Mac users with a MobileMe subscription may well be familiar with the Back to my Mac feature that enables you to connect to and use your Mac from another one anywhere in the world.
But it only works between Macs, and chances are you'll only have access to a PC when you really need access to that one essential file. Step forward, GoToMyPC for Mac.
GoToMyPC has been available to PC users for some years. Now the company has made a version for Mac users, so you can connect to your home Mac from any computer anywhere, as long as it's on the internet and can run Java.
The host Mac has to be running OS X 10.4 or later, but the client machine requirements are much lower. You need Windows 95 or later, or Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and you can even use it on Windows Mobile devices.
The price you pay Installing the software onto your host Mac is easy, and setting up an account takes just a few seconds.
But at £11.99 a month for one machine, you should make sure you'll use this service a lot.
There's a discount for taking a year-long subscription, so you only pay £107.99 for 12 month's service. A two-machine account is £17.99 a month or £159.99 a year, with any additional devices charged at £8.99 a month or £79.98 a year.
We used the service on a few different PCs and it proved impressive. The connection is fast and smooth, with logins taking mere seconds.
Simply navigate to the GoToMyPC website, log in and click on the computer you want to share. It really is easy. Even if you've never used a Windows PC before, there's nothing to worry about. Simply fire up the browser and in a few steps, you have your Mac in front of you.
The screen can be used in a window or at full size, and it's very responsive. You can't watch video, but a slideshow works just fine. We even typed into TextEdit without any delay.
There's no audio functionality as yet, so you can't use it to listen to your iTunes music or podcasts, but it's a feature on the PC version so we assume it'll make its way onto the Mac sometime in the future.
This isn't the only service of its kind available for the Mac, and the competition is much cheaper. LogMeIn Free is 100% cheaper in fact, and for one-off single users, it's just as good.
Even the paid-for service LogMeIn Pro is less than GoToMyPC, at £7.20 a month or £41.20 a year for one machine. And that offers increased functionality, such as desktop sharing and file transfer.
With the competition offering a free service, there's not much reason for single-machine users to pay for GoToMyPC. If you have a larger base and perhaps want support, there's more of an argument for the service, but it's still more expensive and less feature-rich than LogMeIn.
In isolation, GoToMyPC is really quick and simple to use, and lets you get on your Mac from anywhere in the world in an instant. However, once you look at the pricing and the additional features of GoToMyPC's competition, it looks less economical.
GoToMyPC for Mac works really well, but the cost is just a touch too much for our liking. It scores highly on usability, but fails on value for money.
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