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back to article LogMeIn: We're stopping our free offering from, errrm, NOW

Angry users of the free version of LogMeIn have reacted furiously to plans to turn the remote desktop access service into a paid subscription product. After 10 years of providing a free service, LogMeIn today announced that it would start charging people to use a new beefed-up version of its software. Starting from today, …

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I use TeamViewer, I have no rage.

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Yep, teamviewer. Free for personal use, installation with fixed ID numbers and passwords for unattended access, facility to reboot remote computer in Safe Mode. And it's free.

What's not to like?

LogMeIn can LogMeOut as far as I'm concerned.

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Like the look of TeamViewer.

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Teamviewer is a fantastic product, I use it all the time. Accessing my home PC from work, and my work PC from home.

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Anonymous Coward

Like all good tech businesses, they will reel you in on the end of a line, play you and then f@ck you good style. They obviously need the cash and need it fast.

Expect them to be bought out by one of the major players in a few month time, subscribers will be caught between a rock and a hard place again.

If you are sensible look elsewhere.

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Boffin

I used LogMeIn in the past - I thought it sucked, even when I paid for premium service. Terribly slow, and tons of interruptions. TeamViewer looks alright, but all these things are just gigantic security holes.

Now that external drives are about $50 for 1TB or more, can't see why anyone bothers much with these things. Learn to make a proper VPN connection, and learn how to use SSH and SFTP and do your work in the command line - much safer.

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Google with more trojan horse goodies

Just came across Google Remote Desktop Beta which is Google's free lightweight solution. Looks ok for a simple two computer remote solution.

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>and learn how to use SSH and SFTP and do your work in the command line

Yeah its just too bad many employers pay employees to use Visual Studio (only way I use it) and provide shitty or non existent remote solutions. Technically you might be able to do this from the command line (text edit cpp and h(pp) files and compile using command line) but it would be very painful.

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Gotta join the "happy Teamviewer customer" crowd on this one. Couldn't live without it.

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Meh

Meh. I stopped using it after I tried the Windows 'Remote Assistance' feature. That suffices for providing tech. support to friends and family and there are other solutions if you want remote control of, say, a server. I just use out-of-the-box RDC for my server.

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Re: Windows 'Remote Assistance'

Personally, given the limitations and caveats that MS place on this product, I wouldn't (and haven't) use it for general remote access to systems residing in environments that I have little control over. Plus it prefers the remote system to initiate the session via Windows Messenger...

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Uninstall started

It's as easy as that. There are other, better, premium services out there.

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Facepalm

Oh god

That means we have to prepare for some other offering outside people always try to use to conduct meeting with staff in the company I work in.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm

Will there be a knock-on effect to the "Hello, Sir. I am calling you from Microsoft. Your computer is showing me that it has a virus." callers?

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Re: Hmmm

They'll be using Teamviewer? Or Remote Desktop?

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TRT
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It was nice while it lasted...

Worth every penny, in fact. But as a paid for service... there's better.

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Shock, horror

After years of using a free service, users are outraged at actually having to pay cold hard cash for it.

</sarcasm>

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Re: Shock, horror

..but life goes on.

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Re: Shock, horror

No, users are rightfully enraged at being given zero notice to get their houses in order. Would you trust a company that puts a gun to your head and says "pay up or sod off" ? . en mistrustful no shut.

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Re: Shock, horror

If you think they are putting a gun to your head then it's probable that you are using logmein in a professional environment for free when you should be paying otherwise you wouldn't consider it to be so critical. I would guess that the majority of free users fall into the should be paying category so on the whole I'm with the OP. What this will do is get those who have been using the free version for their work to stump up or leave, either way logmein win.

I use it for work to connect to one PC as it's easier than the official method and I've alway had teamviewer as backup. I feel sorry the free version is going but I'm not going to get outraged by it. You should have known there was always that possibility and have been prepared whether you get one days notice or one month.

Quite frankly if you have a real need to use the service you should be paying.

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Re: Shock, horror

No, it's a pain in the arse having spent hours on the phone trying to guide my 65 year old mother through configuring speech recognition software on her laptop so she can write her memoirs. So when I visited her at Christmas... "here you go, mum. Seeing as I only get to do the 500 mile drive to see you once or twice a year... LogMeIn! So I can fix a few problems quickly and easily."

