Citrix has extended its GoToMyPC software to offer Mac OS X support. Macs can now control other computers running any supported operating system – which includes various Windows, Unix, and Linux flavors – and those platforms can now access Macs as well. The software costs $19.95 per month or $179.40 per year for each computer on which it’s installed, with discounts for two or more computers under a single license. A Web browser and a downloadable plug-in are required for remote access.
GoToMyPC joins several existing services and software offerings for remote screen control. It enables a computer that has a private network address – one that’s assigned via network address translation, typically – to be reachable from elsewhere on the Internet. Along with remote control, GoToMyPC lets you hear audio played from a remote computer on the machine that’s controlling it, as well as print from a remote computer to a local printer.
The closest competitor is LogMeIn, which offers a free flavor for Mac users that includes just screen sharing; a Pro version with a monthly fee has long been available for Windows and is in beta testing for the Mac (see “LogMeIn for Mac Released,” 4 December 2007). While GoToMyPC has mobile software, it does not yet offer an iPhone client, while LogMeIn offers Ignition (see “LogMeIn’s Ignition for iPhone Provides Sleek Remote Access,” 29 December 2008).
Unlike LogMeIn, GoToMyPC doesn’t offer a free version, although there’s a 30-day trial. GoToMyPC includes file transfer and synchronization, while LogMeIn’s free flavor lacks those options. Both programs use a Web browser instead of a standalone application to manage remote control sessions.
GoToMyPC also competes with Back to My Mac, a Mac OS X feature introduced in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard that requires a paid MobileMe account to enable remote file transfer and screen sharing. Back to My Mac can be quirky to get working in networked situations where I’ve found LogMeIn functions perfectly, which is in part why I wrote “Take Control of Back to My Mac.” I haven’t yet had an opportunity to test GoToMyPC.
While Timbuktu Pro has a similar feature set to GoToMyPC, the product doesn’t punch through firewalls and gateways, relying instead on tunneling via Skype application services.