You cannot compete in today’s world unless you have complete access to your digital assets 24/7. Consult our list below to learn about the best remote desktop software to keep you connected all the time.
The Best Remote Desktop Software to Keep You Connected Wherever You Are
We have rounded up the best remote desktop software for connecting to your own machines or remote servers. Read on to learn which is the best with the most robust features.
- Remote PC
- Zoho Assist
- ConnectWise Control
- Chrome Remote Desktop
- Remote Desktop Manager
- Remote Utilities
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1. Remote PC
Various online reviews give RemotePC 4.5 out of 5 stars for reliability, scalability, and security. Other benefits of using this remote desktop program are good speed, flexible pricing even for large organizations, and the program uses very little in the way of system resources.
Users love the collaboration tools like built-in chat and a whiteboard. RemotePC is cross-platform and runs on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux. However, mobile apps are not as good as the desktop versions, and they need some improvement.
- Cross-platform support.
- Flexible, scalable pricing plans.
- Collaboration tools built in.
- Unlimited concurrent sessions.
- Drag-n-drop file sharing between host and client computers.
- Print remotely.
- Some business users complain about the pricing.
- Mobile apps are not up to par.
- No audio/video chat.
2. Zoho Assist
Starting at $8/month, Zoho Assist is another excellent option for remote desktop access. The software is packed with features like remote printing, file transfer, chat, multi-monitor navigation, reboot and reconnect features, wake on LAN, diagnostic tools, and more.
Zoho Assist is designed for support personnel who need to access multiple systems and servers, and it also provides unattended access. You can connect to almost any device. Robust security is baked in, and you can customize the interface to meet your needs. You can try Zoho for 15 days free.
- Voice and video chat.
- Powerful tools.
- Remote printing.
- Free version is limited.
- Could get pricey for large organizations.
- Unattended version limits you to 25 computers.
Although Connectwise Control has some impressive logos on their website as partners, the software is far from perfect. It does boast of great security and excellent support, both of which are important in remote desktop software. The pricing is higher than the competition, and users complain of serious performance issues like lag and unresponsiveness.
ConnectWise Control includes specialized tools for IT and tech support professionals. It starts at $19/ month for a single license, which allows you ten unattended access agents and one session. The plans go up from there.
- Good security.
- Excellent support.
- Powerful tools for IT professionals.
- Not super intuitive.
- Performance issues (lag and unresponsiveness).
- Not the cheapest option.
In our opinion, one of the best free remote access software options is TeamViewer. The company has a large following of more than 8 billion devices connecting using this software. The interface is easy to use, the security is top-notch, and the system includes both Augmented Reality (AR) and Internet of Things (IoT) functionality.
They offer a well-featured free version, but the professional version can be pricey ($49 for a single license). However, it does come with an impressive array of features. The software is cross-platform and will work on almost any device.
- Record sessions to playback later.
- Great tool for remote assistance.
- Single-use passwords for better security.
- Screen sharing.
- Audio/video collaboration.
- Remote install and wake on LAN features.
- Does not work great on slow internet, could lose connection.
- Very expensive for professionals.
If you are in the market for a simple solution for remote desktop solutions, Chrome Remote Desktop might be the answer for you. Chrome Remote Desktop is free forever but don’t expect it to come with any bells and whistles. It is pretty paired down yet straightforward to use.
You can use it as a Chrome extension, but that means both devices must have Chrome installed. It works great between a PC or Mac and a mobile device. There are some missing features and commands, but it will get the job done for many in a pinch.
- Free forever.
- Works on Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.
- Limited feature set.
- Cannot print remotely.
- No file transfer feature or chat.
- Requires Chrome browser.
Remote Desktop Manager is another remote desktop control program that is geared towards large companies and tech support professionals. They do offer a version for individuals, which is free but limited. With both versions, you can launch connections with one-click.
The Enterprise version provides some extra features like password vault integrations and better security, including two-factor authentication, auditing, reporting, and many multi-user features. You can use this software as an add-on with VPN programs and export sessions in Excel.
- Export sessions.
- One-click connections.
- 60+ integrations.
- Excellent password features.
- Good security.
- Free version is limited.
- Costly Enterprise version (single user $200 and a site license of $5000).
- Not great for small companies.
Splashtop is the remote desktop solution for everyone, from IT professionals to individuals helping family and friends with PC problems. It’s cross-platform so that you can use it on almost any device. You will love its drag-n-drop file transfer feature.
It has all the standard features you would expect, like chat, remote print, remote wake, remote reboot, session recording, and multi-monitor support. You can start with a 7-day free trial, but you have to buy a subscription starting at $25/month if you want to continue.
- Powerful security features.
- Reliable and fast connections.
- Pretty affordable, even for businesses.
- Easy to use.
- Connect to multiple unattended computers to perform maintenance.
- Ticket and chat support.
- Some features are missing on some devices.
- Free plan is lacking.
GoToMyPC is an offering from one of the first commercial remote desktop companies, LogMeIn. They offer a 7-day trial to use the software. Although it is advertised for business and individuals, it is not the best product to choose if you are performing maintenance or tech support for many users.
They do provide excellent security, but some users have experienced lag using the program. LogMeIn has good support if you run into problems.
- Supports Mac and PC.
- Multi-monitor support.
- File transfer between devices.
- Copy/paste feature.
- Not as powerful as some of the other contenders.
- User complaints about responsiveness.
Remote Utilities’ website is a no-frills affair. It’s pretty basic, which makes you wonder about the credibility of the product. They have a full-fledged Windows version, but the Mac and Linux versions are still in beta.
It’s very affordable, but purchasing online, you are met with a bare-bones shopping interface; again, you question the company’s validity. The security is 2FA, which might mean it’s missing some extra layers you want and need.
- File transfer.
- Video calls.
- Session recording.
- Only works on Windows.
- Lifetime single license $99.
Anydesk has been around since 2014 and uses proprietary software that promises latency-free collaboration. Their motto is AnyWhere.Anytime.AnyDesk, and they mean it. They boast of 300+ customers, and their software features excellent military-grade security, fast, reliable performance, and an easy-to-use interface. It also works on every platform, including Raspberry Pi.
They offer both a cloud and an on-premise version. You can try it free then pay from $11-$52.49. AnyDesk was made for commercial enterprises that need remote connectivity and collaboration. Other than being a bit pricey when you get into the higher tiers, AnyDesk has everything but the kitchen sink.
- Session logging.
- Address book.
- Custom clients.
- Unlimited devices on the premium version.
- Unlimited concurrent sessions with premium.
- Pricey for large companies.
What is Remote Desktop Software?
Remote desktop software is software that allows you to access another computer remotely. Using remote computer access tools, you can provide technical support to a client, friend, or family member. You can also access resources within your home or office network when on the road.
The ability to connect remotely offers a whole host of advantages, including being cost-effective. When you can remotely connect to a computer miles away, it saves on travel costs, gas, environmental concerns, and saves time. Consult our list above of the best remote access software to find the tool best suited for your needs.
Who Needs Remote Desktop Access Software?
Technical support people need remote desktop access software and various tools to perform maintenance and repairs remotely. Software companies may also offer remote desktop services to help train new users.
If you are the person that everyone in your family or friend-group calls to get technical help, you will want to use the best remote desktop software you can, so you don’t end up driving over to their house in the middle of the night to fix a computer problem.
Other people that may use remote desktop access software are teams that need to access company resources or log into specific desktop systems to read files or perform functions remotely.
What Do Remote Access Tools Have to Offer?
There are a couple of different types of remote access software. The first is operating system (OS) based and built-in, making it one of the best free remote access programs you can use. The benefits of using OS-based remote access software is that you don’t have to install anything, and you know it works perfectly with your operating system. However, these tools can be limited with a standard feature set but no extra frills.
The other type is third-party software offered by various vendors. Typically, you will need to download the software and install it. However, some may operate completely within an internet browser with nothing to install. These programs may offer extra features that are not included with your OS-based option, but you may have to pay for it.
Which Remote Desktop Software Fits You Best?
The type of remote software that will fit you best will depend heavily on the reason you need to use it and your budget. If you are looking for something quick and easy to lend an occasional hand to someone, then you may choose a different program than someone who needs a robust, reliable solution to support many different remote clients.
Some of the features you will want to consider before choosing are:
- File management.
- Screen capture and video.
- Waking a sleeping computer to access it.
- Using remote control with mobile devices.
- Cross-platform access (accessing Windows machines with a Mac, etc.).
- Screen sharing.
- Rebooting or turning on or off a computer.
What Do You Need to Know About Security?
When choosing the best remote desktop access software, be sure to look into the safety and security of the option you like. You want to ensure that your end-to-end connection will be encrypted and not vulnerable to interception. You also want to make sure once you install a tool on your device, it doesn’t leave any open doors for hackers to stroll through. Check online reviews and research the security and reliability of each product before you choose one to use.
Are There Any Possible Issues That Can Occur to Remote Desktop Software?
With any hardware/software solution, there can be issues. Remote desktop software relies on your hardware to work and the internet for connectivity. If you have a spotty internet connection, your session may break while you are in the middle of performing some function. If you are on a shared ISP line, it could slow way down and make working remotely excruciating. Test a few free versions to see how well they operate with your internet speed.
Additionally, opening up your computer for remote access can pose certain privacy and security risks. Be sure to choose a program with proven reliability, robust security built-in, and make sure you configure your settings to protect your privacy and data.
Common Remote Desktop Software FAQs
Below are the most common remote desktop software FAQs to help you choose which to use and what is best for your situation.
How can I remotely access another computer?
Using the list above, choose a program you want to use. Install it and configure it properly, and then you need to have your friend, family member, or client configure theirs on their end. Once you do that, you can create a one-time or forever connection to log in when you need to help fix things or perform maintenance functions.
How can I access my work computer from home?
Your employer may have a VPN solution making it easy for you to use remote access software to log in and connect from home. Otherwise, you can use one of the programs above. However, you may need specific settings from your company’s IT department to help you set it up. You will need a good internet connection, so you don’t lose any work.
What is the best remote desktop software?
That depends on your needs and how much you want to spend. If you are looking for a great free product, we highly recommend TeamViewer. It offers a robust free version, but the paid subscription can be pricey. If you want an inexpensive option that is feature-rich and affordable, choose RemotePC.
What is the best free remote desktop software?
In our opinion, the best free remote desktop software is TeamViewer. It is secure and private. You use one password per session so that no one can connect to your computer without the new password. It’s easy to use, and you have full functionality of the remote device with each session. You also have the option of paying for an upgraded version if you want even more features.
What is the difference between RDP and VPN?
Although both a VPN (virtual private network) and RDP (remote desktop protocol) are similar, they are also very different. A VPN allows you to join an entire network (like connecting to your employer) and permits you to access private resources while on the network. However, a VPN is limited to only the resources already shared on the network. Therefore, a VPN performs a singular function but is not very flexible.
An RDP is different, and it is software that allows you to remote control an entire computer from a separate location. Typically, when using an RDP connection, you can control everything, including administrator settings, software installed on the machine, and peripheral devices connected to it. There is also the question of security. Some cybersecurity experts recommend using a VPN over an RDP connection for maximum privacy and security.