Skip navigation

One major concern before leaving on a business trip or for a “study” week-end, is to make sure that you took all you working material with you, which is not always a piece of cake. You might realize while reaching your final destination, that you actually forgot to upload to your laptop one of the kingpin document you needed to work out your presentation you’ll have to hand on Monday… and that’s too bad, because your office is closed and none too-bad4-bisof your workmate will pick-up their phone on the week-end , and that there’s absolutely no way for your wife/husband and kid at home to help you put a hand on this document; you visually know in which folder it is stored, but you really don’t know how to explain them how to get there…

if only you had LogMeIn and Dropbox installed on your home PC/Mac, this wouldn’t turn your trip or week-end into a nightmare! You could then unpack your laptop, connect to the Internet (by wifi or using your mobile phone equipped with JoikuSpot Lite) and go and get exactly what you’re looking for (while sipping your Latte).

LogMeIn is a free software which runs on PCs and Macs, and which gives you a fast, easy remote access to your PC from any computer with an Internet connection. You just have to install the software provided by the editor (download free version here) on the computer you want to remotely access, and then you can access it from ANY PC, Mac or PDA/Smartphone (even a public workstation in an Internet café) with a browser installed on it, ANYWHERE in the World. You just need to log in on LogMeIn webpage using your credentials and then you’ll be able to go through the full content of your laptop as if you were just sitting in front of it! If you want to know more about LogMeIn, you can have a look below atthe video tutorial (6’33)

Thanks to Dropbox, you’ll be able to synchronize and access your files from any computer in the World equipped with a web browser. Dropbox is free (download it here) and compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux!

This is how it works: Once Dropbox is running on your computer(s), any files or folders inside Dropbox will get synchronized to Dropbox’s servers and any other computer linked to your account.

dropbox-cap

Green checkmarks will appear on top of your files to let you know that they’re synced and up to date. The main feature of Dropbox is that it keeps track of every change made to any of its contents. Any changes are instantly and automatically sent to any other computer linked to your Dropbox!

dropbox-webbrower1

Dropbox is also an outstanding collaborative platform which makes it easy for users to work on team projects, music/video editing, and much more with other people. As a matter of facts, any member of a shared folder can add, edit and delete the contents within and changes made to a shared folder are instantly sent to every member of that folder! And if you need to share some files with non-Dropbox users, just drop files into your Public folder: any files in here will be given a link that you can send to others in emails, IMs, blogs, etc. without requiring people to sign up for Dropbox! This is what I did with the image above: click on it, and you’ll be able to access it on the web from my public folder!

dropbox-shared-folder

One of the most compelling reasons to use Dropbox is its off-line functionality. When you sign up, you can download the company’s desktop client, which allows you to drag-and-drop files into it. Once complete, it syncs with your on-line account in the background while you work.

But if you’re more of a Symbian/”check your documents on the go” fan, you should definitely try and download Orb! This little program that runs on your PC, allows you to access the full content of your laptop from the screen of any mobile phone browser with a streaming media player (log in to mycast.orb.com)! The access to your folder and documents is incredibly fast with 3G and you can eventually watch a movie in streaming when connected to wifi! Just try it, it’s worth it and it’s free!

So the next time you want to do some show off “Digital Native free style” like, just show up at your client/prospect meeting with a cool attitude and your log in credential to your Dropbox/LogMeIn account in your pocket!

Advertisements

7 Comments

  1. Mmmmhh Dropbox … the best way to keep content synchronized between several desktops.

    An idea for future article : how to use storage space (drop.io, mediafire, or even the old and ugly yousendit) as a collaboration space …

    I’ll have to show you, eventually :)

    • @ Kerolic: you know I’m always ready to hear about software that can simplify my every day’s life when I’m away! So when you have a minute, I’ll be happy to learn from that :)

  2. I don’t quite follow – do I really login on a remote website to access my PC? Doesn’t that implicitly grant them access to my PC as well?

    For the truly paranoid (like me), I’d recommend a VNC software package, preferably the RealVNC (www.realvnc.com). Our IT department uses it to service 200+ Desk/Laptops. It’s trivial to setup and install, and supports many of the features you mentioned (including a Java client which can be used via any modern browser). Unfortunately, it costs 30-50 USD, depending on the package you use. But since VNC is a time-proven standard (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VNC), there are a ton of compatible products and/or alternatives out there, eg the completely free TightVNC (www.tightvnc.com).

    • @ Christian: When you connect to your computer using LogMeIn, you indeed use a third-party. You’re connecting to your computer through theirs (LogMeIn’s servers). In that case, one can consider that he or she gets an extra measure of security together with his/her firewalls and routers. When you want to log in with LogMeIn, you’re prompted to enter you username+password to connect to your private page on logmein.com, then once again your password and then, if your computer is locked with a password, you need to enter it. I guess though it will never prevent the smartest hackers to get in your computer. But it works against the rest of them (who are not so clever…). FYI I’ve put my hand on a forum where LogMeIn users were sharing opinion on how secure the software is. As for my own experience (I’m regularly using both LogMeIn and VPN + an RSA ID token when I’m telecommuting) I’ve never been disappointed so far by either one or the other solution. Following your comment, I’ve updated my post with a nice video tutorial as I realized that one picture/video is worth a thousand words! cheers!

  3. Thanks for the video tutorial, it provided me with a lot more insight than the FAQs on their homepage.

    After watching the video and doing some basic research, it appears that the website is merely a management interface, and the remote link is established directly between the client and the remote desktop with no intermediary. I initially thought that LogMeIn was some sort of man-in-the-middle which could intercept sensitive data between me and the remote desktop.

  4. @montcalm – we’ll take time to discuss about it. Let me just remind me that we have to :)

  5. Hi..
    Great service, that allows offline functions. I am using hosted desktop service from http://www.onthenetoffice.com.. which i suppose does not give offline functional service.

    Thanks great post with video and snaps.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: