3. From your laptop or any other computer in the world, go to the LogMeIn site, sign in, and connect to any of your online computers:

LogMeIn screenshot

And that’s it! Right in your Web browser, you’ll be remotely controlling your computer as if you were sitting right in front of it. If you have multiple monitors on the computer you’re accessing, that’s no problem, either – you can toggle between them with ease. You can even leverage LogMeIn to add additional virtual displays to your laptop or remote machine — the ultimate in multitasking. That is, I can work on one project or window on my local laptop, then switch to my remote machine for another two screens of productivity.

GoToMyPC is a competitive product from tech giant Citrix, but it’s not free. You have to pay $19.95 per month, but it’s virtually identical to LogMeIn. I used to use GoToMyPC, but switched to LogMeIn years ago and haven’t looked back. One key difference: GoToMyPC gives you access to file management and a transfer utility, which is a feature only available in the LogMeIn Pro version ($12.95/month), but with other file transfer utilties and the ability to email yourself anything while you’re logged in, there are certainly ways around that feature.

My company uses GoToMyPC’s sister product, GoToMeeting, which is invaluable both for sales demos and supporting customers when email just won’t cut it. GoToMeeting offers screen sharing, remote desktop control, and more, but that’s a topic for another day.

In the meantime, set up LogMeIn and you’ll never leave home without your computer again.

[ Subscribe to gabeanderson.com via email or RSS feed. ]
  1. 5 Responses to “LogMeIn: Access Your Computer From Anywhere”

  2. Gabe, Would this work on workstations that are running windows xp home ? I would have set up remote desktop if i was running XP Pro. Thanks.

    By Czarina Spieler on Sep 11, 2008

  3. Hi Czarina- Yes, LogMeIn can be installed on just about any Windows computer, including XP Home. From the LogMeIn site:

    “On the target computer, the operating system must be Windows 2000/Server 2000, XP 32 bit or 64 bit or Server 2003 32 bit or 64 bit and Vista 32 bit or 64 bit; Mac OSX 10.4.6 or higher (LogMeIn Free only). Also a web browser that supports frames is necessary, which most browsers do. It is also essential that there be a constant Internet connection (cable, ISDN, DSL or better); otherwise, the user will need to know when the computer is online. Lastly, Windows Installer Runtime is required for installation (this is a free download from Microsoft.com).

    “On the local computer, a Web browser that supports frames is required. Remote Control requires Internet Explorer 6 or later or Firefox if using ActiveX, or, if not, a Java-enabled browser, and also SSL (secure socket layer) support. An internet connection is necessary. It is also recommended that the browser be up-to-date, with a screen resolution that is the same or higher than the remote computer.”

    By gabe on Sep 11, 2008

  4. The Webexes, LogMeIns, and GoToAssists that are mentioned above are just way too pricey these days if you are using the pay versions. I’m currently using Techinline Remote Desktop (www.techinline.com) which is a fraction of the price and pretty much allows you to perform the same functions, perhaps with less features. However, the great thing about it is that it runs through the browser and nobody has to install anything on either end. The client just gives you a number which you enter, and that’s it. It’s a steal for the price they charge

    By James on Sep 12, 2008

  5. Thanks for your information. But I think customization is limited with LogMeIn, and significant features such as file transfer are available only in the paid version. Currently I am using RHUB’s remote access. It really works well for me and it addresses all these concerns and has a host of other advanced features too. Since it is an on-premise-deployable appliance, you get the finest security – your own firewall.

    By Braintiller on Mar 9, 2010

  6. James, you might want to give Proxy Networks’ remote access software a look. The price is right, and they offer a free demo so you can give it a little test drive first. Best of luck!

    By PC Remote Access on Mar 9, 2010

Post a Comment