10 Best Remote Desktop Alternatives (RDP) for Windows / Linux

10 Best Remote Desktop Alternatives (RDP) for Windows / Linux. There is loads of benefits for using remote desktops, which play a important role in today’s IT software ecosystem. They assist with services for desktops and laptops, working with virtual servers or applications, or working in a company where there is loads of remote work . Those examples will be perfect for using remote desktop software.

We have prepared a list of remote desktop alternatives  for remote access to a complete desktop and operate a computer over the network from all sorts of devices. There are various protocols(SSH). There is variety of remote desktop alternatives. Which is the best for you?

We assessed  performance, graphical work and how intuitive their user interface is. Other important features we looked is whether they run multiple sessions and do they remote display scaling?. There is 10 Best Remote Desktop Alternatives for Windows/ Linux distro. Let us first introduce a topic of what is a remote desktop?

What is Remote Desktop

A remote desktop is a powerful technology that allows the users to connect to a remote computer or a terminal server located at different locations.

It’s a default feature integrated into Microsoft Windows, and the user charges no usage cost. But it has limitations that make the users look for alternatives.

What are those drawbacks? What are the alternatives to Remote Desktop?

We’ll understand these topics in detail to help you find the best third party application to communicate with the remote session through a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) client.

Why Do You Need To Look For Remote Desktop Alternatives

Many reasons can make you look for an alternative to Remote Desktop, but we have highlighted a few that can help you make a better decision.

It’s difficult to set up outside the office

It’s complex to use Windows Remote Desktop outside your office network; it accepts incoming connection requests by configuring the remote network. You also need to remember the IP address of the server and the login credentials for the remote machine(s) you need to connect with.

If the remote client requiring assistance does not have a technical background, setting up the office outside becomes hard.

It’s not available for Business, Ultimate, or Pro versions of windows

You can’t support your family members, friends, or large clientele if running a Windows Home version. The Remote Desktop is not suitable for running on these Windows versions, and you need to opt for a third party application to fulfill your required work.

It restricts to reboots the remote machine and reconnects automatically

You can’t perform the most important remote support feature using Remote Desktop as it restricts the user from rebooting the remote machine and automatically reconnects.

You need to look for alternative options to perform additional actions to complete the desired task. You can use a third party application to help you achieve the results within one click.

It locks the remote screen

You cannot interfere or see what the machine is doing at the back of the Remote Desktop window. It has been resolved for so long and remains one of the biggest problems of Windows Remote Desktop.

There are no whiteboard tools that allow you to demonstrate a specific process to your client.

You can’t run multiple concurrent sessions

The Remote Desktop features restrict you from running different sessions on the workstation. It cannot handle multiple connections with different network settings.

You can use a third party alternative to Remote Desktop to run multiple concurrent sessions to achieve your desired outcome.

Talking about third party tools, let’s look at the 10 Best Remote Desktop Alternatives (RDP) for Windows / Linux.

10 Best Remote Desktop Alternatives (RDP) for Windows / Linux

1. mRemoteNG

mRemoteNG is a multi remote, multi protocol, open source, next generation remote connections manager for Windows. You can visualize the remote connections in a compact and simple tabbed interface.

mRemoteNG has multiple features that help it to stand out from the rest. It supports many protocols like VNC, RDP, ICA, SSH, Telnet, rlogin, HTTP/HTTPS, and Raw Socket Connections.

It also supports keyboard themes and shortcuts to deliver a quality experience. mRemoteNG uses tabs and panels to make you stay organized and view the tasks carried out in the application.

You can use the connect option to connect to a remote host using different network protocols. It also provides a Port Scan that can help scan the range of IP addresses to determine the supported protocols’ active status.

You can utilize the notification panel to view errors during the connection and extract more information on the lost connection.

The import and export of the connection using multiple ways can happen using mRemoteNG. It also allows you safe transfer of files that ensures the data is not breached and there’s high level security.

Pros of mRemoteNG

  • Multiple connection types.
  • Allows you to organize and group servers easily.
  • Supports different protocols for remote access.
  • Tabbed Views and storing credentials.
  • Allows you to use external applications for non-directly supported protocols.
  • Use settings from the previously configured server so you can add new servers and devices quickly.

Cons of mRemoteNG

  • Does not provide a free trial, integration service, and premium consulting.
  • The administration interface is very basic and not obvious for a beginner user to set up a new connection.
  • You need to check for the new version and update it manually.

