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IT

AnyDesk Review

AnyDesk is a capable remote access solution for personal use or small-scale commercial IT support. It is reasonably affordable, easy to configure and use, and supports attended and unattended access. AnyDesk might not be the ideal solution for medium and large businesses, but it shines in certain use cases we’ll explore in this review.

AnyDesk home page

Comparing AnyDesk to the Best Remote Support Software

AnyDesk didn’t make it on our list of the best remote support software. First, the platform isn’t robust enough to provide dedicated support in medium to large enterprises. Furthermore, its cheapest plan is slightly more expensive than Zoho Assist, which we consider the best remote support solution for most people.

However, it would be unfair to bypass AnyDesk altogether. Specifically, its free plan offers everything you need for personal use, including a file manager, remote printing, desktop sharing, and interactive access. Its paid plans also provide collaboration and other essential remote support features you might need.

We put together a list of the Best Remote Support Software. We tested and reviewed multiple remote software solutions to make finding the best one for your specific use case easier. Be sure to check out the post to see all of our top picks.

AnyDesk: The Good and the Bad

AnyDesk has its redeeming qualities but also falls short in some aspects. Here’s the best and worst of what AnyDesk has to offer:

The Good

Quick and Easy Setup: You don’t have to install AnyDesk on your machine to use the software. Simply download the file and click it to run the software in portable mode. You can also install the program to unlock more features like custom aliases.

Convenient Address Book: AnyDesk offers a nifty feature for managing your connected devices. The Address Book stores the IDs for all your connected devices. You can connect to registered devices with one click from your address book.

AnyDesk page to create new address book

Additionally, you can add tags to your contacts to organize your connected devices. Finally, you can create multiple address books to organize your contacts by type. The address book also has a search feature to filter contacts by tag.

Custom Alias ID: You don’t have to remember the long string of numbers associated with each connected device. Instead, you can assign custom alias IDs that are easy to remember. The standard alias ID format is [email protected].

High Performance: AnyDesk is fast, which is crucial for remote support. The low-latency software is just as fast for connections outside your local network. You also get high-quality desktop rendering with each AnyDesk plan.

Customizable Settings: You get complete control of AnyDesk features, so you can offer support how you want. For instance, you can block collaboration, turn off clipboard syncing, and configure view-only access. You can also stop specific actions from the remote computer, including accessing the file manager, locking the keyboard and mouse, booting, and more.

AnyDesk customizable settings

Security and Privacy Settings: AnyDesk offers multiple security and privacy features. For protection, you get two-factor authentication (2FA), end-to-end encryption with 256-bit AES, TLS 1.2 Standardized Protocol Technology, permission management, and access restrictions. The privacy features are equally robust, including a privacy mode to blacken the remote device screen.

AnyDesk Mobile App: The software offers a responsive mobile app to provide remote support via mobile. You can perform most desktop tasks, including accessing desktop files, installing applications, shutting down and restarting the remote machine, and remote printing. The mobile app also has a clean and uncluttered user interface that’s easy to navigate.

Example of AnyDesk mobile app on cell phone

The Bad

Limited Support: You only get email support for AnyDesk. The support team is responsive. However, it would be good to get live support via phone and chat.

Limited Enterprise Features: AnyDesk works well for personal use cases and small support teams. But, it lacks robust enterprise features for large IT teams. Some missing features include diagnostic tools, bulk deployment for unattended access, session scheduling, and session confirmation.

AnyDesk Pricing and Options

AnyDesk has a free version for personal use. It’s a terrific option for accessing your desktop remotely from any device or operating system. You can also use the free version to offer basic technical support to family and friends.

AnyDesk pricing plans

The free version offers the basic remote support features, including:

  • Remote access
  • Screen share
  • Whiteboard
  • File transfer
  • Integrated chat

However, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid tiers to offer business support. AnyDesk plans include:

Essentials – This plan costs $9.90 per month. It supports only one licensed user on one device. However, you can connect unlimited attended devices and one unattended device. It’s an elementary plan for accessing your desktop remotely.

