Are you in the midst of transitioning your team, or even your entire company, to remote working? You're not alone.
Remote work is on the rise. That means companies need software that lets them stay in touch with a fully distributed workforce, securing their laptops and rapidly addressing IT concerns.
Tech.co has matched the core features needed against the best pricing available, in order to figure out all the top remote desktop software options on the market today. While we'd recommend TeamViewer due to its range of features and ease of use, all the services below are worth considering.
Here's what to know about each top remote service. And once you're informed, take the next step today with a taster trial of one of the brands below.
In this guide:
TeamViewer: Best overall
LogMeIn: Best for unlimited users
Anydesk: Best for small businesses
GoToMyPC: Best for performance
Zoho Assist: Best for Zoho integrations
RemotePC: Best for affordability
ConnectWise: Best for custom branding
SplashTop: Best for enterprises
Iperius Remote: Best for Windows users
Parallels: Best for mobile devices
Maximum accessible devices
$50.90 per month
$30 per month
$10.99 per month
$35 per month
$8 per month
$2.46 per month
$19 per month
$5 per month
$9.47 per month
$1.67 per month
1-200, depending on plan
Unlimited for all plans
1-unlimited, depending on plan
1-50, depending on plan
1-unlimited, depending on plan
200-500, depending on plan
2-10, depending on plan
1-unlimited, depending on plan
Unlimited, if you're willing to pay enough
2-10 per user
Unlimited, but 2-100 concurrent connections
5 computers, unlimited mobile devices
Starts at: $49/month
TeamViewer supports a large number of remotely managed devices (including PC, Mac, Linux and mobile), with plans starting at 200 devices and going as high as 500.
The constraints that a business is likely to run up against are TeamViewer's more limited number of licensed users, as well as the cap on the number of participants per meeting. Here's how the differences shake out across TeamViewer's three plans.
TeamViewer meets reasonable security standards, with its 2048-bit RSA key exchange and 256-bit AES session encoding. The interface is intuitive, and thanks to the service's mass remote deployment feature, it's easy to quickly set up across multiple devices. Features include desktop sharing, online conferencing, and remote file transfers.
Support channels include email, phone, and live chat during business hours, alongside online resources such as FAQs and video tutorials. The pricing is average for the industry, and the large number of devices supported makes TeamViewer particularly attractive for large or medium-sized businesses in need of a way to remotely support hundreds of employees.
- Supports 200-500 devices
- Has mass remote deployment
- Easy to use and set up
- Base plan only supports 1 user
Best for unlimited users
Starts at: $30/month
LogMeIn Pro is a flexible solution, great for a small business or startup with a team that frequently travels. With it, users can easily access their work computer remotely from just a mobile device. However, the number of managed devices is small, with just two, five, or ten computers made remotely accessible through LogMeIn Pro's three plans.
All plans include remote access, remote printing, 1TB file storage, and a multi-monitor display ability. LogMeIn Pro offers plenty of support across email, phone, tickets, live chat, and online resources, including a database and community forum. It comes with a unique perk, too: All LogMeIn Pro plans offer at least one free license to LastPass Premium, the company's password management service.
- Supports unlimited users
- 1TB file storage
- Bundled with a free password manager
- Only supports between 2 and 10 devices
- No group collaboration features
Best for small businesses
Starts at: $10.99/month
Anydesk is the option small businesses or freelancers may want to consider, both because of its low $10.99 a month starting cost, and because it includes a free plan. However, this plan is only for individuals, and for private use rather than a work environment. Here's what to expect from each of Anydesk's three pricing plans, all of which are billed annually.
All plans offer the core remote access functionality, as well as remote printing, file transfers, and an on-screen whiteboard feature. A 14-day free trial can help users figure out if it's for their team, as well. One drawback to this software is the limits on the number of devices and sessions, which are capped at just one of each for the most inexpensive plan. That said, the Power plan offers unlimited devices and users, while remaining inexpensive relative to similar services' highest priced plans. It supports all major devices, and offers email and phone support as well.
- Supports 28 languages
- Updates automatically
- 14-day free trial
- Outdated interface
- Occasionally buggy, particularly with bad connection
Best for performance
Starts at: $35/month/computer
GoToMyPC remotely connects computers with no visible lag time, allowing mouse movements and keystrokes to feel fluid. It offers a range of bandwidth settings as well, though you're unlikely to need them as long as your connection isn't terrible. The service's pricing plans vary in what they offer: The $35/month starting price is specifically for one user, letting them access unlimited devices, while the $66/month Pro plan starts with two computers per month. The Corporate plan is designed for ten or more users, and starts at $140/month.
Features include handy file transferring and syncing abilities as well as multiple monitors, and the software installs quickly and easily. Costs increase quickly as users increase, so larger companies may want to think twice, but GoToMyPC is a high performing service great for small and medium remote businesses.
