LogMeIn IT Reach review
As telephone-based IT support continues to suffer from bad press, the number of hosted remote services just keeps on growing. It’s hardly surprising, as the limitations of communicating problems and solutions via voice alone are wholly inadequate for complex problems. Hosted remote access can provide more efficient support, so we take a look at LogMeIn’s latest IT Reach solution to see how it measures up.
IT Reach starts off well, as you can evaluate the service without having to deal with any sales staff. The setup process is completely web based and each client system requires a small utility installed permanently. This approach differs from the A-Listed NetSupport 24-7, where a utility is only installed in memory for the duration of the support session. If you want this facility then check out LogMeIn’s Rescue service.
Once you’ve logged into the IT Reach website, you can download the utility locally, have LogMeIn create an email with the download link or you can paste it into a text file. There’s an onus of responsibility on the remote user here, as they must confirm prior to the installation that they’ve received the link from a trusted source. Once the utility has been installed, the system then appears in the My Computers section of the IT Reach administrative web interface.
To access a client system, you need an ActiveX control installed locally, and this is loaded the first time you select a remote system. To gain entry to a client, you must provide a valid Windows username and password specific to that system. The next screen that popped up took us aback momentarily, as we weren’t expecting to see such detailed information about the remote system. From one screen, you get a complete situation report on areas including CPU utilisation, disk space, network activity, event log activity and the top five busiest processes.
A menu tree to the left provides easy access to all the IT Reach features, such as remote control and drag-and-drop file transfers. File sharing can be used to create URL links to files on your PC and email them so multiple users can download the file at their leisure. There’s a huge amount of information on offer, with graphs of CPU and memory performance, tables of drive and partition information – in fact, just about anything you need to know about the connected system. Although you’ll have to create them yourself, scripts can be used to monitor specific functions on the client system and send out email alerts if problems are spotted.
Security can be as tight as you want too. You can apply a secondary personal password to the login process, or have one-time passwords emailed for each login. A new feature in this latest version is that access levels can be customised for different support staff. Another capability that makes IT Reach stand out is that LogMeIn only handles the initial connection, after which it becomes point-to-point between the host and guest.
There are many of these services now available, but IT Reach impresses with the levels of diagnostics information it can provide about client systems. Furthermore, it’s fairly simple to deploy and use, offers a unique set of alerting tools and represents good value as well.