How to Set up Remote Access to Your Computer With LogMeIn
Having remote access to your home or work computer can be a huge time saver. Nothing is more frustrating than forgetting to send an email or neglecting to download that important presentation to your USB drive. Without remote access, your only option might be to turn the car around and drive back to your computer. With today's busy lifestyle, no one has time to do that though.
You might think that you need to be an IT expert to remotely access your computer, but that is not the case anymore. With a little help from LogMeIn and about 10 minutes of your time, you can configure your computer to be accessed from any internet connection. Unlike Microsoft's remote desktop you won't have to worry about opening up any ports on your firewall or remembering your IP address to use LogMeIn. Best of all you can use LogMeIn for free!
What Can You Do With LogMeIn?
LogMeIn allows you to access your computer from anywhere with an internet connection just like if you were sitting in front of it. You can view your desktop, run programs, check email, or anything else you normally do.
LogMeIn can also be used as a remote support or training tool. Using the chat feature, you can converse with a person sitting in front of the computer you are controlling. The software also includes whiteboard and pointer functions. These features are great if you need to assist a family member with their computer.
How Secure Is LogMeIn?
LogMeIn is a very secure platform for providing a remote connection to your computer. All traffic to and from your computer is secured with SSL/TLS encryption to protect it from prying eyes. The first line of defense is your LogMeIn personal password, so it's always important to choose a strong password. LogMeIn also supports RSA SecurID tokens in case you want to add an extra layer of security over the simple username/password method.
Additional Security Features
- IP Address Filter - Connection requests are checked against a list of trusted/untrusted IP addresses that you define.
- Denial of Service Filter - Rejects excessive connections to prevent the host computer from getting overloaded.
- Authentication Filter - Prevents someone from guessing your password by rejecting connections after several failed attempts.
- Auditing and Logging - Detailed event logs are maintained to keep track of connection attempts. Remote syslog servers are also supported.
- Emailed Security Codes (Optional) - When enabled an email with a unique code will be emailed to you each time you log in to your account. You must enter the code in the email before access will be granted.
- Printed Security Codes (Optional) - Allows you to print out a sheet of security codes. Each time you log in, you will be prompted to enter one of the codes from the sheet.
Setting up LogMeIn
To get started visit LogMeIn.com and click on the create an account link to begin the registration process. You will want to select the option that says "Access computers remotely," then just enter your email address and set a password. As soon as you enter the information, you will be automatically logged into your account. An email will be sent to the address you listed in order to confirm the account.
Adding Computers to Your Account
After your account is set up, you can begin adding computers to your account. LogMeIn supports both Windows and Mac operating systems. You can add as many different computers as you want, but you must be logged into a computer to add it to your account. If you have family members that are always calling you for computer support I recommend setting them up with LogMeIn so you can help them without pulling out your hair.
To add a computer to your account, just click on the add computer button.
Installing Remote Access Software
Each computer on your account must have the LogMeIn remote access software installed. When you click on add computer, the website will prompt you to download and run the installation file.
The installation process is quick and easy, just click next then enter a description for the computer you are adding such as home, work, etc. Then click next again, and finally click finish.
The LogMeIn remote access software will run silently in the background on your computer, and when you restart your computer, the software will run automatically, so you never have to worry about it.
Accessing Your Computers
Whenever you need to access one of the computers that you have added to the account just visit the LogMeIn website and log into your account. You will see a list of all the computers on your account. To connect to your computer just click the remote control button. If the computer is powered off, or not online it will appear grayed out.
Once you've logged in you will see the desktop of the remote computer. On the left-hand side of the screen, you can configure some optional settings for the connection. Across the top of the screen is the toolbar, which allows you to access different features such as zoom, screen size, whiteboard, pointer tools, etc.
LogMeIn Software Options
If you ever need to disable LogMeIn, or change any of the settings you can run the LogMeIn application from your start menu. From the options tab, you can modify various preferences such as security settings, IP blocking, and log file location.
LogMeIn free is an incredibly useful product for accessing your computers remotely. I've always found it easy to use and reliable when I need to use it. If you want some additional features such as local printing, remote sound, and file transfers, then you might want to consider upgrading to LogMeIn pro. The pro version costs about $70 per year to use.
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© 2011 Sam Kear