3amLabs delivers free remote access management tool

Bolstering its lineup of remote access management offerings, 3amLabs Inc. on Thursday debuted three products including a free version of its flagship product, LogMeIn, that helps IT managers locate and manage remote access products.

Along with the free version, the company also rolled out LogMeIn Pro, which includes all the capabilities of the standard version of LogMeIn but adds features aimed at mobile users, and LogMeIn Scout, which helps administrators discover remote access products existing on their networks. The latter product also helps administrators define and enable LogMeIn usage policies on a network.

LogMeIn Scout fills in a “missing piece of the puzzle” for the company in terms of being able to offer a more complete solution for managing remote products, according to 3amLabs CEO Michael Simon.

“Essentially remote access products are off (of the) traditional corporate network. They are where non-corporate computers met the network. There are plenty of tools to manage things on the network, but very few that can manage things off the network. Scout can manage that communications process,” Simon said.

The new version gives administrators remote access to either business or home computers from a range of networked device, giving users full access to desktop applications. The product is built on an on-demand SSL VPN service, which includes security features designed to cut off unauthorized users, company officials explained.

Some analysts generally believe there can be significant cost advantages to using SSL VPNs.

“The simplicity and portability of SSL VPNs can lower the cost to implement remote-user VPNs for workstations, as well as access from non-corporate systems like PCs. Where traditional VPNs are not required, enterprises can expect immediate value from investing in SSL VPNs in the form of easier deployment and support,” said John Girard, vice president and research director at Gartner.

Scout, which is bundled free in LogMeIn, is able to identify not only copies of LogMeIn existing on a corporate network but also PC Anywhere GoToMyPC and VNC, Simon said.

“The two free products really go together. If you look at GoToMyPC, it addresses two of the main complaints people had, which was it is too expensive or administrators thought it was too difficult to control and so it wasn’t safe. This is what we are trying to address,” Simon said.

Some of the mobile features in LogMeIn Pro, priced at US$12.95 per month, include file and folder synchronization, secure file distribution, and remote-to-local printing. Using the synchronization features, administrators can transfer files as well as synchronize complete folders between remote and local PCs. They can also synchronize folders on multiple machines thereby keeping everything up to date, company officials said.

Used together, the new products can serve as an individual administrators own “individual VPN.”

“Once you get people to do a little remotely, they then want to do a lot remotely. I think you will see more and more apps coming along that plug into the SSL VPN service. They will be apps that do very specific things rather than just generic remote computing solutions,” Simon said.

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