Remote Access: Join.me
Reviewed by Jaime Campbell, CPA
What It Is
Join.me, a product from LogMeIn, is a synchronous remote access technology. Currently available at no cost, it can be used both for remote logins and to hold conference calls and chats. Unlike the paid remote access services, someone must be present at each machine during the login process or to transfer files.
How It Works
If you are logging onto someone else's machine, no downloads are necessary. Simply go to the website http://join.me and in the Join field, enter in the code provided to you by the sharer. To share your machine, click "Share" instead and allow the application to run. Then close the application and make sure the box is checked off to keep the Join.me icon on your desktop. Installation complete!
Join.me works on PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, Android-based devices, and,in a limited fashion, the iPod touch.
Join.me is one of the smoothest no-cost remote access technologies available; screen quality is smooth, users can share control, and there is only a hint of a delay in the transmission.
Users with multiple monitors can choose which screen to share.Additional features include aconference call number, a chat tool, file transfers, and even Internet-based calling.
Unbelievably, all of these features are available in just a few clicks. The main controls are only five buttons in an icon-based array; this simple approach makes it easy for new users to quickly be successful with Join.me.
Lastly, the technology uses 256-bit SSL encryption, which is the same level of encryption used by online banks and e-commerce websites.
Cons include difficulties in resizing your view of someone else's screen once you have maximized it. Sometimes you have to wiggle the mouse to trigger the screen refresh. Lastly, scrolling is generally more easily done by the person sharing than by anyone controlling remotely.
The conference call feature has no scheduling component, and the access code is simply generated randomly when the Join.me session is initiated. Therefore you must take care of scheduling and coordination using other means, and send out the access code shortly before the session is due to begin.
The no-cost comparables which served as points of reference for this review include ShowMyPC, TeamViewer, Windows Remote Access, and Skype. Join.me beats the other no-cost remote access tools in terms of simplicity, screen quality, and intuitive, accessible, and valuable related features.
Jaime Campbell, CPA, M.B.A., CTT, MCT, is the director of specialized services at Bartolomei Pucciarelli, LLC in Lawrenceville, NJ. She provides consulting services and expert instruction on software used by CPAs and small businesses. Leveraging 12 years of teaching experience with 7 of those years in the accounting industry, Ms. Campbell keeps her industry skills fresh with special analysis projects, financial statements and tax returns. She is a Certified QuickBooks Professional Advisor, Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), Certified Technical Trainer (CTT) and Certified Microsoft Master, having earned the highest certifications in Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook. Ms. Campbell teaches business technology courses at Princeton Adult School and gives seminars and webinars on financial and technology topics. She is a member of the NJSCPA Technology Interest Group, NJSCPA Financial Literacy Committee, and an officer on the Mercer Chapter of the NJSCPA.
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