Best Free Remote Desktop Software in 2020

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If you are in a need of accessing your computer while you are telecommuting or you might need to log in various network devices in order to deploy software and resolve technical issues, then you have come to the right place. In today’s blog, we are presenting you with the leading remote desktop tools for 2020.

Remote desktop tools are not a novelty but what is different from the past is that they are now a necessity due to the rapid mobility of the growing international companies. 

If you start searching which one is the right option for remote desktop software, you will find out a variety of such and this can be rather a daunting task, due to all the confusing interfaces, rogue tools as well as buggy services.

This is why we did the research for you and we made a list of 10 best remote desktop tools at the moment. What is even better is that all the ten on the list ate either with a free trial or free of charge.

Here is the list:

  1. SolarWinds Dameware -It is a remote access tool that is a cloud-based and great supportive tool recommended for IT departments or MSPs. It can be installed on Windows as well as Windows Server. It is available in 2 business options and has a free trial of 14 days. 
  2. Atera – This is a remote management and monitoring program recommended for MSPs, with integrated Splashtop.
  3. SolarWinds Take Control – A remote control suite that consists of VoIP, chat, and option for multiple users. 
  4. Zoho Assist -Cloud-based package consisting of remote access as well as remote desktop utilities.
  5. ISL Online – A secure remote access as well as a remote desktop system that is cloud-based and available in the form of on-premises software.
  6. ManageEngine Remote Access Plus – You can choose this software as on-premises and as a cloud service. The remote access system is an interactive program for clients who use Windows, Linux, as well as Mac OS.
  7. TeamViewer A commonly used and well-known remote desktop system which has a paid option and free of charge for individuals. 
  8. Chrome Remote Desktop -A simple, direct remote desktop program that can be operated via a Google Chrome browser.
  9. Microsoft Remote Desktop- Microsoft program which is free of charge and guarantees remote desktop access for all and any devices which operate on Windows.
  10. Remmina – An open-source project which is recommended for companies and individuals. 

The work of a typical remote desktop 

A remote desktop tool consists of two sections: an agent and a console. 

The first part is the console, which represents a software displaying a window opened on the controlling device that provides a view on the remote computer. 

The second part is the agent. You need to instal this on the remote computer. Usually, this works in the background and does not distract the remote computer user. The owner of the computer grants a permission for the installation of the remote desktop agent. Only in this way, the agent can operate. 

Some of the remote desktop programs or software are cloud-based. If this is the case the console can be accessed online. This does not influence the installation of the agent on the controlled remote computer. 

After the installation of the agent and the placing of the console is completed, the user has to log in to the remote computer with his or her own credentials. The desktop represents a cast to the accessing device’s window.  In this phase, you can obtain full access and the user can start his/her work regardless of the current location with one simple requirement of a reliable Internet. 

The best free remote desktop tools & software

The list of remote desktop tools represents a combination of business options as well as personal use.

1. SolarWinds Dameware 

This is a professional system that is mostly recommendable for business users. It is one of the leading on the market and this is why it has reserved the position number one on our list.   

Dameware represents a remote support tool that offers a free trial of 14 days for its products and after the two weeks expiry, you have to pay for each subscription.  

It can be accessed online and in this event you pay for each subscription or the second option for access is on-premises where you can purchase the software with a single payment. Each of the options has a different name so the online program is named Dameware Remote Everywhere and Dameware Remote Support is the name of the on-premises software, which can be installed on Windows as well as Windows Server while Dameware Remote Everywhere does not work as an operating system because it is online and you can access the console through a browser. 

Both systems work with Windows, Linux and Mac OS,  and can be accessed via mobile apps. Although the subscription is paid per technician, one perk is that 500 remote devices can be accessed by each operative. Dameware Remote Support as an on-premises system has no remote device restrictions. One thing that is common with the other option is the pricing system – paid subscription per technician. 

The software is recommendable for  IT support sectors and service providers. 