Then before one has the chance to put an alternative remote client on the machine using LogMeIn, they go and may it pay only.

THAT'S the kind of sh** that;s annoying. I now HAVE to go and visit my mother.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shock, horror

Seems to me you've got seven days to use LogMeIn to connect remotely and install something else.

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Re: Shock, horror

I was going to make a reference to the poor old granny or oap parent that needs help but it's such a tiresome excuse, I never knew there were so many of them. I'm about 2000Km from my father on a different land mass yet still manage to help him through skype. There's always the windows remote access thingy, unless you've left you helpless 65 year old mother with linux. And as has been said you've got seven days to install something else remotely. So stop whinging and get on with helping your mother.

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Stop

Ageism!

Oi!

unless you've left you[r] helpless 65 year old mother with linux

Some of us are coming close to 65, sunbeam, and we're not all helpless. And my 85 year old mother is using Linux on a laptop quite happily, thanks, though I'll grant that she doesn't do very much compiling from source. And of course there is TeamViewer for Linux when I need it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shock, horror

@Chris W

While you're preaching, do share with us your "humble" opinion on how much people "should" pay to use Linux.

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Re: Shock, horror

Who is outraged that we are asked to pay? Nobody I know. There's outrage at the lack of time given. There are a lot of folks considering moving to alternatives because the premium offerings don't match up. I don't know of anyone saying "I deserve to have a free offering forever."

"24 hours notice is a dick move, guys" is a valid complaint for the free-tier users to level at the company.

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Re: Shock, horror

Trevor - 24Hrs would be tough but if people are so dependent on remote access they should already have had a second method installed. Everyone here has both logmein and teamviewer but there is a split on which they prefer. BTW I got seven days as it would appear so did many others. Would be interesting to know if this is regional, based on number of remote machines or purely random.

@AC What's linux got to do with anything, it's open source, completely different.

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Re: Shock, horror

> I would guess that the majority of free users fall into the should be paying category

Going by the comments on the LogMeIn forum (which I've lost the link to now) a lot of free users only want the remote access, they don't use all the extras like file transfer. I'm one of them.

I did look at paying for their service, as I thought it was good - they wanted £50 a year for Pro on 2 computers, much more for 10 machines. I used LogMeIn to remote onto at least 4 machines, but never used the Pro features I got as a trial.

I would have paid a bit for just remote access on up to (say) 10 machines, but not what they wanted for the occasional remote session on one of 4-5 machines.

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Facepalm

Now I know this could come across as 'freetard whinges as profit-making entity takes away his free toys'...

.

Yup.

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I thought the whole point of "free" software, was when you get to the point of it's actually important to doing a particular function, then pay for the full version. First time I used Teamviewer to do something I got paid for doing, I upgraded to the full version. I borrowed a copy of Spinrite, saved a drive, so I forked over for my own copy.

I tend to think of free software as trial versions.

Open source is different, but I still support paying the people who make me useful things a buck or two.

The risk with not paying/being prepared to pay for a product is unless it serves someone else a purpose, it will one day either go completely (google reader) or become a pay for product. If it is then not worth paying for, then perhaps it's worth researching a product that will stick around.

I use plenty of "free" Google products, and a few paid for ones. I am under no illusions, based on the ads I get served, that my "free" products are mainly extended market surveys to better flog my eyeball views. But that's fine, fair trade I say.

I even prefer the free newspapers to the paid for ones. Same pile of bias and guff, both bring the windows up in a lovely shine :)

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Read the comments. Users of LogMeIn Ignition (a paid app) have also been shafted. I liked LMI so much I bought Ignition to support them when it was launched. I wouldnt have even been bothered if I had been asked to pay the same amount every year- but £29 - EffOff.

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maybe, but they are screwing the paying customers too

my LMI bill is £1000 per year now apparantly. well, it would be if i hadnt cancelled it./

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Should have upgraded to Central

Should have upgraded to Central back when they put restrictions on the free product last year. It costs next to nothing and there is no change in service for users of LMI Central. The writing was on the wall.

I'm disappointed in the intelligence of the Reg reader who wrote in to complain. I expected all Reg readers would be capable of telling the difference between 7 days and less than 24 hours.

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Re: Should have upgraded to Central

thats simply not true.

central is now tiered.

i am being billed £1000 for (yes, one thousand) for my central subscription

with no notice or warning,.