- Wide range of bandwidth settings
- 24/7 support
- Little-to-no lag time
- Not all plans offer remote deployment
- $66/month for every 2 devices
Best for Zoho integrations
Starts at: $8/month
Zoho Assist is a feature-rich remote access solution. It's a good option for larger businesses and an even better option for businesses that already use Zoho software, given the many straightforward integrations it offers. Features include the typical core abilities: File transfers, multiple monitors, remote reboots, and voice, video, or instant chat. Remote support sessions can be scheduled ahead of time through the software as well, a plus for large companies that need the infrastructure to pack in plenty of remote IT sessions.
A bulk deployment ability makes Zoho Assist easy to get up and running. It's entirely web-based – which helps keep it secure, since no installs or downloads are required – and idle sessions can be set to timeout once they've been inactive for a specific period of time. The end-to-end SSL and AES 256-bit encryption help with security as well.
Zoho Assist is available in three pricing plans, plus a more limited free one. The Standard plan costs $8/user/month, the Professional plan costs $13/user/month, and the Enterprise plan costs $21/user/month. That said, you'll only get a handful of particularly useful features with the Professional and Enterprise plans, including session scheduling, screensharing, and the mobile app, available on iOS and Android.
- Integrates with Zoho software
- No installs or downloads needed
- Intuitive mobile app
- Features are limited
Best for affordability
Starts at: $2.46/month
RemotePC offers four plans. There's the Consumer plan, which costs just $29.50/year ($2.46/month) for one user and access to two computers, then the SOHO plan, which costs $69.50/year ($5.79/month) and includes unlimited users and access to ten computers. The Team plan costs then $249.50/year ($20.79/month) with unlimited users and 50 computers, while the Enterprise plan costs $499.50/year ($41.63/month) for unlimited users and 100 computers.
All plans come with core features including file transfer, remote reboot, remote printing, video conferencing, and a whiteboard feature. Audio files can be remotely played as well. 24/7 support is available for email and chat, with more limited phone support – and, for the Team and Enterprise plans, a Helpdesk offers on-demand remote support, too.
Security comes through a TLS v 1.2/AES-256 encryption for transferring authentication data, as well as “Personal Key,” a feature that gives each device a unique password set for extra protection. Single sign-on is available, but only for the Team and Enterprise plans.
- On-demand Helpdesk support
- Remote-play audio files
- Not all plans offer single sign-on
Best for custom branding
Starts at: $19/month
ConnectWise Control's three plans start with One, which gives a single user access to ten devices remotely (one at a time) for $19/month. The Standard plan lets one user access unlimited devices, with a cap of three concurrent ones, for $35/month. Lastly, the Premium plan lets one user access unlimited devices with a cap of ten concurrent ones, and costs $45/month.
Features available across all plans include remote meetings, file transfer, remote printing, and remote support. Custom branding is also available on all plans, a perk that helps a business keep its professional brand front and center. This level of customizability is rarely included on all plans, making ConnectWise's otherwise fairly stripped-down service a cost-effective way to stay professional.
- Unlimited devices
- Custom branding
- Good pricing
- Concurrent devices are capped
- Interface is clunky
Best for enterprises
Starts at: $5/month
The web-based SplashTop Business Access has two plans, with tiered pricing for the second. The first plan, Solo, costs $5/month for a single user accessing a maximum of two computers. Most businesses will prefer the second plan, Pro, which starts at $8.25/month/user, and lets each user access ten computers. This drops 20% to $6.60/user/month if the business has between 4 and 9 users. If the business is paying for between 10 and 49 users, the cost for these users drops 45% to $4.54/month/user, and it drops further to $4.13/month/user for 50 or more users.
All plans offer file transfer, remote printing, and remote audio, but you'll need to spring for Pro to get multiple monitors, remote waking and rebooting, and instant chat. One nice Pro perk that not all remote access software offers: Two users can remotely access the same computer simultaneously. That said, SplashTop doesn't offer some moderately common bells-and-whistles features like video conferencing.
- Tiered pricing is attractive to enterprises
- Web-based, no installs needed
- No video conferencing
Best for Windows users
Starts at: $9.47/month
Iperius Remote is available in seven plans, all of which offer the same features and unlimited remote devices. They are differentiated entirely by how many concurrent connections are allowed in each: The Small plan costs €96/year (about $9.47/month) for two connections; the Medium plan costs €246/year (about $24.26/month) for five connections; The Large plan costs €386/year (about $38.07/month) for 10 connections; The X-Large plan costs €596/year (about $58.78/month) for 15 connections; The Huge plan costs €1,129/year (about $111.33/month) for 30 connections; The Fifty plan costs €1,849/year (about $182.33/month) for 50 connections; And the Cento plan costs €3,609/year (about $355.88/month) for 100 connections.
The service is installable as a Windows service. This means that, while operators will be able to connect from Windows, Mac, and Linux machines alike, only computers running on Windows can be automatically accessed remotely.
