Remote access with a catch

LogMeIn Ignition makes remoting into one or more computers fairly fast and easy to handle from your iPhone or iPod Touch.

LogMeIn's 'Ignition' app for the iPhone and iPod Touch is one way for corporate wanderers and home users to manipulate content on the computers within their control. To do so, there are a few catches. The LogMeIn desktop application must be installed so that Ignition can tunnel into the computer through LogMeIn's servers. Second, the computer in question must be unlocked an on, with a desktop version of LogMeIn running. You'll also need a strong enough data or WiFi connection on the mobile device to keep LogMeIn Ignition working smoothly.

Once you've signed in, LogMeIn Ignition assumes remote control of your host computer. The iPhone app provides an array of buttons to help navigate your larger screened computer on your small screen. Using the buttons and multitouch touchscreen controls, you're able to scroll around--opening applications, sending e-mail, and editing files as you would if you were sitting in front of your computer.

Although a dedicated keyboard and special keyboard buttons make it easier to type, the iPhone's small screen inhibits the experience. An oddity in the program moves the screen around in response to your touch, while the cursor remains static. Navigating and 'clicking' this way takes some getting used to. We found the $30 price tag expensive for the iPhone app, and that's in addition to anything you'd pay for a premium version of LogMeIn's service if you upgrade from the free model. You can still access your computers remotely without charge through LogMeIn.com, but Ignition makes remoting in much faster and easier to handle than navigating a Web site from the mobile screen.

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