17 Best Remote Desktop Software and Access Tools (Free & Paid)

Updated Oct 21, 2022.
Best Remote Desktop Software and Access Tools

Remote Desktop Software Tools have been a blessing to almost every organization in 2020.

With the pandemic bringing almost every activity to a standstill, it's these remote access tools that have helped businesses stay afloat.

Previously, remote desktop software tools were created with the IT professionals in mind. The main purpose of this software was to provide remote support.

Now, remote desktop software is being deployed to help employees access their systems at work and work remotely.

Even though remote access may be a new concept for many, the best thing about these tools is the ease of use and remote control that it helps to establish.

You can access any remote system that you are authorized to access and work on it as if you were sitting right in front of it.

That’s not it.

You can also transfer files between these two systems, access audio files on the remote computer, solve IT problems, conduct training, and demos, and even turn on or turn off your computer system remotely.

If you are evaluating different options to make a purchase, let us walk you through the best remote desktop software available in the market, how to choose one that fits your requirements, and how to use it.

Let’s begin!

What is the Best Remote Desktop Software?

  1. AnyDesk
  2. ISL Online
  3. LogMeIn
  4. DameWare Remote Support
  5. Parallels
  6. GoToMyPC
  7. Mikogo
  8. Splashtop Business Access
  9. Zoho Assist
  10. ConnectWise Control
  11. RemotePC
  12. TeamViewer
  13. Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager
  14. Chrome Remote Desktop
  15. GoToAssist
  16. RealVNC
  17. Goverlan Reach

1. AnyDesk

Best remote desktop access software for IT professionals who need fast access.

Anydesk Best remote desktop access software for IT professionals who need fast access.

While this remote desktop software can be downloaded for free by individuals for personal use, businesses require a paid subscription to get the most out of this tool.

AnyDesk was built specifically for IT professionals as they need a service with the lowest time lag, fast transmissions, high security, and fast frame rates. AnyDesk offers a wide range of valuable services that makes it stand out from most paid service providers.

You can use this tool to access any remote device that you are authorized to access. AnyDesk can be used across all devices and all operating systems. You can also use this tool to share files between two computer systems.

This remote access software consumes very little data despite being very fast and is extremely easy to use. All you have to do is download the 3MB AnyDesk file on your system.

AnyDesk offers customizable interfaces to businesses. If you are a customer support brand, you can use this feature to stay in tune with your brand image.

Since the remote computer that is being accessed stands a high risk, AnyDesk deploys high-level technology to ensure that each access is encrypted, authorized and every session is recorded.

Even though this software was created keeping IT professionals in mind, AnyDesk also offers a Home Office Solution for freelancers, independent employees, and organizations of all sizes.


Pricing of anydesk

If you are an individual, the best option would be the Lite version in the AnyDesk home office solution. Organizations and companies of all other sizes can choose from the other options.

The rates, however, vary depending on the number of employees you would like to connect using AnyDesk.

2. ISL Online

Best Remote Desktop Software for IT Professionals with the Highest Security Standards

ISL Online - Remote Support. Access. Work

ISL Online is a remote desktop software with reassuringly tight security. Remote sessions are protected with end-to-end AES 256-bit encryption and two-factor authentication. It also offers multiple layers of security such as automatic session recording, granular access, unique session codes, function transparency and many other customizable security features.

With this tool, you can provide remote support and unattended access to an unlimited number of remote computers. You will enjoy a quick and easy connection to remote computers.

This software has over 1M+ users globally, from small and medium-sized businesses to global corporations such as Avast, Canon, AT &T, Swiss Post and Konica Minolta. Due to its high level of security, many banks and government agencies choose ISL Online.

ISL Online is easy to use, and offers a transparent user interface and rich customization options. It is rated 4.7/5 on Capterra and received the “Best Ease of Use” badge based on real user reviews.

ISL Online provides very stable and reliable services for users, working well even in low-bandwidth environments. Thanks to its simple installation and deployment process, even beginners can use the software with minimal support and training.

ISL Online allows you to establish an RDP connection to a Windows computer in a remote network, without VPN tunnelling or any firewall changes.

You can use the remote desktop software tool to control mobile devices or computers remotely.

This software tool supports mobile devices (iOS and Android) and works on all major platforms, such as Windows and macOS. ISL Online provides good value for money and responsive customer support.


ISL Online - Remote Support. Access. Work - pricing

ISL Online offers a 15-day free trial with no credit card required. The prepaid plan offers pay-per-use, which is suitable for individuals. Growing businesses with cloud requirements will find the professional plan the perfect fit.

The self-hosted and enterprise plans are ideal for large organizations and banks.

3. LogMeIn

Best remote access software for companies that rely on remote work.

