Best Remote Desktop Software Comparison: Top 10 RDP Apps 2021

Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Michael Scheiner
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You’ve by now realized you can access your desktop from anywhere, so it’s time to learn a thing or two about remote access programs. This article breaks down the best remote desktop software on the market in 2021. First off, we explain a bit more about remote desktop programming, then we run down the list of the top 10 remote desktop connection programs. We look at specific niches, benefits and drawbacks, and compare the costs.

 

 

Best remote access software comparison chart (top 10 highest rated)

Product

OS /Devices

Best for

Price starts at

URL

RemotePC

Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome OS

Best remote desktop software overall

$29.62 for 1 license on 2 computers

visit

TeamViewer

Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPadOS, iOS, Chrome OS

Top remote desktop app for team collaboration

$60.90 per month, billed annually

visit

LogMeIn Pro

Windows, Mac, Linus, Chrome OS, Android, iOS

Great remote viewing software

$30 per month, billed annually

visit

GoToMyPC

Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

Best RDP client for Windows

$28 per computer per month, billed annually

visit

Chrome Remote Desktop

Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS

Top RDP software for Chrome and Android

Free

visit

SplashTop

Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome OS, Linux

Good RDP software for IT departments

$60 per license per year

visit

Zoho Assist

Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome OS

Top cross platform remote desktop app

$10 per month, billed annually

visit

VNC Connect

Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, iOD, Android

Cheapest remote desktop access software

$3.39 per month, billed annually

visit

Remote Desktop Manager

Windows, Mac

Most secure remote desktop software

Contact vendor

visit

AnyDesk

Windows,

Mac, iOS, Android,

Linux, Raspberry Pi, Chrome OS

Best remote desktop for Mac and iOS

$9.90 per month

visit

 

 

What is remote desktop software & what does it do?

Remote desktop protocol software, sometimes called RDP software, is an incredibly useful tool for both personal and business purposes. It’s the kind of program that lets you control another computer, called a host computer, while using a different computer from a distance. There are no real physical limitations as to how far you must be from the host computer to use RDP systems to control it, as the system of control occurs via an internet connection.

Most RDP providers function across different operating systems. This means you can control a Windows computer from a Mac or vice versa, with Chrome OS now often also included. The same thing goes for Apple and Android mobile devices. Sometimes you get the added functionality of working with Linux or Raspberry Pi systems when doing remote access work.

There are a few types of remote desktop software on the market. Some of them specialize in allowing individual users to access their home desktops from other computers or from their mobile phones. When it comes to more professional uses for remote access tools, the possibilities are many. Team leaders can grant remote access to databases and assign roles and delegate tasks. RDP software is one of the fastest and most secure ways to do things like file sharing and remote printing.

Perhaps one of the most important functions of remote desktop protocol software is for IT departments and other support helpdesk purposes. For example, if a customer is having trouble with their computer, an IT technician can gain remote access to that computer, taking over mouse and keyboard control, to look for problems like bugs or bad code so they can fix it. This is clearly far superior to the old days when you’d have to call a computer expert to come over to wherever you are to check out your computer and fix any issues.

 

What is the best remote desktop software? Here’s our top 10 list:

Enough of our little explanatory introduction. Now let’s really take a deep dive into our best remote desktop software list. We’ll break down the top applications according to which computer system they work best with, like PC, macOS or Google Chromebooks, and also compare pros, cons and pricing plans.

 

RemotePC (Best remote desktop software overall)

Despite the name, RemotePC now works on PC, Mac and Linux. This remote control PC software is great for anything from personal use to enterprise level businesses. Basic features here include things like file transfer, remote printing, whiteboard sharing, remote reboot and video conferencing solutions for meetings. You get drag and drop file sharing between computers. This platform also lets you do session recording.

Pros:

RemotePC is a very standard remote desktop tool. The price is right for smaller operations on a budget, but it also lets you scale up as your business grows. The security here is tops using TLS v 1.2/AES-256 encryption. There’s also a good version of this for mobile devices for both Apple iOS and Android.

Cons:

When it comes to screen sharing, you have some limitations regarding the number of screens that can be displayed. The UI also looks a bit old fashioned.

Pricing:

  • Consumer plan starts at $29.62 for 1 license on 2 computers

  • SOHO plan starts at $44.62 for unlimited licenses on 5 computers, and $59.62 on 10 computers

  • Team plan starts at $224.62 for unlimited licenses on 50 computers

  • Enterprise plan starts at $449.62 for unlimited licenses on 100 computers

RemotePC

 
 

TeamViewer (Top remote desktop app for team collaboration)

TeamViewer started off in 2005. They boast that this remote desktop app has been installed onto over 2.5 billion devices. TeamViewer is the umbrella brand of many remote apps. These include modules for remote support for help desks, IT support, workflow solutions and videoconferencing. It employs two-factor authentication and end-to-end 256-bit AES encryption. There is iOS screen sharing and other mobile device access features. TeamViewer lets you do unattended access, which means you can get remote access to computers without a connecting partner on the other side.

