LapLink Gold 11.5
This easy-to-use remote control for your PC can also perform PC-to-PC file
transfers, schedule transmissions, synchronize two or more computers, remotely
run applications, and chat with users on the other end.
The package includes client and host software that must be installed on both
computers. This is an excellent and practical product for both novice and power
users. It can be used over the Internet.
Installation is very simple and direct from the CD. You can install the program
on up to three computers under the same license. The helpful 27 page Quick
Start Guide is informative and succinct. The complete Manual is on the CD.
The friendly interface is a split screen format resembling separate Windows
Explorer’s side-by-side, with each side showing the folder and file structure
of each of the two computers connected together - similar to Outlook. It has
one of the most proficient and intuitive file-transfer interfaces I’ve
seen. You can easily navigate through files on each machine, using standard
Windows hotkey commands and the convenient right-click menu, especially with
the addition of the LLG Shortcut bar at the left side of the window.
The operation of LLG functions in two modes: Connect and Services. The connection
can be established a number of different ways: serial cable, parallel cable,
network cable, modem, Direct LLG computer connections, Local Area Networks,
DSL, WiFi, etc.
I had serious problems establishing a connection, under certain circumstances.
For example, the situation gets complicated when your host machine has a dynamic
IP address. However, LLG does let you access host machines via an ILS (LapLink
Internet Locator Service) server. LLG’s pop-up Quick Step screens lay
out the setup process in plain English - novices will find this a blessing.
Its SpeedSync technology makes updating files faster because as updated files
are compared, only the changes are transferred. A security system, including
encryption, protects your valuable data at all times. You can synchronize files
and folders between two computers (or drives). It can be scheduled to run regularly,
transfer files, and disconnect. LLG also lets you print a document from a remote
computer to your local printer.
There’s a new killer app: Surf Up. With Surf Up, you (or others you allow)
can access an LLG-equipped PC over the Internet. If the LLG machine is behind
a firewall, however, you will need to open a port (LLG supports SSL). LL Internet
access via LL Everywhere - an added cost option.
Remember the DOS days, when LLG let you handle disk cloning? That feature
is back, thanks to PowerQuest’s Drive Image Lite, which is fully integrated.
I like LLG’s use of an address book metaphor to store the profiles of
machines you regularly connect to.
One feature that is part of the new version offers great promise but
is poorly implemented: the ability for remote control sessions to transit
corporate firewalls and to control machines across the Internet. This
feature shows great promise, but needs more work.
The remote control session is straightforward. Using the mouse and keyboard,
you can open documents, grab e-mail, launch a browser and run programs.
If there is someone at the other end, you can use both text- and voice-based
chat to carry on a conversation to, say, troubleshoot problems on the
LL has many security features, from requiring usernames and passwords
for incoming connections to 128-bit encryption of all data sent both
ways. Set user privileges folder by folder so that a remote caller
can access only specified parts of the host’s hard drive. Check the Firewall box in the dialog where you
set privileges to incoming remote users.
Phone support is free for the first 30 days, but after that, each call
costs. The help desk is open only nine hours a day (M-F) for both phone
and live computer chat sessions. Weekends you can search the knowledge
base or use e-mail. The live tech support folks are sharp and knowledgeable.
LLG Gold 11.5 performs flawlessly and contains just the right, no frills
tools-set. It is easy to use, robust and it supports plenty of different
connection options. Every IT support professional should have this
program in his/her tool kit plus any SOHO owner. For more info, updates,
FAQs, etc. go to www.laplink.com.
Richard Serbin is a HAL-PC member who is president of his own international
real estate development firm and regularly “toggles” between
desktop, laptop and the US of A. He can be contacted at email@example.com.