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Today, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, every business is focusing on working remotely with their employees working from different locations. Everyone uses remote desktops to log in to their systems. Windows has an in-built facility and supported protocols for facilitating remote connections.
The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) introduced by Microsoft offers a graphical user interface that connects the user to a remote system over the network.
You can find various RDP alternatives in the market that are designed for addressing the potential functionality gaps. The below article will discuss the Remote Desktop Protocol, how it works, the benefits of using RDP, and various suitable RDP alternatives currently available.
What is RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol)?
RDP enables remote users to use Windows. It is a Microsoft protocol that facilitates the secure transfer of the application data between the client, device, and the virtual network server.
A remote user is allowed to add a graphical interface on some other or the host system. RDP has compatibility with various local area network protocols and topologies. It can handle thousands of different data channels for multipoint transmissions.
RDP allows you to control a remote desktop session along with deleting or copying the data between the applications running on different host machines. Remote Desktop Protocol is mostly useful for troubleshooting purposes and resolving bugs by logging in to their system remotely to understand the user problem efficiently.
RDP usually is used for Windows only, which enables you to establish a remote connection with the Windows PCs with Windows Server installations. If we consider Windows 10 Home, you can use this Windows as a client connected to other Windows Remote Desktops, but not vice-versa.
It allows establishing a single connection to Windows PC with a remote desktop facility. If you want to connect multiple users simultaneously, you will require Windows Server with an enabled RDS component.
How does the Remote Access Protocol Work?
Whenever a user tries to start a remote desktop session, the client machine will send the signal using a listening port via the internet. This signal will be sent to the host system for establishing a connection with the required login details.
After getting the signal, the host system will respond by asking for the login details and confirming the details through the remote desktop user’s list using the validating process. Once the user gets the access, the hosting system’s screen is visible, and you are allowed to perform various actions as per your access rights.
You may or may not be allowed to make multiple connections on the remote desktop simultaneously. If any user is still trying to make a connection, the connection will get terminated automatically.
Benefits of Using the Remote Desktop Protocol
- Working remotely enhances and promotes virtualization and helps employees improve their productivity by working from any location.
- Remote desktop protocols ensure efficient data security as all the systems are equipped with well-trained security teams to look for any breach to the server.
- Having a remote desktop connection facility helps the company to save infrastructure and employee costs.
- Remote desktop managers help you access the data across the world within no time, improving the company’s productivity.
- It helps the company to manage team accessibility efficiently.
Best Windows RDP (Remote Desktop Protocols)
1. SolarWinds Dameware Remote Support
It is one of the most commonly used desktop connection managers providing high-quality end-user support. It is a package that contains the remote control protocol along with the system management tools. Dameware is an affordable fully-featured remote management tool.
Dameware is a cloud-based remote support software providing you with remote access software and supporting a modernized workplace across various platforms.
It offers you a web portal where technicians carry out common tasks related to remote administration, such as handling remote support requests, configuring various agents, creating reports on technician activity, and gathering surveys.
Dameware offers remote admin tools and a console controlling multiple active directory domains simultaneously. You can simplify routine tasks using its tools and plugins. Also, you can connect to various systems inside and outside the network with it.
- Comes with a Dameware mini remote control that allows multi-platform access.
- With its TCP utilities, you do not have to launch a complete remote control session for troubleshooting the remote computers.
- It can easily support multiple AD sessions, groups, and users.
- You can even unlock user accounts, reset passwords, and change other settings.
- Ensures multi-factor authentication.
- You can access remote systems whether they are on sleep mode or turned off.
- Provides Android and iOS mobile applications to connect to the system remotely.
- You can extract the AD properties and other configurations in the CSV file.
- You cannot record anything while performing activities.
- Does not offer you an excellent interface.
2. Zoho Assist
Zoho Assist is a cloud-based software offering you remote support as well as remote access services. It helps you to support even distant customers by creating a web-based, on-demand remote support session.
You can efficiently set up unattended remote access along with effortlessly managing the remote PCs, laptops, mobile devices, and servers. You will be able to establish secure connections with customers using remote support solutions within seconds without wasting any second.
Zoho Assist helps you with various features, like remote support, file transferring, screen sharing, and accessing unattended systems. It can efficiently work for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Linux systems, allowing you to support a wide range of clients. It will enable you to start the session in various ways, like the browser, desktop, or mobile.
- Helps you in accessing the command prompt, control panel, and other features of the host system.
- You can perform various actions using this software, including transferring files, chatting, and running services.
- Allows you to manage unattended systems efficiently.
- Comes with bulk deployment options that help in configuring the computers for unattended access.
- Keeps the customer data safe with data encryption, role-based access, and other features.
- Provides a beginner-friendly interface.
- Cheaper as compared to other RDP options.
- Provides free cloud storage.
- Allows you to record sessions while performing various tasks.
- Supports multiple languages.
- You can give remote print, but it only works for Windows.
- Screen sharing is available for Chromebooks.
3. Manage Engine RAP
It is commonly used as a troubleshooting tool, especially by admins and IT help desk. Manage Engine RAP supports an intuitive interface that is easy to manage and handle. This tool works well not only on Windows but also on macOS and Linux systems.
- Offers various in-built features, like accessing command prompts, secured files. manager, device manager, and event log viewer.
- Also offers tools, like voice, audio, video, and remote shutdown.
- You can access up to 10 computers.
- Examine all the network peers for any issue to detect the root cause.
- Enhances team collaboration.
