LogMeIn Getting A Facelift

by Damian on August 27, 2009 · 18 comments

in News

logolmiOne of my favorite products that I use almost every day is a software suite known as LogMeIn. For anyone who has never heard of this product, LogMeIn is a leading provider of on-demand, remote-connectivity and support solutions to small businesses, IT service providers and consumers. LogMeIn’s software-as-a-service suite of solutions includes capabilities for on-demand customer support of PCs, smartphones and other devices, systems administration, remote access, remote control, file-sharing, virtual private networking, data back-up and online meeting. The best part is that LogMeIn offers a FREE version that will allow you remote access to an unlimited number of computers. You may be asking yourself, why do I need this program, doesn’t WHS or even Windows provide remote access? Well, here are the reasons why I chose LogMein and continue to use it:

  • To utilize remote access from WHS, the PC you are trying to remote in to must be running a version of Windows that allows remote desktop connection (i.e. Ultimate). This can be a costly proposition since Windows Ultimate retails for over USD 100 more then Windows Home Premium. There is a hack you can do to enable remote desktop connection in Home Premium, but I usually try to keep hacking as a last resort (unless it is a hair ball).
  • While at work I tried to remote into my MediaSmart Server via Webshare to access a few of my files. Somehow overnight my port forwarding setup got all screwed up and I was unable to access my shared files remotely. Fortunately I had installed LogMeIn on my MSS and was able to access WHS directly to troubleshoot.
  • Remote Desktop Connection requires that the PC you want to access have a Windows password. For my two HTPCs I do not have a Windows password set up (for convenience in waking up my HTPCs from sleep) so I cannot use Remote Desktop Connection, even though they are both running Windows Vista Ultimate. LogMeIn allows me to assign a unique password for accessing remotely.
  • The monitor to my desktop PC died. Since this happened a week before Fathers Day I was forbidden from purchasing a new monitor. Since I didn’t have a spare monitor at home, I was able to use my laptop via LogMeIn to remote directly in to my PC until I got a replacement monitor.
  • I was able to set up LogMeIn on my in-laws PC and now serve as their own personal geek squad less a paycheck (OK, this is probably a bad thing!!!)

For most home users LogMeIn Free is more then adequate, but they do offer a wide array of products to choose from if you have a different set of needs (you can get details on pricing here).

Product Comparison Chart:

Along with an update to the UI, the following new features should be arriving:

  • Power on computers using wake-on-LAN.Depending on your specific computer, you’ll have the ability to wake your computer from sleep mode without having to go onsite.
  • Multiple computer views. You’ll be able to customize your view within My Computers by using tile, detail or list views.
  • Flash-based alternative to remote control.If you’re unable to install an ActiveX control for remote control, you can now use Flash instead.
  • Tabbed access to multiple services.Your remote access, remote backup and virtual networking services from LogMeIn are now all together in one place.
  • And much more, including an improved experience and faster performance

If you are already a member of LogMeIn and would like to get a first look at the upcoming release, you can login here. Below I have attached a screenshot of the current UI when logging in to LogMein and the new design being released soon.

(LogMeIn “My Computers” UI Current Version)

(LogMeIn “My Computers” UI Newly Designed UPDATED)

(LogMeIn Central UI - New Product Available to both LogMeIn Free and Pro users at a cost of $299 annually)





Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found Mediasmartserver.net, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for Mediasmartserver.net you can find me over at my blog at http://www.adigitalhomeblog.com or follow me on twitter


{ 18 comments }

Phil Alban August 27, 2009 at 9:56 am

Ok, great idea. Another “pro” for this program is that it offers Mac remote desktop, which the MSS does not do, for whatever reason. So, a handy tool for someone who may be more Mac-centric than HP’s predicted customer base.

I have one issue with the “free” version, though. It’s a trial for the Pro version of the software and you have 30 days to use 120 hours of remote desktop. Maybe I missed something? Please provide a direct link to the Free version of the software, if there is one… (I don’t consider Trialware “free”)

Thanks,

Phil

Eugene October 5, 2012 at 6:49 am

You can also try free remote desktop software Ammyy Admin
http://www.ammyy.com/en/index.html

One of the easiest and the most fast software for desktop sharing and techsupport. No monthly fees, free for non commercial use.

