Remotely Control A PC With LogMeIn

There are several services that allow you remotely control someone else’s computer. LogMeIn and TeamViewer are among the most popular.

LogMeIn free version is designed and marketed as a way to set up your own computer for remote access, but it can easily be used to set up someone else’s instead. First you set up an account at logmein.com. Then you download a small piece of software onto the computer you wish to control and use that application to link that computer to your logmein.com account. You don’t need firewall, router or proxy configuration, as well as no requirement for remote PC admin rights. You can add as many computers to your account as you wish.

Once you’ve linked a computer to your account, you’re able to view and control it from any Web browser of any other internet-connected computer after logging into your account and entering the password you assigned to it. It doesn’t require you to have any special software on your end — just a computer and an Internet connection. Or you can use an Apple smartphone or tablet and Android mobile devices.

When you take over another computer, it will appear in a window on logmein.com. You have the option to view that window in full screen, effectively turning your keyboard and into the other computer’s. That’s not to say that the remote computer user locked out of using her machine when you access it; her computer will accept inputs from her or you, so you both can switch off if need be. If you both try to do different things at the same time, the computer gets a little confused and the cursor doesn’t really move, so you have to work in turns.

LogMeIn Free allows the host computer to control some of the parameters of remote access. You can set it so whoever is requesting access has to get your consent before they can control your computer, or you can grant them automatic access. When your computer is being controlled remotely, LogMeIn will display a small window on your screen letting you know it’s been entered. A user can also turn LogMeIn off at any time, making remote access impossible. You also have the power to cancel a remote session if you’d like.

There is a little bit of lag time when you’re controlling someone else’s computer. Don’t expect the cursor to move perfectly smoothly, as it will jump and stutter a little bit. LogMeIn is great to change a setting or find a misplaced file.

LogMeIn Free includes also copy and paste between computers; wake on LAN; reboot/reconnect (including safe mode); basic reports (remote access sessions and user access); chat, AES 256-bit encryption; SSL/TLS intrusion detection; and IP address lockout.

There are some other limitations to LogMeIn Free. You can’t drag a file from your desktop and drop it into the remote computer; for that, you’d have to upgrade to LogMeIn Pro, which is not free.