- Uses powerful tools to resolve issues.
- Comes with voice and video chat features for better interaction.
- You can easily boot up the remote computer on-demand with a click.
- Keeps track of the performed actions and remote sessions, chat registry.it allows you to remotely turn off the computers with no active users.
- Comes in 3 editions
- Standard, and
- Ensures 256-bit AES encryption.
- Helps in tracking every performed troubleshooting task.
- Offers role-based access control to ensure data safety.
- Setting up this tool can be confusing for beginners.
- You may encounter slow speed and performance while operating on multiple tabs.
- It may crash the email collection system.
- The user interface is not user-friendly.
- You will not get automated responses to your queries.
- Doesn’t support integration with Slack.
4. Supremo Remote Desktop
It is a lightweight software that does not require installing firewalls and routers to access remote systems or servers. Supremo enables multiple users to connect to the same machine at the same time. This software starts with the Windows startup and allows the user to control the remote machine without any interruption.
- Can handle multiple connections at the same time.
- Comes with a powerful and robust free address book.
- Offers a Window service to handle unattended access.
- Supports USilio and has UAC compatibility.
- Available on Play Store and iTunes.
- Has an intuitive interface and consists of small executable files.
- Offers an easy-to-use file manager.
- Allows you to monitor remote connections by providing online reports.
- You can subscribe to any plan for commercial or private usage.
- Free update to the new version.
- No unnecessary installation is required.
- Ensures complete safety with the AES-256 bit algorithm.
- You do not require human intervention for starting the remote session. It will start itself with the start of Windows by changing the settings.
- Comes with a 21-day free trial.
- Available for Windows, macOS, and mobile systems.
- Has no voice support.
- You cannot give print commands remotely.
- No option to record sessions.
5. ISL Light Remote Desktop
ISL Light is a web-based remote desktop solution that allows you to access and control a computer running any OS in seconds from any other system or mobile device. It helps in providing ad-hoc technical support to users using mobile devices for accessing the remote desktop facility. It ensures two-factor authentication.
The Windows RDP alternative offers benefits, like cross-platform support, high security, ensuring high-speed screen sharing, and comes with a cloud-based or on-premises license. It has various customization options that enable you to rebrand the software as per your business requirement and apply advanced security solutions.
The remote desktop software comes with the support to access unattended systems. This software can work on any device running Windows, macOS, or Linux, and Android. You can use this software as a cloud-based service or on-premise service. With ISL Light Remote Desktop, you can connect to any remote server within seconds.
- Ensures high-speed screen sharing.
- You can reboot or restart the remote system within the same ongoing session.
- Provides 256-bit AES authentication.
- Offers session recording, computer sharing, file transfer, and other services.
- Allows you to connect to the remote system in various ways.
- The performance of this software is according to the price, and you will not regret buying it.
- Comes with support for 28 languages.
- Has responsive customer support.
- You can give the remote print command, but it is a challenging task.
- Comes with a free trial, but you have to pay for the software.
- You have to provide extra details for reporting purposes.
NinjaRMM was launched in 2013. It helps MSPs and IT professionals to simplify their workday with the help of an intuitive and user-friendly RMM. The company has grown globally, supporting over 5k customers across multiple countries.
NinjaRMM has its headquarters in Silicon Valley, with more than 150 employees around the world, and is still growing at a rapid rate. It is one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies in the IT management sector.
- Allows you to take control of the Windows and macOS systems with integrated TeamViewer and Splashtop.
- You can automate various tasks like OS applications and third-party applications.
- Monitors all the workstations.
- You can manage all your devices remotely without being interrupted by the end-users.
- Allows you to standardize the deployment, configuration, and device management.
- Helps in monitoring and managing Windows, Mac workstations, laptops and servers.
- You can remotely deploy and patch OS and use some third-party software to safeguard your endpoints.
- You can access the employee endpoints while sharing the admin permissions.
- Helps in tracking the inventory, usage of hardware and software.
- Comes with a self-heal service for the remote system in case of issues.
- Leverages IT management to avoid the need for RDP software.
- Enforces two-factor authentication and manages tool permission.
- UI can be confusing sometimes and hard to understand.
- Remote connections don’t always work the first time.
- The layout of clickable icons can be cumbersome.
7. RemotePC Desktop Software Tool
This tool helps in connecting with the user system without physically accessing it. It allows you to manage files, transfer files, and print remotely.
- Always available for remote access and can be connected with one-time instant access.
- You can connect to a remote system using your browser without installing any software.
- Platform-independent, secure, and scalable.
- You can easily drag and drop files between local and remote systems.
- Ensures easy file transfer, chats, and remote printing.
- You can connect to the remote system by sharing the one-time access ID and key.
- Add multiple remote systems as required without any additional hardware or software.
- Allows you to chat between systems.
- You can listen to audio files from the remote computer to your local system.
- Comes with an interactive user interface with a linear learning curve.
- Fast. Features a password protection facility.
- Less costly as compared to other Windows RDP alternatives.
- Ensures powerful integration and compatibility.
- It might face connectivity issues.
- The user interface can be improved.
- It will take time to add more members.
Remote working is prevalent in IT companies, and after the COVID-19 outbreak, more people are preferring working from their homes. To ensure security while connecting remotely, various RDP software is available. These allow you to access the system remotely and perform different actions as per your needs.
You can find various RDP for Windows, which are compatible with other platforms also. In the above article, we have mentioned the 7 best tools that can be used within your organization to securely transfer files, change server configs, and do other things remotely.