It might be a good alternative though! Hope you’ll like it!

Damian August 27, 2009 at 10:22 am

Phil,

If I recall when you sign up you do it with the Pro version, so you get all the perks of pro. Once the 30 days is up and if you don’t renew your account automatically goes down to the free version (there is nothing additional you need do to). You still get remote access, you just lose the additional perks of Pro like Drag & Drop, etc… So it is trialware in a sense for the Pro version but becomes free once the trial period is up and your accounts goes to the Free Version. Hope that makes sense.

Cheers
Damian

Josh August 27, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Re the pro vs free, you can choose initially to go Free only without having to go through the pro trial. If I remember correctly, all you have to do is click “Add Computer” from the My Computers page and then select LMI Free.

Re the new UI, Central, in the email LMI sent out last week, I understood it to mean that the new UI was only a part of Central which they were going to charge $299 for. Did you understand the email any differently?

Damian August 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Below is the actual email I received, with all indications that the new UI is part of LogMeIn Free where nowhere is it mentioned a charge would be incurred for this new view. What do you think based on the email below?

——————————————————————
Hello,

In the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing updates to LogMeIn Free and a newly designed My Computers. The new version will include:

* Power on computers using wake-on-LAN. Depending on your specific computer, you’ll have the ability to wake your computer from sleep mode without having to go onsite.

* Multiple computer views. You’ll be able to customize your view within My Computers by using tile, detail or list views.

* Flash-based alternative to remote control. If you’re unable to install an ActiveX control for remote control, you can now use Flash instead.

* Tabbed access to multiple services. Your remote access, remote backup and virtual networking services from LogMeIn are now all together in one place.

* And much more, including an improved experience and faster performance.

Log in to the Beta to see firsthand how LogMeIn is changing.

When the update is generally available, you’ll receive a notification when you log in to My Computers and your LogMeIn Free computers will update automatically. And of course, LogMeIn Free will still be free.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Best regards,
——————————————————————

Josh August 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm

I got a different email. (Did you participate in the beta?)

————-

Hello,

In the coming weeks, we will be releasing updates to LogMeIn Free as well as the newest LogMeIn product, LogMeIn Central.

LogMeIn Central makes LogMeIn Free better by allowing you to easily deploy unlimited numbers of LogMeIn Free to remote computers and automatically log in to those computers without remembering passwords. With Central, manage users and get detailed, customizable reports on account activity.

LogMeIn Free is still free. The newest version of LogMeIn Free and the newly designed My Computers will now support the following:
• Power on computers using wake-on-LAN. Depending on your specific computer, you’ll have the ability to wake your computer from sleep mode without having to go onsite.
• Multiple computer views. You’ll be able to customize your view within My Computers by using tile, detail or list views.
• Flash-based alternative to remote control. If you’re unable to install an ActiveX control for remote control, you can now use Flash instead.
• Tabbed access to multiple services. Your remote access, remote backup and virtual networking services from LogMeIn are now all together in one place.
• And much more, including an improved experience and faster performance.
As part of these changes to LogMeIn Free, we are also transitioning user management (also known as Secondary Users), computer groups, and searching across multiple computers to LogMeIn Central.

LogMeIn Central is offered at $299 USD annually, and you can manage an unlimited number of Free computers with it. And of course, LogMeIn Free will still be free.

————————–

From your email, i would agree that it seems like the new UI will remain free. From mine however, I’m not sure.

Damian August 27, 2009 at 2:21 pm

I didn’t participate in the beta. Basically our emails say the same exact thing exact for the inclusion/ommision of the $299. Not quite sure what to make of it. I thought LogMeIn Free allowed for 10 computers, but the $299 gets you unlimited computers (maybe that is the difference)? Either way thanks for the heads up, I will see what I can find out.

Allyson Pelletier August 31, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Thanks for your review of the new LogMeIn, Damian.

Let me clarify a detail or two regarding the new interface. What you show as the new UI is actually a new product, called LogMeIn Central, which works with both LogMeIn Free and our paid products, including LogMeIn Pro. LogMeIn Central is a web-based management console that helps you deliver and administer LogMeIn’s remote access, computer management and VPN connectivity services, and is listed for $299 annually. You can learn more about Central and participate in the beta by visiting this site: https://beta.logmein.com/welcome/nextgen/.

