Fire up the remote

LogMeIn's Ignition simplifies the remote access process.

LogMeIn Ignition simplifies the remote access process. (Credit: CNET Networks)

LogMeIn. GoToMyPC. Radmin. CrossLoop. MyIVO. Envision, if you will, a fierce battle waged by these multiple armies, a mad melee of digital pikes, longbows, broadswords, dotanuki and, oh, an anachronistic Sherman tank for fun, and you've got a very vivid imagination.

It's also not a bad metaphor for the remote access wars, which are currently roiling in a frothy boil. LogMeIn Ignition is upping their ante. It's a nifty little self-contained program that you install on your desktop, then copy the EXE onto a portable device such as an iPod, flash drive or a BlackBerry. Connect that device to any PC, double-click on Ignition and you've got instant access to any of the machines saved in your LogMeIn account.

It's a sensible and simple solution to downloading and installing the LogMeIn software each time you want to access your computer remotely, since most of us carry around at least one device or memory stick that connects via USB. It also works just fine on a standard hard drive, if you regularly use the same computer as your base for remote access and you need to quickly get in, do your remote thing and get out.

Unfortunately, it's not free, but at only $8.95 per year, it's not going to break the bank. Also, it doesn't allow you to access your home PC from a handheld device, but given the innovation and diversity we're seeing here, hopefully that kind of functionality will come along before the second-generation iPhone.