LogMeIn disappointed untold scores of computer users recently when it ended its popular LogMeIn Free remote access service. After a decade of use, the organization abruptly began terminating use of its free product. The Internet exploded with complaints, but more reasoned voices noted that many users were complaining about losing the use of a product for which they’d never paid for -- and LogMeIn does offer a paid version.
Certainly, several remote connectivity options remain for Mac users. Here’s a quick look at three of the leading products.
1. LogMeIn Pro
The obvious choice for many long-time LogMeIn Free users is LogMeIn Pro. Those already familiar with the product’s account setup, user interface, and operation will find all they need do is pay the product’s price: $69.95 per computer, per year (although LogMeIn offered a discounted price for previous users of the Free product: $49 per year for two computers).
LogMeIn Pro is a refined and proven product. In addition to providing reliable remote connectivity, the paid version simplifies file transfers and offers high quality HD video. A corresponding desktop application enables connecting to a remote system without having to rely on a web browser, while an iPad version provides the same functionality from the tablet interface. The paid version also supports remote printing, so users can print files locally from the remote computer.
Security is also important to LogMeIn, and it's Pro product is secure. Following several unsuccessful login attempts, accounts become locked to prevent against brute force logins. Remote connectivity, meanwhile, is secured using industry-standard encryption and SSL/TLS connectivity. Two-factor authentication is also supported for logging into host computers.
For users who are unforgiving of LogMeIn, TeamViewer offers a comparable remote connectivity solution. In addition to remote connectivity, the program supports remote printing, simplified file transfer between computers, and tablet support.
TeamViewer is also secure. Remote communications are protected using 2048-bit RSA keys and 256-bit AES encoding.
Designed for businesses seeking a remote access and support solution, pricing is structured accordingly. No monthly subscription is available. Instead, there are three tiers:
- The Business plan costs $749, and it includes multi-platform support, no license expiration, and free updates within the same version, with updates to a new version offered at discounted pricing. It also restricts access to a single workstation.
- The Premium plan costs $1499, and it offers support for an unlimited number of workstations from which remote sessions can be run, one at a time.
- The Corporate plan costs $2839, and it supports three concurrent remote sessions.
3. Apple Remote Desktop 3
Apple also offers its own remote connectivity platform, Apple Remote Desktop 3. As might be expected of a manufacturer, the program integrates well and supports connecting to Macs remotely, distributing software throughout an organization, dragging-and-dropping files between machines, generating software and hardware reports as required for asset management responsibilities, and automating pre-configured and even customized tasks.
Whether businesses need to remotely connect to Macs to provide end-user assistance or to add efficiency to common preventive maintenance routines, such as downloading and installing software updates, Apple Remote Desktop 3 is more than just a remote connectivity solution. It also has automator functions, scheduled maintenance features, and asset reporting capabilities. A handy widget is available, too, to simplify administrator operation.
On the privacy front, Curtain Mode enables blanking a screen to prevent end users from seeing the tasks being completed remotely, and the program supports 128-bit AES encryption to ensure session data remains secure.
Apple Remote Desktop 3 pricing is competitive at $79.99, and the new version’s unlimited managed systems license supports an unlimited number of systems and eliminates old per-seat taxes.
How to you remotely connect to your Apple desktop or mobile device? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.