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Summary:

Being a mobile worker, and one who is prone to use a number of different computers, it is common to realize I need some files currently residing on another computer back on the office. LogMeIn Pro lets me reach out and grab them with ease.

Touch Mac

I have an unusual setup in Mobile Tech Manor, with a plethora of computers just waiting to get used to full advantage. There is no telling what gadget I might be using at a given moment, or what platform it might be running. One disadvantage to the platform agnostic mobile worker, and I count myself in that group, is that often I find myself needing a given file or document that is currently residing on a computer that is not at my disposal. This has prompted me to take another look at LogMeIn, and I am happy to report it’s working well.

I used LogMeIn way back when and it did a good job for me. Where I found it to fall short was in the Mac realm, as the Pro version did not work on the Mac. That meant I could not perform file functions across platforms, and that was a killer for me. Recently it came to my attention that LogMeIn Pro now works on the Mac, so I grabbed a 30-day trial account and have been using it heavily. It is rapidly becoming an indispensable tool in my software toolkit.

LogMeIn provides a lot of different functions, but the two I use most are the remote control and the file management. Remote control lets me run any computer in Mobile Tech Manor from any other computer I have configured with LogMeIn. This control takes place in the web browser, and it turns the computer at hand into a remote terminal to my other computers. This is useful as I can log into the MacBook back in the office, and run any program or perform any Mac function from whatever computer I happen to be using at the time. It’s not as fast as if I was sitting in front of the MacBook, but it’s certainly fast enough to be useful.

I also use the file management functions of LogMeIn — in fact I do this more than remote control. I am prone to grab any notebook when I head out the door, and as a result it is common for me to realize I need a file or two from another computer to use in my work. With LogMeIn, I can connect to the other computer, and fire up a graphical file manager with a dual pane displaying files on both computers, the remote one and the one at hand. Copying files is a simple process, and finding the files I need is easy to do in the file manager.

It is liberating to be able to grab any computer for a remote work session, and having LogMeIn around makes that painless. I no longer find myself stuck due to not having the files or programs at hand to get the job done. It’s a simple matter to tap into any system and grab what I need. That’s heady stuff, I am finding.

I also have LogMeIn Ignition on the iPhone, but I don’t use it very often. It’s cool to run the equivalent of a full computer on the little iPhone, but frankly I don’t really need to do that much. The iPhone app is quite expensive ($29.99) too, so unless you have a glaring need for this function it’s too expensive to just play with. I can see IT folks might find a real benefit with this app though, and the ability to remotely access a computer on the go. It is also available on a number of smartphone platforms, although I haven’t tried others.

I know there are other programs that do this, but I am happy with LogMeIn. It handles everything I need it to do, and I find it worth the $70/ year for one computer. I’ll likely pony up the cash when the trial is over, at least for the MacBook. That way I can access the office stuff from any other computer using just the browser.

A fun benefit that doesn’t have much real use but I like to do, is tap into the MacBook from the ThinkPad x200 Tablet. It is downright cool to run the ThinkPad as a Mac, complete with full touch controls. It shows what a Mac with a touch screen would be like. As I said, fun stuff.

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  1. I’ve literally just set this up. Very impressed so far, I even bought the £17.99 app for the iPhone, which is more than impressive, it actually works!

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  2. I too have recently started using logmein again but the free version. For the amount I use it I can’t justify paying for access for two computers. The free account doesn’t give access to files but a simple solution that I’ve found works well is to access my remote computer using logmein and copy the files I need to iDisc, DropBox or whatever is your personal choice of online storage service, then pick them up on the computer I’m using.

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  3. Thanks for the details of your logMeIn experience.
    I’ve tried it and you’ve encouraged me to try it further. I have a friend in another town with a new Mac and not being able to use my preferred remote software Crossloop I was going to go for LogMeIn. The ace for filesharing that I love is Dropbox (www.dropbox.com) This lets me have key files available on whatever computer I want to use. Start work on my PC in the home office in the morning and continue working on the same file later on using an office or mobile PC. I’m keen to see if Dropbox will let me use a database file for my support programs eWallet and Phatnotes so I can use these apps across multiple computers. Ah the joy of smart software

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  4. I use LogMeIn as well just to remote to other machines in the house. I use it to manage media on my media server from my laptop upstairs. I copy files to the server via a network share then use LogMeIn to get into iTunes and the Zune software to manage where the files show up, playlists, etc.

    But for file access I gotta jump on the Dropbox bandwagon. All of my machines have a My Dropbox folder in Documents and thats sync’d across all my machines I use regularly.

    I’ll also throw in a suggestion to take a look at the free product from Kaseya. Kaseya is a managed service platform but they’ve got a pretty nice free product. You can manage 25 machines and it gives you ftp/file transfer access on the free version which the free LogMeIn doesnt do. The paid version has some really neat stuff for geeks/admins like command line access.

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  5. Used LogMeIn and Dropbox for awhile now as pc mac integration is great. Have started playing around with TeamViewer but it doesn’t seem as intuitive.

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  6. James didn’t you use to use Windows Sync? The name has changed to Winodows Live Sync. Windows Live Sync is Free and has a limit of number of folders it can sync, but it is quite a lot. I use it and also use Logmein, but by using the Windows Live Sync I can just grab any of my mobile devices and have all documents, files, pictures, etc… that I have setup to sync and can work on anyone of those and then sync’s to the other computers.

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  7. Just started using Live Mesh – it states that it is BETA, but I have not had any problems with it. It works like dropbox but has 5 gb of storage, also allows remote desktop between between computers. Does Mac, mobile & MS. It’s features are sync, share and access.

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  8. James, I recently used a combination of SugarSync and Logmein. I took a Lenovo X200T with me to give a presentation I had made with Keynote and exported to Quicktime. On the morning of the presentation, I noticed it had a glitch. To fix it, I used Logmein to make the edits on my Mac at home. Then I exported it into Quicktime again, and let it sync via SugarSync. It worked beautifully.

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  9. The pricetag on LogMeIn Rescue is just crazy…I’m currently using Techinline (www.techinline.com) which is not as fully-featured, but at the same time offers all the essential features (ie file transfer & remote reboot) at literally a fraction of the price

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  10. Also try MyGreenPC (http://www.mygreenpc.com). Its a free remote access software (like logmeinc) and allows you to remotely power-on/off your PC as well, which does come in handy.

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