Networking

How do I... Configure and use LogMeIn Pro remote access software?

<img src="http://t.cbsimg.net/i/z/200606/how_110x85.jpg" align="right" border="0" height="85" hspace="5" vspace="5" width="110" />Remote access may well be the greatest innovation in computing since the mouse. Unfortunately, the remote access configuration process is daunting. Everything from antivirus programs to flaky modems to firewalls can single-handedly derail remote connection attempts. <a href="http://www.techrepublic.com/contents/2346-10877_11-58008.html" target="_blank">Remote connection alternatives</a> try to overcome these obstacles with ease of use and tighter security. One of the most popular options is LogMeIn. Erik Eckel explains how to configure LogMeIn Pro's features and maximize the usefulness of this remote connectivity platform.

Remote access may well be the greatest innovation in computing since the mouse. Unfortunately, the remote access configuration process is daunting. Everything from antivirus programs to flaky modems to firewalls can single-handedly derail remote connection attempts.

Remote connection alternatives try to overcome these obstacles with ease of use and tighter security. One of the most popular options is LogMeIn. Erik Eckel explains how to configure LogMeIn Pro's features and maximize the usefulness of this remote connectivity platform.

Even if your entire network infrastructure is configured to properly recognize and pass remote access traffic, simply forgetting to enable Windows Remote Desktop connections, supply a password with a Windows XP user account, or configure a user's server-based account settings to permit remote access results in failure and frustration.

Worse, trying to print information from a remote workstation on a local printer is fraught with peril. Microsoft claims its RDP implementation supports passing the required print drivers between platforms, but it usually doesn't work. If it did work well, why would Microsoft be touting the 2008 server platform's TS Easy Print as such an important new feature?

For all these reasons, remote connection alternatives thrive. LogMeIn's free software provides a simple method of connecting to a remote workstation or server from any Internet connected system. LogMeIn Pro, meanwhile, adds secure connections, remote printing support, and simplified file transfer to the mix.

Here's how to configure LogMeIn Pro's features and maximize the usefulness of this remote connectivity platform.

This blog post is also available as a TechRepublic download.

Create an account

The first step in using LogMeIn is creating an account. Simply visit www.logmein.com and create an account using the provided link. The next step, after creating an account, is to load the LogMeIn Pro software on the computer you wish to access remotely.

LogMeIn installation

Install LogMeIn Pro by selecting that option (the LogMeIn Pro link) from LogMeIn's Web site (from the PC you wish to serve as the remote access host). When you create a new LogMeIn account, the option is automatically presented. (You'll be instructed to click the Add Computer link.) (Figure A)

Figure A

Click the Add Computer link when creating an account to install LogMeIn Pro on the workstation or server you wish to serve as the remote access host machine.

Upon clicking Add Computer, the LogMeIn software will begin downloading. The program is approximately eight megabytes in size, so depending upon your Internet connection, the process should take only a few moments.

When the software has downloaded, you can run the installation program. The LogMeIn setup program will appear, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

The LogMeIn setup program walks you through installing the remote connectivity software.

After accepting the license agreement, you can choose either a Typical or Custom installation. When choosing the Custom option, the next screen you'll see provides you with the opportunity to name the system. This is the name that will appear when you attempt to connect to the system remotely.

The rest of the Custom installation enables specifying proxy settings (if necessary) and the destination installation folder.

When the installation program completes, a menu will appear indicating LogMeIn is enabled and online (Figure C). An icon also appears within the Windows System Tray (Figure D). At this point, the system can be accessed remotely by any user knowing the LogMeIn user account name and password. No firewall ports require configuration, nor do server account settings need to be updated to enable remote access.

Figure C

LogMeIn confirms it is enabled and online upon completing installation.

Figure D

LogMeIn also adds an icon to the Windows System Tray.

Connect to a remote LogMeIn-enabled system

To connect to the remote system on which you've installed LogMeIn Pro, enter www.logmein.com in the address bar of the computer's Web browser. On the LogMeIn home page, supply your LogMeIn username (e-mail address) and password and click the Log Me In button (Figure E).

