Finding a LogMeIn Alternative

Dave Zatz —  January 22, 2014

logmein-eol

After ten years of service, LogMeIn has abruptly terminated their free tier of remote access. And my pal Janice speaks for many of us when she says, “That sound is parental tech support reps everywhere imploding at their desks.” Of course we don’t fault the company for wanting to make money and I’ve always been somewhat skeptical of the “freemium” model (and suspect its limitations are why Evernote now sells socks) – it’s the communication we take issue with.

Those who’ve purchased the $30 LogMeIn Ignition app for iOS and Android are being comped 6 months of Pro service, after which point we can move on or receive 50% off an annual two-computer plan for $49. Everyone else has 7 days after their next login to upgrade to a paid plan. As infrequent users, many of us will abstain… and are left wondering what else is out there.

As for me, I’ve seen a number of Team Viewer mentions come across my desk. Although, like LogMeIn, who knows if they may one day change-up their business model. Which is why I’ve gone straight to the Chrome screen sharing route. Google already knows pretty much everything I do and, as a Chromebook owner and regular user of their browser, this fits pretty seamlessly into my workflow – with mobile apps are on the way. Plus there’s native OS X screensharing via Messages for the times I need to tune up my Mom’s Mac. What about you?

32 responses to Finding a LogMeIn Alternative

  1. I’ve been using Chrome Remote Desktop as well when I’m in front of a computer. When I’m on my Android phone I use Microsoft Remote Desktop

  2. I setup Teamviewer on my parents’ laptop yesterday when I heard this. I like that it also works on my Linux boxes as well.

  3. My setup for supporting my parents has always been one that I rolled out myself. Install cygwin ssh server, open a port on the router (non-default SSH port), setup public ssh key and then use ssh port forwarding for VNC/RDP. I even have iSSH on my iOS devices which supports tunneling VNC/RDP over ssh so I can provide support with only my iPhone if necessary.

    Of course, I’ve long been a unix-ish person so cygwin setup is not at all daunting after working to support actual customers at previous employers via modem on a tty port.

    I have used teamviewer at times to support other family on rare occasions as well as some limited use of teamviewer at my current employer.

    I’d be interested in hearing other responses as well… my solution obviously requires far more setup but also ensures that nobody will decide that my solution is no longer free as cygwin, ssh and VNC are open source (more or less).

  4. I should add that I also use dyndns.org which now requires logging in to their web site every 30 days but that is less important given how infrequent Xfinity changes IP addresses and that routers will display external addresses if necessary.

  5. After a small amount of research I switched to team viewer. It allows me easy access to my headless servers.
    The seven days notice from LogMeIn indicates that they are in financial trouble. I read in some instances free users were given less than 24 hours notice.

  6. Yeah, bit of a shock. Problem with alternatives is, I used to use the ios ignition app most of the time for this type of support. I’d be at a movie theatre, and parents or PIL would be like in Dubai and need VPN setup and support, or something like that. The ios ignition apps were REALLY great, fast, clear, easy to use on the ios devices. I really think compared to others they hit the ball out of the park as far as early development and making very useful apps for ios devices. And of course, I paid for them, so that stings a bit. (yes, ignition users get a reprieve of sorts with the continuance for six months (but, we sort of paid for that with the apps – but they didn’t make any of that clear with the initial announcement)

    So, alas we are now at the mercy of trying to find something for those once a month or every quarter needs to provide remote FAMILY desktop support. Since most are on mac by now (thank you baby yezus) I CAN do screen-sharing, but some are still on Snow Leopard due to performance issues and RAM restraints on some older machines, so THAT won’t work. There are some pretty decent alternatives in the RDS world, but I’ll have to wait and see what falls out of this odd and rapid change.

    Disclaimer: I’ve been a shareholder of LOGM since about 19$ a share (closed at 36.5$ today and I’m selling it all but will re-enter under 30$ if we get there) but my comments about quality and performance of the platform are based solely on nearly 10 years of user experience and VALUE that the product provided for me. It’s just not 150$ a year in value at this point.

  7. I’m not one of those people opposed to paying for a service I find valuable. I probably use LogMeIn 2 times a week. I bought their $30 app for my iPad back in the day. But I’m certainly not going to turn around and pay them now, with “7 days notice” (haven’t gotten my notification yet, thankfully I read tech blogs so I found out at all. That’s just awfully short on the notice part, which makes me want to take my money elsewhere, to a place where the service might be better. LogMeIn worked great, but if I’m a paying customer (not withstanding the $30 app i already bought), I would expect better service than last minute “give us a credit card or get off our system” threats.

  8. Damn, I need to have my mom writing the headlines here… she’s not technical but still clever and is now referring to them as LogMeOut (after reading this post).

  9. I’m glad I never invested in the LogMeIn Ignition app for Android. I’m going the Google Remote Desktop route as well. Hoping Google gets out an Android/iOS client out sooner rather than later.

