Remotely control computers with LogMeIn

Control your computers from a distance

When people hear I used to work in IT they often ask if I’ll have a look at their computer, which has been playing up ever since they installed that free program they downloaded last week. “Yeh, OK” I say – knowing full well that I was a Java and COBOL programmer, and have no idea what Windows is up to under the hood – and heaven-help me if someone asked me to look at a *nix system like Linux or a Mac!

Having said that, many problems can be solved by working through logical steps… this is hard if you’re not physically at the person’s computer, as you can’t see what you’re doing over the phone. LogMeIn, however, gives you the ability to remotely control someone’s computer and work on it as if you were right there!

Setting up an account on is quick and easy, and setting up a new computer for remote access is as simple as logging into your account and clicking on “Add Computer”. The software is downloaded, and the computer then appears the list of machines you have available to you. There is a disadvantage, though: either you have to have been on the remote machine to install the software, or you have to give your friend access to your LogMeIn account and let them install it… personally, I wouldn’t be happy giving someone else my login details, so I’d have to go along and install the software myself, and I might as well fix their computer while I’m there!

I do have a use for this, though. I have it installed on my home Mac, and my work PC – and I can access them both from any computer with an Internet connection! OK, so I can’t actually download any files from them, but I can look at them on-screen, and can e-mail them to myself by controlling the e-mail app. It’s also great to see that this works equally well on Macs and PCs. There’s even a Firefox extension to make controlling your remote computers quicker (without the extension, you will have to use a Java applet).

LogMeIn is a simple, free way of controlling computers by remote. Whether it’s for support, a file you’re forgotten, or just to freak your friends out by moving their mouse pointer, it’s worth a look. It might just save your life one day… (no, not really).

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  1. Nice… I’ll have to go and have a look, looks like something I could use… with my parents :)

  2. while its not the fastest or complete way, its also a handy way to work around a firewall block.
    my wife uses logmein from work so she can view sites normally blocked by her employers firewall.
    the just connects to her laptop at home and surfs the web from there.
    amazing that they still haven’t blocked the logmein site.

  3. That’s actually really clever, JD – I would never have thought of that. Thanks for sharing!

  4. David Delaire says:

    The easiest tool to use for remote access is Techinline Remote Desktop ( It runs through the web-browser so nobody has to install anything on either end. Your client goes to a site, gets a number which you enter on your end, and that’s it. I’ve recently switched over from Teamviewer which is more than half the price, so I’m finding this the perfect solution for my self-run business

  5. That sounds very interesting, David – does it require any plugins or anything?

    Do you think it’s worth paying for a remote control solution to get extra features? For what I want to do, LogMeIn is fine, but I can imagine if I wanted to do anything more in-depth I might want to upgrade to a paid package.

  6. Given this post a plug at:

  7. Brian says:

    I’m thinking of installing this so I can access my work computer from home, but we have a rule about installing unauthorized software. Does anyone have an idea how readily LogMeIn activity would be detected by IT?

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