2. SupRemo

SupRemo is a great solution for controlling your computer and server remotely inexpensively and more easily. It’s a leading remote management tool available in the industry, and the combination of useful features and reasonable pricing helps it stand out from the rest of the tools on the list.

It has wider accessibility as it can be used on macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS devices.

It is a non professional and free software that requires no complex configuration and installation. You can download the software from the site and launch the remote desktop management process.

It’s easier for a novice to get their hands on the software and explore the tool’s wide range of functions. You can establish a connection easily and complete the required task with utmost security.

You don’t need to fear a data breach since the application works through a powerful encrypted data flow and uses TLS 1.2 connection protocol.

You can also customize the application’s interface with your organization’s logo. It also offers different subscription plans that can help you scale the use of the application. You can use SupRemo for an unlimited number of users once you purchase the license.

Pros of SupRemo

  • Access Controls/Permissions.
  • File transfer and File Management
  • Remote Monitoring & Management.
  • Desktop Virtualization
  • Provides a free version for non professional and non continuous use and offers a 21-days free trial.
  • Chat/Messaging.
  • Provides very good technical support.
  • Very easy to use, fast, and compatible with servers and workstations.
  • Facilitate utilization and good reporting.
  • Cloud console management is very efficient.

Cons of SupRemo

  • The installation of windows is not intuitive for all users.
  • Two factor authentication is not available.

3. RustDesk

RustDesk is a secure, fast  and customizable remote desktop software that can be used with no configuration or complex installation processes. You can have complete control over your information because the software provides great security protection to the data.

You get TLS 1.3 end to end encryption technology to protect your data and restrict unauthorized access. You can use RustDesk’s built in file manager to control the transfer of your files between desktops.

It also allows you to set up TCP tunneling to use an RDP connection within a single click, minimizing the time and effort.

RustDesk provides a secure server side relay and different ID server programs that can be installed easily with no difficult configuration requirements. The Relay/ID server addresses can also be on the client side.

You can also take complete data control by ensuring that your enterprise network can be easily set up. You can also set the image quality by adjusting the quantizer and bitrate.

Pros of RustDesk

  • It is an open source and cross platform compatibility.
  • Provides a clean, intuitive, and easy to use web interface.
  • File transferring capabilities.
  • Simple installation and quick setup.
  • Ability to streams audio.
  • Supports transparent bidirectional clipboard.

Cons of RustDesk

  • Less suitable for businesses looking for a narrower suite of tools.
  • All features are not free, you need to purchase some additional server options and features.

4. FreeRDP

FreeRDP is a free Remote Desktop Protocol client released under the Apache license that gives you the freedom to access the software from wherever you want.

You can easily configure the software on your workstation and manage the remote desktop management using the software. FreeRDP enables you to strive for interoperability and feel a liberating computing experience.

The basic functionality of RDP is to transmit a monitor (output device) from the remote server to the client and the keyboard and/or mouse (input devices) from the client to the remote server.

Pros of FreeRDP

  • Free, open source, and relatively lightweight.
  • Drag and drop functionality.
  • Allows to enable and disable the persistent sessions.
  • Provides excellent and useful support.

Cons of FreeRDP

  • If you’re using a desktop you can only have one session.

5. Quasar

Quasar is a powerful remote administration tool ideal for Windows users. Quasar is an open source tool that is fast and lightweight. It’s written in C# and has the MIT license with a response on GitHub; it is a powerful remote desktop administrator to handle your requirements.

You can use the software for user support for daily administration and employee monitoring. It comes with a user friendly and easy to use interface with great stability to help you when you need it.

The software offers great features like TCP network stream with IPv6 and IPv4 support, TLS encrypted communication, and high speed network serialization. It supports the .NET framework and OS like Windows 10, 8, 8.1, Vista 7, and Server 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2019.

You get a task manager, file manager, startup manager, remote shell, remote desktop, UPnP support, and remote execution. Quasar provides a keylogger, registry editor, system power commands like restart, standby, and shutdown; password recovery, and reverse proxy.

Pros of Quasar

  • Free, open source, and cross platform.
  • SPAs (Single Page App).
  • Simple, fast, and lightweight tool.
  • PWAs (Progressive Web App).
  • Vue.js
  • Provides a stable and easy to use web interface.
  • Screenshot functionality.

Cons of Quasar

  • Does not support Linux operating system.
  • Not suitable for a large organizations.

6. Royal TS

Royal TS is a complete remote management solution compatible with different connections like VNC, S/FTP, RDP and SSH. You can share the connections list without worrying about disclosing your credentials.

You get secure in built credential management and team sharing features that can help you complete your desired requirement. The Command Tasks and Key Sequence Task make the work easy and automate repetitive tasks that can save time and effort.

You can also import data to the Dynamic Folders from different external sources. You can get connections like a remote desktop based on terminals like Rebex.net, Microsoft RDP ActiveX control, PuTTY based telnet and SSH, Chrome and Internet Explorer based web, and VNC based on UltraVNC and TightVNC.

You can also transfer files using SCP, SFTP, and FTP using TeamViewer for managing and connecting sessions.

Pros of Royal TS

  • Cost effective and multi protocol support.
  • Support encrypted password.
  • Supports VMware NSX integration.
  • Multi domain support
  • Screen sharing and unattended access.

Cons of Royal TS

  • Allows only 10 connections in a free version.
  • The initial setup is a little confusing.

7. MobaXterm

MobaXterm is an enhanced Windows terminal with a tabbed SSH client, X11 server, and network tools. It provides multiple functions tailored for IT administrators, programmers, and webmasters, among others, who want to access their jobs remotely in a simple manner.

It uses different network tools like SSH, MOSH, VNC, X11, FTP, RDP, and Unix commands like Is, bash, grep, cat, sed, rsync, etc.

MobaXterm has an intuitive user interface that can effectively provide you access to remote servers through different systems or networks. You get a configured Xserver for your remote application to show off on the Windows desktop.

Pros of MobaXterm

  • Supports profile recording.
  • Store the different server connections and organize them in a very personalized way.
  • Allows exporting the session information.
  • Easy upload and download of files for connected sessions.

Cons of MobaXterm

  • The keep alive feature is missing for some protocols.
  • The graphics can be inferior at times.
  • Connection is slow when using over the VPN.
  • SFTP browser is not working.

8. Remmina

Remmina is a quality remote management tool to help you work remotely from different locations and access file sharing, screen, etc. You can remember the last view mode to maintain and configure the applications within a few clicks.

You also get a screenshot folder, filename, keystrokes, default view mode, tabs configuration, toolbar visibility, full screen behavior configuration, etc.

It is a remote desktop client for POSIX based operating systems, and supports the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), VNC, NX, XDMCP, SPICE, X2Go and SSH protocols.

Pros of Remmina

  • Supports multiple remote desktops.
  • Simple and straightforward user interface.
  • All connections are organized in groups.
  • You can manually adjust the quality of the connection

Cons of Remmina

  • It is only a remote client. It has no server features.
  • Screenshot functions is not available.

9. TigerVNC

TigerVNC

TigerVNC is a high performance, open source, platform neutral virtual network computing implementation. It’s a client/server application that enables users to interact and launch different graphical applications on multiple remote machines. You can use the software to fulfill your remote management requirements with finesse.

It is specially designed for graphical desktop sharing. It works on the client server principle that allows you to remotely control other computers.

Pros of TigerVNC

  • Free for personal and commercial use.
  • Lightweight.
  • Simple installation.
  • Provides a classic style Windows interface.

Cons of TigerVNC

  • No built in encryption.
  • Poor support.

10. RealVNC

RealVNC is a simple, cross platform and secures remote access software that gives you the ability to provide remote support, access remote computers, share access to centralized resources, and much more.

You need to use a subscription model to access the software to handle your remote management process. It consists of a server and client application for the Virtual Network Computing protocol to control another computer’s screen remotely.

It offers a rich set of features including, intuitive remote control, attended and unattended access, cross platform support, file transfer, multilingual support, online team management and virtual desktop management

Pros of RealVNC

  • Provides a free version for non commercial use only.
  • Provides encrypted connection.
  • It can work across multiple platforms.
  • Provides browser based installation.
  • Provides session recording feature.

Cons of RealVNC

  • Unable to bypass firewalls.
  • Another cons is the port restriction. It can’t use a port that has another program running on it simultaneously.
  • Many useful features are only available with the Enterprise plan.

10 Best Remote Desktop Alternatives (RDP) for Windows / Linux Conclusion

We hope the article about 10 Best Remote Desktop Alternatives (RDP) for Windows / Linux helped to compare alternatives to use for Remote Desktop. Pick the one  that suits your requirement goals. All listed software have their specialty and can provide an extra edge for your virtualization and remote work.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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