The ability to access a remote machine is often necessary, whether you want to run its applications, monitor its performance, or transfer files between devices. Remote desktop software systems such as TeamViewer and Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol facilitate these connections, allowing users and network administrators to fully control and maintain devices remotely.
What is TeamViewer?
TeamViewer is a remote device access and control software solution that allows users to access computers and mobile devices for remote management and maintenance. It works with most device platforms, such as macOS, Android, iOS and Windows. Many users use TeamViewer to solve IT problems, digitize workflows, collaborate, access devices remotely, and take advantage of centralized IT management.
What is Remote Desktop?
Remote Desktop Protocol is a secure network protocol from Microsoft to connect to a remote device. The solution allows users to connect to Windows machines over a network connection to use and control a remote PC or virtual application. Common uses for Remote Desktop Protocol are to access tools and software on remote devices, exchange data between devices, and diagnose problems.
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TeamViewer vs. Remote Desktop Feature Comparison
|Remote Computer Connections|
|Device monitoring and control|
|Free mode option|
|Remote file access|
General features of TeamViewer and Remote Desktop
Remote computer connection
TeamViewer provides remote device access and functionality for transferring files, solving IT problems and accessing important information remotely. TeamViewer users get access to their VPN alternative, which helps to enable fast and secure remote connections. It can support connections to devices even if they are behind firewalls as long as the TeamViewer client is installed.
Unlike Remote Desktop Protocol, TeamViewer provides cross-platform access for communication between two devices that support Windows, Linux, macOS, Chrome OS, iOS or Android. In addition, their TeamViewer Host solution allows users to remotely access machines, servers and Android devices even when they are unattended. Other useful features include the ability to remotely share screen for iPhone and iPad connections, a black screen feature for secure remote desktop access, and the ability to wake remote computers into sleep mode.
Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol connects devices to remote Windows machines to enable secure network communication. This is made possible because the protocol provides access through a dedicated network channel and the software can theoretically support up to 64,000 unique channels. Data transfer sessions are encrypted and it also uses external data storage to provide strong physical security.
The graphical user interface of the protocol allows the remote user to access applications and files on the connected device. In addition, Remote Desktop Protocol transfers image data from the remote device, transfers audio from the remote device to the local computer, allows users to run individual applications remotely, and allows users to access their local printers during a session. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection tool is only designed to allow remote access to Windows PCs.
Device monitoring and control
TeamViewer offers several remarkable capabilities for remote monitoring and control of devices. Their Remote Management feature can be implemented through TeamViewer and integrated into the TeamViewer Management Console. It can remotely monitor hardware and software areas such as CPU usage, disk space, memory usage, disk health, antivirus software status and more. Users can view and export comprehensive real-time reports on all monitored devices and view historical information on each of their monitored devices. Users can also configure their system settings to provide instant alerts within the TeamViewer client or email notifications. These alerts can alert users when their monitoring thresholds are exceeded, so they are always aware of the status of their remote machines.
Users of Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol can use the Remote Session Monitoring and Control Protocol, which allows protocol clients to monitor and control Windows sessions on a protocol server. The technology allows multiple clients to run on the same machine and allows multiple clients to manage a server at the same time. It applies to situations where users need to monitor or manage Remote Desktop Protocol sessions on the server. The client device initiates communication with the server machine (unless the system is configured so that the server machine sends event notifications to the client device). The protocol uses SOAP, HTTP, and HTTPS protocols to enable remote monitoring and management of Windows sessions over a network.
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Access/share files remotely
TeamViewer offers flexible options for sharing files and transferring sensitive data between devices. The software includes a shared clipboard, allowing users to copy files and data from one device to the clipboard and then paste them onto another device. Users can also apply additional file transfer methods, including dragging and dropping files from one computer to another or attaching files to cloud storage. Shared data is secured using end-to-end encryption to protect against unauthorized access. TeamViewer’s file sharing options also support their many collaboration features, allowing team members to share information and communicate through text chat, remote session recording, voice and video conferencing, and optimized data transfer.
Remote Desktop Protocol allows clients on server machines to access and obtain files from the remote devices they have connected to. One way the system can do this is through the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection, which uses the Remote Desktop Protocol system to allow users to access file transfers over a remote desktop connection. Before connecting and sharing, the system lets users customize their file settings according to their ideal preferences. File access also means users can print documents from remote devices. However, a disadvantage of this file transfer method is that using Remote Desktop Protocol involves a file size limitation of 2 GB.
Choosing TeamViewer vs Remote Desktop
TeamViewer and Remote Desktop Protocol are software solutions that each contain functions for accessing remote devices. Although based on the features and capabilities offered with each product, it can be concluded that they have very different usage scenarios. For example, TeamViewer is an online collaboration software system that includes useful functions to support remote connections between many device combinations. However, it also offers several collaboration tools and additional features, such as extensive reporting and historical information. All of this can be great for organizations looking for a feature-rich product that not only provides remote device accessibility, but also supports their team’s communications and helps them monitor their device’s security.
However, in the case of TeamViewer vs. Remote Desktop, price points need to be considered. While the TeamViewer product includes many great features, it costs from $83.40 per year for one user to access three designated computers and $298.80 per year for one licensed user to access the more extensive features. On the other hand, Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol offers a free basic version of their software with Microsoft Office Online. So while it may not include many of the additional features and capabilities of TeamViewer, it may be worth considering if your organization uses Microsoft Office and all you need is secure access, file sharing, and control features. Of course, if this is the case, make sure you only need remote connections to Windows devices, as this is the only platform supported by Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol.