This week, LogMeIn suddenly announced that it was discontinuing its LogMeIn Free remote desktop service and will move to a paid model instead. I've long used and recommended various LogMeIn services, and I'm certainly comfortable paying for services I actually use. But in this case, I think it's time to move on, mostly because my usage of such things has evolved along with the technology.
A post on the LogMeIn blog describes the change but doesn't really explain the "why" bit.
"This product will be a paid-only offering, and it will offer what we believe to be the best premium desktop, cloud and mobile access experience available on the market today," the post explains. "Starting in January, we will gradually migrate users of LogMeIn-branded remote access offerings and Ignition-branded remote access offerings to a single, premium access product."
OK. The issue is that LogMeIn Pro is $99 a year. Which I wouldn't mind paying if I needed this kind of thing frequently.
Indeed, when I started using LogMeIn, years ago, I did so because I needed to regularly access content on my home-based server while I was on the road. What's changed is that most of the data I need to access is no longer on that server for the most part, it's in SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro. And that data is available anytime, from virtually anywhere.
That said, I do occasionally need to access data on the home server. And you may too. So I have a couple of ideas about how you might replace LogMeIn Free if that's what you've been using.
TeamViewer. A key LogMeIn Pro/Free competitor, TeamViewer still comes in a freebie version for individuals. If you've been using LogMeIn, this should be a straightforward rip and replace. Best of all, TeamViewer has clients for Windows, Android, iOS, Windows Phone and even Windows 8/RT. It's really well-supported regardless of which platform(s) you prefer.
Hamachi. If all you need is access to your files, you might want to skip remote desktop access, and just get Hamachi, which is very inexpensive ($29 per year). This is a virtual private network (VPN) solution, so you can just access the files on the remote machine via File Explorer ... or use the built-in Remote Desktop Connection software in Windows.
Any other alternatives?