LogMeIn Best remote access software for companies that rely on remote work.

This remote access software can make it easy for teams working remotely to collaborate, access remote devices, and store all documents securely in one location.

LogMeIn allows you to access remote devices, share files and applications, and view most commonly visited websites on a remote device.

It offers its services in the form of LogMeIn Pro, LogMeIn Central, LogMeInRescue, GoToMyPC, LastPass, and a few more. The essence of all these services is that they allow you to stay in control of your devices, files, applications, settings, passwords, and more even while you work at a distance.

Most organizations that have opted for LogMeIn have done so during the pandemic and it has enabled their employees to safely work from home. The software might sometimes have some connection issues but is easy to use.

LogMeIn’s remote access works best when accessed from a local desktop rather than a mobile device or a tablet.

You can use LogMeIn to transfer files between the connected systems, share the desktop for training and demos, access audio on the remote system, print documents locally, and more.


Pricing of LogMeIn

Based on the product that you choose, the pricing varies. LogMeIn is, however, a bit pricier than its counterparts providing similar services.

4. Dameware Remote Support

Best remote access software for IT support teams.

Dameware Remote Support Best remote access software for IT support teams.

With remote work on the rise, Dameware eliminates the need for IT professionals to visit a site physically to solve software related issues.

The various products that Dameware offers make it very convenient to monitor, control, and resolve issues on remote computers and servers.

The Dameware Remote Access Software offers three different products to address different remote monitoring needs.

  • Dameware Remote Everywhere (DRE) allows you to access remote computers from anywhere in the globe with just the need for an internet connection.
  • Dameware Remote Support (DRS) is ideal for IT support teams by helping them monitor all the systems on their network without actually visiting the site unless it's for hardware support.
  • Dameware Mini Remote Control (MRC) is a smaller version of Dameware Remote Support and is more affordable than the latter.

DRE allows you to monitor remote systems even when they are in power-off mode or are sleeping. You can securely access all the information on the remote system that is needed to solve an issue, record sessions, and save them on the cloud, connect with end-users through pre-session or in-session calls, and more.

DRS offers all the services that MRC offers including a few more. It equips IT support teams with all the tools that they need to solve technical problems.

Some features offered include multi-factor authentication, multi-platform support, active directory management, and centralized license management.


Pricing of Dameware Remote Support

Each of the products come in different price ranges and vary depending on the number of technicians who would be operating it. DRE packages start at $540 and MRC, i.e. the smaller version of DRS starts at $270 per license.

5. Parallels

Best remote access tool for working remotely.

Parallels Best remote access tool for working remotely.

Not only can you use Parallels RAS to solve your IT software issues remotely, but this tool can also help you equip your employees to work remotely by connecting to their mobile phones.

Employees can continue working on active applications and desktops even when switching networks, multi-task on different windows and applications on remote devices, print documents locally from remote devices, and much more.

Employees can set up their required applications on the applications menu on their mobile screen and navigate using gestures like zoom-in, swipe up, drag, and more. Parallels also make it extremely easy to share files between your computer and your mobile device.

To ensure there is no unauthorized access to remote computers, admins can restrict access to devices or even set custom access policies specific to each user.

It also deploys multi-factor authentication and third-party security solutions such as DualShield, SafeNet, Azure MFA, and more to ensure complete security of all your data.

This remote desktop software gives you round-the-clock and round-the-week access to all authorized computers in your network.

In order to use this software, you first need to install the software on the remote computer you want to access and then download the relevant app on your mobile device that you want to use to operate the system.

Alternatively, you can also use the web version to access the remote computer from any other device.


Pricing of Parallels

Parallels offers three different plans where you will be charged on a per-user basis. If you have a large number of systems that you would like to connect with, you could also request a custom quote.

6. GoToMyPC

Best remote desktop software for connecting remotely to personal computers.

GoToMyPC Best remote desktop software for connecting remotely to personal computers.

The reason that this remote desktop software is ideal for personal computers and not for managing corporate computers remotely is the software’s inability to go through corporate firewalls.

You need to physically be present at the location of the remote desktop software in order to set it up so that you can manage it remotely.

All you have to do is download the software on the remote computer, create a GoToMyPC account and you can log into your remote computer using the account from anywhere in the world.

You can invite others through email if you wish to allow them to access your remote PC. However, to ensure that your data remains secure, the invitation is valid only for an hour.

Every piece of data that travels between your two devices is encrypted with 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standards. You also need to enter the access code every time you want to access the remote computer.

Additionally, GoToMyPC allows you to sync and share files between systems, print files locally, copy-paste between connected systems, and access audio on your remote computer.

