August 22, 2008

LogMeIn – Mobilize Your Desktop Computer


You’re stuck at the airport and want to power up the laptop to get an hour’s worth of work done while your flight is delayed, but the files you need are at the office. Or maybe you’re home sick but have one proposal to write at work before you can collapse into bed. In the past, solutions to these problems may have ranged from finding an online file server to carrying around a collection of USB jump drives to store files. Now there’s an easier (and free) solution. It’s called LogMeIn, and it makes it possible for you to access a faraway computer from the comfort of your closest computer screen.

Upon registering an account on the LogMeIn website, you’ll need to download a plugin to your host computer (the one you’d like to access while you’re away). As long as you leave the host computer running and connected to the Internet, you can access that computer at anytime by visiting LogMeIn’s website and clicking a link to connect to your computer remotely. Working with your computer remotely happens right inside the browser. You can open files, access data, and do virtually anything that you’d normally do at your desktop – from any computer in the world.

Practical Uses:

  • Access your company’s client database while you’re telecommuting
  • Avoid lugging your laptop while traveling and instead access all your data and files from an internet café or hotel business center
  • Use LogMeIn to collaborate with coworkers on editing a powerpoint presentation. View the slides on your colleague’s computer while chatting about what you see
  • Load new photos to your home computer while you’re still on vacation
  • Support your parents computer even when you’re a thousand miles away

Insider Tips:

  • Since firewalls and Internet settings can sometimes interfere with your LogMeIn connection, do a test-run before relying fully on your remote computer. This way, you can tweak settings before you fully depend on remote access
  • If you have web-enabled Pocket PC device, try logging into your desktop computer from your phone
  • You can install LogMeIn on multiple PCs and access each of them using one LogMeIn account
  • If you plan to use the service often, create a desktop shortcut to connect more conveniently

What we liked:

  • Other remote computer programs frequently charge $20/month for similar services, while basic service for LogMeIn is free
  • The site has heavy-duty security features with over a dozen safeguards to protect the data of users and the companies they work for
  • If someone happens to be using the computer you’re remotely accessing, LogMeIn lets you initiate a chat (when using paid plans)

What we didn’t like:

  • To download LogMeIn on your host computer, you must have administrative access. Depending on where you work, you may need help from your IT department to use LogMeIn with your work computer
  • Your host computer must be powered up and have a constant, reliable connection to the Internet. This is true of any remote access service
  • Once connected, the computer’s response to your clicks and typing is somewhat slower than usual on a computer (high-speed broadband connections reduce this delay)


Company Info:

  • Launched: February 2003
  • Privately Owned but the company announced in January that owners plan to go public
  • Headquarters: Woburn, MA
  • Founded by Michael K. Simon
  • Web site:


  • The basic plan is free, but there are several premium versions for users who need more features, like file sharing and printing remote files to a local printer

Submit a Comment