When the world changed in 2020, it highlighted an even greater need for businesses to be able to control and manage their workplace’s computers from somewhere else.
With remote work becoming the norm, having reliable remote desktop software in place for you and your staff can be a lifesaver.
What is the best software for remote desktop use?
To find the right remote desktop software for your business, you want one with a relatively easy setup, accessibility for the number of connections you require, specialized plans and prices, and any additional features necessary for your workplace. There are a few trusted names out there that deliver on all of these fronts, so it’s simply a matter of matching their features to your needs.
To help you sort your way through the countless products out there, we’ve assembled the ultimate remote desktop software list and the features that matter most.
With these recommendations, you’ll find that perfect fit and get back on top of managing your workplace’s new virtual surroundings.
Our Picks for the Best Remote Desktop Software – Reviews for 2021
A simple online search can become overwhelming fast when you see how many options are out there for free and paid remote desktop platforms.
We’ve hand-picked just a few of our favorites to cut that search in half, and present to you our recommendations for the only remote access software that matters.
- Supported OS: Linux, Mac, Microsoft, OS X
- Free trial: 14 days
TeamViewer is the most famous way to manage remote access, and our pick for the ultimate remote desktop software for Mac and Windows. This software grants access to Windows, OS X, Linux, and Mac devices, and depending on the plan you choose, can give control of up to 500 different managed devices.
The best thing about TeamViewer is how easy it is to use, and this includes the initial setup and any time you need to use it to access a computer. With a single click, you can be connected to a computer and be able to access files, share content on a whiteboard, drop necessary files, and give support to the owner of that device.
Another reliable feature of TeamViewer is the quality of the connection, and this ensures minimal disruptions while a computer is being accessed remotely. Even when working with larger loads, like during gaming or sharing video, the quality always remains at this high level. When you stack it up against other remote desktop software options, TeamViewer is the leader in this area.
However, there were some downsides worth mentioning, and it’s mainly to do with their mobile features. Although there’s the chance to add-on mobile devices, it comes at a pretty high cost, and you’ll still struggle to find some basic functions. For Android users, it seems to be more effective but if you have lots of smartphones on iOS their functionality will be limited.
Another negative to note is that you’ll only be able to run three sessions at once, even with the highest plan. If your business has plans to orchestrate larger-scale events, this probably won’t be sufficient. There are options for upgrading, but again, they will cost a lot of money, so it means your training sessions and tutorials might have to be split up among workers which can waste a lot of time.
Aside from these issues, there are lots of extra features that make TeamViewer a standout. To download TeamViewer, you can access the files from the cloud and then install it on the linked devices, so it’s easy to do from anywhere. Each plan comes with the option for add-ons including support for mobile devices, the ability to add more computers, and their ServiceCamp and TeamViewer Pilot components as well.
The TeamViewer product comes in three levels of license: business, premium, and corporate. These grant access for one to three different seats and a number of users, depending on the plan. You’ll also get to test the software with a 14-day free trial to see what it’s all about before committing. If you want to go with the best remote desktop software for gaming, personal, and business use, TeamViewer is our top pick.
Runner Up: RemotePC
- Supported OS: Microsoft, Mac, Linux
- Free trial: 7 days
RemotePC is a one-stop solution to your remote access needs, and their software makes it easy to connect to a remote system from anywhere in the world. This program lets you connect, collaborate, and control, and it works with Microsoft, Linux, and Mac computers, as well as having a mobile app and the option to add other devices.
The biggest benefit of Remote PC is the little extras they’ve thrown in, including being able to add on technical support for a fee each year. You’ll get access to remote IT experts who can help your company and access your computers remotely, so even if you don’t have your own dedicated expert in this area, they can assist.
The price of Remote PC is what sets it apart and makes it a more affordable choice, especially for small businesses and teams. They offer a range of plans as well, starting from the budget-friendly Consumer option up to the more serious Enterprise one, so there’s something for every type of user and without having to break the bank.
However, the free trial is only seven days which doesn’t compare to other software, and might not be enough time to get a handle on what it’s all about. Although they have some of the lowest prices overall, it’s always good to experience a test run and see whether the software is going to be a fit for your company. If you’re looking for remote desktop software free download opportunities, others offer a longer trial period
Customers also noted issues with RemotePC’s smartphone app and said that it didn’t feature all of the functions that the desktop version did and also wasn’t included as standard, which meant you had to pay extra for it. At this stage, it doesn’t seem to be at the forefront of their development team’s attention, so might have to wait a while until the mobile app gets the same kind of efficiency as the rest of it.
