Take Your Work Computer on the Go

For many small business owners, sitting at a desktop computer all day isn’t an option.  But thanks to smartphones, tablets and numerous apps,  entrepreneurs can access their computer on the go.

LogMeIn (LOGM), the Woburn, Mass.-based app developer, makes an app for Apple products and Android-based phones that lets users access their computers when not in the office.  So when small business owners gets delayed at the airport or stuck in an off-site meeting, they can easily access their work.

Many small business owners have information on multiple computers, including laptops, and don’t want the hassle of lugging multiple devices on the go. Having an app like LogMeIn installed on all the disparate computers means the small business owner can access all the data remotely in one place, said Andrew Burton, vice president of products at LogMeIn.

The LogMeIn app sells for $29 in Apple’s app store, and according to the company, can be installed in minutes and on multiple computers. While apps to access computers remotely have been popular, the introduction of the larger-screen iPad, has boosted demand for these apps.

To install LogMeIn’s app, a user would search for it in Apple app store or in the Android marketplace, and download it. Once it’s downloaded to the phone another app is installed on the computer. Users will then be able to access their computer(s) from an iPad, iPhone, iTouch or Android-based device. Users can also access the desktop from a Web browser.

ZumoCast, a free app from Silicon Valley startup Zecter, lets users stream all files from their PC to an iPad or iPhone.  The app has video and music tabs built in so users can easily access their media on handheld devices. If streaming isn’t an option, the app also lets users download content to the device so it can be accessed in placed without Internet access.

For small business owners that may be concerned over security, Burton claims the app is just as secure as checking a bank account online. Burton noted that all of the access information and the information on the computer are encrypted, so no one at LogMeIn has the ability to view customers’ computers.

Apps like LogMeIn and ZumoCast aren’t reinventing the wheel by offering the ability to remotely access a PC. But Burton said what sets LogMeIn apart from others is the ease of use. Virtual private networks “requires IT involvement,” said Burton, noting that small business owners don’t want to mess around with complex technology.