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So was it 7 days notice or no days notice?

The user quotes mention no notice or 24 hours, rather than 7 days.

Oh well, there's probably no greater motivation for researching alternatives than having your service cut off with no notice.

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Re: So was it 7 days notice or no days notice?

This is what the email said:

"As of January 21, 2014, LogMeIn Free will no longer be available. To continue using remote access, you will need to purchase an account subscription of LogMeIn Pro."

No mention of the 7 days - that came a couple of hours later once you could access your account after a brief outage ...

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Re: So was it 7 days notice or no days notice?

Well looking back this has obviously been on the cards for a while...

A few months back I noted that when I logged into a Free LogMeIn account, it started displaying a screen that implied the free trial period had come to an end and hence a subscription needed to be purchased. Obviously if you clicked the "remind me later" or some similarly labelled button you got access to the control panel/management console and could use LogMeIn as normal.

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Just been to look at the site...

lots of try thing for free, not a lot of this is how much it costs.

If they are hiding the price - then its too much. This is a major pain for me, as used to fix my moms computer from several hundred miles away.

major pain in the ass. :/

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Re: Just been to look at the site...

Read up - www.teamviewer.com is superb, and they have Android/iOS clients too.

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Re: Just been to look at the site...

Don't know if they're "hiding" the price exactly. It's easy enough to find although not on the front page, just click buy now and you get a pricelist. Having said that the 2 endpoint price looks a bit steep to me for what is surely aimed at the casual user. (I've never used this service so It may be worth the money).

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Re: Just been to look at the site...

Suspect that they have reviewed their customer profiles and realise that their main ie. profitable customers are the business customers, whereas their long-term Free customers are costing them money, with probably a very low conversion rate. Hence why they've discontinued Free and priced the low end Pro license relatively high.

Obviously, this doesn't explain why they are also hitting their paying users with large price increases.

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So how long until this change ....

..... drips down to Hamachi? Best tool ever for mixed LAN parties (Local and internet at the same time).

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It IS rather galling to find out that LogMeIn Ignition, a paid for app on both iOS and Android, will only be continued for 6 months and then I'll have to pay for a discounted Pro subscription.

And their handling of the announcement (where a lot have people misread the timescale) coincided with an outage on their website.

I loved the product and can understand why they want to go down the subscription only path but they can probably learn a lot on the PR front.

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Would love to buy a Teamviewer License

...buts its way too expensive for a one man band operation.

Hate how some firms just pander to Corporates/Enterprise.

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Re: Would love to buy a Teamviewer License

Probably the cost/stress of supporting retail punters.

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Re: Would love to buy a Teamviewer License

I'm now a 'one man band operation'

I purchased Teamviewer with a tiny bit of my redundancy pay in 2013 (few hundred quid)

The only annoying thing is the only way to upgrade to the latest version is to pay again

So I'm stuck with the version I purchased, and a teamviewer_QS I host on my website

I like teamviewer, although LMI was good for certain things

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Would love to buy a Teamviewer License

Quite agree - £439 for something that might get used once a month makes Micro$oft pricing look extremely reasonable. £50-60 would be reasonable.

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Unhappy

Re: Would love to buy a Teamviewer License

Indeed and they appear to upgrade it quite often. Basically a version up every year.

I would have to do a lot of phone and remote support to pay for that. I'd happily pay a reasonable subscription purely to get access to the remote support bit. I really dont need the meetting/training parts at all.

I've tried the built in Windows remote support but that just falls flat with standard users as it requires more than two steps.

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Re: Would love to buy a Teamviewer License

Take a look at ScreenConnect - $300 one-off, upgrades after the first year (if you want them) are $65pa

Runs on your own machine - I run it on an old Atom based netbook plugged into the mains, and the router: open a couple of ports on your router and you're away. Excellent one-use remote connections or 'unattended' sessions ala LogMeIn.

I've got 100+ client machines running the unattended software so I can connect to them with 2 clicks, and for new or irregular clients we can do a one-off connection.

Others run it on an Amazon cloud server for $10pm but I've found it to work perfectly well on a crap Atom processor and only 2GB RAM under Windows 7.

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VNC?

I've never used, or even seen, LogMein but wouldn't TightVNC do the job? I have have controlled Windows PCs from a Linux one using Tight VNC over a phone line or a VPN.

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