The LogMeIn service is an incredibly useful tool for anyone needing to remotely access files or applications on their PC from elsewhere. I can speak from experience, having used the service to retrieve documents from my office computer when transport problems forced me to work from home.
While LogMeIn can easily be accessed through a web browser, the company has now released a software client for the service. Called LogMeIn Ignition, the application can be downloaded and installed onto a removable storage device such as a USB Flash drive.
The advantage of this arrangement is that users such as IT managers may have remote access to a long list of Windows PCs, and Ignition enables passwords to be stored on the drive to make connecting easier. The application can also be installed directly to your Windows desktop to give speedy access to remote systems for IT helpdesk staff, for example.
For test purposes, LogMeIn kindly supplied me with Ignition ready installed on a USB Flash drive. The software is designed to autorun when you plug the drive into a PC USB slot, or can be manually launched. I tried Ignition on both a Windows PC and a thin client running Windows XP Embedded, and it worked perfectly on both systems. It even downloaded an update to the Ignition application from LogMeIn's web site.
New users will have to set up an account before they can use LogMeIn, for which they get a 30-day free trial. Existing users can type their existing email and password to get access to PCs they have previously configured with the LogMeIn host software.
Once logged in, the Ignition client displays your online computers and lets you click a single button to launch a remote control or file transfer session.
The LogMeIn service is much improved since I first started using it, and now offers a view of the remote computer's desktop that resizes to fit into the browser or viewer window, saving on the constant scrolling and panning that you previously had to get used to. You can still switch to full-screen mode, where there is little to give away the fact that you are using a remote computer.
Another big improvement is bi-directional clipboard synchronisation, which enables you to copy text from a document on the remote PC and paste it into a document you are editing on the local one, and vice versa.
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