SECURITY ENTHUSIAST

Remote desktop software is basically a computer program that lets you connect to another computer. The PC you will connect to is named “the host”, your PC from where you initiate the connection is called the viewer or the client. After connecting to the host, you can perform on that device whatever actions you want, as you would on your computer.

Why Is Remote Desktop Important?

The question that comes next is why do you need remote desktop software? There are several reasons, so I will highlight the most important of them. Here are 2 reasons why remote desktop software is important:

It enables IT support and saves you time

As a rule, remote desktop software it’s a must for the IT team in your company in order to connect to the computers of the employees working from home. Remote work has become very popular nowadays, so without this kind of program, how would IT admins install patches, fix bugs, or investigate a network issue?

It’s easy to remotely connect, instead of asking employees to come to the office. And if they work from the other side of the world, that’s not even possible.

Besides, it saves you a lot of time. Let’s say you are in France. You only have with you your personal laptop but you need to immediately access some files on your business laptop which happens to be in Belgium. Even though those countries are not so far away, I’ll bet that to take the next train or airplane to just get in the office is not the first thought that comes to your mind. Remote desktop allows you to do this from a distance.

It maintains productivity and does not allow business downtime

The IT guys from your company can connect to the host computer and do their business while your employees can mind their own tasks without being interrupted because remote desktop software allows background activity.

This way, you make sure that your business is up and running without the hassle of downtime while fixes are implemented via remote desktop software.

The Best Free Remote Desktop Software Tools

Now that I managed to show you that our topic is worthy of interest, we can go on to the core of this article. We have gathered a list of the best free remote desktop software with a quick description for each of them. I will start with TeamViewer as this is the most popular and then I will highlight the best TeamViewer alternatives.

Why free remote desktop software? Because if you or your business cannot afford to pay for costly software, then this counts as a useful option.

Let’s begin with the almighty:

 1. TeamViewer

This is the most known remote desktop software, but it’s free only for individual users, not for commercial purposes too.

Key Features

Advantages

  • Easy to use
  • You can have control using it over your personal devices or you can start exchanging files with these
  • So if you need to access files or software from distance, you can now use Teamviewer on your mobile
  • It offers you full video and audio capabilities in order to be a helpful hand for friends when in tech need
  • It offers remote access and support in real-time
  • Available for Windows 32-bit version and Windows 64-bit version
  • It works for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Raspberry Pi, Android, iOS
  • You can also choose not to download it and connect straight from your browser for Windows
  • Video and chat options available for sharing moments with your family posing as a videoconferencing tool
  • It has many modules like TeamViewer QuickSupport, TeamViewer Host, TeamViewer Meeting, TeamViewer MSI Package and also TeamViewer Portable.

Disadvantages

  • For commercial use, you have to pay

However, Teamviewer is not the only free remote desktop software out there. Read on to find out what are the best TeamViewer alternatives.

2.     AeroAdmin

It’s as lightweight as the air in terms of setup, making you lose no time with its configuration.

Key Features

Advantages

  • Can be used both for personal use and also for commercial use free of cost
  • Without router setting changes needed
  • While remote the computer can be switched off and then rebooted
  • What’s more, is that the connections are encrypted
  • Unscheduled and unattended access is possible

Disadvantages

  • No chat option is available
  • Unfortunately, the free version limits the connection times
  • Remotely printing is not possible

3.     AnyDesk

Either you run it portably or perform the regular installation, it works both ways.

Key Features

Advantages

  • Remote connection alias creation
  • Remote session recording is possible
  • Audio and file transfer options are available
  • Configuration of connection available
  • It automatically keeps up to date with the most recent software versions
  • Operation systems it works with: Windows, macOS, Linux
  • It has a mobile application
  • It’s free for personal use

Disadvantages

  • Because of the program paid versions connection time or entries related to address book might be interrupted

4.     BeamYourScreen

A particularity of this remote desktop software is that it enables ID sharing with multiple people, this means that many persons can take part in the session and look at what’s happening on the screen.

Key Features

Advantages

  • Free for personal use
  • Since the special ID is required for function, you say goodbye to router changes to being implemented
  • File share option available
  • Chat option available
  • Clipboard text sharing is available

Disadvantages

  • This software is not so up to date

5.     Chrome Remote Desktop

The thing with Chrome Remote Desktop is that it needs Chrome installed on both entities: the host and the client. Briefly, it works if you install an extension for it.

Key Features

Advantages

  • It’s free for both personal and commercial use (features might be limited for business purpose though)
  • Host access through a unique PIN
  • Host control through Chrome Client-side log on
  • Host access without Chrome running or user logging it into his account
  • Fast deployment
  • File transfer option available
  • OS systems it works with: macOS, Windows, Linux, or Chromebooks

Disadvantages

  • Chat options are not available
  • Remote printing is not available

6.     DesktopNow

This free remote desktop software is provided by NCH Software.

