Best Remote Desktop Software

What is Remote Desktop Software?

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Photo Courtesy from: How-To Geek

Remote desktop software is an application that allows a personal computer’s desktop environment to be run remotely on one computer while being displayed on a separate client device. Literally speaking, a user can control the remote computer if he was sitting right in front of it.

Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, individuals were given a chance to work remotely, and companies looked for a way to have their employees be able to fulfill their professional duties without compromising health and safety.

Choosing a remote desktop software has been always a challenge for both personal and business users. Taking into account there are dozens of remote desktop software provided by various vendors, selecting the one that would fit your needs best at an affordable price is still a trouble able to eat plenty of time.

TeamViewer was launched in 2005. It is one of the pioneers of Remote Desktop Software. It does have multi-platform support which covers: Windows, MacOS, Linux and does support Mobile Applications such as Android and iOS.

Teamviewer has a FREE license for Personal use but you would need a paid license if you use it commercially.

Prices per month as of July 2020*

  • $49Business Plan ($588/year)
  • $99Premium Plan ($1,188/year)
  • $199Corporate Plan ($2,388/year)

* Pricing plans may vary depending on the user country.

Features:

TeamViewer has a full set of features required for remote computer control. It’s a very powerfull solution able to satisfy the needs of both IT professionals and non tech-savvy users. Multiple platform support is one of their strong points, you can access the remote computer using your smartphone (iOS or Android). It’s quite fast and stable.

However, nothing is perfect. While working with TeamViewer you may notice that the old versions are not able to connect the newer ones, what may be a problem in case the remote partner uses an outdated TeamViewer version. 

Another thing which may be quite problematic for multi-lingual users is TeamViewer’s language switching system. While working with the remote computer it transmits your local (controlling computer) language symbols to the remote side. Thus you can’t see the currently chosen language on the remote desktop screen and you need to switch it blindly.

There are other things that may be considered as bugs or disadvantages, but most of them are insignificant in front of the features TeamViewer provides. And yes, it’s expensive.

Pros:

  • Fast and stable
  • Ability to keep a list of multiple computers across a lot of sites
  • Supports Multi-Display
  • File Sharing
  • Multi-Platform

Cons:

  • Sometimes after upgrading the versions are not compatible with each other.
  • Expensive 
  • No true full-screen mode (without any drop-down menus or sliding windows)
aeroadmin-window

AeroAdmin first release was published in 2014. It was designed as a lightweight alternative to TeamViewer at an affordable price. It’s all-in-one software that allows full remote computer control including unattended access, simultaneous remote connections from and to a single computer, file transfer and the ability to connect to an unlimited number of endpoints.

AeroAdmin offers a FREE license with certain limitations and paid plans with unlimited capabilities.

Prices per month as of July 2020:

  • $7.50 Pro ($89.90/year)
  • $9.99Business ($119.90/year)
  • $11.67Corporate ($139.90/year)

Features: 

AeroAdmin is a portable application that requires no installation. On top of that, this would let remote users get their support within seconds as no advanced configuration is required. Literally, no configuration requred at all. It works right out of the box.

AeroAdmin FREE license includes fully encrypted remote connections by ID and direct IP address, unattended access, contact book, multiple monitors support, SOS button, screen recording etc. 

If you are looking for a Branding option, it is as well available in AeroAdmin Corporate. This option will suit for companies or businesses that want their information to be embedded in the software system. As of now, AeroAdmin does not support remote computer sound and does not have an in-app chat to speak with the operator, though it does have a SOS button Feature which enables them to reach out the operator in a few clicks.

Pros:

  • Lightweight/No Installation
  • AES+RSA Encyrption
  • User Friendly
  • Allows Reboot in Safe Mode
  • Multiple Concurrent Connections
  • Supports Multi-Display
  • Unattended Access
  • File Transfer
  • Branding
  • Screen recording

Cons:

  • No Remote Computer Sound
  • No In-App Chat
  • Only Windows OS support

LogMeIn was established in 2003.  It is an easy-to-use remote support software for PCs, Macs, mobile devices, and more. LogMeIn is designed for both small helpdesks and large support organizations and everyone in between. LogMeIn offers 14 Days FREE Trial on their license.

Prices per Month as of July 2020

Pro

  • $29.16Pro for Individuals ($349.99/year)
  • $69.99Pro for Power Users ($839.99/year)
  • $128.33Pro for Small Business ($1,539.99/year)
  • $291.58Pro 25 for Small Business ($3,499.99/year)
  • $583.33Pro 50 for Small Business ($6,999.99/year)

Central

  • $80 – $290 ($960 – $3480/year)

LogMeIn Rescue

  • $149.99 ($1799.88/year)

Features:

LogMeIn offers wide range of features required for remote computer control, some of them are text chat, file-transfer, multi-screen support, local printing, and invitation to a one-time desktop sharing. LogMeIn sends an email to the registered user if anyone tries to log in to one of the registered machines and has an invalid password which is one of its security features. 

