Over the years I have used many different types of remote administration utilities to manage my remote workstations and servers. Some of these utilities have worked great and others not so great. For the past year or so I have been using a free utility that I feel has surpassed all of the rest. It is easy to use, has a very fast response time and the best part about it is that it works through your web browser so you can connect to your computers from anywhere.
The utility I am talking about is called LogMeIn. The great thing about LogMeIn is that you can use it from any computer that has a web browser and an Internet connection. Since LogMeIn uses HTTPS port 443, you don’t have to forward any ports on your router or firewall. If you are worried about security, LogMeIn also uses 128 – 256 bit encryption.
There are two versions of LogMeIn. There is LogMeIn Free, the free version, and LogMeIn Pro, the pay version. Although the pay version has more features, the free version will get the job done.
To get started go to http://www.logmein.com and create an account. Once the account has been created, go to a computer that you want to access remotely and log in to your LogMeIn account. Once you log in, you will see a page that says “My Computers”. Click on the “Add Computer” link to install the LogMeIn client on that computer. Once you have finished the setup you will see the LogMeIn client running down in the system tray. You will also see the computer listed on the “My Computers” page. This is what my setup looks like.
You can name the computers what ever you want so they are easy to distinguish from one another. If they are highlighted in blue then they are online and you can click on them to connect. If they are grayed out it means the computer is either turned off or the LogMeIn client has been disabled.
When you connect to one of your computers using Internet Explorer you will be prompted to install an ActiveX control. You don’t have to install the control if you don’t want but I would highly recommend it because it makes communications with the remote pc easier. If you don’t install the ActiveX control you can use Java instead. Once you connect you will be prompted for the user name and password for the machine you are connecting to.
Once you connect to the remote computer you will first be presented with a control panel.
Click “Go” under remote control to take control of the computer.
You are now connected to the remote computer.