Remote PC Access Software: Our Top Picks for Small Businesses
Updated: July 28, 2020
Update: We've updated our review to include info about a new Splashtop remote support integration with Jira.
Whether you are looking for a comprehensive remote solution for your IT department, a simple telecommuting solution for your staff or a convenient tech support solution for your customers, there is remote PC access software to fit your needs. We researched and analyzed dozens of applications to find the best remote PC access software for small businesses.
Easiest to Implement
Best for Cross-Platform Access
Best for Mac Users
If you are using the software for unattended access, you must perform a one-time installation. However, remote support connections can be made through the internet using AES 256-bit encryption. You do not have to configure firewalls or proxy servers. After a quick two-factor authentication, your devices will be securely connected.
Once connected, you can drag and drop files, chat between devices, and collaborate conveniently. Session recording, logging and reporting allow you to access previous activity if needed. If you use RemotePC as an IT solution, it offers features like centralized administration, support request grouping and one-time instant access. RemotePC offers extensive support in the form of video tutorials, FAQs and blogs. You can also contact customer support by phone or web chat.
May 2020: Splashtop recently partnered with JumpCloud to offer their remote PC access users the ability to access single sign-on (SSO) connectivity. Splashtop users can benefit from JumpCloud's device-level identity and security controls to access their remote sessions quickly and securely via SSO.
Each plan has quick, secure connections with TLS and 256-bit AES encryption. You can also take advantage of security measures like two-step verification, device authentication and connection logging. Splashtop software is compliant with HIPAA, SOC 2 and GDPR.
Splashtop plans have varying features like drag-and-drop file transfer, deployment, remote printing, multi-monitor support, user management, collaboration tools, remote reboot, remote wake and session recording. Users have access to Splashtop's online support resources like FAQs, blogs and videos. For direct help, you can reach a technical support representative by submitting a ticket, calling or chatting online.
July 2020: Splashtop now integrates with the Jira platform, allowing Jira technicians to streamline customer support. This new feature enables technicians to make instant device connections and access full Splashtop features directly through the Jira platform without requiring preinstalled software.
ConnectWise Control offers three all-inclusive packages and one unattended access package. Pricing is based on the number of concurrent sessions you need, ranging from $19 to $45 per month. It offers a 14-day free trial.
To implement ConnectWise Control, you must first install the program on the remote and host devices. You can access the installation software by clicking a provided link, copying a URL or downloading the installer package. Once the software is installed, a secure connection is established with 256-bit SSL encryption and two-factor authentication. ConnectWise Control is one of the only remote PC access applications we evaluated that allows you to customize your security settings.
ConnectWise Control also lets you personalize the software with your company's branding and customize your integration settings. It includes features like file transfer, a shared remote utilities toolbox and permission restrictions. If you are using the software to support clients and manage sessions, you can benefit from additional features like remote installations and language localization. You can access customer support by phone or through a downloadable chat feature, and additional support is available in the form of blogs, webinars, video tutorials and demos.
The Zoho Assist platform is cloud-hosted, which simplifies the process of connecting your devices, and your connection is very secure. The software requires multifactor authentication and uses AES 256-bit encryption protocols. It supports secure connections across all platforms, including Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, Mac, iOS and Android. This ensures your employees and customers can connect using any device.
Remote support connections are enabled with multi-monitor navigation, instant chat and remote rebooting features. Zoho's Unattended Access Standard plan lets your IT team use bulk deployment, wake-on-LAN and session recording.
One great aspect of Zoho Assist is its seamless integration with third-party applications. Whether you use Zoho Assist for telecommuting, customer interactions or IT solutions, it has the features to support your business's remote access needs. You can access educational resources like FAQs, user guides, free training and blogs, and connect with support representatives by email or contact form.
TeamViewer ensures secure remote access without a virtual private network, and it can work around firewalls. It employs AES 256-bit encryption, two-factor authentication and session passwords. The software is HIPAA compliant, SOC 2 certified and compliant, and ISO 27001 certified. With extra security measures like IP whitelisting and brute force protection, you can rest assured that your desktop connections are safe and secure.