Key Features

Advantages

  • You can use whatever browser you want to get access to remote PCs
  • Router port options are not mandatory
  • File transfer option available via a remote file browser
  • You can easily display the files you shared on the mobile

Disadvantages

  • Laborious unattended access, so it’s not easy to benefit from this

7.     Distant Desktop

Well, the name pretty much speaks for itself. It’s definitely a tool for remote connection.

Key Features

Advantages

  • There is no installation required
  • File transfer and chat option available
  • Besides for personal use, it can be also used for commercial purpose for free
  • It provides a whitelist of trustworthy PCs

Disadvantages

  • It does not feature mobile applications
  • It works only with Windows OS (7, 8, 10, 11, Vista) and with Windows Server (2000, 2003, 2008).

8.     Getscreen.me

We can describe this as simple and efficient.

Key Features

Advantages

  • One-off sessions rapid access
  • Users can benefit from permanent access
  • You can use the web browser to have control over the computer
  • File sharing option available
  • Chat option available
  • Keyboard shortcuts buttons at your disposal
  • You can also benefit from audio calls and clipboard sharing
  • You can use it in full-screen mode

Disadvantages

  • You can connect only 2 computers (this is the limit)
  • The mobile app is not designed for IoS, only for Android

9.     Iperius Remote

Its interface is straightforward and does not give you a rough time.

Key Features

Advantages

  • It works without installation required
  • You don’t have to create an account to use it
  • It comes with a chat window
  • The file transfer option is available
  • It’s free for non-commercial use

Disadvantages

  • Features limit in the free option
  • Connection time might be restricted

10.     LiteManager

It resembles Remote Utilities when talking about features.

Key Features

Advantages

  • Remote access data storage covering up to 30 PCs’ control at the same time
  • Files can be accessed without screen controlling
  • File transfer option available: and what’s more, without the hassle of notifications
  • Text chat option available
  • Unscheduled remote access

Disadvantages

  • There is no screen recording option available

11. Microsoft Remote Desktop

Its features are pretty basic one might say and this and Chrome Remote Desktop are very much alike.

Key Features

Advantages

  • The platform provided for free by Microsoft
  • It permits Windows PC remote access. This can be done from other Windows devices (computers, mobiles, Macs)
  • It can be used with any Windows Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate version (beginning with Windows 7)
  • For users’ PC connections no authorization is necessary

Disadvantages

  • You cannot use a Windows PC to access a Mac
  • No option for file sharing

12. mRemoteNG

It is an open-source manager where remote connections can be possible on Windows.

Key Features

  • free for personal and commercial use
  • simple interface and tabbed
  • supports RDP, VNC, and SSH

13. MultiDesk

It stands for a freeware remote connection.

Key Features

  • Easy connection from computer to computer in your network
  • Connections can be managed in group
  • It has one executable file
  • Works with Windows (32-bit and 64-bit)

14. NoMachine

If you want to make use of many devices and connect to them securely, NoMachine could be a great option for free remote desktop software for personal use.

Key Features

Advantages

  • It has a public forum
  • It supports automatic updates
  • It has automatic discovery on LAN
  • Access to remote computers can be done via WAN
  • Multi-monitor and file-sharing options are available
  • The license can be activated by GUI

Disadvantages

  • Unlike the enterprise version which permits you unlimited connections, you can establish only one connection to the host desktop in the free version of NoMachine.

15. Quick Assist

No need to download this remote desktop software, as you’ll already find the app in Windows 10 or Windows 11.

Key Features

Advantages

  • You can use your Microsoft account to sign up
  • Most suited for on-demand access
  • Works with Windows 10/11

Disadvantages

  • You should have at least Windows 10 on your PC
  • No chat option is available
  • No file sharing option is available
  • Every connection needs the permission of the host

16. RD Tabs

RD Tabs comes from Avian Waves and it is designed for Windows, being a freeware software for remote desktops.

Key Features

Advantages

  • Command-line scripting, management of the remote terminal server features
  • You can also capture the remote desktop screen
  • The passwords are encrypted
  • 100% compatible with Vista

Disadvantages

  • If you have to connect to many computers, the tabs can pile up a little the interface with too many tabs.

17. Remmina

Remmina stands for an open-source project designed for Linux.

Key Features

Advantages

  • Both individuals and companies can use this free of charge
  • Multiple protocols available such as VNC, RDP or XDMCP, or the SSH system

Disadvantages

  • The interface is not updated
  • If you are a business looking for an all-in-one solution, this might not be the option for you.
  • This free remote desktop software it’s solely available for Linux, Unix, Raspberry Pi, and Mac OS. This means that Remmina cannot be run on Windows, however the computer you contact or connect to does not depend on the operating system, so you can control and connect via Remmina to a computer that runs Windows.

