LogMeIn is killing free remote access

People who currently use the free version of the LogMeIn remote desktop software will have to prepare for a big, and for most an unwelcome, change. The company announced today that it will no longer offer a free version to download and will force current users to switch to their paid software.

LogMeIn's FAQ page about the change offers a rather vague reason for doing away with the free version, saying only:

In order to address the evolving needs of our customers, we will be unifying our portfolio of free and premium remote access products into a paid-only offering. We believe this offering to be the best premium desktop, cloud and mobile access experience available in the market today.

Free LogMeIn users will have seven days of continued use after they log into the program beginning today. After that, they will have to pay to continue to use the program. The price levels include support for up to 2 PCs for $49 a year, up to 5 PCs for $129 a year and and up to 10 PCs for $229 a year. By contrast, the free version could support up to 10 PCs. Owners of the paid LogMeIn Ignition apps for iOS and Android will also be affected by this change but the company claims they will offer "significant discounts, as well as generous terms to ease the transition" for those users.

Some Neowin readers have posted up their reactions to this change on our forms. One of them comes from moderator Geoffory B, who states:

This sucks. Their free service has been a mainstay for me for many years to remote connect to my personal computer from work as well as helping repair my parents computers when they had issues.

Of course, there are some alternative free remote desktop software programs out there, the most popular of which is TeamViewer, which was mentioned in our message boards a number of times by community members.

Source: LogMeIn | Image via LogMeIn

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59 Comments

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I've tried Supremo on a few occasion and it worked well. Was in beta last year but it's final since 4-5 month I believe and it was always a good experience.

Hamachi was pretty cool, but started to suck ever since it became LogMeIn, has been going downhill steadily ever since. Now they've killed the free service and I suspect not many will miss it, I certainly wont, I stopped bothering with it since it stopped being Hamachi.

Just wait until you switch to TV and you get the sudden "Commercial usage suspected" message.

I was fixing my Mother's computer and got called out and left it logged in. When I got back I had the message and now I can't use it.

Now I use Ammyy Admin, but it lacks.. a lot.

You can easily resolve this, it can happen time to time with heavy usage. You can contact TeamViewer support and get your Mac Address un BlackListed. They had me; uninstall teamviewer, verify it wasn't still running, remove the keys "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\TeamViewer" and "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\TeamViewer" then delete "%APPDATA%\TeamViewer". And finally they removed my Mac Address from the Blacklist.

All was well after that.

Somnus said,
Just wait until you switch to TV and you get the sudden "Commercial usage suspected" message.

I was fixing my Mother's computer and got called out and left it logged in. When I got back I had the message and now I can't use it.

Now I use Ammyy Admin, but it lacks.. a lot.

Or, as an alternative, uses the web interface. The web interface (it uses flash) is pretty neat and it runs even in restricted users.

Too time consuming with multiple businesses and employees. (I couldn't imagine programming that many rules into each customers router hah).

I personally have Log Me In Central for my supporting of clients and have a mixture of free (mostly work stations) and Pro (mostly servers) so I'm not affected by this according to their Facebook page.

I like Team Viewer, I had some issues in the past but it looks like they've finally gotten their stuff together.

you cant access something behind a router on another network, RDP or VNC only works on local machines, or a pc connected directly into the internet have a public IP.

logmein and teamviewer make it easier to access those machines no matter where they are.

Already switched 3 of the 5 computers for family members to TV.
I used log me in to connect to them, downloaded TV and installed it on remote, then uninstalled log me in.

thats what i did, the only thing superior on logmein its that i can hide the systray icon and well the web version works.

in TV the web access its random sometimes works sometimes dont.

Teamviewer is by far better IMHO, I use both LogMeIn Pro and Teamviewer and this has made my choice to who gets money since I use both free/personal and commercial connections.

I found LogMeIn had too many issues with UAC (and AV products), whereas TV seems spot on.

LogMeIn have a habit of doing this - offering something for free, and then at a later stage change and offer exactly the same produce, but at a cost - so this news comes as no surprised to me!

Some recent examples of other LogMeIn products that were initially totally free, and are now paid services, include:
Cubby - initially totally free, then only free for certain options, with others that had been free suddenly becoming premium.
Hamachi - initially totally free, then only free for up to 8 devices, then only free for up to 5 devices.