It’s limited features keep it from being an ideal corporate choice but is a decent tool for personal use. Small organizations with limited need for IT support can, however, benefit from the services offered.


Pricing of GoToMyPC

GoToMyPC offers three different plans which can be billed monthly or annually. You can also utilize the 7-day free trial to determine if the solution suits your requirements.

7. Mikogo

Best remote desktop support software with web conferencing and collaboration tools.

Mikogo Best remote desktop support software with web conferencing and collaboration tools.

Often used as a substitute to Webex, this tool is mainly known for its web conferencing and screen sharing capabilities.

However, it does offer a decent remote desktop access feature for those who need to access their computers remotely or use it to access their customer’s computer.

It deploys the 256-bit AES encryption making all your remote access sessions, web conferences, and meetings encrypted. You also need to provide an access code every time you try to remotely access a computer.

You can also record and save your remote access sessions using this tool for future reference.

Some other features that this tool offers are cross-platform document sharing, session schedulers, multi-user whiteboard, file transfer, and profile manager.


Pricing of Mikogo

Mikogo offers a 14-day free trial without asking for any credit card details, unlike many other remote desktop software providers. While they do have a free version of the tool, the remote control feature isn’t a part of the free tool.

8. Splashtop Business Access

Best low cost feature-rich remote access software for business users.

Splashtop Business Access Best low cost feature rich remote access software for business users.

Splashtop offers remote access solutions for individuals, businesses, as well as IT teams with some common features and some features specific to each.

This remote desktop software allows you to access your remote system using phones, tablets, or computers as long as they can run Chrome on it.

Not only can you access your remote system using this software but you can send invitations to individuals or allow two team members to work on the same computer at once or even allow multiple members to access the remote system by controlling the access permissions.

Splashtop allows you to chat with the user at the other end of the remote computer, if any, through a chat window. It also gives you the power to turn on, turn off, reboot, or schedule a wake-up time for your remote computer.

Splashtop’s Remote Support packages are specially designed for technicians providing IT customer support for their companies and providing them with all the necessary access permissions, tools, and more required to access all the computers assigned to them.

Another solution that this service provider offers is Splashtop SOS. This solution allows IT support technicians to address software issues on remote computers as and when they arise.

Splashtop also offers a package for education, where teachers can share their screens and provide access to students around the globe to facilitate remote education.


Pricing of Splashtop Business Access

Splashtop offers different packages for business, IT, education, and others. Under each, there are further options to choose from and suit different needs. Splashtop charges its subscribers on a per user, per month basis.

9. Zoho Assist

Best remote access and remote support software for small companies with fewer employees.

Zoho assist Best remote access and remote support software for small companies with fewer employees.

Zoho Access is quite known for its performance along with the unattended remote access feature. There is no installation required and is a completely web-based solution.

The Zoho Remote Support software allows your clients to send you requests or report ad hoc issues. Your technicians can then use an access code and access the remote computers facing the problem and solve it.

This remote access software deploys several security features like 256-bit AES encryption, inactive session timeout, action log viewer, and more but lacks multi-factor authentication.

Zoho Assist offers two-factor authentication due to which previously used systems may remember your credentials and allow another person to access your system.

Under its Remote Support umbrella, some features that Zoho Assist offers are file transfer between connected PCs, in-session audio and video chat, scheduled support sessions, monitoring multiple monitors at once, and the power to reboot a system remotely.

Using the Unattended Remote Access feature, employees can diagnose and manage remote computers, manage power actions on remote computers, record remote activity sessions and set up session prompts if they are accessing remote computers with other end users.

You can also use this tool to share your screen with your customers to train them or provide demos.

Zoho Assist offers the option to customize your Zoho Assist dashboard and interface in order to match it with your brand’s identity.


Pricing of Zoho Assist

While Zoho Assist offers different plans for Remote Support and Remote Access, each package is calculated on a technician basis or the number of unattended computers.

They also offer concurrent session licenses on request which allow multiple technicians to access a specified number of remote systems at the same time.

10. ConnectWise Control

Best affordable remote desktop software for fast-growing companies.

ConnectWise Control Best affordable remote desktop software for fast growing companies.

ConnectWise offers two different packages for remote support and remote unattended access. Irrespective of the option you choose, you can access remote computers and solve issues quickly.

ConnectWise is very easy to set up and use.

While remote support can be specifically used to fix problems and act as help desks, remote access can be used for Internal IT, remote workforces, point of sale, and more.

The remote access feature allows you to continuously monitor systems even when they are not being used and can even be used to solve issues in the background without disturbing the end user’s work.

To keep your data during remote sessions secure, ConnectWise deploys 256-bit AES encryption and encrypts all the data being shared between systems. It also offers a lot of other layers of security so that no breach takes place.

