By Skye Schooley, business.com Writer | Updated Mar 04, 2019
VNC Connect, by RealVNC, is a remote PC access software solution that allows users to connect with clients, IT professionals and personal computers. It is one of the simplest remote software platforms to use, and it offers high-speed device access and instant support. It provides attended and unattended access across all device platforms. Each session is fully encrypted with 128- or 256-bit encryption and requires multifaceted authentication. Once you've established a connection via a server or the cloud, you can connect, share and collaborate remotely.
View all our recommendations for remote PC access software on our best picks page.
RealVNC Pricing and Software Plans
RealVNC's VNC Connect offers three plans. There is an option for personal use, business use and enterprise use.
Aside from the free personal plan, the cost structure for the Professional and Enterprise plans is based on an annual fee per remote computer. There are discounts available if you want a plan to cover numerous computers. In addition to the annual fee, you can pay extra for instant support. (More on that below.) Here are some specifics about each plan:
- Home plan: This plan, which is free, is strictly for non-commercial use. It allows access for five remote computers and three users. This plan offers the most basic remote access features and connections are cloud-based only.
- Professional plan: This plan is primarily suited for business professionals and departments, and it allows access for unlimited users. The cost starts at $40 per remote computer, per year, but volume discounts can lower costs to as low as $16 per computer for 50 computers. This plan is feature-rich and offers essential remote business access tools like file transferring, remote printing and chatting.
- Professional instant support: This is an additional service for the Professional plan, allowing additional support with attended access only. The cost is $200 per technician, per year, with up to three concurrent sessions each.
- Enterprise plan: Costs start at $55 per remote computer per year; volume discounts may lower the cost to as low as $8 per computer for 500 computers. This plan provides the same features as the Professional plan, plus you get additional features like single sign-on, centralized deployment, remote configuration and third-party VNC compatibility.
- Enterprise instant support: This additional feature covers attended access only and costs $400 per technician, per year, with up to 10 concurrent sessions each. Enterprise Instant support allows for custom branding.
RealVNC offers a 30-day free trial, so you can test the software.
RealVNC offers several different services and features for remote PC access, including the following:
- Browser-based installation: After you install the software onto each computer, you can connect via cloud-based access. This allows anyone on your team to have access at any time, attended or unattended, via the cloud. The Enterprise plan allows for both cloud and direct access.
- Cross-platform access: RealVNC's remote PC access software works across multiple platforms, making it a good option for both personal users and large corporations. You can download this software onto a PC, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, Android and iOS, which makes it a good remote solution for companies that use a variety of operating systems.
- Security: Depending on the plan you select, RealVNC enables a 128- (Home and Professional plans) or 256-bit (the Enterprise plan) encryption. You have control over when you encrypt data, or you can set the software to encrypt automatically. RealVNC also features IP filtering and inactivity timeout for an extra layer of security. When accessing computers from a mobile device, you can wipe the data from your device once your session has ended.
- File transfer: The program quickly transfers files from one computer to another via drag-and-drop functionality. However, this feature is not available in the Home subscription or if you are using VNC Viewer on an iOS, Android or Chrome-powered device.
- Session recording: The Enterprise package provides a detailed activity log with a comprehensive session history.
- Communication features: RealVNC has a convenient chat tool you can use when accessing someone's computer remotely.
- Multilingual: Support is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Brazilian and Portuguese. According to the company, it is working to provide support in additional languages.
- Customer service and resources: RealVNC has several online resources, including a searchable knowledgebase, FAQs, and user guides. You can contact technical support by submitting a ticket, or by phone and live chat. However, after the first year, you'll need to renew your technical support subscription if you want access to RealVNC's support team.
Pros and Cons of RealVNC
RealVNC encrypts connections with 128- and 256-bit encryptions, which is industry standard and above. It enables you to set your own encryption settings – a feature not many other remote access applications have. The software requires two-factor authentication (like its competitors), but it also requires you to type the account information and local desktop login on the remote device.
Another feature we liked about RealVNC is its ease of use and that you can customize your plan. Other software plans have inflexible plan sizes and require a certain minimum number of computers. Whether you need access to one computer or 500 computers, you can create a plan specific to your organization. RealVNC has added helpful videos to help you choose the right plan and install it onto your network. We also liked that the Enterprise plan lets you enter a virtual mode on Linux desktops. This allows you to create independent virtual desktops for multiple users.
Finally, if you decide to take advantage of RealVNC's free trial and then purchase a subscription, your data from the free trial transfers over to your account – no need to start over and reinstall software onto your organization's devices.
There were three drawbacks with RealVNC. The first was the firewall bypass. For companies with strong security measures in place, bypassing firewalls can be a complicated process. While the program's website offers several resources to help users with this particular process, if you don't have a dedicated IT technician or you lack experience in bypassing firewalls, you will struggle with this step.
Another downside is the port restriction. RealVNC can't use a port that has another program running on it simultaneously. As such, you must change the port, the host and client computer connected on it, which, again, requires more IT experience than the average user has.
Third, many of the useful features businesses could benefit from – single sign-on, centralized deployment with a license key, remote configuration and lockdown, user and virtual modes, and third-party VNC compatibility – are only available with the Enterprise plan. This leaves users with the Professional plan wanting more or requiring that they upgrade to the Enterprise plan to gain access to the features they need.
Ease of Use
Installing RealVNC is not complicated. Like most remote access software, you download the server onto the remote computer you want to connect to and the viewer onto the computer you will use to make the remote connection. Its versatile platform compatibility and support options make it a good option for companies and personal users alike. Regardless of which platform you use to connect, RealVNC offers a stable and secure connection between devices.
If the software is too technical or you require assistance installing RealVNC, the company offers a searchable knowledgebase, FAQs and user guides on its website, or you can reach out to the support team via ticket, phone and live chat.