The following is a guest contribution written by Tim Lenahan, author of many blogs including TimmyJohnBoy.com, where he often speaks about technology and computer support topics. Make sure to welcome Tim in the comments below the post!
This post marks two firsts for Y.F.N.C.G. It’s the first post in a new series I’ll be running here called “Computer Guy’s Toolbox”, which serves to highlight a product or service that I think will benefit the independent computer tech with an emphasis on affordability. This is also the first post written by a guest contributor! If you are interested in joining the Y.F.N.C.G. team as a guest contributor, please contact me and let me know what you’d like to contribute!
What is LogMeIn?
I’ve been using LogMeIn Free for quite some time and have fallen in love. LogMeIn.comoffers several paid services with different levels of usability, but in this post I would like to focus on LogMeIn Free.
LogMeIn is a web-based solution allowing you access to a remote computer over the Internet via your web browser. In other words, LogMeIn gives you the ability to control a computer from an off-site location allowing you to complete any task as if you were sitting in front of it.
How is it helpful?
As a family techie:If you happen to be someone who other family members or friends turn to for computer assistance, you can install Logmein on their computers, add them to your account, show them how to enable and disable access (so they can allow you to access to their computer) and then help them without being “on site”!
As an independent computer repair consultant: Imagine being able to offer your customers a more convenient (and probably lower cost) solution to their computer woes! Instead of charging them for travel to and from their location, you can offer to just have LogMeIn(a simple to set up and small program) put on their computer. Simply instruct them on how to disable it when it’s not needed (for their security) and how to enable it during a support session, and voila: a simple cost effective solution!
The positive: The free service provides a 128 bit SSL end-to-end data encryption which is more than enough to be safe for the uses I’ve listed so far. Paid versions of LogMeIn offer more options and more security but they’re obviously not free. Editor’s Note: 128 bit SSLis on-par with most corporate VPN encryption. The security benefits of the paid version come in to play if you need to access network shared resources on the destination computer.
The negative: Whether you are the techie-relative to whom the family turns in times of need, or the independent computer repair consultant with clients all over the neighborhood, you must be someone who your customer can trust not use this software for malicious purposes.
If you are looking into possibly adding a remote assistance service to your computer repair service offerings, then I would suggest a browser-based solution such as LogMeIn. They offer a list of other subscription offerings so check out the Products page to see what product will best fit your needs.
Do you run a computer consulting business and offer remote assistance? Have you tried a browser-based solution like LogMeIn? What are your thoughts on the subject?