Figure E

Users can, from any Internet connected system, remotely access any PC or server with LogMeIn installed on it.
The PC or server upon which you installed and enabled the LogMeIn software will appear (Figure F).

Figure F

LogMeIn-enabled PCs and servers associated with your LogMeIn account appear on the My Computers page.
Click the link for the system to which you wish to connect. You'll see a screen indicating that LogMeIn is connecting to that remote system. Next, you'll see a login screen for the remote Windows system. Here, you need to enter a username, password, and domain for a valid account on the system to which you're connecting (Figure G).

Figure G

Once LogMeIn connects you to the remote system, you still must log in to the remote system as if you were sitting in front of it.
Once you've successfully logged on to the remote system (by supplying a valid user account and password) the connection will be complete. As you can see in Figure H, the LogMeIn Pro software will present you with six options:

  1. Remote Control
  2. File Manager
  3. Guest Invite
  4. File Share
  5. Preferences
  6. Help

Figure H

LogMeIn Pro presents users with these six options.

Each of these items provides its own features and optional settings. Let's explore each individually.

Remote Control

Selecting Remote Control opens the remote system and displays its desktop. While completing the connection, LogMeIn Pro redirects print jobs to your local default printer automatically. A menu appears providing three options: Connect My Default Printer To The Remote Computer, Synchronize My Clipboard With The Remote Computer, and Remember SYSTEMNAME And Don't Display This Dialog Again. Select (or clear) any of the check boxes as required.

Upon clicking Proceed, LogMeIn will display the remote system's desktop (Figure I). You can then control the remote system as if you were physically seated in front of it.

Figure I

LogMeIn Pro shares data with remote systems via a secure 256-bit encrypted connection.
Several options enable customizing the remote control session. Users can select color quality, choose whiteboard or laser pointer mode, choose to match screen resolutions between connected systems, fit the remote window to the current window, or view the remote system actual size. All those options are accessible from the View menu. Full Screen and Connect Drives (for simplifying the sharing of files between the two systems) buttons also appear at the top of the Remote Control window. Should you need to perform a Ctrl+Alt+Del keystroke combination on the remote system, LogMeIn supplies a button for that, as well (Figure J).

Figure J

LogMeIn Pro's toolbars present numerous options for customizing the remote desktop display.

Clicking the More button from LogMeIn's menu bar displays a second toolbar. From the second toolbar, users can specify the remote screen size in pixels, set the zoom value, and open a chat session for connected guests.

Guest Invite

Using LogMeIn Pro's Guest Invite feature, LogMeIn Pro subscribers can invite specific individuals to temporarily access the PC or server's desktop. Note that for this feature to work, the user must be seated at the host system.

File Manager

Selecting File Manager opens a new LogMeIn Pro window. That window features two columns, one for the current system and a second window listing the remote system's files and folders. Exchanging files between the two systems is as simple as dragging and dropping the files between the two windows (Figure K).

Figure K

LogMeIn Pro's File Manager makes quick work of remotely exchanging files between two systems.

File Share

LogMeIn Pro's File Share feature enables sharing files with specific contacts. The feature works by creating a secure link to files on the remote system. That secure link can then be shared with contacts with whom you wish to share files. In addition to creating the secure link, LogMeIn Pro users can specify that users receive a certain number of downloads or provide a timeframe within which the files must be accessed.

Preferences

Using the Preferences menu, users can customize Remote Control sessions, Security Settings, Network Settings, Log Settings, Reboot Options, and Advanced Options (Figure L).

Among the Remote Control session settings that can be customized are general settings (such as enabling guest invitations), security (such as disabling host keyboard and mouse, blanking the host's monitor, and locking the console if the session is broken), visible and audible notification (alarm beeps for alerting the user when remote control sessions start or end), interactive user's permission (such as requiring a remote user to approve the remote connection request), remote printing, and drive connection. Simple check boxes are provided for enabling (or disabling) each clearly listed feature.

