Remote access software is an important tool for those that want to access their computer remotely and conveniently. Unlike virtual private networks (VPNs) for securing remote access to a company’s server, remote desktop tools work by simply allowing users to access a copy of the display server on their computer remotely. This means that users can “log in” to their computer remotely and use it just as if they were sitting in front of it in their home/office. However, using a remote desktop, the physical computer to which the user is connecting to is in use. That means that it typically needs to be powered on—although many remote access tools are able to remotely activate or launch the computer (we’ll look at wake on LAN and WAN later in this article). While users are using the computer, the device remains connected to its local network. This allows users to manipulate files on a company network, for example, without having to secure the connection with something like a VPN. It also means that the user will be able to access other devices on the computer’s network—such as, say, an office printer. By being able to access one device on the local network, this saves the user from having to set up remote connectivity with every other device on the network.For users that want to remotely connect to a personal or work device, but without the hassle of setting up a VPN connection, remote access is a great option. They don’t typically require the assistance of an IT team and are usually quick and easy to setup. Enterprise tools can even typically be remotely installed on endpoints over the network.
- Best forUsers that need AES 256-bit encryption
- Security256-bit AES encryption
GoToMyPC is a remote access tool intended for users that need to access files, and view their screen remotely. It can run on a variety of mobile devices including iPads, iPhones, Android devices, and the Kindle Fire.
The company also recently upgraded its encryption strength to 256-bit AES which puts it on par with other tools in the industry.
- Now supporting 256-bit AES
- Kindle Fire friendly
- Full PC transfer
- No Wake on LAN with single user license
- Expensive for personal use
- PriceFrom $8/month plus a per-gateway fee
- Best forEnterprise organizations with lots of connecting users
- SecurityAES 256-bit
Perimeter 81 is a security and remote access tool designed for use in large organizations. By securing application access through gateways and a software defined perimeter (SDP) approach, the tool makes it possible for large distributed workforces to securely access systems irrespective of what operating system they are running.
It’s an ideal remote access tool for enterprises running software on cloud-centric, on-premises, or hybrid architectures.
- Suitable for large organizations
- OS agnostic
- Software defined perimeter
- Per gateway and per user pricing
- Essentials plan doesn’t have an always-on VPN
- PriceStarting from $22.12 per year
- Best forPersonal use, small businesses, helpdesk
- SecurityAES 256-bit encryption
RemotePC is a feature-packed remote desktop software for individuals and businesses. You can access any computer from another desktop or mobile device, plus set up an unlimited number of concurrent sessions. Even better, RemotePC offers personal, team, and helpdesk plans.
This software is easy to set up and even easier to use. Businesses can have an unlimited number of users and manage remote access seamlessly. Plus, RemotePC comes with built-in video conferencing, whiteboard tools, and one-time access codes.
- Flexible, inexpensive plans
- Collaboration features for teams
- Supports wake-on-LAN
- No audio chat
- Time consuming for business setup
- PriceFrom $79 per technician per month
- Best forMSPs and support teams
- SecurityUDP port 443
Atera includes a remote access functionality as part of its device monitoring and support plans, which can be used by MSPs and support staff in order to provide remote support.
The tool requires the installation of a connection agent on supported endpoints and a connection tool to supplement the web UI. Connections are fast and secure.
- Real time connectivity
- Secured encrypted connection
- Windows and Mac connection agents
- No Linux connection agent
- Relatively expensive subscription
- Price$145 for 500 minutes $990 for lifetime license.
- Best forIT support teams
- SecurityRSA 2048/4096-bit
ISL Online is a great tool for busy support teams with a lot of remote endpoints to support. Whether they’re running Windows, Mac, or Linux, ISL Online has clients to get the job done.
The tool also supports automatic session recording, on-screen annotations, and live chat and file sharing.
- Live chat and file sharing
- Linux, Windows, Mac clients
- On screen annotations
- One simultaneous connection per license
- Not the cheapest remote tool on the market
- Price$420 per month (Pro, up to 100 users)
- Best forCompanies with remote workforces
Desktime is a remote monitoring tool that can help companies keep a close digital eye on the online activity of their remote workers. It can also be used on the free tier for individual freelancers that want to monitor their own internet usage and productivity.
The tool features support for automatic screenshotting, document tracking, and a productivity estimator. It’s a well-rounded tool suitable for the needs of both small and large companies.
- Tracking apps for every platform
- Automatic screenshot capability
- Productivity estimator
- Quickly becomes relatively expensive
- Only one user supported on free tier
- PriceFrom $15/agent/month
- Best forRemote access for helpdesks
- SecurityAES 256 bit
Freshdesk provides a comprehensive helpdesk experience which also supports an integration with the Splashtop remote access tool.
Users can leverage the power of both these tools to support intelligent inbound ticket routing, collision avoidance, and more.
- Full native integration with Splashtop
- Templates before and after sessions
- Intelligent AI-assisted routing
- Add-on functionality
- Free tier doesn’t have collision detection
- PriceAccess from $30 per month Support from $19 per month
- Best forEnterprises, IT helpdesk
- Security256-bit AES encryption
ConnectWise Control is a capable remote access solution for businesses. Access plans offer unlimited remote connections for 25 to 2,500 users, while Support plans offer remote access for individual IT technicians and administrative teams.
The benefit to ConnectWise Control is that you have tight control over system access. Administrators can assign roles and install updates in the background without disturbing employees. For remote workers, Control offers remote desktop access, file sharing, and remote printing.
- Background access for IT technicians
- Define user access roles
- 24/7 customer support
- Not suitable for individual remote workers
- Setup can be complex
- PriceFree version. Paid plans from $49/month up.
- Best forPersonal use and by IT support teams and MSPs
- SecurityRSA public/private key exchange. AES 256 bit encryption.
Teamviewer is a powerful remote access tool that has clients for everything from Linux to the Raspberry Pi.
Its product family includes a popular client connectivity tool as well as an AR-enriched support tool and a service desk ticketing system.
- Tools for Linux and Raspberry Pi
- Supports unattended access
- Versatile product family
- Not the cheapest paid remote access tool
- Free version is for non-commercial use
- PriceContact vendor
- Best forIT technicians and IT departments
Kaseya Remote Control offers stable and smooth connections to endpoints for multiple technicians, and is just one part of the Kaseya IT management environment. Along with patching, automation, and auditing modules, the remote access features enable technicians to control a business’s devices and assets on scales ranging from company- or department-wide to a single device.
Automation sits at the heart of Kaseya software, making it easy to apply patches, execute scripts, send files, distribute software, and more. What were once tedious and time-consuming tasks can now be accomplished in the background, freeing up IT departments to focus on bugs, technical errors, and vulnerabilities.
- Library of pre-set automations
- Automatic endpoint patching
- Background endpoint control
- Mac management less robust
- Limited mobile apps