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Our Editor’s choice is Dameware among other things because it offers you an option to choose between having it as a remote access program or on-premises software on the personal servers. It features capacities for remote control, session log-ins, system information scans, and Wake-on-LAN and integrated ticketing system.
You can install the agent on mobile or desktop system and on any devices running on Mac OSX, Windows or Linux.

OS: Cloud-based or Windows, Windows Server

2. Atera

Atera is a recommendable package for managed service providers (MSPs). This tool is great for MSP’s technicians as it provides them with all the required tools for remote network management with an additional module for business running to assist the MSP managers. 

The section for the technical support of Atera is a system named “remote monitoring and management” (RMM). It consists of remote access software together with administration scripts with an automated remote system used for the client’s system maintenance.  The package also consists of a Help Desk, that has an access portal for the user community plus a dashboard for the technicians that can be used during their work on the ticket. 

The Help Desk grants access to the remote desktop, or in other words called Splashtop. The interface consists of a chat for the technician to instruct and give tips to the user and assist him/her in the exploration and finding a solution for the issue that was registered on the support ticket.

This service is cloud-based and you can access it via any web browser. If you want to use it on your mobile this is made possible via an app that is free for download on mobile devices. There is a free trial for a month after which you can subscribe monthly or annually per technician.  

3. SolarWinds Take Control 

SolarWinds MSP Take Control is recommended for support technicians who work for MSPs, and the IT sectors in the companies. This tool is also great for the support of the freelance and independent technicians as it possesses all that is required for communication with the user who has asked for help. It also has a queueing system for the services.

It is a cloud-based system and after you have tested it for 14 days free, you will have to pay monthly per technician. Thus, this system is equally good for individual technicians and working teams for bigger companies and MSPs. 

There is an option for the remote access software to present the activities of the technicians on the screen. You can get access to the operating system and there is no need to go through the remote device desktop.

There are two levels of the Take Control program where the higher one is named Take Control Plus. This level is recommendable for supervised technicians as it consists of monitoring of the sessions and functions for reporting of the performance. It also has a survey submitted to the user to complete it for evaluation of the technician’s work. 

This service is payable on a monthly and yearly basis with the annual plan being more affordable. The only catch here is that payment is in advance. 

4. Zoho Assist 

Zoho is a well-known name in the business software market and in ownership of the top IT management software ManageEngine. This time it comes with a package named Zoho Assist, which is cloud-based and thus recommended for MSP technicians and help desk. One interesting feature is the brandable remote desktop where you can insert the logo of your company. 

The customer should first approve the remote connection and all communication is encrypted with 256-bit AES. 

This package has a live chat and feature for file transfer. There is an option for multiple sessions at one single remote computer where you can view the activities of the user in a window and at the same time other window presents the activities of the operating system.  The technician can also screen share with the client in order to explain something or give instructions and in this case, there is no need to give account to the client. 

Zoho Assist incorporates also a complete remote access system that has bulk research automation and all updates of the endpoints. Zoho provides a free trial on the Assist package.

5. ISL Online 

ISL Online is a system that can be cloud-based or installed on-premises. The cloud-based online system is charged by subscription and the on-premises program is payable based on a single invoice. 

The system software drivers are classified into two categories: the first one being for technicians and the second one for remote access agents. The module can be installed on devices running on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. The technician accesses to the dashboard which acts as a host and enables the start and running of the sessions. The remote agent is also accessible at the same operating systems mentioned above. Both versions are mobile-friendly and available at mobile apps for iOS, Windows 10 Mobile, and Android.

This system provides remote access to the PCs’ of the clients as well as a remote desktop that offers Help Desk where live support is enabled for the users. The service screen is customizable and the branding of the dashboard is possible. Besides the feature of live chat, the program offers software for live chat that is included without any additional costs. 

All connections within the system and between it and the connected devices are secured with security procedures of the best practices and encryption 256-bit AES encryption, as well as two-factor authentication support. The software integrates the ongoing access rights of the managers and creates one sign-on environment.

ISL Online can be tested for free within 15 days unlimited use with all features available just the same with the paid system. 

