For years LogMeIn has been a market leader and staple for remote management of workstations and servers – in large part b/c they offered a robust free option and only required paid accounts beyond ten machines…Today I received a friendly email:
“As of January 21, 2014, LogMeIn Free will no longer be available. To continue using remote access, youw ill need to purchase an account subscription of LogMeIn Pro.” You can garner some sparse additional information from a blog post by Tara Haas on LogMeIn’s blog.
As might be expected, neither I nor the webosphere in general appears very happy with these changes. Of course, dropping free accounts is always saddening – but what really ticked people off is that LogMeIn sent the email today and noted that the free option discontinues as of today! No advance notice! It is standard to give at least thirty days – oftentimes more. Look at SugarSync, while it is a pain that they are discontinuing their free storage, at least they gaev us significant lead time.
Now things aren’t quite as bad as they first appear. The email makes it sound like you’ll be locked out of remote access after today – but you in fact have seven days before the account locks down. I’m guessing “free” is just dead as an option as of today…
This change in policy feels like an act of financial desperation – a move to up their earnings quickly. I don’t think it is going to work. Of course, they’ll be losing a bunch of us “freeloaders” – so perhaps their expenses will decline ever so insignificantly…but the better solution, imho, would have been to make the pricing more reasonable. I pay for products I love – I’m a paying user of SugarSync, Diigo, LastPass, Netflix, and probably a few others I’ve forgotten…but the pricing is more reasonable. LastPass has always been on the expensive end – affordable for corporations – but not-so-much for small businesses or IT consultants (who I think are particularly feeling the pain).
So, the question of the hour is, what alternatives are available? There are numerous options – few as convenient as LogMeIn, and none that I know of that are as free as LogMeIn was. Help me fill in the spaces with suggestions and I’ll come back with what I eventually decide to utilize instead. Here are a few suggestions I’ve seen so far:
- TeamViewer – This is probably the most popular alternative.
- Splashtop – Not free, but apparently is fairly affordable.
- ScreenConnect – I know nothing about these folks yet.
- Remobo – Some people were having some issues.
- join.me – Not a real solution, requires someone to be present at the other end.
- NeoRouter – Don’t know anything about these folks yet either.
- CrossLoop – I’ve used these guys a good bit in the past, more of a join.me solution, but I think they may have expanded and are probably worth another look…more to come.