Giant’s LogMeIn have recently axed their free remote desktop software and offered users a subscription only offer. No doubt LogMeIn is very useful and popular for business owners but by axing their free version they are bound to lose a lot of customers that won’t want to upgrade to the subscription based service especially if you only need to fix one or two computers several times a year.
So LogMeIn may have totally alienated any potential customers there are plenty of free or lower cost alternatives for personal users to consider.
Teamviewer is probably the most well-known alternative to LogMeIn which offers free software for Linux, Mac and Windows on the desktop and iOS, Android and Windows mobile platforms. It’s free for personal use and offers secure connections.
iTeleport is an Apple Mac and iPad/iPhone/iPod only app that will enable you to connect to any Windows, Linux and Mac computer. If you need access to multiple computers or are using remote desktop software for business purposes then iTeleport is a snip for £20.99 ($24.99 USD) for the Mac version, £13.99 for the iPad version and £17.49 for the joint iPad and iPhone app.
Chrome Remote Desktop is a fully cross-platform (Win/Mac/Linux) browser-based remote desktop software which allows users to remotely access another computer through the Chrome browser or a Chromebook. Computers can be made available on an short-term basis for scenarios such as ad hoc remote support, or on a more long-term basis for remote access to your applications and files. All connections are fully secured.
Mikogo is very similar to Teamviewer with the options available you can also use the browser to get access to the other computer. It is also free for private use.
Deskhop App is a little different to the others as it allows you to control a Facebook friend’s computer (with permission) for screen sharing or remote controlling. Great idea if you are both on Facebook and are offering advice and want to hook up to their desktop quickly. Currently Deskhop is free to use and also offers secure connections.
Splashtop is free to use for non-commercial purposes. It offers multi-platform access for Windows, Linux and Mac and low-cost apps for iPad, iPhone and free apps for both Android and Kindle. For an extra £1.99 the Anywhere Access Pack will allow access your computer anywhere from any network with faster and more responsive over 3G/4G or Internet and secure SSL and 256-bit AES encryption.
Setting it up yourself – If you want to control your own computers then you can do it yourself with the help of VNC server software like RealVNC (Windows/Mac/Linux), TightVNC (Windows) and UltraVNC (Windows). If you want to connect to your computer from outside your local network then it’s possible that you have a dynamic IP address in which case you will need to subscribe to a dynamic DNS service like No-IP. Also remember to port-forward your router and any software firewalls. For a more comprehensive guide visit lifehacker.
Have you recently switched to another remote desktop provider? Have I missed your favourite from the list? If so please feel free to have your say. Here is a comparison of my findings in a handy PDF.