6. ManageEngine Remote Access Plus 

It is a set of tools that enables the remote access of PCs and has a module of a remote desktop. This system can be obtained in three options: the first one is cloud-based, second on the servers of ManageEngine servers, and the last installed as on-premises at  Windows and Windows Server. 

The tool eases access to the computers of the clients with relevant installed agent software. The agent is installed at Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. The remote computer owner needs to grant permission for the agent. 

After the agent becomes active, the control console can be used by the technician to work on a variety of tasks for maintenance of the PC automatically based on scripts or manually. 

The remote utilities on the desktop are supported by chat option that can be in a form of video, voice, and text between the two parties – the technician and the client. The technicians can explore, turn on and off the computers remotely.   

Remote Access Plus has three editions with one of those free of charge. The Freeversion can be used for a control of 10 PCs. Not all the features are available with the free version, for example, remote shutdown, as well as Wake-on-LAN, go only with the paid versions known under the name of Standard and Professional. If you want to test it there is a month free trial. 

7. TeamViewer

TeamViewer has been one of the leading in this industry. The numbers of installation show how popular this system is -over 2 billion installations. What’s even more interesting it is a commercial product that can be used free of charge if you are an individual. However, if you want to install it for business use, the system shall charge you. 

If we look at its name TeamViewer we understand that this program is about team cooperation and owns a set of communication features that place it among the best remote desktop software. You can use it for video conferencing as well as demonstration broadcasting.

The remote desktop connection system is based on two-factor authentication which increases the protection and all file sharing is encrypted with 256-bit AES.

You can access the controller software on Android mobile devices and the remote pc operating on Mac OS, Windows,Linux and iOS. It also consists of  file sharing facilities and capacities for script execution. 

8. Chrome Remote Desktop

One of the options that we have on our PCs is the browser of Google Chrome which works as a remote desktop viewer. Businesses also use a version of remote support, which is free of charge. 

To use this tool you will need to provide a Google account or Gmail address. In order to use it you need to install an agent program on the device that you will access. After this is installed, you will need to give a PIN for authorized access and the access is possible via browser and Internet device. 

The program works on all operating systems which run Google Chrome as well as apps on all devices. HTTPS protection is secured for all remote sessions of communication and you know it is safe for transfer files as well because this system is the one that secures credit card information for purchase on the net.

9. Microsoft Remote Desktop

Microsoft released its own remote desktop program free of charge and allowing free remote access to all PCs that run the operating systems Windows Server, Professional, and Enterprise. Access is also possible from mobile-only if it runs Windows Mobile and even Xbox One can be used as an accessor or remote tool.

The access is possible for ten devices on one Microsoft account. The complete program operates via the Internet and one of the perks is that it can be integrated into the computer system very easily. Businesses, as well as individuals, can use this system free of charge. 

10. Remmina

Remmina represents an open-source program that is also free to use by businesses, as well as individuals. There is a restriction on the services as some of them are on disposal only for Windows. Remmina is made available on Mac, Unix, Raspberry Pi, Linux. What is important to know is that you cannot use Windows for console running but you can manage and communicate PCs with OS.

There is a scope of protocols for communication and in order to reach remotely the PC, you can make a selection between RDP, VNC, XDMCP, and SSH system. There is a tabbed interface in the console which offers possibilities of opening a connection for a non-limiting number of PCs at the same time.  Codes are downloadable because this system is an open source and later you can adjust these to the system requirements.

How to choose the right remote desktop software

We have covered on the list the ten leading remote desktop software that can be used by individuals, businesses, independent technicians or network administrators, so we are certain that you will find the right one for you. 

The two options that we would recommend are Dameware and Atera because of the complete and full control of the network remote workstations. 

If you need something more simple and just to get things done while not in the office you could surely appreciate the many free options on our list such as Chrome Remote Desktop, Microsoft Remote Desktop that operate on many devices as well as operating systems.

About the author

Sarah Azzi

Sarah Azzi is a mum from Sydney who loves testing the latest goods around the house. She is avid fan of Netflix. Sarah aims to provide the best information for visitors on Current.com.au to find a good deal.

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