If you do not need the management features Central provides, you can continue to use the “My Computers” interface you use today, which will also undergo some changes, including an updated look and feel. As always, LogMeIn Free will still be free, with no limit on the number of Free computers you can have in your account.

Best regards,
Allyson Pelletier
Director, Consumer & SMB Products,
LogMeIn, Inc.

Damian August 31, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Allyson,

Thanks for clarifying this. The email I received included a link to LogMeIn Beta which once you sign in takes you right into LogMeIn Central (no mention in the email or anywhere else that this is a pay for product). To get back to “My Computers” which is part of LogMeIn Free you actually have to navigate to the “Exit Central” link. I will update this post accordingly. Once again, thanks.

Cheers
Damian

Little_Mike August 31, 2009 at 1:20 pm

You mention about not having a password on your HTPC’s so you can wake them up from sleep.

In windows vista/7, there is a way to enable your computers to store a password and have windows automatically enter the password when the computer is turned on. This is not ideal for a computer used by multiple people, but for a secure user account on a HTPC, it works great!

Damian August 31, 2009 at 1:30 pm

There is an option in the control panel under power options, one of the choices is “Require a password on wakeup”. You can turn this option on or off. This only applies when waking a computer up though from what I can tell (I coudl be wrong). Since I was using one of my HTPCs infrequently I would just turn off when not using, so a power on would require me to enter a password which is why I shut off the password. Once my son is old enough I will have to revisit password protection anyhow…

Trans September 2, 2009 at 6:58 am

Looks like they’ve been trying to catch-up with MyGreenPC (http://www.mygreenpc.com). I’ve been using their free service for a while and its the first one that started offering Wake-On-Lan.

Chuck September 7, 2009 at 7:09 am

I HATE the new interface. I use Google’s Auto Fill al lot and the new interface does not support Auto Fill. The New Interface does not allow listing computers in GROUPS, which I use extensively.

What I see is that LogMeIn had a very functional interface. Someone at the top wanted sommething that looked ‘glitzy’ so they changed froms something that was functional but looked bland to something that is glitzy but non functional. Looks like an executive decision.

Stanley Krute September 8, 2009 at 9:02 am

@Chuck: agreement as to suit minds creating silly UI changes.

LogMeIn is under pressure from investors to monetize the 70+ million users of LMI Free. Will the pressure and the changes it inspires kill a great product ? The changes that have shown up over the past few days doesn’t build one’s confidence.

– stan

Damian September 8, 2009 at 9:09 am

Stanley/Chuck,

One interesting thing, whenever I log in I automatically get the “Special Offer: Try the new LogMeIn Pro² and SAVE” screen before I can even get to My Computers. I guess I can deal with this since I an using the free service, but still gets a little annoying and old to have to scroll through this advertisement every time I log in. I don’t know what the “Remind Me Later” button accomplishes as if I click this (which then takes me to LogMeIn Central, not to the free My Computers), log out, and then log back in the same Special Offer shows back up. Like I said, I am using the free service so it is hard to complain, but I definitely notice a push on the pay for services.

Anthony September 17, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Awesome post, thank you! LogMeIn Free is a good tool, but obviously very limited in terms of functionality and commercial use (lack of branding, etc). I had been using LMI Rescue but it was just way too expensive. I recently switched to a service called Techinline (http://www.techinline.com) which is a fraction of the price and is very easy to use. Obviously doesn’t have the same feature-set, but more than enough for “day-to-day” remote support which I do for my customers.

Bradlee March 3, 2010 at 9:28 am

While I am a big fan of Proxy Networks’ entry in the remote access category, I know a lot of friends who use LogMeIn and are very pleased with it. Still, I think many of these programs could use a facelift like this. I actually made my decision based mostly on aesthetics, because I think a quality GUI is a huge part of the experience.

aaronwt February 27, 2011 at 2:33 am

I see logmein has an Android app. I installed it a few days ago. It’s really nice to be able to have access to my whs and other pcs from my cell phone.

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