Remote desktop software, also known as remote access software, enables one computer to view or control another computer from any location. It can be used for transferring files between two machines without having to use a third-party communication or file-sharing app, for collaborating on group projects in real-time, and for demoing services to potential customers. But one of the most common use cases for remote desktop software is for IT teams or help desks to remotely troubleshoot problems on their users’ or customers’ machines without having to pay them a visit or talk them through the issue over the phone. This saves time and resources, while enabling businesses to offer comprehensive IT support to their remote users.
When an IT admin starts a remote desktop session, their machine—the “client” system—sends a signal via the internet to the machine they want to access—the “host” system—asking for permission to connect to that machine. The host system then authenticates the client system by asking the admin to log in using their credentials. Once logged in, the admin can view the screen of the host system and control it as if they were there in person.
To enable this, remote desktop solutions offer remote access between the client and host systems; this can range from having view-only access to taking full control over the host machine. They should also offer a text-chat or voice-chat for communicating. Most solutions offer file transfer via a file management interface, but some also offer drag-and-drop file sharing, a shared whiteboard, or a shared clipboard that enables admins to copy text, images, or files from one machine, and paste them onto the other.
In this article, we’ll explore the top remote desktop software. We’ll look at features such as remote access, communication tools, and secure file transfer. We’ll give you some background information on the provider and the key features of each solution, as well as the type of customer that they are most suitable for.