It allows admins to set up role-based access, lock out users after a number of failed login attempts, provide detailed session audit logs, session timeout, two-factor authentication, and also records and saves video recordings of sessions.


Pricing of ConnectWise Control

ConnectWise offers three different pricing plans for its remote support package and bills annually or monthly on a per-user, per-connection basis. The remote access pricing is, however, custom pricing and depends on the number of unattended access agents.

11. RemotePC

Best remote access software for the safest remote exchanges.

RemotePC Best remote access software for the safest remote exchanges.

All you have to do is install the RemotePC software on the remote PC you want to monitor and you can then monitor and manage it remotely from any device or web browser.

Not only can you access your remote PC anytime throughout the day, but you can also choose who else has the permission to access it, access it using your phone or tablet, print files locally, and much more.

Using RemotePC can make the document management process on your remote PC easy by allowing you to share files between the two systems.

If you plan to use RemotePC to help your customers or end-users solve issues or provide demos and training, the tool also allows you to chat with them through in-session chats.

RemotePC secures all its remote exchanges using TLS v 1.2/ 256 bit-encryption and also assigns a personal access key to each person accessing a system remotely.

In case someone else tries to view an ongoing session without authorization, RemotePC greets them with a Blank Host Screen.

Some other features offered include activity logs, drag and drop file sharing, whiteboard, remote audio access, scalability, and more.

Like most other remote desktop software, you can either use it to access your computer at work while you work remotely, or use it as a customer support tool used by your IT support team.


Pricing of RemotePC

RemotePC offers five different pricing plans and has different solutions for individuals, businesses, teams, and customer support. You might be able to get a discount on the first year of your plan if you purchase a two year subscription.

12. TeamViewer

Best multi-purpose remote access software that can connect to any remote device.

TeamViewer Best multi purpose remote access software that can connect to any remote device.

TeamViewer can serve as a one-stop solution for the remote access needs of organizations of all sizes and from all industries. Not only can it run on all operating systems but can remotely control different kinds of devices which may or may not be computer systems.

Organizations can use this tool for remote access to systems, troubleshooting and incident management, and collaboration within teams.

TeamViewer does not require firewalls or infrastructure configuration but instead automatically chooses the best connection protocol and routing server.

End-to-end encryption ensures that all remote access sessions are conducted securely. You can remotely access devices even when they are unmanned, conduct repair and maintenance work, record remote screens, exchange files, draw on the remote screen using the whiteboard feature, share screens, and more.

Some other important features that TeamViewer offers under Remote Monitoring and Management include asset management, patch management, endpoint protection, and business data backup.

You can also use its website monitoring feature and monitor the performance of your websites remotely.


Pricing of Team viewer

TeamViewer’s pricing depends on the number of end-points that you choose.

It also offers a free version for non-commercial personal use. TeamViewer has an algorithm that helps them detect if their free version is being exploited for commercial use and prompts users to subscribe.

13. Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager

Best remote desktop software for managing remote help desks.

Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager Best remote desktop software for managing remote help desks.

Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager offers different plans for its users who need the software for personal use and for those who use it for business.

If you have a team of IT technicians who have access to multiple computer systems, the Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager brings all the connections in one place.

It also provides a secured and centralized vault to manage and store all your administrative passwords.

This tool could be especially important to IT teams as it supports a large number of data sources SQL server, Devolutions server, and many more for easy data sharing.

Using this remote access tool, not only can you send messages to a remote computer or host but can send them to multiple hosts at the same time.

You can also set up custom rules for each of these connections with the hosts. You can therefore access multiple IP addresses from one screen.

Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager also offers some companion tools like Web Login, Authenticator, and the Remote Desktop Manager Agent.


Pricing of Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager

While Devolutions offers other tools too that might be useful for your business, you can either buy them individually or club them into bundles to avail of discounts.

14. Chrome Remote Desktop

Best remote desktop software that is completely free to use.

Chrome Remote Desktop Best remote desktop software that is completely free to use.

This remote access software is completely free to use and does not offer any subscription or any perks. All you have to do is click on the ‘get started’ option, download the software, and set up the computer which can then be accessed from another device.

Every time you log in to the remote device, you will be asked for your six-digit PIN which you can change anytime.

The same process applies if you want to opt for the remote support version as well.

You can also use this service to access a remote device that has been set up previously by simply providing an access code. However, as the name suggests, you can access Chrome Remote Desktop only through the Chrome Browser.

The tool has a very minimalistic interface and offers very few functions unlike most other paid tools, which makes it a good choice only for personal use. It does not serve the purpose of organizations with complex IT requirements.

