One of the first questions you may ask yourself when considering using remote access software is whether or not this is secure. If you've been using a PC for a while, you may remember pcAnywhere, which used to be the remote access software that was almost everyone's first choice. Symantec bought pcAnywhere from its original developer and eventually, after some major security breaches, stopped supporting it in and recommended that customers stop using it.
Some other remote access vendors have reported security breaches, but these seem to have been triggered by users who chose the same passwords for their remote access software that they used at hack websites—always a bad idea. Some remote access apps let you use relatively weak security if you choose, but they all encourage you to choose strong security, and our Editors' Choice products, GoToMyPC and TeamViewer, won't let you make an end-run around their security precautions. We tested remote access software by installing each app or service on four machines: We also installed each vendor's iOS-based mobile-access app for connecting to a Windows or Mac machine, though I wouldn't want to try running my desktop machine from a phone or small-screen tablet unless I were desperate.
All the remote access apps we tested provide the same basic features. They offer remote access to another machine that has the app's server software already installed; remote access can take the form of full control over the other system or mere passive viewing. All feature a shared clipboard in some cases optional , so that text or images that you copy to the clipboard on one machine can be pasted into the other.
All have a text-based chat feature. Each app provides file-transfer features via a standard two-pane file manager interface. GoToMyPC and LogMeIn add the ability to drag and drop files between the local desktop and the viewer window that displays the desktop of the remote machine, but this feature works only when connecting to and from Windows computers. TeamViewer has a FileBox window into which you can drag files that will be accessible to both machines.
For more on each remote access apps individual features, see the individual reviews, which are linked to below.
We focused on remote access software designed mostly for one-to-one connections, though it's possible with all these apps for more than one user to log in to a remote machine. If you're looking for advanced conferencing features like a whiteboard, you should probably look elsewhere, though LogMeIn includes a whiteboard feature that makes it work well as a basic collaboration app. The vendors of some of the remote access apps we tested also offer a specialized video conferencing app that uses an interface similar to the remote access versions.
Security features differ markedly among these apps. Some make it possible to provide access in a straightforward way if you choose to do so. Others require you type in passwords more than once and provide email verification before you can do anything useful.
Microsoft Remote Desktop on the App Store
All let you customize security to varying degrees, and you should take a close look at the options that you'll feel comfortable using. If you're a complete hermit who never leaves the room, you don't need remote access software. But if you often find yourself as the de facto IT tech for family and colleagues, or if you need to connect to other computers for your business, or if you need to connect to your own computers while you're on the road, then you'll need remote access software.
Check out our reviews to find the one that best suits your needs. Effortless, simple interface with a flat learning curve. Fast performance. Easy file transfers between local and remote desktops. Can't display more than one remote monitor in the same window. Comprehensive feature set. Multi-level security. Elegantly designed viewing window. Multi-monitor support.
Combines remote access and online meetings in one app. Free version for non-commercial use. Some options are difficult to find. Security features can be annoying. It's our top pick for remote access software for enterprise and corporate use. Clear, simple interface.
Easy access to most features through a web browser. Comes with 1TB of cloud storage for file-sharing or simple storage. Mac version lacks some features. Interface could be more intuitive. Straightforward interface. Runs mostly from the browser. Drag-and-drop file transfers. Desktop icons for remote computers. Smooth multi-monitor support. Option for direct connections within a network or across the internet. Distracting testing-server message during computer bootup. Slightly reduced features when using a Mac system. Unless you need support for Linux or enterprise-level operating systems, this is the app you want.
Multi-platform support. Relatively simple interface. Fairly inexpensive subscription plans, including a free plan for personal use. Separate server and viewer apps make setup confusing. No drag-and-drop file transfer between viewer app and desktop.
Best Remote Desktop Apps for iPad in 12222: Control Your Computer Seamlessly from Anywhere
No sending one-time invitation emails from the remote machine. Low cost. Easy-to-understand security options. You can connect to your PC or published desktops and apps directly from search results. Learn more about iOS search here: We fixed an issue that kept users from starting apps that were grouped.
You can choose the smart setting to match your device, or customize it as you like.
Previously we connected at a fixed resolution. Having trouble? We also fixed a few bugs. Fixed an issue where passwords were not saved. Don't know how to configure your PC to access it remotely? Jun 20, Version 8. Information Seller Microsoft Corporation. Size Category Business. Compatibility Requires iOS 8. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. All rights reserved. Price Free. Family Sharing With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.
Microsoft Excel. Microsoft Outlook. Microsoft PowerPoint. Microsoft OneDrive. Mixer - Interactive Streaming. Adobe Scan: Doc Scanner to PDF. Cisco AnyConnect. Cisco Legacy AnyConnect.