LogMeIn Logged Me Out

Long story short: LogMeIn Free will no longer be available from January 31, 2014. I’m not altogether happy about that.

Short story long: Just keep reading. There’s light at the end of the tunnel after all. I’m fairly happy about that.

For a long time I’ve enjoyed LogMeIn Free, a free (as the name suggests) service for remote controlling your computer at home while you are away (or as I’ve sometimes done, used two or more computers on the same screen). I’ve also used it to remotely help friends and family who required computer assistance while I was unable to be there in person. Wonderful.

For those who followed LogMeIn’s Facebook page at the time (I must confess that I didn’t), they had the following uplifting message to all their users on June 23, 2011:

This might be taken to imply that all was well in Paradise, and that those of us who enjoyed LogMeIn Free could continue to do so indefinitely. It was a service so excellent that I would gladly have paid for it, if the price had been right. Unfortunately the rate for the paid versions were a tad rich for my pocket, and the free version gave me everything I really needed, so I went along with it, suspecting nothing. At some point they limited free access to 10 computers, but even that was more than I needed, and in the mean time I have recommended LogMeIn Free to more people than I can remember.

Then on January 21, 2014, LogMeIn broke news with this message: LogMeIn Free is to be discontinued.

As mentioned, I wasn’t following their Facebook page, and it wasn’t until I logged into their website last Friday, January 24th, that I got the message. This gave me a one week notice! There was no email, nothing. I know they have my email address; after all, I use it to log in on their website. Not sure how that slipped through, but I know I have logged in at least a couple of times since January 1, and I didn’t see any sign of this message until last Friday (it says 5 days left because I didn’t take the screenshot until today).

On one point they hold true to their word as of June 23, 2011: LogMeIn Free is still free, it just no longer exists. However, I believe that such a play on words is not exactly good practice, let alone fair to your users, and it amounts to lying without risk of getting caught. “Hey, look! We didn’t actually say that!”

Which brings us to the new pricing scheme.

That’s … pretty rich, especially when you get a practically zero notice warning to upgrade from a free service. As I mentioned above, LogMeIn Free was such a great service, I would have paid for it if the price was right, but this ain’t it! LogMeIn are pricing themselves right out of my range. What would be the right price? Say $25 a year for maybe 5 computers, that’d do it for me. Pro at $99 for two computers is useless, $249 for five is a middle finger in my face and, to be brutally honest, not worth the money they’re asking for it. If I was using it commercially, making money off it, maybe, but not for personal use.

So what are my alternatives?

I’m happy to say I’ve already acquainted myself with what seems like a very good replacement. My new best friend is called TeamViewer, which is free for non-commercial use. I’ve used it many times to remotely help out friends and family on computers where I hadn’t have a chance to pre-install LogMeIn first, and it’s more flexible like that. Friends can download and run the program (even without installing it) and give you the ID and password you need to log on (password changes each time for security reasons). You can also pre-install it on your own computer and set it to allow password-protected access (password does not change each time), and I’ve used it like this to remote control my own computers alongside LogMeIn. The only downside I can think of is that whenever you log out, it pops up a message saying that this was a free session sponsored by TeamViewer, and “We thank you for playing fair!”, and you know what? I can live with that!

There are apps both for iOS and Android, meaning I can remotely control my computers, or those of friends and family, wherever I am as long as I have an Internet connection.

They also have a how-to on how to switch from LogMeIn to TeamViewer here.

And before you ask: TeamViewer also have a paid service for commercial users (companies, support centres etc), but since I only use their free service I won’t go into that here.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with TeamViewer in any way, aside from being a happy user of their free product. I am however a slightly disgruntled former user of LogMeIn Free, and wish to even the playing field a bit.

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4 Responses to LogMeIn Logged Me Out

  1. Hi! If you’re looking for a remote support alternative, feel free to give Mikogo a try as well. It’s free for private use, too, and works across platforms.

  2. Yeah, LogMeIn is pretty slick. It used to be my favourite, but now I prefer RHUB for its better security and its appliance gives you everything in one setup.

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