  10. Standard Windows Remote Desktop has never failed me.

  11. I’ve been using eBLVD.com for 2 years now. I can access all my computers and servers, as well as those of my customers from PCs, Macs, and iOS for a very low monthly price. Just my 2 cents.

  12. I’ll mention Splashtop as I haven’t seen it mentioned yet. Have been using them for more than a year now, both for access my home computers and for helping my mom with hers. Works well and is (currently) free.

  13. Seems that many other companies are jumping on this PR fail that Logmein has brought upon themselves. the VNC viewer for ios devices is now FREE today (usually 9.99$). I’ve used VNC for many years for more production based servers, and being able to get the ios and android apps for free is a nice bonus.

    give it a shot, free is free (for now at least)

  14. I’m a big fan of join.me for parental tech support.

  15. @scott and MAYBE they’ll keep it running and free for as long as one can sneeze. At this point, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the OTHER shoe to drop.

  16. What!!!!! I’ve been using LogMeIn for years for the free version. I did need to purchase the Android app though. This sucks. My Brother has always used the paid version but it always seemed a little expensive for me since i don’t use it that much. I just might pay the discounted price if it’s only $50 and I can also get six months free.

  17. Crap! I just realized that it is $49 for two computers. I currently have seven computers I use with LogMeIn. I guess I’ll need to decide which ones I want to use it with. This sucks!!

  18. Probably worth mentioning in case others are unaware:

    Native OS X Screen sharing is VNC. It is a nice common denominator. Many a home rolled as well as commercial service has been rolled around it.

  19. Thanks Brian!!

    I just installed Google Remote Desktop on a couple of my PCs. It seems to work very well. Now if they come out with an Android app then it will be perfect for me. Since half the time I remotely access my PCs I use my cell phone or tablet.

    So has Google announced that these apps are coming later this year?

  20. I got the email from LogMeIn. But I see no way to change my subscription when I go to my account. It just says that my current, free, subscription expires in 2020. It doesn’t give me an option to change it.

  21. I’ve read several blurbs where Google has stated they are working on both an Android & iOS ‘Chromoting’ app that works with Chrome Remote Desktop. The Android version has been in the works longer and will likely be released sooner. First read about the Android app in July of 2013… and there’s been a little more noise about it in the last week or so.

  22. Looks like I’m going with Splashtop.com

  23. Mikogo offers a great solution for remote support. It’s completely free for private use and not limited to a certain number of computers. Plus it’s easy enough for your parents/grandparents to use if you need to fix their computer remotely or install software for them. You can sign up for an account with absolutely no strings attached at http://www.mikogo.com.

  24. According to Mikogo page – http://www.mikogo.com/pricing/ it’s not free?

  25. It’s free for private use. If you sign up for an account, you get business access for 2 weeks for free, and then it runs out. Your account automatically converts to a free account and you can use it as often and for as long as you like without ever buying anything, as long as it’s personal use. You can install the software on as many computers as you like, as well.

    The pricing page is there for businesses who want to use Mikogo, not for private users. And “participants” don’t need to sign up at all to join a support session. As long as the organiser has a free account, all the relevant features are available for both.

  26. Actually I’m looking something which works behind firewall, uses 80 or 443 port, can run as unattended access, supports multiple displays and requires windows login credentials, and client supports windows and osx.

    Teamviewer does almost all, but doesn’t support windows login screen and when closed leaves this nonprofit notification at the screen.

  27. Seems Mikogo does’t work behind firewall, either doesn’t support unattended access. I installed Mikago on my win7, but i won’t even run, no spash, no nothing:(

  28. Mikogo does use the 80 and 443 ports, and works behind firewalls. Depending on your firewall, it’s possible that you need to add Mikogo as an exception: https://mikogo.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/200453003-Personal-Firewalls

    If you’ve installed it, check in the system tray in your task bar in the bottom right corner of your screen – the little “m” symbol should be there. When you click on it, the panel appears. You can send an email to the support team through the site, too.

    Mikogo is optimised for remote support cases where there’s another user who needs your assistance. They need to click the “OK” button once in order to give you control. It’s ideal for helping friends and relatives or collaborating on a project.

  29. Have now started using Nomachine, looks promising so far

  30. Looking for an alternative to “LogMeIn Free”?…Consider Citrix GoToAssist

    For any LogMeIn customer, Citrix is offering 6 months FREE of GoToAssist.
    GoToAssist Remote Support lets you deliver attended and unattended support from a single product & includes up to 100 unattended computers! It features remote control, screen-sharing, chat, camera-sharing, support of mobile devices, and free technician-based mobile apps for Android or iOS. And it also has integrated Service Desk and Monitoring modules as options.

    To take advantage of this offer, just use the promo code “welcome” at http://www.GoToAssist.com (No credit card required). You’ll then have the option to buy the remote support service for $29 a month (58% off the regular price) after six months.

  31. At some point, I’m going to prune these comments and maybe put a list of alternatives/suggestions at the top.

  32. Nomachine seems not working behind firewall?