You may have heard earlier this month that Logmein has purchased the password management tool LastPass. The announcement itself contained some very important information about how this tool might evolve, especially if you look at what they aren’t saying. This is most certainly bad news for Lastpass users.
In a move that will likely surprise no one, popular remote access tool maker Logmein, announced today that it will stop offering a free remote access tool. All users running Logmein Free options on mobile and desktop tools will receive a notification that they’ll have to upgrade to the “Pro” version or lose access within 7 days. Naturally, Logmein puts a spin on this, mentioning that they’ve offered the free product for 10 years, but many users are angry.
Yes, that’s a bit of a mouthful, I know. Bare with me. After Logmein delivered a huge blow to occasional remote access users everywhere, I’ve been thinking about the state of Remote Control tools. I’m not saying this to list all the different options there are, and gosh there are many; but to look at what has made Logmein and similar tool, Teamviewer, become so powerful.
The one common ingredient with Logmein and Teamviewer are the ability to punch through firewalls and effectively remove the need for time-wasting port configuration. Logmein does go further by providing online status and other “Pro” features, but the big and valuable feature of these two utilities is in firewall traversal. If you’re a VNC, or Remote Desktop or Radmin user, you’re likely familiar with the two-step process of opening a port, creating a gateway server and connecting. This keeps your need to open the network to a minimum while allowing access to all systems internally. Why don’t we have an open source equivalent to this kind of tool?
If you’re a Logmein user and you have a free account, you are more than likely aware of Logmein’s plan to limit free accounts to a maximum of ten computers. I think it’s a stupid move on Logmein’s part, but they are free to do what they wish. Users, however, should also avail themselves of all possible options too. This week I received the email that informed me that Logmein would no longer allow access to more than 10 computers, so I decided to look at ways to get around this restriction.
In a rather low-key blog post this morning, Logmein outlined more changes to its free product offering. Chief among those changes is this passage:
“we will be limiting the number of computers a user can access free of charge to 10”
That’s right, Logmein will now limit the number of computers you can access free, to 10. To gain access to more than 10 computers, you’ll need to pay the $199.00 or more for Logmein Central. This, I feel, will effectively render the free tool useless for anyone other than a home enthusiast or perhaps anyone with a few computers that need remote access. What tends to happen over time is that users upgrade computers and leave older items inside Logmein’s console – this will likely count against your allotment of 10. Don’t expect them to be forgiving about this limit.
Logmein is a great tool. The usefulness of this tool is in no small part to how accessible the software is (there is a version on most major mobile operating systems) and that it’s free. Indeed, here at Blogging Calwell we have written a number of times about Logmein over the years. Some good, some bad. One of the more unusual Windows-specific errors we’ve come across is the above pictured “This terminal server display is inactive”. There are certain conditions where this error occurs and a way to recover from this remotely. Read on for more details.
As one of the long-frustrated users of Logmein on a Mac, I struggled with not being able to work with remote machines as easily as I did on a PC running Windows. Being stuck in a browser (and all of the trouble that came with it) was never a fun experience. Well, this changes today (hopefully) now that Logmein has released a version of the administration tool called Ignition for OSX.
Logmein is a great product. Probably the best thing about Logmein is that it provides a basic subset of remote access features for free. In a small environment, you can administer and remotely control a number of computers easily and do it for free. For that reason, this is a wonderful tool and fits the needs for many different scenarios that don’t need to go and buy expensive tools. But, there is a reason why we have never featured Logmein in a “THAT great tool” feature, and it is the considerable dark side to using this tool as your daily remote access solution. The recent news of a free feature removal underscores this the caution that should be taken when buying into a company offering a “Freemium” product.
The pace of cloud file storage application releases have been fast and furious. Now that Google’s Drive is here and some of the more popular services in this space are Dropbox (Sign up here and get 500mb free), SugarSync, Bitcasa, and Box.Net. Today, I was invited to check out a new file storage service from the creators of Logmein called Cubby and I wanted to take a look at how this works.
If you use Logmein on all the time, you’ll know that working from an Apple OSX machine has always been something of a pain. I have tried a number of things to get around some of the bugs I’ve seen, but few things really help. I found something today that has improved the use of Logmein on a Mac greatly. Let’s take a look at the problem and what you can do to solve it.