Performance – The Performance plan costs $19.90 per month. It introduces business features such as session recording, wake-on-Lan, and advanced security options. In addition, you can connect up to 3000 unattended devices and unlimited attended devices.

Enterprise – The Enterprise plan costs $29.90 per month. You can connect unlimited managed and unmanaged devices. It also offers a few enterprise features, such as MSI deployment, customization and branding, and unlimited concurrent sessions.

Overall, AnyDesk is priced competitively and is affordable. Still, there are a few glaring cost-related problems worth investigating. For example, AnyDesk only accepts annual billing with no option for month-to-month payments.

This scenario means you are locked into the service for at least one year unless you are willing to forfeit your subscription. Therefore, it’s not a good option if you want to try different remote support software before choosing the best one. However, you get a 14-day free trial to test the software before buying.

Furthermore, Zoho Assist is slightly cheaper but offers more features and functionality than AnyDesk. For instance, Zoho Assist’s most affordable plan includes screen capture, custom report, session transfer, and multi-monitor navigation. These features aren’t available with the AnyDesk Essentials plan.

In short, AnyDesk is one of the more affordable remote access solutions. However, there are better alternatives for cheaper. AnyDesk is suitable for personal use but doesn’t quite hit the mark when considering its paid tiers.

Let’s look at AnyDesk features and offerings and how they compare to our top picks for the best remote support software.

AnyDesk Access and Control

AnyDesk offers most of the basic access and control features you need to provide adequate remote support. These features are also well developed. They include:

  • Desktop sharing
  • Mobile device management
  • Unattended access
  • File manager
  • Interactive access
  • Remote printing
  • Session invitation
  • Session recording
  • Wake-on-LAN
  • Mobile device management
  • VPN

The File Manager is exceptionally well built. It is quick, easy to use, and intuitive. You can also share files separately from a dedicated tab during a remote session. Depending on your needs, you can also turn file sharing on or off.

AnyDesk File Manager

It’s commendable that AnyDesk doesn’t have any caps or limits on file sharing. So you can share files as often as you like. Similarly, there’s no size limit for sharing files, including on the Free and Essentials plan.

Using the clipboard feature, you can also copy and paste files between connected devices. The clipboard syncs in real-time and helps save time and resources. For example, you don’t have to expend precious time or bandwidth manually uploading and downloading files between devices.

The file transfer feature is also compatible across platforms. Supported platforms include Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. This compatibility is essential when host and client devices use different operating systems.   

You can control all your access and control features from the intuitive AnyDesk toolbar. You get complete access to the settings, including during ongoing sessions. For instance, you can configure client permissions such as synchronizing clipboards, listening to remote client audio, and blocking remote user input mid-session.

You also get most of these features with the Essentials plan. However, the main criticism is that you’ll need to upgrade to the Performance plan to manage more than one unattended device. By contrast, Zoho Assist supports up to 5 unattended computers on its free plan.

Finally, the Wake-on-LAN feature is also useful. It’s available to AnyDesk Performance and Enterprise subscribers. You can turn on computers remotely, including in shutdown, sleep, or hybrid mode.

AnyDesk Administration and Customization

AnyDesk allows technicians complete control of account administration. The platform is highly customizable to match your organization’s workflow and structure. Some of the features in this category include:

  • Address book
  • Central client management console
  • Namespace
  • Session permission profiles
  • Group policies
  • Customizable client
  • Rest API

Again, AnyDesk is customizable to your organization’s needs. For instance, you can customize your AnyDesk instance from the my.AnyDesk portal. Here, you can customize settings and features and create your personalized version of AnyDesk.

Additionally, you can use your corporate logo, program name, and namespace. You can also choose between on-premise and cloud deployment. Overall, AnyDesk adapts to your corporate identity and allows you to use consistent branding across your software suite.

