Logmein vs Team Viewer. Some First Hand Experience.


I've recently been using LogMeIn (www.logmein.com) in order to gain access to a remote PC.  Although the paid-for LogMeIn service is not cheap, it does offer a host of features including performance monitoring of the remote system.  But for basic remote access, ie the ability to connect remotely over the internet to a Windows computer as though you were sitting in front of it, the basic service is totally free for unlimited use. And for various reasons I've been using it for many hours a week over the past few months.

As you may well know, if you're interested in remote access to a computer, there's another major player in the market, in the name of Team Viewer.  TeamViewer is free for non-commercial use, so I recently spent some time investigating whether I should be replacing LogMeIn with TeamViewer.

My findings can be summarized in just a couple of points.

Firstly, I found TeamViewer to be slower than LogMeIn.  Using the remote PC from home via TeamViewer led to a much more sluggish experience than using the same machine with LogMeIn.  Your own results may vary, of course, but that's what I happened to find.

Secondly, TeamViewer does score one hit over LogMeIn, in that it offers a very useful feature that LogMeIn doesn't.  With LogMeIn, you can remotely log into a computer and use it, but anyone who happens to be sitting at the remote computer will see nothing on the screen.  They can't follow the action, and they certainly can't join in by typing or moving their mouse.  At least, not with the free version.  With TeamViewer, on the other hand, this is included as standard, and so if you qualify for a non-commercial usage licence then you have this remote support and assistance facility at your disposal for no charge.

Personally, I don't need (and mostly don't want) anyone else to be able to view my remote session, so for now I'm sticking with LogMeIn.  But both programs have their strengths, so if you're looking for a remote access solution it's definitely worth checking out both www.logmein.com and www.teamviewer.com.


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It's been a long time since this discussion took place, but I'll add my comments anyway. I use logmein but I tried team viewer a year or so ago. I didn't like team viewer because it required the program to be running on the host system. That meant it was in the taskbar and someone using that system could easily close it. With logmein, it is just a service, so no one on the host system is aware it is there, and so it will always be available.

Whilst awaiting an answer (which choice will give the largest display), I installed the FF plugin.
I have logged in.
There is a flippin wide toolbar on the left, using up screen space.
And I cannot appear to get the FF Tab to go Full screen, so that means the FF Toolbars are also grabbing space.
Are we limited to this smaller view of the remote PC desktop ?
If that is the case, I am not sure how my friend will react, but I would hate to be limited to such a smaller view.

"Surely they can't be serious" (Airplane),

I wonder if someone can give me a quick help.

My friend now wishes to try the free LogMeIn.
The instructions appear pretty thin.
I have installed it in his main desktop PC.
I am attempting to log in from one of my PCs.
Their web page is asking me do I wish to install their FireFox plugin.
And if I don't, it will use something (Java based)
- Is the non plugin option still using the browser ?
- Is there a 3rd option where one does not use the browser (Like TeamViewer which is independent of any browser) ?
- Which of those choices should I use to get the largest display ?


PS It starts in Pro mode (it did not ask me).
I would like to turn that off, so there is no confusion when the trial ends.

A friend has asked me to find an alternative to Teamviewer, as the Teamviewer display appears to be smaller than it should (could) be.
I have heard that logmein has a better display.
But I have also heard that the free version is not as good as the paid version (in regards to view size) as it will not go full screen (it shows it in a window instead).
Is that true ?
PS Suggestions for other free alternatives (with bigger view) would be appreciated.

Not true. I use the free version of logmein and it works full-screen if you wish. Rob

Thanks for that info.
I have been up all night trying to help my friend get TeamViewer manageable.
You have given me heart(confidence) to try logmein.

PPS The other disadvantage (for some) is the free version of logmein lacks file transfer.
You could use a file sharing service to get around that limitation.

[Moderator's note: Referral link removed, and also an unnecessary promotion of a storage site. Not allowed. Keep things on topic please.]

Sorry, but any posting about commercial version will not be allowed here, even its compared with the free version. This can easily be found on the LogMeIn site, or on any other site.

I was not recommending the commercial version.
I was just saying that the recommendation that I had received (that it had a better display), appears not to apply to the free version.
And I am seeking feedback from anyone who uses the free version, as to whether the view is limited.

I know this is a late addition to this thread, but I thought I'd add my 2 cents, as I use LogMeIn hundreds of times a day for work, and TeamViewer several times a day to connect to my home computer (and vice versa). Both have different strengths. The previous poster brought up the fact that you need to create an account for LogMeIn. Well, yes, that's how you connect to remote computers with LogMeIn. You browse to LogMeIn.com on any computer on the planet that has an Internet connection, log into your (free) account and then access the computers associated with your account. Advantage: access remote computers from anywhere on earth on just about any hardware with an Internet connection.

However, when I want extremely stable remote access with file transfer capability, I use TeamViewer. I've forgotten I even had TeamViewer open and came back the next day, and it was still connected! That's stable. LogMeIn is nowwhere near that stable - sometimes it will disconnect for no apparent reason in one session. It also has built-in timers, which will disconnect you after a certain period of inactivity.

File transfer is also something I use quite often, and could not do without, between my work and home computers. Rather than opening a new email, attaching documents, mailing it to myself and opening and downloading them on my home computer, I can just zip them right to my home desktop with TeamViewer.

Both are equally as fast, in my experience. It depends a lot on both Internet connections.

Logmein is easier to install, in my opinion, which can be nice. TeamViewer isn't that easy. However, once it is installed, TeamViewer can't be beat for convenience (once it's configured) - open it up, double-click your remote computer and you're on.

Bottom line; It really depends upon what you want your remote access to do for you.

You said -
"It also has built-in timers, which will disconnect you after a certain period of inactivity."
My friend is going away for 10 days, and wishes to run logmein on his PC (desktop), and leave it running.
He will have his laptop with him, and wishes to remote in to the desktop PC, to handle emails. (His ISP/Email-Provider won't let him send emails from his laptop, when the Dongle and service he may be using is not one that it recognizes.) Thus he will remote in to view and send emails.
Your comment about disconnecting after a period of inactivity, might mean that he cannot connect after that happens.
Is there any possibility of that happening ?

It's a good idea to check the timeout settings in Logmein, but my experience is that, by default, once the server is running it will run forever. However, once you CONNECT to the server, you may find that it logs you out after a while. But in this case you simply re-connect. The only thing to be very careful of, is that you don't accidentally shut down the desktop PC that's running the server, instead of merely logging off. Otherwise someone will have to turn it back on before you can reconnect.

Thanks for info.
I worked my way through the options whilst installing, and came across a place to set the timeout (just in case I get nervous).
Info for others, it installs the Pro (30 day trial), but you can go to the web site and switch to free.

I was assuming that it could double for the program the person remoting in would use, thus showing a proper window, and not just say a web page.
I have not stumbled across what the person remoting in is meant to use (if he wants a program to view with.
Could you elaborate on that for me ?