On Tuesday, Boston-based LogMeIn Inc. abruptly terminated its free user service with little warning. LogMeIn Free customers responded with outrage (sample comment: “pathetic and anti-customer”), so the company extended its remote desktop service for seven more days. Subscribers of the soon-to-be shuttered free service must upgrade to a pro account, or find another service like Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop or TeamViewer.
Users of the free version have seven days after their first post-announcement log-in to upgrade or discontinue using LogMeIn.
The service is especially popular with local and state government information technology departments, with counties from Los Angeles to Sarasota utilizing the premium version of the remote access software. LogMeIn has also been successful in the mobile app space, creating popular Android and Apple platform apps allowing users to access their work and personal computers from their cellphone and tablet.
On its website, the company stated: “In order to address the evolving needs of our customers, we will be unifying our portfolio of free and premium remote access products into a paid-only offering. We believe this offering to be the best premium desktop, cloud and mobile access experience available in the market today.”
The vast majority of municipalities and local governmental agencies would be disqualified from using LogMeIn’s free service, which could only be used for up to 10 computers. Still, a handful of small governmental departments and divisions listed the LogMeIn Free service on IT filings, and might use the remote desktop software.
Tony Lewis, who works for the California Department of Technology, said he has personally used LogMeIn to monitor his father’s computer. While he didn’t know whether he would upgrade to the Pro package, he was surprised how quickly the company acted.
“They’re a great service, but usually people give you more warning,” Lewis said. “It’s disappointing because it’s a tool that saves a lot of time and headache.”