Pros:

  • Unattended access
  • Secured Connection
  • File Sharing
  • Allowed to create their own account id and password
  • It provides an ability to customize the required time and password

Cons:

  • File transfer from Mac to PC can be complicated.
  • Multi-screen features could be improved.
  • No user side requests can be made

Remote Desktop Connection is a built-in remote desktop software for Windows.  Since this is free, this has been one of the default remote desktop program applications of choice for Windows users. The configuration is somehow confusing especially if you are not tech-savvy. 

Features:

Windows Remote Desktop features common application of a remote desktop software, this includes viewing the screen, being able to do a task on the remote computer as if it is on a local computer, and be able to make use of applications installed in the remote computer. Since it is a built-in program for Windows it does have limited issues like the remote user could not see his screen when someone is connected or it would need a manual restart on the remote side if needed. Though the main functions of a remote desktop software is found in Window’s Remote Desktop Connection.

 

Pros:

  • Remote printing possible
  • Built-in Windows Program
  • Free for Windows

Cons:

  • Only included in Pro, Business or Ultimate versions of Windows
  • Does not allow to reboot the remote machine and automatically reconnect
  • Advanced configuration may be required (Network management, port mapping in etc)

TightVNC is a simple and small sized remote desktop software. It was known as one of those RDP that works for low bandwidth computers. TightVNC is a free software and it would let you install as many instances to many computers as you want at no cost. But if ever you would need the source code of TightVNC to modify the program or add/remove some features into your own liking, you could buy the Lifetime License which is Commercial Source Code Licensing for $12,000.

Features:

TightVNC offers File Transfers, Low-bandwidth compression which means TightVNC does not use much bandwidth to do its job. Scaling of Remote desktop to resize the remote computer upon the user’s needs. In my opinion, TightVNC is a good free remote desktop software, it does what you need for a secured connection. Since it does not use a lot of bandwidth, you may experience some graphical glitches on the remote side.

Like Windows Remote Desktop Connection it may require additional network configuration to connect remote computers located behind NAT and therefore it’s not suitable for ad-hoc tech support.

Pros:

  • Configurable compression levels
  • Support for 2 passwords (full-control or read only)
  • Efficient compression algorithms

Cons:

  • No built-in encryption
  • Sometimes Laggy performance
  • Might occasionally experience graphical glitches that require you to manually refresh your connection.
  • Interface could be improved

Remote Desktop Software Comparison

I have created a table to compare the different Key Features mostly found on different Remote Desktop Program. Here you could see the difference between each remote desktop software. The data have been gathered from different websites so that the accuracy of the chart is correct. As for the other notes that I have found, LogMeIn Branding would be subject for approval according to their website. While TightVNC’s screen recording would need additional settings to be added to the program. As for TightVNC’s branding, this is possible if you do purchase the commercial source code licensing as mentioned above.

Comparative Chart     
 
Teamviewer
AeroAdmin
LogMeIn
Microsoft Remote Desktop
TightVNC
Works without installation
Yes
Yes
No
Built-In
No
Works behind NAT
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Lightweight (less than 5 MB)
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
Unattended access
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Encrypted channel
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Simultaneous sessions
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Multi-monitors
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
File transfer
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Screen recording
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Possible**
Remote printing
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
Branding
Yes
Yes
Depends*
No
Possible***
Sessions’ reports
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Text chat
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
Audio chat
Yes
Yes (beta tested)
Yes
No
No
SOS button
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Notes: LogMeIn Branding* 
TightVNC Screen Record**
TightVNC Branding***

Pricing Summary

  PRICES PER YEAR  

TeamViewer

AeroAdmin

LogMeIn

Microsoft Remote Desktop

TightVNC

Business – $588

Pro – $89.99

Pro – $349.99 – $6,999.99

FREE

FREE

Premium – $1,188

Business – $119.90

Central – $960 – $3480

 

Lifetime License – $12,000

Corporate – $2,388

Corporate – $139.90

Rescue – $1799.99

  

Conclusion

Photo Courtesy from: dreamstime.com

These are one of the many options of Remote Desktop Software. Free versions like Microsoft Remote Desktop and TightVNC are a good choice if you want to have a free solution and you’re aware of how to configure the network to make it work behind NAT.

TeamViewer and LogMeIn is a good choice too but seeing the price for the license, you may consider that this is a huge budget allocation if you would go with this choice.

For ad-hoc support, choose AeroAdmin as the best price/quality option. If you are going to use it for non-commercial, AeroAdmin or TeamViewer is a good choice as they have a Free license with limited capabilities. Considering the price difference of the Licenses, AeroAdmin is one of the go-to choices because of the low license price range. Aside from it, it does have a full set of features of remote desktop software and is suitable for even non-tech savvy users. If you want a more common approach and have a wide range of platforms, Licensed TeamViewer or LogMeIn could be considered too.

What are your thoughts about this?

9 Replies to “Best Remote Desktop Software”

  1. Teamviewer’s license is really expensive and when I found out AeroAdmin it really helped me saved a lot of money for the same functionality. +1 for AeroAdmin.

  2. Thank you for the above list of remote desktop softwares. One more very good remote desktop software which you can use is: R-HUB remote support servers. It works on all platforms viz Windows, MAC, Android, iOS etc.

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