How to migrate a remote PC from LogMeIn to TeamViewer Collaborative Remote Control

Posted by Paul Braren on Jul 6 2014 in
  • HowTo
  • Productivity
  • Windows
  • I've used LogMeIn for many years, occasionally helping remote family members with computer issues. I liked a lot of the features, including the ability to easily collaborate, with both of us able to see the screen and control the mouse. Worked well. I also liked that I could centrally see a list of all the machines I work on, and had the ability to remotely wake up remote computers, helping save electricity by avoiding leaving any systems running 24x7 just so I could help once in a while. I even happily paid for LogMeIn Pro for at least one or two remote PCs, for most of these past 6 years or so. And paid for the LogMeIn Ignition app. I fully believe in paying for value I receive.

    Over the years, I had about one to two dozen PCs set up for LogMeIn, in my extended family, set to automatically run LogMeIn automatically at boot time. That way, I could easily do some occasional system maintenance.

    Last year, LogMeIn put the squeeze on limited use customers like myself by limiting me to 10 active computers on my account at a time. Quite reasonable actually. I just cleaned up listings for systems I rarely accessed.

    I really only used LogMeIn 2-3 times per month on average, usually for just 10-15 minutes at a time.

    I also use LogMeIn Hamachi for family PCs, for daily automatic backups, see also my many Hamachi articles. And I'm happy to continue to pay for Hamachi, including the ability to automatically reconnect the VPN upon reboot, with a wonderfully skilled technical support group (who worked with me on a an early Windows 8.1 Hamachi speed issue).

    But this year, LogMeIn really clamped down, wanting $299 USD/year, for me to keep access to any remote systems. Time to revisit other options. Their new billing model just doesn't match my personal usage model.

    Like many others, I waited a bit too long to decide what to do, and knew it'd be a bit of a pain to move all PCs to something else. So I've now lost access to all my remote systems. This made cutting over to an alternative a bit more complex, but still quite do-able, as you'll see in the video below.

    Several factors had me gravitate toward TeamViewer, including:

    • not yet impressed by Google Chrome Remote Desktop (requires me to worry about Google Account tie in to remote machines, has no sound)
    • never been impressed with VNC's speed over distant connections
    • Citrix GoToMyPC not affordable for occasional remote control of many PCs
    • it's nice to centrally see a list of all the machines I work on, and connect quickly
      It all boiled down to these requirements for me, as I revisited options:

    • excellent speed
    • ease of connecting
    • automatic startup with the sytem (Windows Service, or Mac OS X Startup Item)
    • encryption
    • ability to easily handle changing internet IP addresses that are common with home cable modem users
    • WOL (Wake On LAN magic packet wake up)
      Icing on the cake features:

    • two factor authentication
    • you hear sounds from the remote computer, on your computer (the remote user also hears those sounds)
    • TeamViewer App for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone
      This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad

    There are no affiliate links (sales commissions) in this article or video, and TeamViewer is free for private use only:

    ...use of TeamViewer with family and friends without any financial compensation is considered private use.

    The below video is only intended to demonstrate one way to migrate from LogMeIn to a full featured but free (for now) alternative, in this case, TeamViewer. You'll see I initially used to get in to the long-ago-expired LogMeIn remote PC, but TeamViewer QuickSupport would be a good alternative, as would other built-in Windows options that you may have already configured, like Windows Remote Assistance or even non-collaborative Remote Desktop (RDP/Terminal Services), available from the Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Dashboard, Devices view by merely right clicking on a PC and choosing "Remote Desktop to the computer."

    The system shown at left is a Windows 8.1 laptop running Chrome from a Cox Communications cable modem connection. The Windows 8.1 remote system seen at right is connected via a Verizon LTE connection, and only has IE for a browser.

    How to migrate a remote PC from LogMeIn to TeamViewer Collaborative Remote Control

    1. Get your remote user on the phone, at their internet-connected computer
    2. Using IE on their Windows system, ask them to visit and click on "start meeting"
    3. If prompted for .NET or other permissions questions, ask them to click "Yes"
    4. Ask the remote user for the orange number at the very top of their browser window, something like '632-075-031'
    5. visit on your Chrome browser on your system, and click on "join meeting", then type in that same '632-075-031' and hit enter
    6. ask the remote user to click the 'Participants' icon that looks like a person, near the top middle, then mouse over 'Viewer 1' and select 'Share mouse control' (picured at right)
    7. now you are able to press Win+X to bring up the 'Programs and Features' menu to uninstall LogMeIn (in Windows 7, use Add/Remove Programs)
    8. bring up their IE browser, and key in
    9. click the large green 'Download' button, then click on the downloaded TeamViewer_Setup_en.exe file to launch the install
    10. choose 'Installation to access this computer remotely (unattended)' and 'Personal / Non-commercial use'
    11. as the remote user to click 'Yes" if prompted by User Account Control (you won't be able to see this in your session), note, if they're not an admin user, they're out of luck at this point, unless you wish to share that password with them
    12. choose a password and record it, to be used to connect to this PC with TeamViewer in the future
    13. select 'Create a free TeamViewer account' and type in one of your email addresses, and choose a login password
    14. activate your new account by clicking the link on the email that is sent to you immediately
    15. click on the remote computer in your logged in session
    16. sign-out of
    17. sign-back into teamviewer (I set up two factor authentication later)
    18. click on the connect button next to the remote PC, it'll bring you to the TeamViewer download page
    19. click the "TeamViewer full version - Windows', then click on the downloaded TeamViewer_Setup_en.exe file to launch the install
    20. click 'Yes" if prompted by User Account Control
    21. choose 'Installation to access this computer remotely (unattended)' and 'Personal / Non-commercial use'
    22. choose a password and record it, to be used to connect to this PC with TeamViewer in the future
    23. choose 'I already have a TeamViewer account' and type in the credentials
    24. in the browser session, click 'Connect' button next to the remote PC
    25. in the TeamViewer application, click on 'Actions', choose 'Remote reboot' then choose 'Reboot'
    26. when prompted, choose 'Wait for partner'
    27. soon after the remote machine is rebooted, you'll be prompted 'Your partner is available again, do you want to reconnect to your partner?' and choose 'Reconnect'
    28. you can now click on the X next to the 'Actions' menu to disconnect, then ask your remote user if their wallpaper came back, and say your goodbyes.
    29. phew, you're done!

    This should be a one-time affair, for each of  your remote systems you're trying to migrate. I have a 6 more in my own family to migrate, so it'll take me a while. Following this recipe will come in handy for me too, actually, as the months go by.

    I used a KVM-over-IP device by Lantronix to show the video of this remote system digitally, but you can think of the view as a camera view really, showing you the experience of the remote user, even during reboot. This should help you more easily follow the steps I do locally, versus remotely. Let me know if I succeeded by dropping a comment below!

    FYI, the temporary account and session IDs shown in this video have been since been deleted.