A few months ago, I was traveling in Europe and my laptop was stolen! (Yes, I did have a back up, but the back up was corrupted). So, as you can imagine, it caused absolute chaos. Most of my life for the past few years was on there.
So, after all of that, I got to thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could travel anywhere in the world and leave your computer at home, but still be able to access it and the data on it? Then, I found that it was not only possible, but also free!
Would you like to know how to do this and be able to travel computer free? I thought you might!
Now, we are making two assumptions here. One is that you are using Windows XP and the second is that you have a password protected log in on your computer. (If you aren’t password protected, read this article on how to do it. It will not work if you have leave the password field blank). Otherwise, if you said no to either of those, this tip will not work for you.
The program we’re going to be using is called LogMeIn and if you click here, you can go straight to its Web site to download the required software. Here’s the main page of their Web site:
Click Get LogMeIn Free, as shown above.
On the screen that follows (see below), select LogMeIn Free.
You will then be greeted by the following screen, which asks you to complete a number of details. (It’s quite normal in this situation).
Fill them in and then proceed by clicking Go.
You will then find this message (which can be misleading), suggesting that you haven’t yet installed a computer. In any event, click on Add Computer to begin the download of the software (see second screen below):
You will then have this choice to make:
Go ahead and choose the Typical installation choice.
Next, give your computer a meaningful name that will enable you to identify it.
A few short seconds later, you should get this screen, which will tell you that all is well.
After that, you might be greeted with the following warning. Now, there is nothing sinister about it. It’s just some browsers being cautious. If you get it, you can safely click on Accept to allow this certificate permanently.
Now, before you go any further, head over to your e-mail program and check for an e-mail from LogMeIn. It will ask you to confirm that it was you who signed up with them and it will ask you to activate your account. The easiest way is to click on the link enclosed (see picture below):
At this stage, it is possible that you will be asked to reboot your computer. Do so if requested.
Now, go over to another computer and visit the LogMeIn Web site, which is http://www.logmein.com. Once there, log in with the e-mail address and password you registered with.
Hit Log Me In and you will see this screen open up:
Click on your home computer (in the above case NICOLA) and the following screen will tell you that you are being connected. By the way, don’t be put off by the fact it says you have the Pro (Trial) version. After 30 days, you will be given the option of upgrading to the paid version, but if you decline, it will revert you back to the free version again.
You will then get the following request, which is where you will fill in your Windows username and password:
And then this:
The only choice we are interested in is the first: Remote control. So, click on this and accept the defaults offered in the following screen:
Next, you will get this screen. Wait until the word “Ready” shows and then close it.
Then, as if by magic, you will suddenly see the desktop of your home computer in front of you, either like this:
Or, if you click the Full Screen button (top left), like this:
The most amazing thing is that you can use it exactly as if you were sitting at home or in the office in front of your computer! And just imagine the look of surprise from anyone actually looking at the real screen. It will suddenly take on a life of its own! You can run programs, download and read e-mails, with virtually no limitations.
So, there you have it. You can take your computer with you without actually taking it with you by using LogMeIn. Leave it at home and let LogMeIn control it for you, wherever you are!
It’s like magic!
~ David Woodford