Following in the recent footsteps of SugarSync, LogMeIn announced that they were no longer offering the free version of their product and will only provide a premium, paid service. I have been a user and fan of LogMeIn for YEARS, but with the move to only a paid-only service, I have started looking at other alternatives for my remote desktop connectivity needs.
Don’t get me wrong, LogMeIn is a great product. It’s easy to use and has been pretty reliable over the years. However, my use of remote desktop connectivity is not frequent enough to warrant the price that LogMeIn is charging ($99/year for access on 2 computers). If I had a regular, on-going need for remote desktop connectivity AND the price was reasonable, I wouldn’t have any problems paying for the LogMeIn’s service. Alternatively, GoToMyPC has a very tempting 6-month trial then $69/year for 3 computers promo offer that I’m considering. That is the danger that companies face when moving from a free model to a paid one. Consumers start to evaluate ALL their options especially when it comes to paying for a service.
This abrupt ending of the free version (customers have a seven day grace period to make a purchasing decision) while not provide ample time to evaluate and migrate to another solution was a bad move. In addition, this recent announcement also feels like deja vu. Many LogMeIn Free customers may remember the out-of-the-blue announcement last year that limited the number of computers a user can access with LogMeIn Free to 10 computers. I also remember them stating that “…LogMeIn Free is and will remain free..”
While LogMeIn is a great product, the fact is there are other options, both free and paid, out there that offer the same remote desktop connection features to users. Even though I am not a big fan, Team Viewer is a decent alternative that offer many of the same features plus some that are not in the free version of LogMeIn (I also have wonder if Team Viewer is rethinking their “free” model as well). Additionally, Chrome Remote Desktop is another option that is available. While it’s not packed with a ton of features, it runs in your browser and is easy to setup and use. Users will have play around with the different options to find a service that fits their needs.
Bottom line, LogMeIn is a business and it needs to make a profit. They are hoping to converting loyal users to paid subscribers. This is nothing new. LogMeIn isn’t the first and definitely won’t be the last to kill off their free services. Remember when Google did the same thing a few years ago with the free version of Google Apps? People were disappointed, but eventually moved on. The abrupt end of any free service or product should serve as a reminder that not all technology services can stay free forever.