LapLink Everywhere Review: Remote Desktop
|Inexpensive annual plan; good for those who require basic access to files, email|
LapLink is one of the cheaper solutions, at $49.95 for a lifetime license. It boasts cross-platform remote control and viewing with its browser-based access. PC, Mac, smart phone, even a Nintendo Wii can be used to control your host PC. How well does the experience of using LapLink match the advertising copy?
Sadly, LapLink's installation was not as painless as we'd hoped. The host computer needs to download a setup program, which unsuccessfully juggles control between the web interface and the computer. The crucial account setup process is elliptical and frustrating. Accessing the host computer happens through the web browser, either through LapLink's website or through a toolbar. This toolbar is Ask.com branded by default, so users should be aware that they need to choose not to have an Ask.com takeover. The toolbar is actually preferable to the LapLink web site, though the toolbar space in most people's browsers is already pretty crowded. Even after downloading the setup and toolbars, additional installations were needed on the remote computer in the form of Active-X components.
Unlike most other remote access services, LapLink does not expect users to exclusively use remote screen sharing and control for access to the host PC. You also have the choice of accessing an integrated Microsoft Outlook client and pulling files from a simple file-transfer screen. These work well enough, but seem underwhelming in an age of Gmail and online file access.
The advantage of a browser-based system is portability; virtually any computer can become a remote. That convenience comes at a real hit to performance, at least where screen-sharing and remote control are concerned. The redraw rate is frustratingly slow when moving windows around, and don't even think about watching any full-motion video (not that you would ever use remote access software to watch a full video, but you might want to preview something on your PC's hard drive or watch a short video with someone). One caveat: If you use a Mac as your remote computer, you can use the file sharing and the email access, but no screen sharing or control.
In comparison to Symantec's pcAnywhere, LapLink's product did provide a very high resolution image of the host computer, even if movement was clunky. It is worth noting that LapLink caused our host PC's display to revert from Vista to Windows basic. It's a cosmetic change, but a bit jarring.
Unfortunately, so much about LapLink was slow. Unlike what we experienced with Radmin, we never really forgot that we were using remote access, particularly when our browser crashed during filesharing. LapLink Everywhere is a fairly inexpensive choice, but unless you're particularly attached to the idea of access from a browser, we would suggest Radmin. It shares the same price class and is a much smoother, more comfortable ride.
Host System Compatability: Windows 98SE to Vista
Remote System Compatability: Mac OS X, Windows, Linux
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LapLink Everywhere Forum Posts
- LapLink Review
Here is NextAdvisor's review of LapLink: http://www.nextadvisor.com/remote_desktop/laplink_review.php