Chrome Remote Desktop also has a mobile application but offers even fewer functionalities than the desktop version. However, it serves the purpose of accessing a remote desktop on-the-go.


Chrome Remote Desktop is completely free to use for individuals as well as businesses.

15. GoToAssist

Best remote support software for customer support organizations.

GoToAssist Best remote support software for customer support organizations.

While this tool can help your team work remotely, it can be especially beneficial for you, if yours is a customer support organization.

Previously known as RescueAssist, GoToAssist provides all the tools that a technician may need to solve a customer’s PC related issues. GoToAssist allows you to connect to a remote desktop using a desktop app or even a browser.

It is extremely easy to transition from a call or a chat with the end-user to a support session. Using this tool, your technician can navigate between 15 end-user screens at once, securely share files required for resolution of an issue, configure software or hardware components remotely.

A plus is that GoToAssist also offers integration with Slack making it easy to communicate with end-users who also use Slack.

GoToAssist has also tried to ensure that its customers’ end-users are self-sufficient. When an issue arises, your end-user can access a knowledge base of support articles created by your technicians. If they don’t find what they are looking for, they can raise a ticket through email.

Once a ticket has been raised, the end-user can also check the status of the issue through their online portal.

One of the features that makes it a great option for remote support is the unattended access feature, which eliminates the need for the end-user to be present at the system for the technician to solve their problems.


Pricing of GoToAssist

GoToAssist may be expensive if you choose the monthly billing option as they charge on a per-agent basis.

They also charge you for a mobile add-on on a per-agent basis, so you need to decide whether you want to pay for service on-the-go or limit it to when your employees have access to their systems.

16. RealVNC

Best remote access software for desktop and mobile for all industries.

RealVNC Best remote access software for desktop and mobile for all industries.

Whether you are an educator, a professional, an entrepreneur, a developer, a hobbyist, an integrator, an IoT engineer, RealVNC has a reputation for being helpful in a wide range of industries.

This software is relatively easy to use and costs less than many other good services. You can also try RealVNC for free for 30 days to make sure that you have made the right choice. If you are looking for a solution for non-commercial use, RealVNC can offer you that as well.

It offers three different products but multiple solutions based on what you are looking for.

  • VNC Connect offers ready-to-use software for remote access for professionals and entrepreneurs.
  • VNC Developer is aimed at IT technicians who need the tools and solutions for remote support.
  • VNC Viewer Plus is for remote access for the Intel vPro platform.

Based on the product that you choose, RealVNC offers multi-factor authentication, granular access, 256-bit AES encryption, rich session permissions, file transfer, printing, in-session chat, on-demand access, and a lot more.

Under the VNC Developer option, RealVNC offers you two solutions to choose from, both very rich in features.

VNC Viewer Plus on the other hand is a collaboration with Intel Corporation and provides remote access for supported devices.


Pricing of RealVNC

Based on the number of devices you would like to connect and the type of plan that you choose, RealVNC offers custom quotes billed annually.

They also offer a Home subscription for non-commercial use for hobbyists or for those who would like to connect to other computers for personal, non-commercial use.

17. Goverlan Reach

Best remote desktop software for SMBs and enterprises.

Goverlan Reach Best remote desktop software for SMBs and enterprises.

The wide range of remote access solutions that Goverlan Reach offers are for help desks, for system administrators, IT departments, digital signages and kiosks, mobile device management, and also for supporting remote work.

Goverlan Reach acts as your remote access and support suite and can be a one-stop solution for all the tools that you are looking for.

You can use this tool to automate some of your remote support processes like incident management, IT process support, background systems management, and more. The Active Directory Management and Reporting software that Goverlan Reach offers also makes it very easy and less time-consuming.

You can also use the other remote access features like screen sharing and recording, file transfer, session transfer, in-session chat, and others to manage any authorized remote device.

Some other features that it offers in addition to these basic remote access features include the observe-only feature, saved connections, remote input lockout, remote task manager, auto-license redaction on close, connection history, and more.

Goverlan Reach’s interface is also quite simple, easy-to-use, and intuitive making it very easy to navigate through the tool.


Pricing of Goverlan Reach

You can either choose the packages offered by Goverlan Reach or request a customizable quote based on the services you require to best meet your organization's needs.

What is Remote Desktop Access Software?

While we have listed the best remote desktop software for you to choose from, let also help you understand what a remote desktop software is and what you should be looking for before making a purchase.

A remote desktop software, a.k.a remote access software is software that allows you to gain access to a remote computer or other devices.

You must be authorized to access the remote computer and must also have it set up in order to be able to access it.

Once you have access, you can control the device as if you were sitting right in front of it.

Based on the service provider, you can access this remote computer from your browser, a mobile device, tablets, and any system that supports a browser.

