This has been a particularly busy week for remote access software, with SoonR announcing 100MB of storage and better Outlook integration and LogMeIn Hamachi named one of PC Magazine’s best free software downloads.
SoonR, of Campbell, Calif., lets you get to files on your computer via your mobile phone and LogMeIn Hamachi is a free VPN connection. LogMeIn is based in Boston.
If you’ve ever pulled upto your vacation hotel in Hawai, and realized you forgot that presentation you needed to approve quickly for your boss, these tools come in handy. However, no solution has hit the grandslam yet: A service offering remote access, which saves your work, syncs it on all devices, and automatically backs it up. We’re hearing from one company that is coming close to this nirvana, which we hope to report on soon.
Meanwhile, to round out our coverage, take a look at Palo Alto’s Avvenu.
Called Access ‘n Share, Avvenu offers a free service to remotely access files and share them. After installing a small download, you can use any web browser to search through and download every file on your computer. Then, if you decide you want to share something, just type in the recipient’s email address and they’ll be able to download that file or folder. There’s also an application available to download for $20 that lets you copy files between computers.
(Separately, Avvenu’s free music player made news recently; it lets you play your iTunes music collection from any computer or Windows Mobile smart phone. We wrote about it here, and TechCrunch and others have written subsequently here.)
As we covered here, with the remote access service, you don’t need to upload everything you want to share. Files stay on your home computer or laptop. On the one hand, the Avvenu view is immediately updated any time you change a document or save a picture. However, your computer has to be on and connected to the Internet anytime you want to use Avvenu to search it or share anything, which is a significant drawback. Also, the speed at which you share is limited to your home network connection, which typically doesn’t very well support multiple people getting large files at the same time.
There are paid options that give you storage space on the Avvenu servers, from $29.99/year for 5GB to $184.99 for 40GB. This increases sharing speed and doesn’t require your computer to be on.
VentureBeat has looked at a few of the many online storage and sharing companies — Phanfare, Box.net, YouSendIt, MyFabrik, and Omnidrive (which does remote access too), to name a few — here.