Speeding LogMeIn's link to a PC Back Home

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One of my favorite Web services, LogMeIn, lets me stay connected to computers from afar–and just got a bit easier to use. LogMeIn is among several products that allow you to connect to a computer across the Internet and work on that PC as if you were sitting in front of it. LogMeIn is my favorite because it's free.

Because of remote access, I rarely travel with a laptop. There is almost always a computer with broadband that will connect to mine at home–be it from a conference or another office. At worst, I can visit a public library or rent a Kinko's PC to check E-mail or print a boarding pass.

My favorite service this month added LogMeIn Ignition, which is a small program that downloads to a USB thumb drive or even an iPod. Plugging it in makes it quicker to connect to a remote computer: I no longer have to call up a browser and go to logmein.com. I suppose it's a bit safer, too, because my work isn't saved in the PC's memory if I'm using a public computer.

LogMeIn Ignition costs $50 a year, which seems steep for the convenience it adds. LogMeIn also charges for other services, including remote access with features such as file transfer and remote printing. And part of me wants to support the service to make sure it stays around (WebEx abandoned a similar free service). But somehow, paying anything might dilute my fondness for LogMeIn. So, for now, I'll keep the relationship pure.