67 Comments

Summary:

LogMeIn, citing a “mature” market, is moving users of its free remote access service over to a paid model; following similar moves by Sugarsync, Droplr, and Mailstrom.

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It may not be a flood, but it’s definitely a trickle. More software vendors are paring back “free” or freemium offerings. This week it’s LogMeIn curtailing the free version of LogMeIn remote access. The more feature-rich paid “Pro” version is still available and supported, a spokesman said.

In December, Sugarsync announced plans to pull free storage and file syncing (check out the comments on this story to see how that went over.) Droplr followed suit in January. Mailstrom, the software that cleans out your inbox, is also moving to an all-paid subscription model. Most of these vendors continue to offer a limited-time free trial period.

For Boston-based LogMeIn, the rationale is that remote access is a mature market — there’s no need to seed it any more with free accounts. It’s unclear how many users this will affect. The company will continue to offer freemium versions of its Join.me web conferencing; Cubby file sync-and-store and Hamachi networking services.

This LogMeIn blog post explains the rationale with the gist being users of the free product will be migrated off of it starting this month.

Please note that once you log into your account there is a seven day window to upgrade. Subscriptions will include LogMeIn’s signature remote access to two or more computers, premium mobile apps for Android and iOS, and native Mac and Windows desktop apps. Additionally, all users who purchase a subscription to LogMeIn Pro will be upgraded to a premium remote access experience, with capabilities that include integration with popular cloud sync and share products like Cubby, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and SkyDrive, the ability to manage and transfer cloud and local files, remote printing and more.

Here are FAQs on the move.

The long and short of it is those who were using the free service will either have to move on or start paying $99 per year for access to two computers (pricing plans below.)

For web-age users who grew up using a patchwork of free services, this trend is bound to be unsettling. But it’s increasingly clear that free can’t last forever — well maybe for Dropbox with its $250 million war chest can, but that’s an outlier. How a given vendor handles the transition will determine how many of those legacy users will stay put or go searching for new free alternatives.

But really, at some point, you do get what you pay for.

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  1. Scott Petricig Tuesday, January 21, 2014

    I am NOT happy about this news! I use LogMeIn on many computers, and only use the basic remote access feature – I have no need for their other features, though some are interesting (patch management, etc.) I wouldn’t mind paying if the price were reasonable (say $20-$30 a year for the most basic features), but their pricing is way too high for personal use. I’ll be looking around for other services…

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    1. Everybody, take to twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc. and express yourself with hashtag #goodbyelogmein !

      “After 6 years, Logmein has decided to terminate their FREE service without notice, expressing complete disregard for their loyal customers. Time to move on. #goodbyelogmein”

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      1. Well, to be fair, you aren’t really a customer if you aren’t buying anything… That said, I’m sad to have to look for another service.

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    2. Try FREE for home and business Aeroadmin.
      Quite simple and fast app. Hope it helps.
      http://www.aeroadmin.com

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  2. I’m with Scott. I connect to 3 computers using LogMeIn, 2 of them a couple of times a week, and the third maybe once a month. I’m not going to pay $250 a year for this. I’m already searching out alternatives (which is how I ended up here). My most expensive iOS app just became completely useless, and I’m not happy with it.

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    1. @gordlacey if you find free options would you post here? i’m looking too

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      1. I’m not sure we’ll find a completely free option to replace LogMeIn, but I’ll report back if I find anything good. I don’t mind paying for a good app/program, but I’m not paying an ongoing fee to anyone. That’s my biggest beef with them now – I’d pay a large-ish one-time fee, but I can’t justify an ongoing fee.

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        1. Just use Remote Desktop Connection via Windows. It’s free.

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        2. Teamviewer is going to get most of the LMI users. It’s free.

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        3. Teamviewer

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        4. @GordLacey Would love to hear your thoughts on younity and whether you felt you gain the same benefits from younity as you did with LogMeIn. While we don’t provide the ability to administer your devices; you can access, open and share any files from any computer at once via your iOS devices .

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        5. How did that work for you guys? I use BeAnywhere.. But they don’t have unattended access in the free version. And allows only 5 sessions a day… Anyway, thats the “free-est” i’ve found.

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    2. I find it fascinating that after people have been using a valuable product, for free, for years that they feel they are entitled to it forever. “Loyal customers”??? Customers PAY for stuff. You are a USER. And I am sure LogMeIn will be just fine with losing you and all the money you NEVER paid them.

      If the service really is that good, consider paying for it.

      Stated another way: how much is what YOU do for a living worth? If you gave away your services for free for a period of time, does than mean that you should NEVER charge for them?

      Get a grip.

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      1. Spare us the explanation on the business reasoning for this move. Most complaints are about the short notice and that the pricing seems a little high for casual/personal use. I believe that most “users” understand that LMI can no longer sustain a free version of their service. LMI does need to reconsider the value of the current paid offering in order to entice those that were paying nothing to sign up and become a “real” customer. If they feel this is all they can offer then most people, myself included, will probably opt to skip paying them anything at all.

