Remote desktop connection managers (RDM) are an incredibly useful tool, especially in the IT career field. Not to be confused with screen sharing software, a RDM allows you to log into a computer remotely when you cannot access it directly.
So if Nana, who lives in Florida, is having issues with her computer, with a remote desktop manager you’ll be able to access it remotely from your home in Colorado and do all of the “techie stuff” for her. This way she can get back to watching cute cat videos on YouTube without further issue.
The same holds true for accessing your work computer from home or vice versa. A remote desktop manager will allow you to log in, handle your business, and log out without ever having to step foot outside. Who needs fresh air anyway?
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) was originally designed by the nerds over at Microsoft as an easier way to access a PC from a distance. There have since been many remote desktop managers designed with this in mind. Some, of course, are better than others.
Free Remote Desktop Connection Managers
Since most people value their money and would prefer not to spend it, we can begin with the best free options available to you. The following will consist of services either 100% free or that come with a free trial.
Zoho Assist is a cloud-based software platform that allows for an on-demand connection without the need to pre-install software. Instead, you can invite users to connect to your device directly via email.
Some of the features included with Zoho Assist are file transfer, voice and video chat, multiple monitor detection, session recording, and the ability to reboot a remote device without losing connection. The free tier allows you to connect with up to five different devices with limited features where the lowest-paid tier ($10/mo) provides more essential features.
Zoho Assist also integrates well with other Zoho products which should come as a welcome comfort to those who currently use their wide range of services.
Easily one of the best free remote access tools, TeamViewer is likely in everyone’s top three. Packed with plenty of tools not normally found in a free remote desktop manager, TeamViewer is available for not only Windows, but almost every platform including Linux, Mac, Android, and more.
This RDM is the complete package with a free for personal use price tag but does offer a premium version for a bit more oomph if necessary. The different premium versions that TeamViewer offers provide varying support services based on how many users need access.
Self-promoted as an Enterprise Remote Support Software, Remote Access Plus is designed to help system administrators and IT help desk technicians remotely troubleshoot computer complications via either the cloud or a central location. They provide plenty of features including a system manager, wake on LAN, remote shutdown, and advanced remote access control.
There are two editions offered alongside the free version: Standard and Professional. For businesses of ten computers or less, the free version will remain free and have all of the essential features necessary to handle small demand. If you’re looking at a larger volume, you’ll be forking out an annual fee of $95 minimum for the Standard tier and upwards of $300 for the Professional, depending on which platform — cloud or on-premises — you desire.
Paid Remote Desktop Connection Managers
The paid services are generally there for bigger businesses with more computers in need of a remote access tool. If you’re looking for a remote desktop manager with more features than a free service can provide, the paid options below may be the better way to go.
A small business in search of a cloud-hosted remote desktop manager service may find it difficult to do much better than RemotePC. With RemotePC you have secure, 24/7 remote access from any platform, anywhere.
It possesses a simple, easily navigable interface and provides an amazingly fast performance all at an affordable price. The installation for both host and client is exactly the same saving both time and confusion on end-to-end connections.
The features include always-ON remote access that enables you to take control of your PC at any time from anywhere, an in-browser connection option, effortless file transfer utilizing the drag and drop method, the ability to print remotely, and a nifty collaboration feature.
Individual users can get your hands on a 30-day free trial directly on their website if you’d like to give it a test run. A custom quote will be required for all business users seeking to use the service.
A leader in remote connection software, LogMeIn is incredibly easy to install and connect. With powerful endpoint management, it provides top-of-the-line remote assistance experience.
One of LogMeIn’s more interesting features comes in the form of a remote desktop health and status evaluation monitor. This enables you to set up a system of alerts based on your specified criteria.
Another feature of LogMeIn is the ability to access and file-share directly from your online account. This allows for both client and host to share files without losing access and control of the remote computer.
The service does offer a free trial to both versions, Pro/Central (full-remote access package) and Rescue (on-demand support) so you can check them out prior to making a commitment.
This remote desktop manager service provides two distinct options from which to choose – Support and Access. The one you decide to use will determine the service provided.
The Support plan is a cloud-based platform intended for help-desk style services, at $19 per month when paid annually ($24, if not), per user. That’s one user, for one connection, at $19 for the lowest tier. The features included with the price tag are access to ten unattended devices, file transfer, remote printing, and remote collaboration.
There are two additional tiers attached to the Support plan, Standard and Premium, which offer additional user sessions on unlimited devices, wake on LAN, remote command line, and other features at a higher cost.
The Access plan grants the client endpoint management, allowing for the monitoring and support of machines without disrupting end users. The features provided lean more toward internal IT solutions such as advanced reporting and a real-time alert system.
The pricing model for Access depends on the number of unattended access agents in your workforce beginning at $30 for 25 agents and shooting upward to $1,250 for 2,500 agents.