This remote access software has an extensive list of features. For larger operations, it supports mass deployments, policies and security protocols. Your team can use it to perform maintenance tasks on a variety of endpoints, including unattended devices. For collaboration, it supports not only file sharing but also chat, whiteboards, video and VoIP. Users can also access advanced features like custom branding, app customization, access reports and software integrations. Educational resources are available, including a knowledgebase, glossary and community. For additional help, you can reach out to support by calling or submitting a ticket.
How Much Does Remote PC Access Software Cost?
The average cost of remote PC access software can be difficult to determine, since companies often use different pricing structures. For example, some companies charge based on the number of individual user licenses, whereas others are based on the number of devices accessed or concurrent sessions. The majority of plans are billed annually, often offering first-year discounts. Most remote access software has a 15- to 30-day free trial for your team to test out the features.
These are the pricing structures for our best picks:
RemotePC: Small business plans have unlimited concurrent access and range from $69.50 (one user license, access to 10 computers) to $249.50 (unlimited user licenses, access to 50 computers) annually.
Zoho Assist: Unattended access plans cost $8 to $13 per month (access to 25 computers), billed annually.
ConnectWise Control: Small business support and access packages cost $19 (one user, access to 10 devices), $35 (one user, access to unlimited devices, three concurrent sessions) and $45 (one user, access to unlimited devices, 10 concurrent sessions) per month, billed annually. Access-only plans start at $30 per month, billed annually, for 25 unattended access agents.
- TeamViewer: Small business plans cost $49 (one user license, access to 200 devices), $99 (multiple users, access to 300 devices, one session at a time) and $199 (multiple users, access to 500 devices, three sessions at a time) per month, billed annually.
Pricing may differ based on available discounts or pricing adjustments. Be sure to factor in additional taxes or fees that the software provider may charge. Most of these companies have additional plans for remote support, and sometimes mobile device access as well. The best plans are easily scalable and include automatic updates.
Uses for Remote PC Access Software
Businesses use remote access software for several reasons. The simplest scenario is to support remote or traveling workers. With the software, remote workers can access their office desktop device, transfer files between devices and collaborate with co-workers. Features like wake-on-LAN, session recording and remote printing can be especially useful for remote workers.
IT departments also use secure remote access and support software for tech support, troubleshooting, mass deployments and file implementation. It can be beneficial for your business to have an IT technician who can remotely access employee and customer devices to resolve technical issues. Features like grouping, cross-platform access and high-end security measures are important to consider for this type of access and control. Although many remote PC access software companies offer plans specifically for IT solutions, some companies package these capabilities with their multiuser remote access plans.
Another convenient use for remote PC access software is accessing client devices. This is useful for conducting training demos, hosting classes or group projects, and interacting with clients. Drag-and-drop file transfer, communication tools and personalized branding can be especially convenient for this type of remote access.
Remote PC Access Software Features
Depending on how you plan to use your remote PC access software, whether as an IT support or remote work solution, some features are more important than others. In general, though, these remote access tools and features are highly desirable in any remote control software:
- Quick and convenient access options (e.g., web browser links)
- Cross-platform access to connect any type of device (Windows, Linux, Mac, Chrome OS, Raspberry Pi, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry)
- Integrations with other platforms and software (e.g., G Suite, Jira, Zendesk)
- High-end security measures (AES 256-bit encryption, brute force protection, screen blanking, keyboard locking, HIPAA and GDPR compliance)
- Session scheduling, recording, reporting and management
- Monitor grouping, control exchange and mass deployment
- Collaboration and communication tools (drag-and-drop file transfer, text chat, voice, video, annotations, whiteboards)
- Scalability to support business growth
- Personalized branding for unique customer experiences
- Knowledgeable customer support and other resources
When comparing pricing and software, be sure to compare the features available in each specific plan you are considering. Many remote access software plans are tiered, meaning lower plans tend to have very basic features.
