GoToMyPC for iOS review

GoToMyPC for iOS is a remote-access tool for controlling Windows or Mac computers from afar, but is it worth a monthly subscription fee in the face of free alternatives? Scott Colvey taps in to find out.

When typed input is required, the iOS keyboard can be summoned by an icon press or three-finger tap. A scrolling button bar, meanwhile, provides access to special keys, like the Windows and Function (Fn) keys on PCs and Command (Cmd) on Apple computers.

GoToMyPC can also display a floating panel with cursor keys, which is more useful than it perhaps sounds; the virtual pad can be used for navigating remote document more easily, for example

GoToMyPC for iOS

GoToMyPC's virtual cursor pad is useful for scrolling around remotely-displayed content

We've already noted that GoToMyPC is more secure than LogMeIn for iOS by default, simply by dint of the unique access codes that it insists are applied to each associated computer. It also has a few other useful security tricks.

Along with configurable session time-outs (15 minutes' of inactivity being the default), it's possible to have the remote computer automatically lock itself if the session is terminated unexpectedly. The remote computer's display can also be blanked for the duration of the remote control session, so if someone happens to be snooping at the far end, they won't be able to see what you're doing.

Another handy security option is the ability to generate a list of single-use passwords as a kind of two-factor authentication. These mean that even if the other static login credentials are somehow breached (all connections via GoToMyPC's servers are subject to 128-bit encryption, incidentally), a potential hacker still can't access a remote computer.

GoToMyPC for iOS

Most of GoToMyPC's settings must be tweaked on the home computer, which isn't ideal when working remotely

GoToMyPC's performance can be tweaked via a simple speed-appearance slider control, which progressively disables/enables the remote computer's various visual attributes as required. However, as with most other settings, this is managed via the client software on the host computer and navigating the small dialog box can prove awkward when working remotely.

Verdict

GoToMyPC for iOS is a reliable and useful remote-access app that is in a handful of respects better than LogMeIn for iOS. However, those advantages are minor when considering the ongoing cost of GoToMyPC’s subscription plans. By contrast, LogMeIn for iOS is free and can be associated with an unlimited number of computers. Of course, LogMeIn offers various paid-for access tools and ‘Pro’ services, but we’re comparing the iOS apps here and on that mark alone, there’s little contest. GoToMyPC for iOS is a fine effort, but it’s competing with a free alternative that’s just as good.

Requires Apple iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, iPod touch (third or fourth generation), iPad or iPad 2 running iOS 4.2 or later. Also available for Android 3.0 onwards.

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