18. Remote Utilities

It’s pretty nice for free remote desktop software in terms of feature range.

Key Features

Advantages

  • Supports remote access to up to 10 computers through connecting two PCs by using an Internet ID
  • Unscheduled access can be enabled through a run-only agent
  • Remote connections can be routed via RU Server
  • Router port changes are not necessary
  • Both for enterprises and personal use
  • File sharing, remote printing, and chat options are available
  • It comes with a viewer tool and a host one

Disadvantages

  • It can be used only with Windows, as the Linux and macOS versions being in beta might prevent it from working properly
  • Hard setting when used for the first time

19. ShowMyPC

What’s the difference here is that the connection is not made via an IP address, but via a password.

Key Features

Advantages

  • People who want to establish a connection with you will do this using an URL
  • Spontaneous remote access is possible
  • Portable software
  • From your web browser, you can share the webcam, which is pretty cool
  • Works perfectly on all versions of Windows

Disadvantages

  • Some features cannot be used in the free variant
  • The banner ad it always shows might get annoying at some point

20. SupRemo

SupRemo is a remote desktop software designed as an all-in-one solution, being free of charge for use that is non-professional or non-continuous.

Key Features

Advantages

  • no router or firewall configuration is required
  • the installs are not limited and neither the number of PCs these are performed on
  • file transfer option available
  • it provides unattended access to computers and servers
  • it works with Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, or Android
  • remote printing possible

Disadvantages

  • it is free only for non-professional use even after the 21 days trial period expires and the sessions will have a limited duration
  • after the trial period, for commercial purposes, the software can be used only with a paid subscription plan
  • it needs sometimes a very good internet connection

21. Tight VNC

It’s also Virtual Networking Computing, it makes use of remote frame buffer protocol to enable a remote connection.

Key Features

  • remote access intended for graphical desktops
  • suited for business users and IT managers as it can be used on many operating systems
  • in the Windows versions, you can transfer files
  • much better than traditional VNC encoding as the “tight” encoding leads to less traffic generation

22. UltraVNC

It might be a little hard to use because port forwarding router settings should be changed while making use of UltraVNC.

Key Features

Advantages

  • Two different PCs will have a server and a viewer installed
  • The server should be installed on the target computer
  • The controller computer should have the viewer installed
  • File sharing and transfer options available alongside chat options
  • Clipboard sharing option available
  • You can choose to configure customized keyboard shortcuts

Disadvantages

  • To make it function, router settings should be changed
  • Spontaneous remote access is not properly enabled
  • Remote printing is not available

You might wonder why I did not mention the famous LogMeIn, Splashtop, Zoho Assist, or GoToMyPC. Well, because the focus of this article was on desktop software that has free versions, not just a free trial period.

What to Do If Free Remote Desktop Software Is not an Option for You?

The free remote desktop software will never have all the functionalities a paid version has. It might be limited in terms of how many computers you can connect, the interface, if you need it to install it on the host or not, how much time you have for the remote session, whether you can transfer files or could talk to the agent by chat and so on.

And now comes the juicy part: Heimdal™ has joined the remote desktop software landscape with one more product to its portfolio, Remote Desktop.

What does it do?

Among the main features, I can mention that it can connect to any OS and to any device, multiple persons can be invited to the same session for enhanced collaboration, you can share files and media over the sessions and you do not need to install extra software, you just need to invite users via your Heimdal™ dashboard.

The best part of our product is that it’s designed in 3 areas, so it works as agent-to-agent, dashboard-to-agent, and agent-to-no-agent. Your connections are secure via double encryption, it’s easy to use and saves you lots of time! Ready, steady, go to the website and find more!

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Support your users anywhere in the world.

Heimdal™ Remote Desktop

Remote access and support solution compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android.
  • Connect to any device and operating system;
  • Invite more supporters to the same session;
  • Connect from the Heimdal dashboard or desktop agent;
  • Double encryption with RSA 2048/4096 and AES-256;
Find out more 30-day Free Trial. Offer valid only for companies.

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Comments

The above list is a convenient way to choose the right remote desktop software for your specific needs. However, I would recommend adding Supremo. I have used several remote desktop tools in the past and without a doubt Supremo has been better for performance, portability, cross-platform and usability. Plus, it’s free.

Hi Alexis,

Thank you very much for your input, we really appreciate it! I have added SupRemo to our list as per your suggestion.

It seems you need to check some of the disadvantages better. Like for Remmina, “some services are only available for Windows”. What are these? Its user base target was originally for Linux users, how can it have certain services only for windows? Also, you wrote that with NoMachine that the license cannot be activated via GUI. This is wrong. It CAN be activated by GUI. Also, technical assistance is available in the pay-for versions.

Hi Mark,

Thank you very much for your comment. Your input is much appreciated. I have reviewed the information and corrected it.

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