LogMeIn Central is a valuable internet based solution for management, whereby users are able to access and monitor more than 1 machine, called hosts, remotely by means of a machine named the client.  It is used to gain admission to and then manage host computers running either LogMeInbPro² or LogMeIn Free, and it is used to eliminate most of the setup complications encountered in previous, more conventional remote control solutions, of which pcAnyhere is a good example.

This is the most recent product by LogMeIn, which boasts products like LogMeIn Hamachi as well.  It is not free, costing $49.00 for a monthly subscription, although there is an annual fee that is slightly cheaper, plus an extra charge for the addition of the premium management characteristics of the subscription based LogMeIn Pro² product.  It isn’t cheap, but it is invaluable as a concentrated, cost effective manner in which to manage computers from a web browser.  There is room for flexibility; you are able to access host computers from either Mac or Windows, and there’s an app named LogMeIn Ignition available for iPods and iPhones available too.   A LogMeIn Pro LogMeIn Pro² subscription will provide you with these same features, but extras like remote printing an sound on the hosts and clients running Windows;  secure transfer and sharing of files; desktop sharing; as well as a diagnostic toolkit.

You will need an account at LogMeIn Central to get started, and a trial lasting 30 days is available.  A fast software installation is necessary for each host, but LogMeIn makes it very uncomplicated: from the LogMeIn Central management console make a deployment connection sent by means of email.  The user on the remote machine selects this link, and is then directed to the installation of the necessary software.  This computer then turns into a host, and is capable of being accessed and managed.  Should you access LogMeIn Central’s console by means of Firefox, an extra plug in is also installed.

All 3 host machines were visible on the LogMeIn management console homepage within seconds of installation.  1 of the 3 computers used in testing was in fact a Virtual Windows 7 Machine, not a real computer, and operating with it by means of LogMeIn Central was no different to the process used for the real computers.

After an account has been set up, any activity will result in email notifications being sent out to the account holder.  This can be tiresome, but notifications can be controlled through the Account Audit setting.  Should you be using this program to troubleshoot a small amount of computers, the most basic option will suffice; you do not need LogMeIn Pro², you will be able to quickly gain access to any remote desktop.  If you are trying to manage 15 or more computers, then the monitoring; alert; reporting and inventory characteristics of the LogMeIn Pro² will come in handy.

You will need to enter in to your host machine using its credentials in order to access it, and it was a boon that clients’ printers are created automatically inside the management console, since problems with printer auto creation do occur in programs like Citrix Metaframe as well as the Terminal Services offered by Microsoft. Actually, this last paragraph was typed up by means of the LogMeIn Central’s remote control: there was absolutely no difference between doing this remotely.

LogMeIn has really upped the interface standard since the time of LogMeIn IT Reach: its console enable full screen vies of the desktops that are remote, coupled with a zoom capability; even the quality of the color can be managed.  Its intuitive interface is comparable to any of the main social networking sites, and you won’t get stuck attempting to locate commands and settings.  It’s a more maturated item of merchandise than Laplink Everywhere 4, and is much easier to set up than BeAnywhere as well.

It is also possible to group remote machines, and it’s easy to add users and specify permissions as the machines that they are able to access.  Its security includes filtering for addresses; Denial of Service protection for host machines and LogMeIn.com; and AES 256bit encoding between client and host.  You will need the VNC Enterprise version to acquire 128bit session encoding.

Reports and charts fill out the set of features, providing detailed data about the machines that are being managed, a feature that other solutions, like the one offered by VNC, often do not provide.

Many features are provided for the price you’re paying: reports; charts; unlimited free LogMeIn deployment; user management; and computer grouping and search.  More advanced features are part of the LogMeIn Pro² package, which starts off at $69.95 for 1 computer and then goes down in price with each added machine.  An example of these features is that of the File Manager, an uncomplicated means of dragging and dropping files between the host machines and those of the client.  The Dashboard feature is a succinct way to view data on a machine, including installed Hotfixes; memory usage; error events; and network traffic.  It’s even possible to operate the Registry Editor and retrieve data on Service and Drivers on Hosts with additional management.

Central also works in conjunction with LogMeIn Hamachi² for safe VPN connections to host computers.

It can be bewildering to have to carefully sort through which set of features accompany which pricing package on the webpage, so it is recommended that you make a call to the sales department for information if you are interested.

LogMeIn is easy, cheap and a powerful manner in which to manage and solve problems when running more than 1 host machine on LogMeIn Free or LogMeIn Pro². LogMeIn Central plus Pro² is perfect for smaller to medium sized information technology reinforcement teams that would gain from the management and diagnostic instruments and the inventory characteristic, but even the gratis edition on your host computer is going to afford an emerging IT individual significant centralized control.