Control Your Lab Computers From Home

on 14th of April, 2008 in Software & Online Tools
About the Author:
Nick Oswald started Bitesize Bio on a Macbook on his kitchen table in 2007 while in his 7th year of working as a molecular biologist in biotech. He made it his day job in 2010 and has been loving it ever since.

If you have computers in the lab that you would like to access from home, this might be for you.

LogMeIn.com offers a free remote desktop service that allows you to take control of a remote computer. Perfect if, while relaxing after dinner, you remember that you forgot to turn off the HPLC at work (yes, I did that tonight).

The service is very easy to set up. You simply create an account at LogMeIn.com, download a small file and install it on your lab computer, then set up secure passwords for the lab computer to restrict access to it.
When you are at home you just log onto LogMeIn.com, enter the password for your lab computer and open a browser window that displays your lab computer desktop.

From the remote desktop you can open files, run programs, switch off HPLC pumps etc. from the comfort of your own home.

A number of password security levels are available to ensure that no-one else can access your account, and once a connection is established, SSL encryption, the technology used for online banking, ensures that your connection is secured from prying eyes. More information on security can be found here.

As I said, this great service is completely free of charge. Of course there is a also pay version, which has extended functionality, allowing you to transfer or print files from the remote computer and a whole bunch of other stuff. But for me, the free version does just fine.

If you give it a go, or already use something similar, let us know your thoughts!

3 thoughts on “Control Your Lab Computers From Home”

  1. Avatar of Dan Rhoads Max says:

    I know, this is comment might not be interesting for 99% of the readers of this blog. But as I am a bioinformatics-guy and using linux, logmein is not an option for me. Instead, I am using nomachine's freenx-server and -client. It's similar to logmein but really, really fast and a real server. Because of this, several people can log into my machine, each with their own desktop , on which they can work in parallel. Several people can also remotely look or use the same screen at the same time, e.g. in combination with a conference call. If you're using linux, you should definitely have a look on freenx.

  2. Avatar of CR Turner CR Turner says:

    Any advantages over Remote Desktop from Microsoft or Apple?

  3. Avatar of Grimmer Matt Grimmer says:

    NTRconnect does basically the same thing from a computer and offers a free iPhone app, as opposed to the $30 LogMeIn.com app. The one drawback is that the target machine might have to be logged in (?).

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