Android Remote Desktop Platform (RDP) Apps in a Nutshell
Humans have always been fascinated by the idea of controlling a computer from another place/device. Whenever we watch movies that portray people with superhuman abilities, remote controlling technology is a power that always entices us, and makes us wish we had it. Well, thanks to modern IT advancements, today people really do have the ability to control devices and electronic equipment from thousands of kilometers away, and the best example of this scenario is satellites and spacecraft.
Coming to more reachable technical progress, the personal computer (PC) has become the center stage of our digital lives. It stores important documents, entertainment files, and many more things that we might need when we are away from home. But more often than not, the size and delicacy of a PC might prevent us from taking it with us wherever we go (that applies to laptops as well if we’re on adventurous trips). In response to these needs, the concept of “remote desktop” was born.
Today, we will look at Remote Desktop Apps that allow us to access our computers from Android smartphones.
Starting with the Basic Question – What is a Remote Desktop App?
A remote desktop is an application that allows you to connect to a computer that’s situated at a different physical location than yours. With it, you can interact with the computer like you’re using it right in front of you. You can access files, use installed applications, and do many more things on that computer.
An Android remote desktop allows you to control your Windows PC from your Android smartphone, thanks to the key peripherals like mouse and keyboard which are shared with the particular Android device. Since the remote desktop app establishes a connection between two devices running different operating systems, you need to ensure both systems fulfill the minimum requirements to use the remote desktop feature.
What are the Requirements to use the Remote Desktop Feature?
Note: The remote desktop feature in Windows will only work on your local network.
If you want to use a remote desktop through the internet, you need to have a full Windows remote desktop installed on your PC. You need to know the IP address of both devices to establish a remote connection between them.
Beware that when you use a remote desktop through the internet, your PC will be exposed to threats, and there could be a possibility of unauthorized access to your PC without your knowledge. Thus, using a VPN is a suggested option to make the remote connection secure. You should know that such a connection requires an IP address, which could be hard to remember, especially if you’re using the dynamic DNS option in your router.
The best solution for this problem is to choose a static IP so that the remote connection process will be simplified and you will not have to access the command prompt to learn your computer’s IP address every so often.
Now that you know the minimum requirements, let’s learn how to use the Android Remote Desktop Platform (RDP) to connect to a remote desktop in Windows.
How does the Remote Desktop App Work on your Windows PC?
On Android Device
First, you need to download the remote desktop client on your Android smartphone and install it. Then launch the remote desktop app and add a remote desktop connection or remote sources. Remote Desktop connections allow you to connect directly to your Windows PC as well as remote resources such that you can access desktops and apps published by the admin. Once you’ve added sources, open the RDP client and add the name of the PC you want to connect to. Then tap the “Connect” button.
Note: For the remote desktop app to work perfectly, the Windows operating system needs to support remote access. Windows 10 Home edition doesn’t support remote desktop and you need to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro or higher to use this feature.
On Windows PC
The remote desktop feature is disabled by default. You need to enable it before establishing a new connection. On your Windows 10 PC, follow the steps given below:
- Click Start -> Settings -> System -> Remote Desktop, and enable Remote Desktop.
- Next, type remote desktop connection and enter the name of the PC you want to connect to
How to use Apple Remote Desktop?
Apple also supports remote desktop functionality. Let’s look at the steps to use the Remote Desktop feature in Apple’s Mac computer.
- On your Mac, select Apple menu -> System Preferences
- Click Share, and then select the Remote Management (place a tick in the box).
- The system will likely prompt you to select the tasks users are permitted to perform. If you’re not prompted, click Options to select Tasks. You can do one of the following:
- If you want to let anyone with a user account on your Mac share your screen, you need to select “All users”
- If you want only selected users to share your Mac, you need to select “Only these users” and click the Add button to select users.
- Click computer settings then select option for Mac. If people are accessing your Mac through VNC Viewer, you need to set a password for access.
- You need to install VNC Viewer from the Google Play store and install it on your device.
Now that you know how to use the Remote Desktop app to connect to Windows computer as well as Mac desktop, let’s look at the top 5 Android RDP apps that you can use.
Top 5 Android RDP Apps
AnyDesk is an RDP app that allows you to access files and documents stored in computers at multiple locations. It supports popular operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux. AnyDesk offers essential features like access control, file sharing, and online collaboration. It offers a personalized user interface and comes with an in-built address book that keeps track of all the connections and contacts. Designed for small to medium-sized businesses, it allows you to view the online status of collaborators as well as perform remote tasks with less bandwidth. The administration tool in the software allows session reporting, remote boot, automated invoicing, and billing. The remote desktop solution can be deployed on-premise (installed on your devices) or hosted on the cloud.
2. Chrome Remote Desktop
Chrome Remote Desktop is a popular remote desktop solution that provides a stable connection between two computers or devices. It comes with several helpful features that streamline the remote desktop connection and enable cross-platform functionality. It supports major operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux, and allows you to define key mappings as long as both the devices used in connections have a physical keyboard. It allows you to fix issues with a computer through the Android RDP app and also offers basic functions like file transfer, resizing display sessions, and keyboard controls. Chrome Remote Desktop is secure and you can set a PIN to access a remote computer from your Android device.
3. Microsoft Remote Desktop
Microsoft Remote Desktop is one of the best tools to control/access your PC remotely. It provides a seamless experience that can be compared to sitting in front of a PC. Microsoft Remote Desktop comes with a simple, easy-to-use interface, clipboard sharing and the app establishes remote desktop connection quickly.
It works with Windows OS only, and since Windows already comes with a remote desktop client installed, you just have to install Microsoft Remote Desktop on your Android device and you are ready to go. The app works well even on low-speed internet connections. It is used by IT departments the world over, and using it can help you save quite some time and effort.
TeamViewer is a popular remote connectivity solution that empowers users to connect anything, anywhere, and at any time. Once installed on your Android device and target PC, you can use it as an on-demand remote tool that allows file sharing and screen sharing. The software uses an adaptive compression algorithm that sacrifices some screen clarity to deliver a more responsive and pleasurable experience. It comes with multiple security layers where the software generates a unique 9 digit ID that is required to connect to the remote system. It has a default “Open on Login” setting which means the TeamViewer Client has to be manually launched on both devices to establish a remote connection.
5. Splashtop Personal Remote PC
Splashtop is a powerful remote desktop app for less tech-savvy users. It is easy to set up and the user interface is beginner-friendly and responsive. It allows you to connect multiple devices with different operating systems like Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. It has a worldwide server infrastructure and a reliable network that assures long-term performance.
Splashtop can be used to access unattended computers over the network. It comes with essential features like file sharing and screen recording. Splashtop software comes with powerful security integrations. Its cloud services are hosted by Amazon Web Services, which provides robust security for cloud applications.
Android remote desktop apps are useful software that allows you to monitor, control and maintain computers on a network. Such an app can be used to troubleshoot a PC from a remote location, thereby saving valuable time and money. These apps also allow you to access files from a remotely connected PC which is a useful feature in many work scenarios. There is no doubt you need to have Android RDP installed on your device to deal with unexpected work situations.