I recently took a little vacation to visit some family, and I wanted to experiment with remote access to my office. One of the previous hassles has always been the need to take my laptop to connect using VPN or the web through sites such as logmein.com.
This trip, since I own my gTablet, I decided to try remote computing without the laptop (although it still served as a backup, just in case). The idea was to test the usefulness of my two favorite remote connection applications, LogMeIn Ingnition and Wyse Pocketcloud.
I've used the browser-based LogMeIn program for several years. So, when they announced their Android app, LogMeIn Ignition, it was a no-brainer switch, almost. At $29.99, this app is expensive. It's even more "overly priced" when you consider that the other contender, Wyse Pocketcloud, is free. So, that made me wonder what the difference is, and whether there were advantages of one over the other.
For starters, and this is huge, the free version of Wyse Pocketcloud does not offer encryption. Only after an upgrade to their Pro version (still a bargain at $14.99) will you be able to add 256-bit NLA/TLS encryption on RDP access or 128-bit encryption for VNC connections. If you're accessing your office files from an unencrypted wireless connection (such as a county library – and why would you when there's encrypted WiFi hotspots and tethering) this could be disasterous.
So, with that big issue out of the way, it was time to decide which is
the better my preferred remote access app. And the answer: Pocketcloud Pro. However, the apps were comparable with minor flaws in each that annoyed me enough to not really prefer one over the other.
For instance, Pocketcloud performed much better in the dual monitor environment and the "touch-based" interface (I LOVE the ability to touch the desired desktop icon or function versus LogMeIn's traditional pointer-based interface). But, I could never figure out how to get RDP to work (it still isn't) on Pocketcloud, which is my preferred method of connecting remotely, and quite often the VNC connection would never log me in to my desktop until I force closed the application and restarted.
Aside from its annoying pointer, LogMeIn impressed me with its easy-to-access settings and keyboard, something that frustrated me about Pocketcloud. Not having to remember to press my menu button to access the keyboard or other settings saved me time and a headache.
The two key distinguishing factors (aside from price) though were Pocketcloud's "slide" feature for viewing dual monitors, and it's synchronization with my Google Apps account (you know how I love Google).
Unfortunately, to view another monitor, LogMeIn requires that you make the switch in the settings menu. This only takes a few seconds, but is just enough of a hassle to annoy me.
If you're looking for a way to take yourself away from the office with your Android tablet or smartphone, Wyse Pocketcloud or LogMeIn Ignition, are my choices for remote computing in the Android Market.
Wyse Pocketcloud Pro RDP/VNC ($14.99)
Wyse Pocketcloud (Free)
LogMeIn Ignition ($29.99)