Pros:

TeamViewer has many pros. You can use it securely without having to use a VPN. The file sharing options are very flexible and simple. The 4k remote desktop access works without a hitch. TeamViewer also has time-saving functionalities that are a big help for remote work. Finally, there is a free version to play with.

Cons:

The free version mentioned above is limited to personal use and cannot be used commercially. Using this system through proxy servers is still not fully functional. TeamViewer also depends on a top notch internet connection for optimal performance.

Pricing:

  • Single User plan starts at $60.90 per month, billed annually

  • Multi User plan starts at $112.90 per month, billed annually

  • Teams plan starts at $229.90 per month, billed annually

TeamViewer

 

LogMeIn Pro (Great remote viewing software)

LogMeIn is a huge name in remote desktop solutions. They have a veritable wealth of products with a range of remote access tools. The entire GoTo series of remote desktop products all fall under the LogMeIn umbrella. But perhaps most notable is LogMeIn Pro. It offers multi-monitor support and is good for an unlimited number of users. You get a whopping 1TB of storage here too. Remote printing is also on offer with LogMeIn Pro. This remote desktop system works on mobile and tablets too. There are plans for individual users up to small businesses.

Pros:

LogMeIn Pro is a very powerful remote access system which handles every major functionality in the field, with remote viewing being their strongest suit. You also get a solid number of customization features here. A free trial version is also a nifty way to test out the app.

Cons:

While LogMeIn Pro is a good remote tool for small businesses, it does not necessarily scale up to large businesses as well as some might expect. There have also been some complaints in the past about shoddy customer service, although it seems they are improving that all the time.

Pricing:

  • Individuals plan for 2 computers starts at roughly $30 per month, billed annually

  • Power Users plan for 5 computers starts at roughly $75 per month, billed annually

  • Individuals plan for 23 computers starts at roughly $135 per month, billed annually

LogMeIn Pro

 

GoToMyPC (Best RDP client for Windows)

GoToMyPC is perhaps one of the most popular remote access systems made by LogMeIn. It is a no frills affordable piece of software that takes care of most basic remote tools. The tool to transfer files is a snap and means less emailing and more organization. Multi-monitor support works quite well despite this being a trickier feature for other apps. One cool thing is that it has sound features: You can hear the music of the host computer you are accessing. 

Pros:

GoToMyPC is incredibly easy to set up, deploy and learn, meaning your team will have little downtime once they get up on this app. Also, despite the name’s preference for Windows, this works on other operating systems. GoToMyPC has great credibility when it comes to privacy and security.

Cons:

Though this is a relatively simple application, when you do need help, it can be a bit tough to get the right kind of customer support. The chatbot triage is weak and frustrating. There have also been issues reported surrounding logging in and logging out times.

Pricing:

  • Personal plan starts at $35 per month, billed annually

  • Corporate plan starts at $28 per computer per month, billed annually

  • Pro plan starts at $33 per computer per month, billed annually

GoToMyPC

 

Chrome Remote Desktop (Top RDP software for Chrome and Android)

If you want to be able to access remote computers when you know all involved are working on the Google Chrome browser or with Chromebooks, then Chrome Remote Desktop is a strong contender. You can easily access your computer from anywhere on the go with very little set-up fuss. The whole tool is built on Google’s very secure infrastructure. For collaboration in real-time, you can share screens with teammates. This is also a great way to do troubleshooting if you need to give IT professionals permission to access your computer during a remote session. 

Pros:

If you live and work on Google, the Chrome browser, or even Google Drive, then the Chrome Remote Desktop tool is a real winning piece of technology. It scores major points for its simplicity and ease of set-up. On top of that, it is free. As far as doing support sessions for remote devices on Chrome, there aren’t many negative things to say about this.

Cons:

This is more of a personal remote computer tool. That means it may be lacking in functionalities when it comes to more professional uses. In that way, it could be limiting regarding things like heavy file transfer or intensive tech support.

Pricing:

  • Free

Chrome Remote Desktop

 

SplashTop (Good RDP software for IT departments)

SplashTop comes right out of the belly of the beast: Silicon Valley. So they know their tech. They claim to have over 30 million users and over 800 million active sessions. SplashTop does remote access and remote support software from a number of solutions. These include remote desktop, remote learning, working from home and even a VPN alternative. It’s very popular for support helpdesk and IT departments too.  The SplashTop company has many individual products for personal use, businesses and enterprises. 

Pros:

SplashTop has many benefits and advantages specifically for businesses and individual entrepreneurs. It really lets small support teams take on the tasks of larger ones. The file transfer and remote printing are particularly strong for SplashTop. It’s also got a decent set of security features. The platform support is another advantage to this remote software solution. 

Cons:

Perhaps one of the main disadvantages of SplashTop is its pricing system. It can be a bit complicated with many different products and add-ons. And while sales teams try to be helpful, they can’t be blamed for mainly wanting to upsell their premium packages.

