Remote Desktop Software
In today’s business world, especially due to increasing maintenance costs of offices and work environments, it has become a requirement for office workers to work remotely in certain instances. Especially during the last two years, most tech companies have migrated to the remote work model, enabling office workers to do their job from anywhere.
Not only hasn’t migration to this work model increased efficiency and productivity, but it also reduced the maintenance costs and improved overall work quality.
With this migration movement, “Remote Desktop” or “Remote Access” technologies and softwares have also become more popular, and found more room to be improved more than ever. But what does “Remote Access” really mean?
What Is Remote Access?
Remote Desktop or Remote Access is the term used for the process of establishing a connection between a current computer and a remote computer, allowing the user to interact with the remote one, and carry out tasks on it. This technology can both be a feature of an operating system, or a stand-alone software.
Today, there are many successful remote access solutions, most of which are featured as stand-alone remote desktop software. Although most of these software are used for carrying out work-related tasks, there are also other uses of the remote access technology that are really useful and sometimes even cost-efficient.
How does remote access work ?
Remote access is actually a pretty straight-forward and easy-to-use technology. The main principle of remote access includes streaming the display of the remote computer to the current computer, while capturing the keyboard and mouse inputs and sending them to the remote computer, allowing the user to have full control over the remote computer.
The process resembles watching a live stream on your computer pretty much, except that you are actually able to have control over the stream. In addition to just controlling the remote desktop, some remote access software also allows the user to share files in both ways, in addition to making possible operation of external devices that are connected to the remote computer in one way or another. For example, a user can easily transfer files from the remote computer to the current computer, or control an external device such as a camera or a microphone that is connected to the remote computer.
What Are The Uses of Remote Access?
There are a large variety of uses of remote access for both work and entertainment in today’s world. In the work side, remote access can be used for the purposes below:
- You can add users, authorize certain groups of/individual employees, display the list of registered users, and add or remove users from the system.
- You can create rules, manage rules, assign rules for certain groups, and display rules. Rules help managers assign certain limitations and capabilities to users on their devices, which greatly makes it easier to conduct large groups more easily.
- You can create groups, display groups, manage groups, and move users between groups. Dividing employees into certain groups according to their roles or tasks makes it easier for managers to display and manage these individual employees.
- You can set and manage work times for each group. Work times tool can set limitations on which applications the employee can use, which websites the employee can visit, outside and during the work hours. You can additionally set a limitation which prevents the employees from using that device outside work hours.
- You can determine which types of USBs can be used on the registered devices. You can set certain rules for usable USBs. For example, you can limit the USB availability on registered devices to only work-related tasks.
- You can block or allow certain websites to be used on registered devices. This allows you to both protect registered devices from piracy and viruses, and prevent your employees from abusive use of these devices.
- You can block or allow certain applications to be used on registered devices.
- Your employees can create and send support tickets to their IT officers or their department managers in case of an error with the device or applications.
- You can display and follow your total device stock, how many devices you have available at the moment, and which specifications do these devices have. You can inspect the hardware on each device in detail, in addition to which software applications are currently installed.
- You can install software on certain groups or all of the devices remotely. You can additionally create custom scripts and run these scripts on the devices you choose.
- You can display a detailed report of support tickets, how they were taken care of, and if the employee was happy with the solution.
- You can display an in-depth log of connections and devices. You can follow all the actions on registered devices, with the help of an advanced panel, which enables you to also categorize and follow these actions.
There are many more uses of less common uses of remote access, but these are generally very specific and individual instances. In addition to these uses of remote access in the work field, there are also various uses of remote access technology in the entertainment industry. While there is a wide variety of uses of remote access in this field, we will only mention one of them below, since we are mostly focusing on the uses of remote access in the business world:
- With remote access, people are able to play games and use certain software without having hardware limitations. For example, a person is able to play many console or PC games from a notebook, tablet, or even a phone without having any limitations about hardware with the help of remote access.
How to choose the best remote access software?
When it comes to choosing the best remote access for your personal use or your business, you should first decide whether you are going to use an OS-based remote access software or a third-party remote access software.
If you decide to keep things simple with an OS-based remote access, you don’t need to worry about much. You can simply use the available remote access on your Operating System that is provided by the owner/developer of that Operating System.
However, when it comes to choosing a third-party remote desktop software, things become a lot more complicated. First of all, you will have many more options rather than just one option that your OS developer offers you. To choose the best third-party remote access software for you or your business, you must first determine your priorities, what is important for you or your job, and which software qualify for your most basic needs.