AnyDesk also has a robust REST API. You also get basic API functionality with the cheapest plan. For instance, you can retrieve all your basic data, including client details, system information, license information, and session lists for a specific timeframe. In addition, you can unlock more advanced API features by upgrading your subscription.

For instance, the REST API available on the Advanced plan lets you automate billing. The feature is also easy to use, and there’s plenty of supporting documentation. However, AnyDesk only offers email support, which is inconvenient when using advanced REST API features that may require real-time support. 

AnyDesk Security and Privacy

AnyDesk redeems itself with its strong security and privacy features. These features are crucial for secure connections, whether accessing a personal computer remotely or offering tech support. The feature set in this category includes:

Screen Frame – This feature is a visual indicator of incoming or ongoing connection. You don’t have to guess whether someone else is viewing or controlling your computer. You can also customize the Screen Frame in your privacy settings, including changing the session indicator’s width, color, and opacity.

Permission Management – The permission management feature is very flexible on AnyDesk. You can pre-configure standard permissions for all connections. Alternatively, you can change permissions during or before accepting a session.

Privacy Mode – AnyDesk allows you to blacken the client screen so people can’t see what you’re doing to the remote device. It’s a valuable feature for accessing a work computer from home or working with sensitive data. You’ll also get an indicator when the remote computer goes into Privacy Mode, so you know the screen is turned off.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) – Securing unattended computers may be tricky. AnyDesk allows you to add an extra layer of security with 2FA. Now, you can offer secure support without requiring a person on the other end of the remote computer.

Whitelist – The allowlist feature lets you limit the devices contacting your computer or requesting a connection. It’s beneficial if you’re using AnyDesk internally to offer support within an organization. You can even limit connections to your local network or devices registered under your AnyDesk license or namespace.

AnyDesk security settings page with an access control list

It’s worth noting that you unlock most of the security and privacy settings by upgrading to the Performance plan. So, for instance, you don’t get permission management, 2FA, or privacy mode with the cheapest plan. But, again, Zoho Assist offers user management features with all plans, including the free version.

AnyDesk Collaboration

Finally, AnyDesk offers basic collaboration features. These include text chat, session invitation, and whiteboard. The features are customer-centric, which is commendable.

AnyDesk collaboration page with chat log

For example, a remote user can send a direct invitation to access their device. There are no multiple sessions or hoops to jump through to initiate a connection. You can also send text messages to remote users before starting a connection or during an active session.

The interactive whiteboard is equally valuable. It’s intuitive and easy to use. Plus, you get various useful tools, including shapes, freehand lines, and static drawings.

The main downside is that AnyDesk is light on collaboration features. It would be helpful to have more features like voice and video chat, service queue, session notes, and session scheduling. Unfortunately, you don’t get any of these features even with the most expensive plan targeting large businesses and enterprises.

How AnyDesk Ranks

AnyDesk is particularly good for providing tech support for family and friends. The free plan has everything you need for it. It’s also a good solution for delivering in-house support within a small team or organization. 

Despite being an intelligent and lightweight remote access solution, AnyDesk pales compared to major players such as Zoho Assist, LogMeIn Rescue, and FixMe.IT. Specifically, you don’t get optimum value from any AnyDesk paid subscriptions.

For instance, LogMeIn Rescue charges $108.25 per month. Of course, it’s far more expensive, but it offers far more features than AnyDesk. These include diagnostics, real-time monitoring & reporting, scripting, desktop calling card, and more.

Even cheaper alternatives like Zoho Assist offer more features than AnyDesk. So for people looking to maximize value for money, AnyDesk simply isn’t the answer. It’s a great platform, but it pales compared to other providers offering similar services.

Be sure to check out our post for the best remote support software compared. You’ll find many AnyDesk alternatives and the rationale for why you might choose any of these services. The top contenders include:

Summary

To be clear, AnyDesk isn’t a bad remote support solution. It is lightweight, easy to deploy and use, forgiving on your computing resource, and moderately priced. However, there are far better options on the market. For this reason, we aren’t quick to recommend AnyDesk as a top choice for a remote access solution.


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