Remote PC Access Software: Our Top Picks for Small Businesses
Updated: March 12, 2019
Update: This page has been updated to include information on a new court ruling that may impact the cost of remote PC access software.
With such a wide selection of remote PC access software options on the market, determining which one is best for your business can be challenging. We researched and analyzed dozens of applications. Below are our recommendations – the application we feel is best for small businesses, the easiest software program to implement, the best remote access software for Macs and the program we recommend for cross-platform access. In addition to our recommendations, we compiled a list of remote PC access software providers if our recommendations don't fit your needs.
Whether you are looking for the best solution for your IT department, a way to remote into client computers, or even just a simple solution for telecommuting, there is a remote PC access software platform available for you.
Some remote control software caters to general small business needs, while others are focused on specific niche markets like cross-platform or international access. Below you can learn more about the similar and unique features each application has.
Easiest to Implement
Best for Cross-Platform Access
Best for Mac Users
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 this software to help with 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 multiuse remote control 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. Features like file transfer options, communication tools and personalized branding can be especially convenient for this type of remote access.
Depending on how you plan to use this type of software, whether as a solution for your IT team or to remotely log in to a PC while you (or your employees) are out of the office, some features are going to be more imperative than others. In general, though, these are the functions you want to make sure a remote PC access software program has:
- Quick and convenient installation options
- Cross-platform access to connect any type of device
- The ability to integrate with other platforms and software
- High-end security measures
- Session scheduling, recording, reporting and management
- Monitor grouping, control exchange and mass deployment
- File-sharing and file-access capabilities
- Collaboration and communication tools
- Scalability to support business growth
- Personalized branding for unique customer experiences
- Knowledgeable resources and customer support
In terms of pricing, some companies offer all-inclusive plans and charge a flat fee, while others charge per user. For most plans, users are limited in how many computers they can access. Advanced or pro versions often support access to more users, computers and concurrent sessions. Some plans are free for a basic personal or commercial package. If you're looking for an enterprise remote access solution, though, you'll need to contact the sales department for a price quote. Many companies charge on an annual basis; some offer the option of paying monthly, but the rate is typically higher if you pay monthly rather than annually.
February 2020: You should also keep in mind that sales tax may apply to your remote PC access subscription as well. A recent Massachusetts court ruling stated that some remote access subscriptions are categorized as more than "just services," so the Department of Revenue taxes them. When determining the total cost of your remote access software, factor in potential sales tax for the specific software you want to use. Whether or not you live in Massachusetts, where this new ruling applies, you should be aware of whether your state charges sales tax on this software when determining your final cost.
If you are using the software for unattended access, you must perform a one-time installation. However, remote support connections can be made using a secure, AES 256-bit encrypted connection via the internet. You do not have to configure firewalls or proxy servers. After a quick, two-factor authentication, your devices will be safely and 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 are using RemotePC as an IT solution, IDrive 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 a live web chat tool.
The Zoho Assist platform is cloud-hosted, which simplifies connecting your devices. In addition, your connection is very secure. The software requires two-factor authentication uses AES 256-bit encryption protocols. It supports 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, screen swapping and remote printing features. Zoho's Unattended Access Standard plan lets your IT team use bulk deployment, wake-on LAN, computer grouping and session recording.
Whether you are using Zoho Assist for telecommuting, customer interactions or as an IT solution, it has the features to support your business's remote access needs.
ConnectWise Control offers three all-inclusive packages and one unattended access package. The cost per plan is based on a monthly fee, which you pay annually. Pricing is based on the number of concurrent sessions needed. ConnectWise Control also offers a free plan for personal use and a 14-day free trial.
To implement ConnectWise Control, you must first install the program onto the remote and host devices. You can access the installation software by via a 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 gives your business the ability to personalize the software with your branding and customize your integration settings. It includes features like file transferring, 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 ad-hoc sessions, remote installations, multiple invitation options and session notes.
TeamViewer ensures secure remote access without a VPN (virtual private network), and it can work around firewalls. It employs 256-bit encryption, two-factor authentication and session passwords. The software is HIPAA-compliant, SOC 2 certified and compliant, and ISO 27001 certified. With security measures like IP whitelisting and brute force protection, you can be assured that your desktop connections are safe and secure.
This remote control 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, remote audio, VoIP and session recording. It is compatible with most work environments, including Linux support.
Locating the Best Services
With several great remote PC access software 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 essential features that every great remote PC access application should have.
Choosing the Best Services
From this comprehensive list, we settled on 14 remote PC access software options to consider as best picks: Anyplace Control, BeyondTrust, ConnectWise Control, GoToMyPC, LogMeIn, NoMachine, Radmin, RealVNC, RemoteUtilities, RemotePC, ShowMyPC, Splashtop, TeamViewer and Zoho Assist.
Researching Each Service
Next, we researched each application, scrutinizing the services they offered, the features included in the free and paid plans and the pricing. 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 offered. We then contacted each company to assess the quality of customer service they provide before determining our final recommendations.
Analyzing Each Service
We recommend that when you are researching remote PC access solutions for your business that you take some time early in the process to outline which remote control features are essential and then identify which software programs support those features. Pricing for remote access software varies. It will also be immensely helpful as you research solutions if you 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.