Battle of the Remote Desktop Connections

LogMeIn Android App   vs. Wyse Pocketcloud Android App

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.

QR Code Wyse Pocketcloud Pro RDP/VNCWyse Pocketcloud Pro RDP/VNC ($14.99)

QR Code Wyse PocketcloudWyse Pocketcloud (Free)

QR Code LogMeIn Ignition AppLogMeIn Ignition ($29.99)

7 Responses to Battle of the Remote Desktop Connections

  1. Hello,
    Actually on the Pro version VNC encryption is still unavailable in standard mode: http://pocketcloudsupport.wyse.com/entries/20488078-when-connecting-via-vnc-i-get-a-vnc-password-wrong-message

    If you need encryption you need to use the auto-discovery (installing companion app on server’s side) using google’s password, which I don’t like… why not enable a separate auth too btw?
    Anyway, using auto-discovery it appears (http://community.wyse.com/forum/showthread.php?6764-VNC-Encryption-Free-Version) that connections are tunneled via the pocketcloud companion app on the server. Stated infact: Secure 128-bit encryption when using Auto Discovery

    To be honest… I love the app, but consider the price correct only for a fully complete work and it is not.
    Assuming that the companion app is to be avoided in most business scenarios, then RDP and VNC should support the native/standard encryption systems.

    I will change my review right now to 2 stars, I’m on strike 🙂

    Hey actually I’ll change it to 1 star:
    it also does not work with all qwerty droids/hardware keyboard I tried it on.

    I have tested three portrait qwerty devices (à la blackberry): motorola droid pro xt610, motorola pro+ mb636, samsumg galaxy y pro b5510.

    Alt+symbols do not work (so neither do numbers) and the software keyboard is not available untill you tilt the phone to landscape.
    This is not acceptable for portrait qwerty choosers.

    on 2X client the keyb works but supports no VNC nor VMview profiles.
    Ericomm’s client supports keyboards best but is quite crappy as a rdp experience (they sell their own accellerator).

    So I guess that for VNC encryption we need to pay a full price RealVNC 6 euro app and for portrait qwerty minority any of those free rdp apps will do better.

    For all the rest of the market it is a ok… great on tablets (p1000 and sgt 8.9) and slider qwerty phones (use it happily on motorola droid 3 / xt860 ca) if you don’t care about vnc encryption (linux boxes work, but companion is not available – and I would not want it anyway).

    GG

    Still on strike though 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment. I haven’t seen those issues, though I’m using a full touchscreen, rather than a QWERTY keyboard. I use Logmein Ignition, for the simple fact I paid $40 for the program, I might as well burn it up.

  2. This is also good.
    The software works well, Ammyy Admin doesn’t require installation or specific config, works behind gateways NAT as well as within one LAN.

  3. LogMeIn is decent, but I’m not a fan of browser-based applications due to security concerns. I use RHUB’s on-premise appliance, and it’s Fort Knox.

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.