In these challenging times, with the pandemic shutting down most workplaces, most organizations have resorted to remote desktop software so that their employees can work remotely.

Not only can you equip your employees to access their systems at work, but you can also use this software to troubleshoot IT issues.

IT issues are bound to arise when you work with systems, and it's always your IT support team to the rescue.

But, how would you address these issues if there is a nationwide lockdown and nobody is supposed to go anywhere?

Also, with the number of employees you have, imagine the number of on-site visits your IT personnel might have to make because your remote employees are facing some software issue or are simply stuck while configuring an application?

This is where remote access software comes in to play the role of remote support software.

Role of remote support software Teamviewer
Source: TechRepublic

Remote support software are specially designed for IT professionals, customer support organizations, and help desks that have remote end-users.

A remote support software is equipped with tools that a technician, agent, or engineer would need to address a software issue. While most of the best remote support software allows you to configure and address software issues only, some allow you to configure remote hardware too.

While the essence of every remote access software is to allow you to have remote control over your system, allowing you to complete tasks even while you travel, each service provider will offer slightly different services.

Once you have access to your remote system, there is so much that you can do. Suppose there is a file on your remote desktop that you want to access, you can transfer it to your local device. You can access audio files on your remote system, print remote documents on a printer locally.

If there is a specific task, like uninstalling or renewing your anti-virus software, or any other task, you can do all of it, sitting right across the room or on the other side of the globe!

The only disclaimer is that your remote desktop must be set up and you must be authorized to access it.

For remote support software, the best ones are those that allow your technicians to share their screens, record sessions for future reference, and also allow them to chat or call within the session to help address the end-users queries better.

Some organizations often also use their remote support software for giving demos, training, or other collaborations.

How Do You Use a Remote Desktop?

Most remote desktop software are usually very simple to use with an intuitive interface. Once you set up your remote desktop, all you need is an access code and an internet connection to establish remote control.

If you are a newbie, let us help you out with an example so you know how to get started. Here, we’ll show you how to set up the topmost choice on our list, AnyDesk and you can follow the guidelines for almost all other service providers.

A few steps might not be required for some services but might be required for others for eg., AnyDesk does not require you to create a user account but other service providers like Splashtop do.

1. Set up the remote computer you want to access

To access a remote desktop, the prerequisite is to have the remote desktop set up for you to access.

To set it up, you will be required to download the software on your remote system.

Anydesk Download

Most remote desktop software are cross-functional platforms and have versions available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. Follow the directions to download and install the software.

Depending on the remote access software, you might be required to log-in to the account you previously created, before or after you download and install the software.

2. Set up the local device

Most remote access software have their corresponding application that you can use to log in to your remote system.

You will be required to download and install the application on the local device you want to access the remote computer from. This local device could be a mobile device, tablet, or another desktop.

Anydesk setup

Once done, the app will ask for the credentials of the remote system you want to connect to and will ask for the password.

While some remote desktop allows you to turn off your computer or reboot it remotely, some might require a person at the site to do it for you.

Some software also requires you to set your computer on remote access mode so that you can access it remotely.

Enable Anydesk access

The best remote desktop software is the one with the Wake-on-LAN feature that allows you to remotely turn on your computer using the network connection. Remote desktop software with this feature are the ideal choice when it comes to remote access.

3. Sign in to the local app and start remoting

After downloading the app on the local device, some apps will ask you to log in to the account you created earlier. Once you log in, you can remotely access all the computers that you have access to.

Anydesk App
Source: AnyDesk

Some software might ask you for an access code that will allow you to access a particular computer.

Password setting in Anydesk

If you have opted for a remote desktop service like AnyDesk that offers unattended access, you will be asked for an access code to that system which will be set by you earlier.

You can then operate your remote desktop just as you would operate it from the site. If you are using a mobile device, you might even be able to use the mobile navigation options like pinch to zoom in, swipe to move around, drag and drop, and more.

User Interface settings for AnyDesk

Some remote desktop software like AnyDesk, allows you to configure your system based on how you would like to access it and what you want to use it for.

You can use your remote access software to drag and drop, copy-paste, use multiple windows, access audio on the remote computer, work simultaneously on two systems, allow two people to work simultaneously on one remote computer, and more.

In remote desktop software that does not allow multiple simultaneous connections to the same device, the session gets terminated as soon as a second connection request is received.

How to Choose The Right Remote Desktop Software?

1. Ease of use

Whatever be the purpose, there is no use of software that people cannot operate. Complex software will end up consuming more of your employees’ productive time trying to figure out how it works rather than use it to get tasks done.

