Splashtop is no longer a company I consider a personal favorite. Its business practices have gotten increasingly shady over the last year, to the point where I can no longer defend what it’s doing. Still, the Splashtop service is very good, and I still have it installed on my devices. Splashtop claims that the reason for the subscription model for non-local access in Splashtop 2 is that it requires servers to handle the communication to improve speeds, and today I got to experience that first hand on my iPad.
Splashtop has had the ability to connect over the internet for a while, but in Splashtop 2 the feature was made into a subscription-based feature that you won’t get access to just from buying the app. The new method for handling the communication between the PC and mobile device is apparently a lot more involved than it used to be, and the speed increase is noticeable. I tried it on a fast internet connection today, and had next to no latency when connecting to my home computer. I did not try video as I was in a lecture at the time, but navigating my home Windows machine from my iPad was basically as fast as when connecting over a local connection.
While the speed when connected was much improved however, actually connecting in the first place was not. It took two tries to establish a connection, and I’ve also had issues connecting over local WiFi with Splashtop 2. The extra link in the chain is bound to add more potential error sources as well, and this version of the service is quite new after all.
I’m still not happy with the subscription model that Splashtop has introduced, mostly because it’s the latest in a long series of very questionable pricing changes that the company has implemented in the last year. I have to say though that being able to connect over the internet like that and have it be as fast as it was is worth the money, at least if I hadn’t paid for fifty different versions of the app already. I have to do some more testing on slower connections to really see what this new connection system can do, but as for a first impression, I’m impressed.