Security settings that can be customized include access controls (defining or editing user-specific permissions), changing the Windows system password, preventing specific IP addresses from connecting to the host, filtering IP addresses, logs, SSL setup, and personal passwords.

File transfer limits, bandwidth restrictions, and idle time settings are configured from within Network Settings, as are proxy settings.

Among the Log Settings that can be configured are the number of days for which log files should be kept, system log parameters (for sending log files to a Syslog server) and remote control recording (LogMeIn Pro can create video files of remote sessions).

From the Reboot menu, users can opt to restart the LogMeIn session. Users can also choose to reboot the remote system normally. Should a program have locked up, users also have a hard reboot option (and even an emergency reboot alternative) available in which Windows isn't permitted to gracefully shut down. Instead, these reboots force Windows to restart as if the reset button were physically depressed on the front of the remote host computer. Further reboot options include a safe-mode reboot (in which Windows starts in Safe Mode with Networking Enabled) and a reboot scheduled for a specific time.

Advanced Options available to LogMeIn Pro users include disabling HTML-based remote control, disabling HTML content compression and customizing specific log on messages. The default language settings are also configured from within the Advanced Options menu.

Figure L

LogMeIn enables users to customize numerous session settings.

Help

From the Help menu, LogMeIn provides a Getting Started guide designed to quickly bring new users up to speed using the remote connectivity software. There's also an online user manual, as well as more information on the software license. Customer support and feedback links are provided within the application's Help menu.

An effective investment

LogMeIn provides a solid and reliable tool for solving remote connectivity issues. Further, the software solves the infamous problem of trying to print remote data on a local system.

While the software is designed, by default, to deliver a potent remote connectivity solution, knowing how to access the application's advanced features make any investment in the utility that much more effective.

About

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 o...

50 comments
S Singh
S Singh

The above steps seems to be complicated. Instead, I would recommend using a R-HUB remote support server for all your remote access needs. It is easy to use and provides you everything in one box you need.

jessica.asmar
jessica.asmar

My company recently pushed for remote viewing of our employees computers. Does anyone know how to set the option to prevent employees from seeing that their computers are being accessed by the Logmein software?

kaliravna
kaliravna

I just subscribed to pro version. Please help me to print from remote computer Thanks Baljeet

mitzimanaligod
mitzimanaligod

How can the interactive user in LogMeIn authorize the remote control process?

thecomputerstudio
thecomputerstudio

Well i'm glad you told me how to install logmein!! i have been using it for a year now.

hinrichs
hinrichs

I used LogMeIn free for a while and only tried the Pro version when they gave me a free trial period. I really need to transfer files back and forth from my home PC to my office PC. And I need to be able to synchronize the files on my home PC with those on my office PC. You cannot do this directly with the free version, although you can open up your email client on your office PC and email the files to yourself. This is cumbersome and a waste of time in my opinion. I was able to find a coupon on line and get the first year of LogMeIn Pro for about $40 for the first year. In my opinion, it is worth every penny since the time I save in transferring and synchronizing files is well worth the expense. If there is a free program that does file transfer and file synchronizing the way LogMeIn Pro does I'd like to know. Maybe when the one year is up I'll switch to such a free program. In the mean time, LogMeIn Pro is a must have program for me. Concerning the worries about security issues posted by somebody else on this forum, I'd like to know what safeguards are built in at LogMeIn to prevent interception of my files on their way between my home PC and my office PC. Would someone at LogMeIn really do something with my files?

vti2k
vti2k

thank you Erik for the informative article on remote access. I would like to know is this remote service is a paid subscription? It's not free like open-source TightVnc or other freeware. I think a co-worker of mine paid a subscription for using this software so he can remote access client servers and desktop Pc's for his side job.

edodaniel@
edodaniel@

Y'all might want to take a quick look at TeamViewer. http://www.teamviewer.com/index.aspx TeamViewer is free for non-commercial users and the license isn't outrageous for commercial users. File Transfer and Chat are built in, and it is simple to install and configure.

bchekuri
bchekuri

There is another Free utility from LogMeIn called LogMeIn Scout which i found very good. It scans your entire network and detects any remote assistance software installed on the machines. It also installs LogMeIn on all the machines.

rcml
rcml

This is one of the best programs I have run to. I have been using for a while and it always amazed me of its usefullness, lots of possibilities it offers. Its just a keeper!...

