Remote Utilities Is a Free Alternative To LogMeIn For Personal and Business Use

Subject: General Tech | February 12, 2014 - 10:40 PM |
Tagged: screen sharing, remote utilities, remote support, logmein

After the free version of LogMeIn shut down (on rather short notice), I started to look for alternatives for the occasional remote support session with family and friends. One alternative I was directed to on a forum I frequent was a software utility called Remote Utilities. The developers recently announced (in response to LogMeIn Free's shutdown) that their Remote Utilities software is available with a free license good for business or personal use on up to 10 PCs. It seemed interesting, so I decided to give it a try for myself.

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The Remote Utilities Viewer GUI.

The download weighs in at 16.4MB and comes in a zipped folder with two installers for the viewer and host along with a single page quick start guide (PDF). Installation of both programs was simple enough, and it would be easy enough to guide someone through over the phone. The host installer defaults are decent. It will ask the user to enter a password that will be required to access the PC remotely.

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It will also offer to create an "Internet ID" which is a code that can be emailed or otherwise given to the support technician. It is used to connect to the client PC without needing to figure out the IP and port forwarding situation of the client PC. Alternatively, you can choose to connect directly via IP without going through Remote Utilities connection servers.

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My desktop connecting to my laptop using the Remote Utilities application.

Once the host PC is setup and the viewer application is installed on the other PC, you can connect to, and log into the remote PC. The application allows file transfer, terminal (or command prompt) access, screen sharing, and full GUI remote control of the PC. You can remotely restart and install applications as well. Needless to say, there are a lot of advanced settings and tools for those that like to dive into things while being easy to use in a default state. For a free application, it is very fully featured and easy to use. Performance of the remote control session was very smooth, particularly over the same LAN (naturally). It was at least as responsive as Crossloop and noticeably better than the VNC options I've tested in the past.

As far as encryption options for the connection, Remote Utilities claims to use RSA 2048 asymmetric + AES 256 symmetric (Microsoft Crypto API) for all data sent over the network. The encryption is enabled by default, and cannot be turned off (heh).

This is by no means a full review, and I do not intend for it to be. However, I do believe that it to be an interesting alternative to LogMeIn that is worth sharing. If you are still looking for a free remote support tool, I encourage you to check this one out.

You can grab the free download from: http://www.remoteutilities.com/

What is your favorite free remote support tool?

February 12, 2014 | 11:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Is this harder to use than the Logmein Free remote control utility?

I wish it worked in a web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome) instead of having to install a "viewer" program.

February 13, 2014 | 12:35 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

It's a bit more involved, but still easy enough to use. You do need to install the app on the client's PC in order to remote into them, but it's easy enough to guide them through it. It could be better (as you said, working w/out an install, the viewer being web based, ect), but it's a decent option.

February 12, 2014 | 11:49 PM - Posted by dingo (not verified)

What's the advantage of this over remote decktop which comes with windows?

February 13, 2014 | 12:38 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

The advantage is that you don't have to have a certain Windows SKU to use it, which is annoying if you can otherwise get by with a cheaper version of Win 7/8/ect. If you are doing it as a business, go for it, but for personal use, needing to buy the expensive version of Windows to remote into other computers is a pain.

February 13, 2014 | 12:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I use teamviewer. Works great for my friends and family.

February 13, 2014 | 11:39 AM - Posted by brisa117

I've used Teamviewer for years now! It's easy to use, and you can just "run" the program instead of installing if you're only remote accessing a PC once.

Installing the program includes the viewer and host all in one installation, and Teamviewer keeps a handy list for all of your contacts. Lastly, Teamviewer has a great file transfer system that allows you to transfer data without taking full control of the remote PC.

It may not be the best, but I haven't run into any problems that make me want to switch.

February 13, 2014 | 04:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Did you try the direct PC-to-PC connection (IP)? Is that any faster than through the 3rd party servers?

Looking for an easy way to connect directly for the occasional sensitive file transfer.

February 13, 2014 | 02:08 PM - Posted by Tim (not verified)

No, I have not tried that feature yet. Even going through their server to establish thr connection it was perfectly usable. IP to IP should be at least as good if not better

February 13, 2014 | 09:23 AM - Posted by Michel (not verified)

I used LogMeIn for a few years and started switching to Remote Utilities just before they restricted the free accounts to 10 and now have no more accounts on LogMeIn.
I have a mix of paid and free licenses.
The software works very well and the support is good.
What I like about the paid licenses is that it is not an annual subscription. It is a per license low fee.
And to date (3 years) there was many free updates to the program but no paid major upgrade.
This is a win situation for the support I do.

April 9, 2014 | 08:32 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks for the wonderful post here. I found your information quite useful. Keep posting.

Sunrise PC Support

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