Basically, don't trust LogMeIn as a company!! - They will screw you over and change the terms/license of their software at a whim.

You wouldn't mind paying more for more features, but when they take away features that once were free, and make you pay to get them back.. well, that's just bad business practice! No wonder their customers are annoyed and leaving them in droves for alternative - and FREE solutions!

i have been having a lot of problems today trying to use teamviewer as a sample to replace log me in. The Host computer is running Windows 8.1 x64 as well as team viewer 9 and i keep getting just blank black screens where apps are supposed to be. its just not a good experience.

i am surprised (but shouldn't be) by how many people complain about losing a FREE service. If it is that valuable to you, then the small fee should we worth it. If not, then it clearly isn't worth it to you.

Considering that LogMeIn mailed out emails to their free account holders today, I highly doubt the thread on BPN is breaking news.

I used Logmein for a while, certainly much better than Teamviewer in many things (TV still fails at grabbing input properly leaving often keys pressed when you task-switch and often keeps file handles open on drives if you copy&paste or drag/drop files preventing removable devices from being ejected) but the installer was absolute garbage, if you ever updated it or installed a service pack it would have become impossible to remove, almost as nasty as AVG installs. Also it was an huge resource hog. Logmein VM-like input handling was pure bliss, too bad none of the competitors have managed to copy it right.

Chrome remote desktop is good, just use a single google account logged into every chrome browser on every machine you want remote access to, and they all show up in a list on your "client" machine.

For 19.99$/Year for 10 PCs for personal use accessible only from the website - I would upgrade.
but for their offer ? hell no.. Way too over-priced...

TV it is... Oh well...

I have four computers and one pro account... wonder what will happen in my case, and how much extra I will have to pay

So I have to change all 10pc's that I have on LMI Free on to TV within 7days. that shouldn't be too hard. I used LMI pro for 1 pc for 1year, didn't fell like it was worth it, when I could use the free version for a majority of the things I was doing.

We do pay...for the professional version. There's no good reason to cut out the ones using it for free personally, other than to affect their bottom line. I could even see if they cut down from 10 to 5.

There's no way I'm paying $129 a year to be "on call" for my friends and family. I already pay for the Pro version to use professionally for my remote users.

DeaconFrost88 said,
We do pay...for the professional version. There's no good reason to cut out the ones using it for free personally, other than to affect their bottom line. I could even see if they cut down from 10 to 5.

There's no way I'm paying $129 a year to be "on call" for my friends and family. I already pay for the Pro version to use professionally for my remote users.

How dare a company care about its bottom line. The nerve. I mean, it's almost like you caring about your bottom line except, for some reason, you're just being rational.

This may sound crazy but you could, you know.. actually pay for something you use and find useful.

Fair enough if you can switch to a free alternative that suits your needs and save a few quid but software development isn't free.

Considering that, prior to dropping free users, LMI managed to ****BREAK**** their application for Linux clients, as well as a significant number of Windows clients. So in effect LMI is demanding money for an application that doesn't even WORK anymore. Paying for a product that is functional and does the job for you is fine, and prior to LMI trashing the usability of their client I had been considering a subscription. Now I just look forward to deeing them in bankruptcy court.

tbarnett said,
Check out Google Chrome's app - Chrome Remote Desktop. I use it to support my friends, family and in-laws

Or use Remote Desktop or Remote Assistance on Windows.

There are also a lot of other products I would recommend many times before Google. Especially the newer products that do full 3D stream rendering, like SplashTop - even if they cost a bit.

WOW - this sucks...
But Teamviewer? Doesn't it have annoying adverts?
I am so peed off - so they want you to pay for LogMeIn Ignition, now all accounts?

Nope. It just reminds you that the free session was for private use. It ships with a version for all major systems. Even for smartphones

lol, they wanna make us pay that much?

I can control 10 desktops from my phone with TV. Heck, I can control one desktop to control another desktop.

People will just switch to an older version of TeamViewer if that ever happens. I think TV may be easier to break as an app.

Mr.XXIV said,
lol, they wanna make us pay that much?

I can control 10 desktops from my phone with TV. Heck, I can control one desktop to control another desktop.

Controlling a PC on the private side from the public side is not the same.