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Remote desktop technologies were a marvel to behold when the first came out. It blew people’s minds that a user could control a computer remotely – even if that computer was in a different geographic region – purely through the Internet.
And the remote access technology industry is extremely competitive. I’m sure that many of you have heard of LogMeIn, and perhaps Splashtop as well, but there are many other players. For instance, there’s TeamViewer, GoToMyPC, and even Cisco WebEx as well.
Most of these solutions are aimed at enterprises, and as you would expect, enterprise solutions typically cost a ton of money. But given that there are so many remote access technologies to choose from, it can be hard knowing which option is the best, especially because IT departments have extremely rigid budgets.
Are you moderately technologically literate? Do you like technological do-it-yourself projects, or enjoy tinkering with home-brewed servers and firewalls? Do you really only need remote access to a handful of computers?
If this sounds like you, there are better alternatives than business-class solutions, especially if you only need remote access in a personal or home environment. Heck, I would even go as far to say that the solution I’m about to offer is appropriate in some small business environments, too.
You don’t have to shell out the big bucks for enterprise-class solutions. Instead, you can take advantage of free remote access software that’s open source and protected under the GNU license. I am, of course, talking about VNC, which stands for Virtual Network Computing.
Essentially, it offers the same core remote access service as all of the enterprise-class solutions. Sure, VNC doesn’t have all the same features, but it is a viable alternative for those of us on a budget.
For instance, VNC isn’t going to offer customer support, and it isn’t going to offer all of the bells, whistles, and advanced features that were designed for enterprise users. But it will allow you to access a computer remotely, and there are a lot of different “flavors” of VNC to choose from. There’s VNC, RealVNC, TigerVNC, and several other different forks – each with their own strengths and designs.
While it’s true that LogMeIn and Splashtop both have free versions available for extremely limited use, I still recommend checking out VNC for personal use, because you’ll have more control over the installation.
Given that LogMeIn and Splashtop both aim their paid subscriptions at businesses and enterprises, they are both extremely expensive. However, these pricing models are structured so differently that it’s hard to make a direct comparison.
Because of the way they are structured, we’re kind of comparing apples to oranges here. Splashtop can be more expensive, depending on which packages you select and whether or not you opt for advanced support.
The following outlines LogMeIn’s pricing model: check here for the latest price & discounts
Likewise, the following outlines Splashtop’s pricing model: check here for the latest price & discounts
Clearly, Splashtop is significantly more expensive than LogMeIn. Though to be fair, the pricing models are structured completely differently. There are a couple caveats to Splashtop’s pricing model, however.
Note that each of the above accounts grants access to up to 10 computers. Additionally, note that the above prices listed for Splashtop only account for access to the service. It does not include remote support.
For that, you’ll have to pay extra. When you factor in the cost of remote support in addition to the cost of access to the service, things start adding up. In fact, when you combine the cost of the service coupled with support, Splashtop is actually more expensive than LogMeIn.
The following outlines the pricing model for Splashtop’s Basic remote support: check here for the latest price & discounts
And the following outlines Splashtop’s Remote Support Plus: check here for the latest price & discounts
As you can see, the support costs are extremely high. However, it is nice that – unlike LogMeIn – Splashtop separated the costs of the service and support. That way, if you already have a trained staff or IT department, you don’t necessarily have to purchase full-blown support.
Or small businesses who only need fewer than four accounts don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for support, which might otherwise cripple a budget that’s already on its last leg.
LogMeIn has a lot of cool features that the average remote access software doesn’t include. Yet again, I must remind you that many of these features are likely inappropriate or unusable for the average home user since it was designed for a business. Nevertheless, the features are pretty impressive, as follows:
Splashtop doesn’t match LogMeIn’s features perfectly but does have its own set of features. I feel that a couple of the features are a given that should be included in every remote control service, but they still need to be mentioned. At any rate, the following outline’s Splashtop’s features:
Here are some common questions we get:
Why yes, of course! It’s 2019. Years ago, PC’s were the exclusive domain of advanced software like this, but these days are gone. You can see the full installation guide for Mac or PC here.
Yes, again! Since 2011 SplashTop has supported Mac environments.
SplashTop can obviously be used for many different use cases, but it is primarily used to remotely connected to desktops, laptops and mobile devices. Specific to SlasphTop is the ability to deliver real-time video + audio at higher than 60 FPS.
Yes, for most users. The “Gateway” created by LogMeIn is by default leveraging an untrusted network BUT in a secure remote fashion. Depending on how you think about security, it might actually be MORE secure to be able to locate your machine in a physically secured / different environment, while controlling the kill switch remotely.
Overall, it was a very close race, especially because these two services have different features. You would think competitive remote access service providers would more or less have the same features with little to no variance between their services’ capabilities. But that doesn’t seem to be the case because these are two different pieces of software.
Bottom Line: In the end, however, I have to side with LogMeIn for the vast majority of use cases. The only time I would recommend Splashtop is when you only need to accommodate a very small number of remote desktop client users and don’t need or want technical support.
Otherwise, I would opt for LogMeIn, because it is a more complete package that’s offered at a cheaper price. Lastly, remember that you can take advantage of free open source software like VNC if you just need remote access in a home environment.