RemotePC still brings a lot to the table though, and with each of their plans, you’ll get to enjoy features like playing sound from the remote computer, a collaborative whiteboard, the option to record remote sessions, and drag and drop that makes file sharing easy between the two systems. RemotePC also takes security seriously with two-layer protection, including Personal Key which is your unique password, and TLS v 1.2/AES-256 encryption to keep data safe when being transferred between the local and remote computer.
There are three plans to choose from with Remote Access including Consumer, SOHO, Team, and Enterprise, and a Remote Support plan add-on called HelpDesk that gives you access to technicians. RemotePC has made it easy to take control of all remote access needs and do so much more affordably than the competition, so they’re worth considering for your business.
- Supported OS: Mac, Microsoft
- Free trial: 14 days
LogMeIn is another of our favorites for remote desktop software for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. This software comes in three plan options for single users, small businesses, and power users, and each of them offers unlimited users, remote printing, remote access, and 1TB of cloud-based storage. You can access LogMeIn using the desktop app or a website, and it’s easy to download on each of the devices you need to manage.
The security offerings by LogMeIn are what sets this brand apart and if you’re particularly concerned about this topic, they’re one of the best. Within their product range, you’ll be able to use products like a password manager, dark web monitor, single-sign-on function, multifactor authentication, just to name a few.
Another bonus of choosing LogMeIn is their dedicated support team, which can be especially useful when you’re brand new to remote desktop software. You’ll be able to reach their team for 24/7 support over the phone, regardless of the plan you sign up to, which is peace of mind that’s priceless.
However, the lack of video conferencing options put some users off, and it limited what the software was capable of. When you compare the cost of LogMeIn against others that do come with this function, it’s quite a discrepancy, and if you’re looking for remote desktop software that allows video chat, you’ll want to continue your search.
Another negative of LogMeIn was the presence of some lag, and especially when working with higher CPU resources. Accessing a remote computer using a lot of data meant the mouse became jittery at times and the latency started to waiver. For businesses that rely on a lot of CPU in their day-to-day dealings, there may be a better solution that can cater to your needs.
LogMeIn has lots of features to offer users, including Antivirus protection, multi-monitor display, system admin tools, and more. As one of their customers, you’ll also get access to a bunch of free resources like the LogMeIn blog, support FAQ, a community forum, as well as their 24/7 help desk.
The plans offered by LogMeIn are suited to single-person teams right up to large scale operations, however, they’re billed annually without the option to pay a monthly fee. You’ll get a 14-day free trial to test it all out, and be able to choose between the Pro version for small businesses, power users, or individuals, with their prices being mid-range compared to others we’ve reviewed. If security and mobile compatibility are your goals when choosing a remote desktop client, LogMeIn has the goods to deliver.
- Supported OS: Mac, Microsoft
- Free trial: 7 days
GoToMyPC is a simple alternative to remote desktop software and one that works with high speeds and a reliable connection. The software is compatible with Mac and PC, as well as mobile devices, and is one of the top-performing remote desktop software for Windows 10 options when it comes to speed and latency. With three tiers of service including personal, pro, and corporate, you can find a plan to suit your remote access needs.
A big selling point of GoToMyPC is how accessible it is, including the fact that you can access a remote computer just by using a mobile device. This type of access is hard to come by with other software options and it could be the standout feature that makes you choose GoToMyPC over all others.
Another great thing about this client is their dedication to security and protecting their users. As well as utilizing banking grade security, you’ll also be able to turn on two-factor authentication and have a unique password that each user keeps which has to be different from the access code for the computer. For companies dealing with sensitive information or wanting to provide the securest environment for customers and employees, this is a huge advantage.
The pricing of GoToMyPC is a little different and could end up costing a lot of money for your business, depending on how many users you have. You’ll pay a fee each month for every computer using the service. For smaller businesses with minimal requirements, this might not be a big deal, but if you’re someone with a lot of employees or customers’ computers you need access to, you’ll be looking at a huge bill.
The support team behind this software isn’t the greatest either, and although they offer a 24/7 service, it doesn’t seem that easy to get a hold of. If you’re feeling unsure about working with remote desktop software or like to have dedicated support, you’ll be better off choosing a platform that has a good reputation for customer service.