After creating a list of the remote access software that offer what you want and need, you must start making a ranking list depending on the basic and additional requirements to choose the best remote desktop software for you. While doing so, we recommend you attach importance to the following topics:
Connection Stability and High Connection Bandwidth
When using remote access, connection stability and server specifications are two of the most important things you should look at.
First of all, you might want to choose a software that offers high connection bandwidth with low latency and interception. This is very important because your productivity and time efficiency greatly depends on it.
Especially if you are planning to establish a remote access network with more than two connected devices, we suggest that you use a remote access software that is able to offer a server connection near the used devices for the least latency and interceptance possible.
If the software isn’t dependent on a server for remote connections, then you should look into software optimization at this point. The more a software is well-written and optimized, the faster you will be able to use the software and access your remote device without additional latency.
If there is a more important thing than the speed and stability of a remote access connection, it is surely connection security. You surely wouldn’t want your files, personal information, or your company’s data/files to be stolen. For this reason, it is very important to choose a reliable and secure remote access software.
While looking for a secure remote access software, you should look into the software’s security protocols and structure, which protects the connections from piracy or data theft. It is important for your remote access connection to be uninterruptible. You should also consider the server hardware the software uses, since some hardware are easier for pirates to break into than others.
Abundance of Side Tools
If you are working with a team with multiple members on a remote access network, some tools might be very useful and save you lots of time. Having additional features to your remote access software such as chat boxes, collective workspaces, easy file sharing and such might increase your productivity and time-efficiency by a lot.
Remote access is most commonly used for IT troubleshooting, which necessitates the software's ability to run local batch scripts. Furthermore, screen sharing and even live recording sessions are part of the process. For the system to be useful, the software should be able to perform this with relative simplicity.
Scalability is a very important thing to consider if you are planning to establish a remote access network with large numbers of devices or users. This is a key condition since the standards tend to vary from software to software pretty easily at this point. While some software only allow only one device to connect to another device at most, some others offer a larger number of connections, which creates an important difference when the remote desktop access software is used by a large number of users on many devices simultaneously.
Is remote access secure?
The answer to this question greatly depends on which software you are using. If you are using a standard OS remote access and you are using remote access for your daily things like image or video transfers, you will probably be fine. However, if your work includes important, valuable, or secret information, it might be better for you to use a third-party high-security software.
While most popular remote access software do a good job at protecting your information, there is still a slight risk as in everything. Still, you can rest assured that your data will be safe as long as you use well-known software and don’t do anything you shouldn’t be doing on a remote access connection (such as clicking links and downloading files from unknown resources).
There are also other aspects to this question such as the hardware of your devices, firmware versions, and software compatibility. For example, some Operating Systems, firmware versions, and software provide better security under certain circumstances while also there might be security problems on certain software versions or software-OS combinations. For this reason, it is important to follow the update logs and security updates of the Operating Systems and software to make sure that your data and devices are completely secure.
Remote access example
There are actually more examples than many think of the usage of remote access. Before we get into the “conventional” usage of remote access, we want to give you examples of other types of remote access, which most people use even without knowing that they use a type of a remote desktop access.
First of all, all cloud services are based on a type of remote access, in which you are connecting to a server (which is basically a much bigger computer) via a secure connection and uploading or downloading documents, files, and data. While most cloud services today allow the user to connect to the server in which the data is stored from anywhere and any device, there are also other cloud services that provide “more private” connections, which you can only connect from registered devices or locations.
Another example can be given from the entertainment industry. During the recent years, a new concept called “Stream Gaming”. This concept basically uses a set of company-owned (or the user’s own in some instances) devices to run games that require high-end hardware and streams it to the end-user’s screen, enabling the user to play a game that they can’t normally play on their current device. There have been many enterprises from both global and smaller companies on this concept lately, and some have been very successful, even greatly changing the whole gaming world from its roots.
When it comes to more “traditional” uses of remote access, we can give an example on error fixes. When a customer or employee of a company experiences a problem with their device, they can contact a technician, which can use a remote access connection to take control of the troubled device, detect the problem, and solve it from another device without needing to actually go to the troubled device.
Lastly, another example can be given from companies that require the employees to work cooperatively. With the help of a remote access software, a team of employees can work cooperatively from different locations without actually being present in an office. This can both improve productivity and provide time-flexibility for employees.