Update: This page has been updated to include new Zoho Assist plan features.
Remote PC access software can be a very valuable tool for businesses today. This software enables you to accomplish a number of tasks, such as remotely accessing your work computer from home and dialing in to another computer to troubleshoot a problem. With such a large variety of paid and free remote desktop control software available in 2020, finding the right remote PC access software to fit your business's needs can be a challenge. There are many factors to consider when choosing remote desktop software, including security, cost, functionality and sharing features. To help you narrow down your options, we've studied and evaluated the top remote PC access software on the market.
Update: This page has been updated to include new Zoho Assist plan features.
Remote PC Access Software Pricing and Negotiation
The most complex part of choosing the right remote PC access software is comparing costs. There are many ways of packaging and charging for remote access software, which can make it difficult to figure out which program will give you the most bang for your buck.
Most companies offer multiple business packages, and the general cost structure is either a flat annual rate or a monthly rate based on the number of users or licenses. The rate you choose will depend on what features you require, how many computers you will have, how many users and concurrent sessions you will need, your budget, and your ability to pay monthly or annually.
When comparing cost, keep in mind that some companies charge separately for features like unattended access and mobile device access. Be sure to factor in any additional taxes or fees that the software provider may charge. Inquire about these when discussing pricing.
Before buying remote PC access software, ask the company these questions to help ensure you are getting the best deal possible:
- Fees: Most companies don't charge additional fees; however, some may charge extra for features such as mobile device access and unattended access.
- Single-license limitations: If you are looking to purchase single-license software, be sure to compare those specific features. Single-user plans often place many limitations on features that are listed for the overall product.
- Upgrades and downgrades: In a scenario where your business needs to scale its remote software capabilities up or down, you want to be aware of the associated cost. Some companies offer prorated prices for upgrading, and others do not. When downgrading, some plans make this a simple online process, whereas others involve specific requirements, such as mailing or calling.
- Updates: Most software platforms automatically update your plan as new technology rolls out, but be sure to ask about this. Some plans may require you to upgrade your account to be compatible with these updated features.
Most companies are transparent when discussing the cost structure and plan details. However, it is important to carefully review all written contract details before signing anything. Make sure the contract has a clear cancellation policy and doesn't have any built-in price increases.
Is Remote PC Access Safe?
You may be asking yourself, "Is a remote desktop connection secure?" If you can access your work computer from home, is someone else able to as well?
The best remote PC access software takes high safety measures to ensure your computer login security. We closely investigated the security features of each software product, including the strength and ease of setup for the security features of each platform.
Each program allows you to customize the security settings for your remote session. These features typically include blanking the screen of the host machine while you access it, locking the keyboard and mouse, and automatically disconnecting if the session is inactive for too long. You can adjust these features and create or change credentials to access either the program's dashboard or the remote computer.
Secure transmissions are necessary when you're trying to remotely access another computer, especially when accessing sensitive or proprietary information. The industry standard is 128-bit encryption, but more financial and government institutions are moving toward 256 bits. Both encryption methods offer more than enough security. The 128-bit encryption protects you from outside attacks and maintains your performance. While the 256-bit encryption offers more security, likely more than you will ever need, the longer encryption affects performance. Your reason for using remote access software should help determine the level of security you need.
Passwords are a given for remote PC access software, so many companies offer a second layer of security, such as IP filtering. This gives you the ability to block access from specific computers, even if they use a valid password. This feature is particularly helpful in protecting businesses from former employees gaining access to unauthorized information. Locking the host screen and keyboard lets you work in privacy when your host computer is in an open office. An automatic timeout feature protects your computer from someone accessing it, should you or an employee forget to log out from a session. We took these features into account when selecting our best picks, along with the ease of setting them up and changing them.
What Can Remote PC Access Software Do for Me?
There are many reasons you might decide you need remote PC access software. Whether you are telecommuting and need to access your work computer from home or your IT department needs the ability to remotely control and troubleshoot computers, remote access is a key component of many businesses.
Many remote access platforms offer convenient features, such as desktop shortcuts and drag-and-drop file transfers, to easily access and transfer information. This makes it easier than ever to quickly reach an office computer from a desktop or mobile device. Whether you need to work from home on a regular basis or you are out to dinner and remember an important task that must be completed by morning, you can access your work computer from anywhere on your personal devices.
This software is especially ideal for IT work. You can remotely connect to verified computers to update programs or troubleshoot connection problems. Many of the programs we reviewed are multifunctional enough to suit a business IT department while remaining simple enough for general employee use. Some of the programs even allow for web conferencing and whiteboard chatting, which can be used for demos, classes or group projects. The video recording feature on most remote software allows you to record these sessions for future viewing.
If you are debating between two software platforms, most companies give you the option of a free version for personal use and a free trial for business. This gives you the opportunity to try out the software and see what works best for you. Find a platform with all the features you need to simplify your work, become more productive and remain connected.
Remote PC Access Software Review Methodology
To determine the best remote PC access software for businesses, we started with a pool of vendors that included the services listed below. After some preliminary research into each program, we investigated other potential remote PC access services to add to it. Overall, we conducted research on nearly two dozen remote PC access software providers.
We settled on 14 remote PC access software options to consider as best picks: Anyplace Control, BeyondTrust, ConnectWise Control, GoToMyPC, LogMeIn, NoMachine, Radmin, RealVNC, Remote Utilities, RemotePC, ShowMyPC, Splashtop, TeamViewer and Zoho Assist.
Next, we evaluated the software on a more in-depth scale. We looked at company websites and online resources to evaluate the functionality and sharing features available, as well as the general usability of each program. After narrowing down the list to the top 10 contenders, we created a list of essential features for each use case and then ranked each program based on those necessary features. Before finalizing our best picks, we posed as small business owners and contacted each company to evaluate its customer service.
We analyzed each program based on the following criteria:
- Browser-based vs. installation
- Cross-platform access
- Integration features
- Security measures
- File transfer options
- Session scheduling and recording
- Monitor control exchange
- Personalized branding
- Communication features
- Multiple languages
- Customer service and resources
Many companies are incorporating remote PC access software into their business structure to increase website usability and IT assistance. Finding the software that fits your business's needs can take some time, but there are many great options. Be sure to evaluate what software features are available and what your business requires. In addition, assess how the customer service and supplementary resources compare. The right software will enable seamless integration between you, your staff and your customers.