Features include file transfer, instant chat, screensharing, historical data, multiple monitors, and multiple connections allowed to the same computer. Support is limited to email and online documentation, which includes an FAQ and tutorials. The software is fully portable, with no installation or firewall configuration needed. Security measures include integrated encryption and HTTPS, and custom passwords can be set on each remotely accessed device.
- No installation needed
- Supports custom passwords for each device
- Functionality is more limited with non-Windows computers
- No phone support
Best for mobile devices
Starts at: $1.67/month
Parallels Access has a personal plan and a business plan. The one-user personal plan offers five remote computers plus unlimited mobile devices, and is available in a one-year subscription for $19.99 ($1.67/month) or for a two-year $34.99 subscription ($2.92/month). The business plan is $49 per year ($4.08/month), and includes unlimited users, but still caps remote computers at just five, although mobile devices are unlimited. Additional five-computer packs will cost another $49/year each.
In other words, while this is the cheapest service on our list, the fact that it only supports five remote computers makes it limited enough that we didn't list it as our affordable pick. It's best for small businesses or startups with tiny teams, and it offers a great set of features for mobile devices.
Parallels is available for both iOS and Android, although some abilities (opening desktop applications while on mobile, support for Samsung S Pen) are specific to Android devices. Adding it to mobile is a quick process, too, using an installation link or QR code rather than an app download.
- Unlimited users
- Unlimited mobile devices
- Starts at $1.67/mo
- Only supports five remote computers
- Some features only work on Android devices
What Is Remote Access Software?
Remote access software applications allow a business's IT team to remotely view and interact with files and programs across all work computers used by their distributed workforce. This allows them to monitor and assist their entire team, no matter where they are in the world.
Remote Access Software Benefits
Remote access software helps a business meet its employees wherever they are, reducing stress in a variety of ways while saving on their bottom line as well. Here are the core benefits you can expect:
- Increased flexibility is a top reason to adapt remote access software. With it, teams can work entirely or partially from home, setting the hours that work best for them rather than shoehorning themselves into a strict nine-to-five job.
- Reduced distractions can improve workers' focus, as their meetings can be turned into emails and their home environment won't include chatty coworkers.
- Reduced travel costs can help a company save funds, while letting employees avoid the rush hour commute.
- Minimized office space overhead, as the physical office is another big budget item that can be reduced or cut out entirely thanks to a distributed workforce.
And, thanks to the mass deployment functionality available through many remote access services, IT departments will be able to automate some of their workload as well.
Who Needs Remote Desktop Software?
You won't be surprised to hear that any business which is making remote work a part-time or full-time option for their employees should adapt remote access software as a way to assist them. And furthermore, any business should consider a flexible work schedule policy: indeed, 100% remote work was the most popular flexible work option in one 2019 survey.
But the software remains a useful tool for businesses that aren't remote: It helps IT teams resolve software issues from their desks, streamlining the entire process. In short, remote desktop software can help any modern business.
Verdict: What's the Best Remote Desktop Software?
So which should you chose? They're differentiated by their limits. TeamViewer supports fewer users, while LogMeIn Pro supports fewer devices. Thus, if you have a vast number of employees working remotely but a smaller IT team, TeamViewer is for you. If you have a small team, LogMeIn Pro is a great fit. Plus, LogMeIn Pro lets non-IT users remotely access their work files or programs, a benefit that goes beyond the traditional use of remote access software but opens up more collaboration opportunities for remote workers.
We've broken down the differences between the two services in more depth in this TeamViewer vs LogMeIn comparison article. And in the end, all of the ten services listed here are worth considering, so don't feel as though you can't roam outside of our chosen few.
We answer common questions you may have about choosing and using remote access software.
- No data encryption – standard secure connections tend to use TLS and 256-bit AES (also called AES-256) encryption.
- Poor access tools – role-based access tools can help ensure users only have access to the computers they need
- Two-factor authentication – this adds an additional step before a device can be accessed. While inputting an extra passcode can be tedious, it's a big step towards bolstering security
- Cybersecurity – a good antivirus software can filter your employees' online activity
A remote workforce should vet its remote access software of choice, as well as its business-wide safety protocols, to ensure they address these issues.
Antivirus software is another way to stay safe, and we have a guide to the top antivirus vendors as well. Finally, a virtual private network, or VPN, can add a layer of security and anonymity to your online browsing activity. And, as you may have guessed, we have a VPN guide that we think you'll like.
This means free remote access software isn't great for remote IT support. It's still a fine option for a freelancer that wants to work on two different computers, or one who wants to access their personal computer from their mobile device while on the go. However, a business that needs to supply remote IT support to more than just a couple of employees will likely find a paid service suits their needs better.
In addition, remote workforce powered by remote access software will save a business money by allowing them to avoid travel costs, and to stop paying for their physical office space. While this benefit won't directly boost productivity, it will free up funds that can be reinvested in the business's growth.
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