NaughtyMonkey
NaughtyMonkey

It is a great product and I install it on every machine I build. Especially like the Rescue and other instant access options they offer.

abisset
abisset

They also have an installer for the mac allowing me to control my osx environment from my office pc. Performance isn't the best but it's nice to have access to things like darwin while on a pc. I agree though, this article, while well written, sadly doesn't cover anything new or all that useful in regards to LMI. For those looking for a less expensive version check out LogMeIn Free. While you don't get some of the extra tools like file-sharing, guest invites and the like it is a great way to get basic remote access to your machines without forking over a bunch of money.

anilkool
anilkool

Wow..I am managing 15 servers and 20 laptops since 3 yrs..not a glitch..and wow its free..:)-

srini
srini

I am part of office domain. I want to use my note book while in a remote location and wish to log in to my domain as a domain user so that I could use the resources as if I am sitting in my office.

TG2
TG2

Logmeinpro is too much trouble.. Instead just download their Free Hamachi ... hamachi builds "networks" of interconnected PC's (ala private VPN space). Its a more simple download, does not require **any** registration (at the bottom under the registration request is the *dont register just download* link) You download, install hamachi, and after it walks you through how to build a hamachi named vpn/network. With that, you can then use tools you already know.. like MS RDP with drive and printer mapping.. to connect across the VPN. Hamachi Paid, gives you access to fast relay servers, **but** you don't really need those most of the time. I used this method with my Aunt & Uncle a month ago... these folks are very smart, but, they aren't great with computers.. walked them through the install, added them to my hamachi network, and then was able to use VNC to remote control / share the desktop to help them troubleshoot a problem. Hamachi is from the same people.. just doesn't use the web interface for logging tracking and connecting to machines, which is the more complicated part of the LogMeIn clients. As for comparison to GoToMyPC ... very similar in experiences ... the clients on pc's call home to GTMP and allow users to login there to initiate connections back to other machines. As for comparision on security.. couldn't really answer.. I would only trust either solution as far as I am required too.. and use as needed / shutdown or off when not needed to protect machines from insecurities that could creep up as they become popular methods to seek attack actions through..

valentin
valentin

Has anyone used Gotomypc.com software, using citrix platform? How does that compare with LogMeIn Pro?

dave.palmer
dave.palmer

Are there any security worries to consider when using this product in a commercial environment? Or am I being paranoid when I refuse to install it on office computers?

compugal
compugal

one of the gratest programs available on the internet for remote control access.

broozm
broozm

So I decide to use [the excellent] LogMeIn app/service for all my small customers. I set it up with the free version (since I don't need file moving, or the remote printing). What's the catch? Why would I need the Pro or ITSupport versions? Yes, I know I need to login with a different email address for each computer I connect to _and_ I have to remember the remote user's id and password :( So let's say I have enough reason to go Pro, I will not be using it frequently enough to even cover costs. What I would like is a pay-as-you-use option. If I make a connection, I pay a unit - or use up a unit of credit that I have purchased up front.

info
info

I have been using LogMeIn for a number of years and have found it brilliant. It is great to have the "free" basic version with the option to upgrade at any time to Pro. I feel bad sometimes I am getting such a great service from a company at no cost to myself, except they have received many many recommendations. If you really do not want to pay for such a great service but need to transfer files use LogMeIn Free in combination with their free VPN product. Only hassle I have found is when you try to re-install LogMeIn onto a computer that has already been set up with it. (Usually due to lost passwords) So do not forget passwords unless the computer you are logging onto has user accounts and passwords set. The help line has always been very good resolving the very few issues I have had.

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