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LogMeIn Pro review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £35
inc VAT

An outstanding remote access and administration tool, let down only by the high cost of scaling across multiple machines

LogMeIn is a remote access tool for Windows and Mac OS X that lets you log in to a computer remotely. Many of us have, at some point, torn our hair out on at home or on a business trip because a file we desperately need is located on your office PC. LogMeIn lets you access that file.

It’s also handy if you need to access a computer to troubleshoot it for a colleague or relative.

LogMeIn Pro dashboard

The LogMeIn Pro dashboard

All versions of LogMeIn are comprised of two parts: a web-based interface that lets you monitor and remotely access the computer, and a desktop application that lets you access the computer on which it’s installed remotely. As with a standard Windows remote desktop session, the computer to which you’re connected is referred to as the host, and the system from which you’ve connected is the client.

One of the problems LogMeIn has had to tackle is that of persuading users to move from its excellent free service to its retail LogMeIn Pro package. Both LogMeIn Free and LogMeIn Pro provide secure remote desktop access to the host system from any browser, with greater versatility than standard Windows RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) sessions. The free version also lets you chat with any user who might be at the host machine, reboot the system, turn it on if it’s switched off, and check for and install Windows updates.

However, there are more functions within LogMeIn Pro. Additional features include a file manager that lets you copy files between your PC and the host machine, stream full quality audio and video to your local machine, print files from the host machine to the computer on which you’re working and drag and drop files from the host machine to your local desktop. The person working at the host machine can also invite others to share their desktop session, which is useful if they need help with a program they’re running, or share files on their computer directly with others, removing the need to use remote storage and syncing services. There’s even a free app that lets you access your host PC from an iOS device. Somewhat unfairly, Android users must pay £20 to buy the LogMeIn Ignition app.

LogMeIn remote

The remote interface is much like that of the free version, but you can drag files to and from your local PC

Most importantly, LogMeIn Pro has a dashboard that lets you view and control precise details of the host system’s performance and configuration. It’s not very slick or modern-looking, but it gives you vast amounts of information about the PC you’re remotely administrating. At a glance, you can view its network traffic, most active processes, recent log events, scheduled tasks and available disk space. If you click into any of the host’s disk drives, you can explore their contents in detail. A fully fledged process manager lets you terminate uncooperative programs and makes it easy to spot malware. You can even access the registry editor.

Remotely controlling the host feels much the same as it does on the free version, and responsiveness is largely dependent on the broadband connection speeds of both PCs. However, it’s remarkable how convenient the ability to drag files between host and local desktop really is, particularly if you have multiple monitors on your local machine, as the remote host can be given its own dedicated desktop display.

LogMeIn Pro file manager

A file manager allows you to transfer content directly between the local and host machines

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