Everyone who has ever supported either their mom or a business client knows that it's hell to try to and visualize what a user has on their screen, and even worse to understand the user's interpretation of what they see on their screen. At my primary job we use a product called Bomgar which I know and love. That product requires an appliance device and really isn't a good fit for me running a tiny consulting business. One of the most important features of a remote support solution is the ability to reach a machine that is behind a firewall. Both GoToAssist and LogMeIn fit that requirement, and both also support Mac and Windows which is my other main requirement.

I want to say that I really like LogMeIn Central a lot. I think it's a very mature product and it's priced at $334.83 per year if you let the demo run out and then login to the site at the end of the demo to get the discount offered to you. GoToAssist comes in at $462.00 for the year if you do the same. It's important to know that whichever you try you should run the demo for the full 30 days and then go back any time after the 30th day and both services offer a large discount to get to those prices.

LogMeIn Central offers a virtual VPN type service with the yearly fee. This is really nice and lets you make computers think they are on the same LAN. Two things about LogMeIn Central really tick me off however;

  • You still need to pay for LogMeIn Pro agents if you want to use alerting/monitoring. Seriously? You already got a pretty good chunk of money and you still want to get me for $80/year/client for Pro?
  • If I support someone new with LogMeIn I have to walk them through installing the agent. It's a bit of a hassle and requires them to pick a password if they have no Windows password. It was confusing for several people I worked with. Plus on the tail end I have to uninstall it from their system in some cases so that means walking them through that process. GoToAssist has a MUCH better method for starting up and tearing down a session.

GoToAssist Express has a couple of annoyances as well;

  • There is no Unattended support for Macs. Is it that hard? LogMeIn does it.
  • There is no iPhone app. I love that I can reach my clients on LogMeIn via the iPhone app.
  • The price. It's basically $38.50/month if you pay $462.00 for the year. That means unless I work with at least one person a month for an hour at a minimum then I lose money. It just drives up costs for me, and I feel the price is basically out of line.

At the end of the day I think LogMeIn Central is a better product overall, but GoToAssist Express wins my business because of the better setup and tear down of a support session. I think that if I was supporting a small to medium business of machines that were 100% mine to support that I would go with LogMeIn Central because then I wouldn't be removing the agents and assuming the business would pay for it then the LogMeIn Pro client not only offers advanced monitoring of CPU, RAM, Disk use but it provides the end users with an easy way to share their desktop or files with others for presentations. For the consultant doing lots of work that is 1-off where I'm not returning to the same machines all the time then GoToAssist is a much better fit even if I'm bummed about the lack of iPhone application and lack of Unattended Mac support.

GoToAssist Express vs. LogMeIn Central for IT Consultants