Choose a remote access tool that is easy to operate, intuitive, and has a simple user interface. IT professionals on the other hand would find it relatively easier to operate software, so choose one that matches the competencies of your IT team.

An easy to operate remote support tool would be one that does not require the end-user to go through a lot of layers to get their support member onboard when they need assistance.

2. Data security and protection

One of the most common questions that gets asked while asking someone to allow third-party remote access to their system is that “will they have access to all my data?”

Whether it's your support team, a third-party, or you remotely accessing your system, all of them might pose a threat to your data.

Unfortunately, the answer is yes, but you can take steps to ensure that your data is not at a risk.

Data center ISL online server
Source: ISL Online

The first thing to ensure is that the service you choose offers 256-bit AES encryption so that the data transmitted between both systems stays encrypted. This prevents unauthorized access to the data being shared or data getting leaked during transmission.

Then, look for a service that offers multiple layers of security so that every session stays safe and secure. The best service providers allow you to record and save remote support sessions, offer granular access, terminate sessions on detecting unauthorized access, and more.

Also, choose one that offers session reports and log reports for every session.

3. Multi-factor authentication

Most remote access software tools provide only two-factor authentication which might not be enough when it comes to data security. If someone else has access to either of the two systems after you, they would be easily able to log-in to your system without you knowing about it.

Multi factor authentication for remote access software tools
Source: LoginTC

Choose one that offers multi-factor authentication so that your system can make sure it's you before letting anyone in.

4. Good customer support

Now, like all other services, there are bound to be times when you need immediate support from the service team.

Read several remote desktop software reviews about the customer service to determine if others have had a good experience with the customer support team of your chosen service.

You do not want to be stuck for days to get a reply from the customer support team and have your team waiting on the side for a bug to get fixed.

5. Troubleshooting technology

Be sure to check for the technology that your chosen service provider offers for your IT support team to be able to solve end-user issues.

While evaluating this, it is best to take the guidance of an expert engineer who would know if the technology offered will serve your purpose.

The best remote support tool should also allow for unmanned access so that your IT team can get back to an issue even if the end-user might not be available.

This also helps in improving productivity as your engineers might now be able to log in and work on a problem whenever an idea strikes instead of having to wait for the next workday to begin.

For data safety, most software will also record these access sessions, attended or unattended, so that the end-user is sure that there hasn’t been any foul play and their data is safe.

6. Streamlined ticketing process

With the load of emails that each one of us receives, often in our work accounts, it may be easy to occasionally miss a couple of them under a pile of emails.

What do you do when an employee escalates an issue saying their issue was never resolved due to which they haven’t been able to work for three days?

Streamlined ticketing process

Choose a system that not only sends the responsible engineer an email but also reflects on the agent’s console. Also, choose one that provides your technicians with detailed data about each ticket.

An engineer can check for his pending tickets, prioritize and mark them resolved or under progress.

The end-user can also check their console to see the status of their issue so they know that their issue is being taken care of.

7. Integrated modes of communication

Most often, when a remote support session is in progress, the technician might need to communicate with the person on the other end.

If they know each other, they would probably find out ways to communicate, but what happens when they don’t?

While some remote desktop and remote support software offer integrations with services like Slack, choose one that also offers in-session chat, call, and video call options.

This eliminates the need to exit the screen to a separate chat window every time there is a need to communicate.

Some services also offer whiteboards which also act as a good tool for collaborating and working together on a system.

8. Active directory integration

The best remote desktop software tools these days come with active directory integration which makes it easy to manage agent accounts easily and also grants access more restrictively. You can activate new accounts, deactivate them, reset passwords, edit users, and much more.

This integration also allows for granular access and access for only those who need them.

9. Pricing and scalability

With any software that you purchase for your employees, always keep in mind that your organization is a continuously evolving entity with evolving business needs.

Look for an option that allows you to scale as and when you need it without any major overhaul.

Remote desktop software tools are also priced at a per-employee, per-month, and per-service basis, which makes it quite expensive for smaller companies. Carefully evaluate your budget and the said price before you make a choice.

10. IT compliances

For almost every business, data is the most expensive and important asset that is also at a high risk these days. In each remote access session, a lot of data might get transmitted which needs to be protected with multiple layers of security.

Ensure that the service that you choose is compliant with all the latest required compliance and encryption standards.

Remote Desktop Software FAQ

What is the fastest remote desktop software?

While most remote desktop software are fast and reliable, TeamViewer has the reputation of being the fastest remote desktop software

Even though it is faster than other remote desktop software, the performance partly depends on the speed and stability of your internet connection as well. 

TeamViewer uses UDP protocol to transfer most of its data to devices which enables it to transfer data at a speed of 200MBps. In case the UDP protocol is absent, the TCP protocol is used which might result in slower performance.

