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?
LogMeIn is incredibly simple and secure to use — and it’s free. Here’s all you do:
- Create a free account (note that they do offer premium services, too).
- 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.
- 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:
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. ]