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LogMeIn Free is no longer free

February 5, 2014


For a long time, LogMeIn Free has been one of my favourite remote control solutions. It’s easy to set-up and easy to use. I even bought the app, both for Android and iPhone that allowed me to help my dad, kids and a few friends to solve technical issues remotely, sometimes even while having dinner at the restaurant thanks to the Ignition app that ties into the list of remote computers.

Recently the company announced it would no longer be providing the free service and, as of January 21 2014, the free service was discontinued.

I completely understand the move, as a company you can’t keep providing a free service when that service costs you money. It made perfect sense to offer the reduced-functionality free service when LogMeIn was a nobody startup in Budapest, but now that they have achieved some recognition, they surely want to monetize the free users.

Let’s face some facts, though:

1. A casual user of the free service, who just uses it a few times a year to help an aging parent out of a jam will never pay $69.95 a year per computer for the privilege.

2. Those users who didn’t want to move to the “Pro” version because they didn’t need any advanced features, won’t suddenly need the advanced features.

3. Users like me who bought the $30 mobile app to have on-the-go access to the computers on the LogMeIn Free list will not be motivated by the 10 dollar incentive to the price. (I actually paid $30 for the iPhone app, then another $30 for the Android app when I switched phones)

When LogMeIn reduced the Free version of the service to 10 computers or less, I totally understood that move too. If you regularly need to remote control that many computers, you need a more robust solution anyway.

I just don’t see LogMeIn winning a lot of customers with this move, though clearly they will cut whatever costs are associated with the free service. And as an added bonus, Ignition purchasers like myself feel cheated by LogMeIn and likely won’t do business with them just on principle, since no one likes to be burned twice by an unethical corporation.

I suspect losing tons of beta-testers will also have some long term repercussions, reducing the overall quality of the software and reputation of the brand. Remember pcAnywhere? Me neither…

I wish them the best of luck, but I’ll be sure to check in with LogMeIn in a few years to see how they’re doing.

I think I already know.

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5 Comments
    couceiroricardo Feb 05, 2014

    I don’t think that they’ll disappear and I’m not sure if this can be called an unethical move. Logmein provided a free version for commercial use because they wanted to get something out of it. They pulled it out for some reason… I mean, no one can be that blind.. it was pretty obvious that this move would make people back down and feel cornered to pay, what generally leads to the opposite reaction – look for competitors. Maybe they needed to save the money right away for some other investment… But yeah, don’t think they care much about all this fuzz… BeAnywhere and pcAnyhwere are different?? lool I remember the 1st one, in fact that’s the one I use, the other not so much

    Reply
      Alex Nuta Feb 13, 2014

      Thanks for your input.

      To be more specific, cancelling the free version of the service is not what I’m calling unethical. The unethical part, in my opinion, refers to paying twice 30$ for access to a service that no longer exists, the latest purchase having taken place in November 2013.
      I was perfectly happy with 10 computers.
      I would have been happy with 2.

      But for a company to sell me a product which accesses a free service only to then pull the free service rendering my purchase useless… that’s what I call unethical.

      Reply
    John Feb 05, 2014

    Well it’s been years since I needed a remote login for tech support – since I can’t offer support for much beyond XP – but I was using Teamviewer for many years for free with much success. I tried LogMeIn but didn’t much like it. A check today reveals they still have a free license.

    Reply
      Alex Nuta Feb 13, 2014

      Yes, Teamviewer is what I’ll be using going forward.
      The only thing I don’t like about it is the junk that’s automatically installed along with it.
      Getting old folks to uncheck these boxes is a nightmare, and if they don’t they get scary popups about performance and dangerous viruses… so they shut down their computer, and then I have to go over there anyway to uninstall all the garbage, rendering the whole idea of remote control kinda useless…

      But once it’s installed, it does tend to work.

      Reply
    richard maxwell May 15, 2014

    Logmein free going away is bad news. Anyways, alternatives are RHUB, Bomgar, GoSupportNow, TeamViewer etc.

    Reply

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