Pricing:

  • Business Access Solo plan starts at $60 per license per year

  • Business Access Pro plan starts at $99 per license per year

SplashTop

 

Zoho Assist (Top cross platform remote desktop app)

Zoho is a major player when it comes to cloud computing business SaaS, and very famous for its CRM platform. Zoho Assist is their version of remote access software. It specializes in unattended remote access. You get multi-monitor functionality, screen sharing, file transfer, and voice and video chat and messaging. Other support solutions include diagnostic tools and session recording. You can also share your entire device with one click to mobile apps for mobile support. Security is high-grade with AES 256-bit encryption and end-to-end SSL. There are integrations for Android devices, Apple devices like iOS and iPads and other service desk solution tools. 

Pros:

Zoho wins major points for having a great UI, very clean and minimal and intuitive. This is the look and feel we expect from most contemporary SaaS. It’s a fantastic tool for startups, especially with the competitive pricing.

Cons:

You might run into some limitations when it comes to things like remote printing and screen sharing. However, one can count on Zoho to always be improving their user experience.

Pricing:

  • Remote Support Standard plan starts at $10 per month, billed annually

  • Remote Support Professional plan starts at $15 per month, billed annually

  • Remote Support Enterprise plan starts at $24 per month, billed annually

  • Unattended Access Standard plan starts at $10 per month, billed annually

  • Unattended Access Professional plan starts at $15 per month, billed annually 

Zoho

 

VNC Connect (Cheapest remote desktop access software)

The company Real VNC is an outgrowth from the AT&T Labs in Cambridge, UK. The people behind it created VNC remote access technology and today VNC is used in over 160 countries. VNC Connect is their main remote access product. It works well across many operating systems. You get attended and unattended access. There’s file transfer, remote printing and chatting. The more advanced packages let you create virtual desktops and workstations via Linux.    

Pros:

VNC Connect is a decent tool for online remote team management. It makes it easy to remotely assign roles and permissions and keep remote teams in check. What’s more, the responsive team screen sharing UX is really smooth. Finally, the price is very competitive.

Cons:

While VNC does offer some mobile support, the mobile app could stand for a bit of a clean up and upgrade. This platform’s multi-monitor support functionality could use some improvement.

Pricing:

  • Professional Device Access plan starts at $3.39 per month, billed annually

  • Professional Instant Support plan starts at $16.99 per user per month, billed annually

  • Enterprise Device Access plan starts at $4.59 per month, billed annually

  • Enterprise Instant Support plan starts at $33.49 per user per month, billed annually

VNC Connect

 

Remote Desktop Manager (Most secure remote desktop software)

Brought to you by Devolutions, Remote Desktop Manager is a straightforward app to handle remote connections and password management. The latter stores all passwords and credentials in a secure remote system. Remote Desktop Manager has a range of IT solutions, like data sourcing and multiple vaults. Session sharing is quick and simple, with many tools for remote management to delegate tasks and set user access permission levels. 

Pros:

One of the good things here is the integrations. This integrates well with major tools like Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol and VNC. Another major benefit to this software is that there is a free version. Otherwise, you can get the Enterprise version, but you’ll need to contact the vendor to get those prices. Finally, the security here is among the best.

Cons:

While the free version is great, it does lack some of the more crucial functionalities. These include the shared database and vaults, two-factor authentication, reporting and auditing tools and a system that does role-based access.

Pricing:

  • There is a free version of Remote Desktop Manager

  • For the Enterprise Edition for IT specialists, contact the vendor,

Remote Desktop Manager

 

AnyDesk  (Best remote desktop for Mac and iOS)

AnyDesk started in 2012 when its creators were determined to make remote desktop software as lightning-fast as possible. Based out of Germany, today the app has been downloaded over 500 million times. For access and control you got your desktop sharing, and interactive access that lets you control the keyboard or mouse of other computers. There’s solid file management and remote printing. AnyDesk does unattended access nicely. You got mobile device management for iOS and Android phones. For collaboration there is whiteboard sharing, chat and messaging, and you can invite people to join sessions with minimal clicks. 

Pros:

AnyDesk might be the fastest remote tool out there, and this is one of its major advantages. It also happens to be a very lightweight software; downloading is only 3MBs. More pros for this app include all of its collaboration tools, especially the whiteboard feature. It's especially popular with Apple device users, from Macs to iPads and iPhones.

Cons:

The price might seem right for most people. However, if you want to use AnyDesk as a truly powerful business tool, you will likely need to shell out for the more expensive “Performance” edition, though that is not too expensive.

Pricing:

  • Essentials plan is $9.90 per month

  • Performance plan is $19.90 per user per month

  • For Enterprise plan pricing, contact the vendor

AnyDesk

 

What is the best remote management software for me? Our final points

While many more amazing remote desktop protocol software exist out there in the SaaS world, we are confident this list of the best remote access applications has got something for everybody. RemotePC is a great tool overall, but then again, so is AnyDesk, Zoho Assist and SplashTop. If you are on a budget, be sure to check out VNC Connect and Remote Desktop manager for cheap and free versions.

In the end, it’s all about your specific wants and needs. Are you just looking to have some remote control over your home computer while you are away? To do things like file management and have access to your home data? Or are you a team leader or manager looking to run a remote team? Maybe you are an IT specialist who needs remote access to solve bugs without leaving your personal space? Whatever it is, we are sure some of the RDP software on this list will have what you need.

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