What Is Remote PC Access Software, and How Does It Work?
Remote PC access software remotely connects two or more devices for the purpose of transferring files, offering remote technical support and collaborating with others. Remote access software is often compatible across multiple platforms (e.g., PC, Mac, iOS, Android) and can be accessed via software installation or web-based links, depending on the software application you're using.
Regardless whether the software is installed on each device, most remote PC access software comes with secure access restrictions like multifactor authentication, secure session codes, brute force protection and role-based security settings. Some applications only let you access devices that are already turned on, while others remotely "wake up" and connect to inactive devices.
When you successfully access a remote device, you have the ability to deploy customer support, transfer files and chat between devices. Some remote PC access software comes with other helpful features like remote printing and recording.
Remote PC Access Software FAQs
Why is remote desktop software helpful?
Remote desktop software has many uses and can be very beneficial to your business. One basic use for remote access software is for your staff to remotely access their office computers while at home or out in the field. This is helpful for efficiency and sometimes necessary for companies that rely heavily on offsite workers.
Another great advantage of remote access and support software is the ability it gives IT departments to deploy various protocols across several devices, and for help desks to assist staff and customers in troubleshooting tech problems. This use can increase your desktop security, team efficiency and customer satisfaction.
What is the most common use for remote desktop software?
Remote PC access software is commonly used for employees who need to remotely access their office computers, and tech teams that need to provide on-demand issue resolution to teams and customers. The skill level of your users may vary, so it is important to choose software that is scalable to fit their capabilities. Features like file transferring, screen blanking, and keyboard locking are great for remote workers, and monitor grouping, mass deployment, and control exchange are useful for tech support.
Who needs remote access software?
Any team can benefit from remote access software, but some teams heavily rely on it. For example, tech support and IT departments need remote access software to connect to other users' devices. Without it, they would not be able to provide remote tech support to their teams and customers.
Companies that depend on offsite staff to access onsite devices also need a remote access solution. Instead of taking the time to come to the office and record information on their devices, remote workers can access their work computers from wherever they are. Educators may need remote access software for similar reasons, and it can be a valuable part of teaching remotely and collaborating with students.
What is the best free remote access software?
While there are free remote access software options with useful features, many of them are for personal, noncommercial use. Free remote access options often have limited tools and security measures as well. However, if you cannot afford a subscription, you might consider the free remote access software plans from TeamViewer, UltraVNC and Microsoft Remote Desktop.
Locating the Best Services
With several great remote PC access solutions available, we had to take a deep dive to discover the best applications. We started by compiling the names of remote support software companies from our current vendor list and then scouted other potential businesses to add to it. Our list totaled nearly two dozen remote PC access software providers. From there, we created a list of features that every great remote PC access application should have.
Choosing the Best Services
From this comprehensive list, we settled on 15 remote PC access options to consider as best picks: AnyDesk, Anyplace Control, BeyondTrust, ConnectWise Control, GoToMyPC, LogMeIn, NoMachine, Radmin, Remote Utilities, RemotePC, ShowMyPC, Splashtop, TeamViewer, VNC Connect and Zoho Assist.
Researching Each Service
Next, we researched each application, scrutinizing the services and features they offer as well as pricing structures. We pored over each company's website and additional online resources to learn about each program's functionality, the overall usability of the software and the support resources each vendor offers. We then contacted each company to assess the quality of customer service before determining our final recommendations.
Analyzing Each Service
After researching each service, we analyzed our results to evaluate which remote access vendors are the best for small businesses in different use cases. When you are researching remote PC access solutions for your business, take some time early in the process to outline which remote control features are essential for you and then identify which software programs support those features. Pricing for remote access software varies, so it will also be immensely helpful as you research solutions to know beforehand how many computers, users and concurrent sessions you'll need.
To see a full review of remote PC access software, a comprehensive list of providers, our complete methodology, pricing and a negotiation breakdown, visit our best picks page on our sister site, Business.com.