These issues aside, there’s still plenty on offer from GoToMyPC, including features like a remote desktop app, a fast setup process, and one-click admission for selected remote computers that you regularly access. Feature-wise, it’s not one of the most advanced remote desktop software options, but the simplicity of the user interface is one of their selling points.
GoToMyPC only offers a seven-day trial so it’s hard to get a feel of everything they offer, and their plans are billed monthly and at a per-computer rate. Although it’s an expensive option for some business setups, the reliable connection and security offerings make it one of our favorite picks for remote desktop software.
Alternative: Zoho Assist
- Supported OS: Mac, Microsoft
- Free trial: 15 days
Zoho’s Assist is a remote desktop software that also offers remote support, and it’s a cloud-based platform that can be installed and set up in minutes. Within their range of offerings are both tech support plans and unattended access, with up to simultaneous sessions or 25 unattended computers available. The software works with devices operating with Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, so it’s compatible across almost every system you can think of.
The pricing of Assist is what sets this software apart, and as well as being affordable, there are loads of different plans you can choose from. This means you’re not paying for anything you don’t need or missing out because you couldn’t afford to go with the next tier of support, and you’ll get everything from Zoho without having to spend a fortune.
Customers loved how quick and easy it was to use Zoho Assist, and this includes the initial installation and setup. You can add remote computers within seconds and manage mobile devices, desktop computers, servers, and PCs from one location by just going through a few simple steps. If you’re not that tech-savvy but need to utilize the benefits of remote desktop software, this will be a huge win for you.
However, some minor issues let Assist down, most importantly, the fact that their standard plans don’t come with smartphone support, so you’ll have to spend more to get this. You’ll also note that the unattended plans only work with 25 computers, and when compared to the unlimited access that some other software options come with, this is pretty basic.
As well as some plan confusion, customers also had issues with the desktop app. They mentioned having to refresh it at times otherwise it would be frozen, which isn’t ideal when you’re remotely accessing another computer. The mobile app doesn’t seem to have the same issues which is a welcome change, but you want to make sure you have a solid connection at your desktop to prevent further issues.
Zoho Assist has gone above and beyond to make this software work with the rest of your business and features integrations with apps like GSuite, Fresh Desk, Zoho Desk, Spiceworks, and Slack. You’ll also be able to easily share screens, record sharing sessions, and get instant access to any connected computers when you start up the program.
If you’re looking for an affordable way to get remote access, and like the option for additional support, Zoho Assist can help. There are three plans available in Remote Support and two for Unattended Access, so you can truly find the perfect fit. Zoho has delivered a fully integrated remote desktop software that lets your office function seamlessly and managed to do so at a great price point as well.
Remote Desktop Software FAQs
With lots of picks for the best remote desktop software free and paid choices out there, getting a handle on what each of them offers can be tough.
To make the search easier and give you a better understanding of what these platforms are capable of, we’ve answered a few FAQs about remote desktop software.
Is TeamViewer Safe?
TeamViewer features a number of security protocols to keep users and their data safe and every version of the software uses full encryption for your protection.
The level of encryption is similar to HTTPS/SSL or banking grade and is based on 256 Bit AES session encoding and 4096 Bit RSA private/ public key exchange.
What Is Remote Desktop Software?
Remote desktop software allows another user to access a computer or system from somewhere else and in real time as if they were sitting in front of it.
This software has many functions but is predominantly used to give remote access to computers for maintenance, repairs, or technical issues.
What Are The Benefits Of Remote Desktop Software?
The biggest benefit of using remote desktop software is giving remote access quickly and easily, no matter how far away the connected computers are.
With this software in place, you’ll get access to shared files and drives, have a simple way for technicians to fix issues on other computers remotely, and be able to monitor and control all of the devices connected to a single network.
Can I Use Remote Desktop Over The Internet?
Yes, it is possible to use Microsoft’s Remote Desktop program over the internet in some cases, but the options to do so can be difficult or risky.
To do so, you can try setting up a VPN, using a single PC for Remote Desktop with the router forwarding all traffic there, or exposing the program directly to the internet without protection.
The Efficient Way to Get Control
If your business needs to keep up with the trend and get reliable remote desktop software in place, any of our recommendations will get the job done.
With these picks and a better idea of what they can bring to your organization, you’ll have an efficient way to manage, monitor, and connect all of your workers, no matter where they are in the world.