Have you ever found yourself away from your computer, and wished you could access that document, or your music library, or fire up your e-mail application because you can’t remember your Gmail password? Apple provides this ability in Leopard (OS X 10.5), but it requires two Leopard-running computers and a $99 yearly subscription to MobileMe. And even then, there are a few limitations.
So, what can you do if you don’t meet the requirements for Back to My Mac? That’s where LogMeIn helps (pronounced “log-me-in”, not “log-mein” like the chinese food)! It overcomes the major hurdles presented by Back to My Mac, and does it with style:
- OS: Mac OS X (desktop or iPhone!), Windows, Linux – as long as it runs Safari, IE, or Firefox.
- Bandwidth: Dial-up to Fiber optic. Video settings in the screen sharing allow tweaking from full color sharing to basic black-and-white for slow connections.
- Cost: Free. More advanced features require an upgrade to LogMeIn Pro, but the basic version is yours to use at will for no cost.
LogMeIn may be downloaded from their website. Click on the green “Download” button, then follow the installation instructions. Computers to be controlled require the downloaded LogMeIn Agent to be active, but the controlling computer does not. This is especially useful for public computers or your iPhone where admin rights are not granted to users. To remotely control a computer, you simply navigate back to the LogMeIn website, sign in, and a list of computers available for control is presented. Plug-ins are available for all major browsers (IE, Firefox, and Safari), but a no-installation-necessary java client is also available in case you need it.
In over a year of use, the LogMeIn service has experienced only two minor outages. In each case, an upgrade to the service was being performed that required it to be taken offline. For Mac users who can’t always access a Leopard-running computer, LogMeIn is a superior choice to Back to My Mac. If you perform remote tech support for family and friends, it can also be invaluable (assuming you are not troubleshooting internet connectivity issues). And for business users, LogMeIn provides a plethora of options for remote connectivity, including VPN, backup, and remote network administration, though these services are not free.
Product [LogMeIn Free]