Is Windows Remote Desktop safer than Teamviewer?

No, Windows Remote Desktop is not as safe as TeamViewer because of the fewer functionalities it offers in comparison to TeamViewer.

Even though TeamViewer may be a slightly expensive option, it offers higher levels of security than most remote desktop software, especially Windows Remote Desktop.

Not only does Windows Remote Desktop require a lot of configuration on devices on both ends, its functionalities are limited and it is also susceptible to brute force attacks

As soon as you connect your Windows Remote Desktop to the internet, it is at risk of being attacked by the many bots that will try to access your password and eventually gain access to your system. 

Also, another reason why TeamViewer is safer than Windows Remote Desktop is that the end-user can see what the technician is doing on their screen. 

However, when it comes to Windows Remote Desktop, the system gets locked when a remote session is in progress. Thus, you have no clue what the technician has been accessing during the remote session.

What software is best for remote desktop access?

Every remote desktop software in the market has a USP which makes it better than others and each of them also has some drawbacks. 

While we have narrowed down to the 16 best remote desktop software, we also have a list of the top 5 remote access software.

Our list includes AnyDesk, LogMeIn, Dameware Remote Support, Parallels, and GoToMyPC. Based on your purpose each of these software offers some of the best services for you to choose from. 

AnyDesk is one of the easiest to use remote desktop software and has a free option for individuals. All you have to do is install the remote desktop on the remote system, provide an access code and you can start remoting. It is also the most commonly used remote access software.

LogMeIn offers a wide range of products like LogMeIn Rescue, LogMeIn Central, LogMeIn Pro, and many more. This is the number one preferred choice for organizations looking for work from home solutions for their employees.

LogMeIn is also very affordable and has many pricing options to suit different needs. 

Dameware Remote Support on the other hand is the best solution for companies with large numbers of IT support staff or customer support organizations and help desks. 

Right from a streamlined ticketing system, granular access to employees, active directory integration, session logs, and audit reports, this tool is one of the best remote support software. 

Parallels is the best remote desktop software for those looking for simple, secure, and intuitive remote access software. It works on different operating systems, can be accessed through different local devices and the web browser, and also deploys multi-factor authentication. 

GoToMyPC is the best remote access software for those looking for a feature-rich all-in-one solution. Apart from the basic remote desktop features, it also offers some advanced features like screen blackout, dual passwords, guest invites, and more. 

Based on your needs, you can always try the free version of these software and determine the best choice for you and your organization.

What are remote access applications?

Remote access applications are software programs that allow you to establish remote control over a remote system. These systems may be remote computer systems or IoT devices and you must be authorized to access the remote system.

You can access the remote system using a local device that could be a phone, another desktop, or a tablet.

Even though remote access applications are being used by organizations for remote work these days, they were usually designed with the IT professional in mind, to help them provide remote IT support.

Does remote access require the internet?

Yes, you need a stable internet connection to operate remote access software. 

Both, the remote system as well as the local device must be connected to the internet. After you install the remote desktop software on the remote system, a connection is established with the local device over the internet.

The performance of the remote access software also partly depends on the speed and stability of the internet connection on both devices.

What are the different types of remote access?

While we have spoken extensively about remote desktop software as one of the methods of establishing remote access, there are some other types as well.

VPNs or Virtual Private Networks are private tunnel-like networks that are extended over the internet to provide a safe and secure channel to exchange information. VPNs are mostly deployed by organizations and can be used to give remote access to their employees.

Privileged Access (PAM) as the name suggests is access to critical company resources that may be granted only to privileged users. There are specialized PAM software that allow the users to access, secure, monitor, or control these organizational resources. 

Vendor Privileged Access Management (VPAM) is a derivative of PAM but is used to grant access or restrict vendor activity in organizations where vendors are required to access critical resources. 

These solutions allow admins to authenticate vendors before letting them establish remote control with a system.

Desktop sharing is the remote desktop that we have been discussing in this article. While some allow you to establish remote control over a remote system, some other applications allow screen sharing, online conferences, webinars, and much more. 

Quick Summary

With organizations evaluating their options of making remote work permanent, these remote desktop software might be just what is needed to bring about the change.

Most of these remote access software might seem like an expensive deal due to the pricing structures, but the ROI is eventually worth the investment.

Every organization has a different set of needs, and the software that they select must be such that it complements employee capabilities and helps improve productivity.

Let us help you quickly pick one for your organization.

If organizations can implement the right remote desktop software, they might be able to make a permanent shift to remote working.

They may be able to save on the office spaces, help employees maintain work-life balance, reduce travel time, and get so much more work done.

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Martin Luenendonk

Editor at FounderJar

Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.