Sometimes, remote workers need more than just the ability to access their home computer from the road. Having the ability to print, share, and copy files to and from your home office can be an invaluable tool when you want to keep precious files secure. LogMeIn Pro2 works right within your browser, so it's easy to access your computer remotely. Because of this, it also supports just about any operating system--even older versions of Windows, Mac, and Linux--not to mention Apple iOS and Android devices. But how does it compare to other remote-access programs?
Click to enlargeInstalling LogMeIn Pro2 is a breeze. First, we installed a small client on our host computer, which took only 5 minutes. Then, we could access the PC remotely from within a browser. By comparison, GoToMyPC requires you to launch a client app through a browser if you want access to all of its features.
The log-in process is simple and easy, but LogMeIn tends to prompt you for too many passwords--once to access LogMeIn.com, again to access the remote computer, and once more to actually log into Windows on that system.
LogMeIn Pro2 is more powerful than GoToMyPC Pro. In the main window, a dashboard view shows a wealth of information about the remote computer, including available memory and hard disk space. A sidebar shows details about the remote computer; you can check drivers, open processes, tweak performance variables, adjust mouse settings, and even set color modes depending on the speed of your remote connection. You can toggle this to go away and just view the remote session, too.
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We prefer this unified look to GoToMyPC, which has the same features (e.g., generating reports on remote sessions), but shows the remote desktop in one window and management features in another. LogMeIn's management tools are arranged in a technical manner, so it's designed more for an IT support pro than the typical business user.
LogMeIn Pro2 did not perform as well as GoToMyPC on our tests. Using the same connection (a local coffee shop's Wi-Fi), we were able to smoothly stream audio files on iTunes from our remote PC, but an episode of Battlestar Galactica was choppy, even when we tweaked color settings. And while LogMeIn worked great in Internet Explorer and Safari on a Mac, it does not work very well in Google Chrome. In that browser, we could only use basic features such as viewing our remote PC, but not checking system resources.
Like GoToMyPC, LogMeIn also has an iPad app, called Ignition, which worked about the same as the browser version over the coffee shop's Wi-Fi connection. However, it doesn't let you access as many features for checking system resources as the browser version does.
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LogMeIn Pro2 costs $12.20 per month, or $69.95 per year per computer for up to 25 computers. By comparison, GoToMyPC Pro costs $19.95 per month or $198 per year, and provides access for two users and one administrator. Another major difference: LogMeIn Ignition for iPhone, iPad, and Android tablets and phones and costs $30, whereas the GoToMyPC iPad app is free. Still, it's nice to be able to access your computer from a plethora of devices.
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The free version of LogMeIn also grants you remote access to your Mac or PC, but it lacks features such as advanced administrative control, remote-to-local printing, file sharing, and drag-and-drop file transfers.
IT departments will love LogMeIn Pro2 for its robust management and diagnostic tools, and we like it for its unified, browser-based interface. However, individual users may prefer GoToMyPC Pro because it works more smoothly over a remote connection and easily helps you accomplish your main goal: accessing the files and apps on your PC from far away.