It’s a very sad day when a product you’re fond of and have been using for so long decides to up and change their whole dynamic. When I heard that LogMeIn’s services were axing their free versions, it was more than a little disappointing.
LogMeIn kind of holds a special place in my digital soul, having first used Hamachi in college in order to play some epic games of Broodwar with online friends. And as I grew up, so did my use of LogMeIn, evolving instead to the remote service in order to work from home when the New England weather was just not having it.
It’s hard not to feel a little betrayed, but also a little selfish, since anybody who uses digital assets in work and life – from the very basic to the power users – are thrown in the midst of a tug-of-war between free open source software and premium products.
I thought what LogMeIn and I had was perfect – their free Remote service got the job done – pro was better, and had a lot of features I liked but just wasn’t willing to dish out cash for. Paying for convenience makes sense, don’t get me wrong, but the times where I remoted back and forth out of necessity were far and few in between.
Luckily my twitter network consists of technology geeks as passionate yet far more knowledgeable than I – and within moments of tweeting my woes over the LogMeIn news, I got several suggestions to swap over to TeamViewer.
LogMeIn Free Alternative – TeamViewer
With an impending snow storm on the horizon, I installed the software on my work Mac immediately, and tested out the web-client from a cowoker’s machine. Then this very morning as I waited for news on whether or not the office was open, I used the web-client from home to remote in and work on anything I had missed last night. And when it was decided I did in fact need to be at the office, I went ahead and downloaded the app to my phone, (Samsung Galaxy 3) in order to keep in touch with everyone who was working from home and using our office IM.
In both instances, I was very happy with what I saw. The controls are simple and the latency isn’t any better or worse than LogMeIn was. I’d say visually the quality might be slightly higher.
I never used LogMeIn’s app, since you had to pay for it, but I did try to use the web-client on my phone once or twice to very sad results. Teamviewer’s app is really great – fast, good quality, and other than getting used to the controls a bit, easy to use. You also have the option to download the desktop app from any computer you want to use to remote in (highly recommended). Although you CAN use the web client, and the application is mandatory on any machine you want to remote IN to.
I’m extremely pleased and happy that, at least for now, I have a great alternative for remote computing!
Down sides? Well, every time you end a session it gives you a “You’re Welcome” message encouraging you to buy a license. By default it removes the desktop background which is permanent until you put it back. And if you want to buy the product, it’s -not- cheap – LogMeIn is still a better option for purchase, but TeamViewer’s free version gets the job done!
Any users of TeamViewer and/or LogMeIn out there? What are your thoughts on LogMeIn’s service changes? How do the two compare? Like or dislike TeamViewer? Any other remote alternatives that you guys favor?