Remote access tools – there are quite a number of them: TeamViewer, LogMeIn, Bomgar, ScreenConnect… and the list goes on and on but which one do you use? I was researching remote access tools the other day as I needed a new solution to use for work. At work, we use LogMeIn. The problem? LogMeIn has a terrible display driver that actually locks my remote workstation! I might be able to use it for a few seconds – just enough time to login – and then, I see a balloon saying that my display driver crashed and shortly after, that’s it. LMI complains it can’t connect and my computer shows offline. I tried fixing the issue without any success so my option was to find another product to use. But what?
Since this is my work computer, I needed something that would be free for me to use because 1) I am not going to pay personal funds for business needs and 2) the company isn’t going to pay to license something else. TeamViewer would be a great suggestion, but that is against the Terms of Service. TeamViewer is free for non-commercial use and it does throw a fit if you run it on a computer joined to a domain. It also has some other checks built in where if it detects something a commercial user would be doing, it’ll shut the session down. Bomgar has a free trial, so that wouldn’t work and ScreenConnect is the same way. So what else is there? Remote Utilities was shortly found.
So I was doing some research on my LMI issue and I found an article in passing about LMI discontinuing their free service and what alternatives there were. I used the free version of LMI for my personal needs back when I was in high school and needed to bypass the school’s web filter. I used to have a phpProxy server setup and when that got blocked, found LMI Free. Blocked site? Let me just remote into my home computer and get the information I need!
In response to LMI no longer offering a free model, Remote Utilities stepped up. On a free license, which is good for both commercial and personal use, you can have up to 10 computers on a license. I’ve started playing around with it and will write up a formal review on it soon.