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        1. Agreed. The general consensus is that a majority of free users would all be happy to pay for a service that offers what they had been getting with the freemium package, but the notice of 7 days (called ‘ample time’ by the email) to either upgrade the package or find an alternative is laughable. Also, does anyone remember “free forever?”

          Things change – we get it. But something that most people forget is that a lot of us free users go to work and buy the pro or LMI Central package, so its not like we are all freeloading without giving something back.

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      2. sorry, but the grief here is about their lies.
        last time they did some changes this is what they posted on their website:”LogMeIn Free is and will remain free”. taken from their blog right here: http://blog.logmein.com/it-management/important-changes-to-logmein-free

        and now they discontinue it completely???
        way to go down, Logmein, don’t forget to say hi to Blackberry when you see it right there

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      3. I have no objection to paying for a valuable product. However, they have been offering this product for free and suddenly I’m faced with 7 days of losing use of this product or paying $250 a year to continue…that’s quite a leap!

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      4. Aaron, I don’t think people expected to use the product for free forever. Most people are unimpressed with (a) the very short notice people have been given about the change and (b) the cost of the paid subscriptions which are beyond the home user. Having paid for Logmein Ignition a while back (with lifetime upgrades) I find my paid for software is now also useless.

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      5. Don’t be a tool. Many of us tried logmein free to find out if we like the product, While I still have logmein free on a few computers that I access semi-weekly I have purchased plenty of pro licenses for computers that I use more frequently and have suggested it to others, I can think of at least 7 pro accounts that exist only because I recommended they use the logmein remote product. The thanks I get for recommending them is they cut off the free accounts that I had? Well f- them. I will be cancelling all pro accounts I have with them, I hope they learn a lesson for pulling this kind of crap on their customers, and Yes I said CUSTOMERS.

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      6. So you have no problem paying $100 per year for 2 computers for LogMein when supporting relatives or friends for free? The $100 charge per year is what LogMeIn is charging people after the $49 initial year.

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  3. Baltimore Or Less Tuesday, January 21, 2014

    Same here, I just use the basic features occassionally. I’d be happy to pay 25 bucks or so but not 99 bucks. Any good free alternatives?

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    1. TeamViewer all the way!

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    2. If you want to do remote support, like help your parents with their computer, Mikogo is a great software that’s completely free for private use: http://www.mikogo.com

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    3. James T Fletcher Thursday, January 23, 2014

      CentraStage do 500 devices for free.

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  4. What REALLY irks me about this is I got a ZERO day notice. I have 3 computers that I connect to once or twice a month and am happy to pay something, but the pricing structure is out of line IMHO. I was told TeamViewer still has a free product for home use, going to check that out. Let me know if there are any other good options out there.

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    1. Yeah, Jeremy, it wasn’t a nice email to wake up to!

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  5. $99 for 2 computers and $249 for 5, a volume discount of 0%? Too rich for me.

    Too bad. Time to install TeamViewer.

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  6. I’m also very unhappy with this. I use the service to manage family computers. The notification was late, unexpected, and poorly handled. Pull the plug… the worst customer service in this case.

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  7. What about TeamViewer?

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    1. Exactly. I have used TeamViewer for years with no complaints other than the little nag at the end of a session.

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  8. James T Fletcher Tuesday, January 21, 2014

    Freemium is a great lead generation model, it’s gets people to sign up, and @gigabarb and I have discussed this before. However — the big challenge is ensuring you’re giving those free users enough value to get them to sign up to the premium service, and that the hike doesn’t feel too big!

    If we take another approach to this and think about mobile apps, think about the free ones you use, they’re either owned by big companies like Facebook, owns Instagram and therefore they’re using your data to make money (thats another debate so lets not go there!). Or they’re running very efficient small teams who are paid for by advertising revenues, or the % of paid accounts. Again the goal is conversion.

    On a side note: I know that CentraStage offer a free version of their platform, might be worth having a look at that it’s a more comprehensive offering too, affordable in addition to all that if you did want to go premium.

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  9. I just logged in to see what my subscription options would be (I have about nine machines listed – mostly friends/family tech support, so not something I will pay $250 to maintain). My account is listed as “LogMeIn Central” and there’s not only no sign of a fee yet, but the FAQ says LogMeIn Central is unaffected. I know I purchased an app at some time in the past, so perhaps that’s how I ended up here. I honestly don’t quite know yet what’s what and whether I will ultimately be affected or not. Feels like borrowed time now.

    Whatever the case, I’m sorry to see this happening. Just the other day I was recommending them to someone, but I’m sure their use case doesn’t justify the cost now either. They certainly should keep offering a non-pro, basic level of remote access to a larger number of clients in the $30 – $50 per year range. I’d pay that.

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  10. Jonathan Fletcher Tuesday, January 21, 2014

    Good bye, LMI.

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