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Seemingly overnight, the United States ran out of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and hand sanitizer. Today, we’re nine months in, and one thing’s glaringly clear: the chaos is far from over.
Your customers are staying at home. Your employees are staying at home. And you’re staying at home too. But despite that, your business can’t afford to mirror the chaos happening outside your doors.
And fortunately, it doesn’t have to, thanks to remote access software.
But with hundreds of remote software options to choose from, how do you decide which one is best for your employees, your customers, and your business?
You don’t have to make the decision alone.
To help simplify the process, we looked at the best remote access software on the market and reviewed our top six recommendations, depending on how you run your business.
The Best Remote Access Software to Consider:
- Splashtop – Best for individuals and small businesses
- RemotePC – Best for distributed or remote teams
- Zoho Assist – Best for SMBs offering remote support
- LogMeIn Pro – Best for enterprises offering remote support
- Parallels – Best for remote access on mobile devices
- Chrome Remote Desktop – Best free remote access software
#1 – Splashtop — The Best for Individuals and Small Businesses
If you’re a solopreneur or a small team looking for something simple, straightforward, and easy to use, Splashtop is an excellent choice.
For $5 a month, you can enjoy remote access from any device on up to two computers with file transfer, remote print, audio access, and logging capabilities.
Plus, you can switch between monitors to quickly access what you need.
Splashtop uses TLS and 256-bit AES encryption plus device authentication, two-step verification, and 2nd-level password options to protect you and your devices.
Furthermore, over 200,000+ businesses and 30+ million users turn to Splashtop for their remote access needs. Which… is no surprise because it’s affordable, secure, and a breeze to set up.
And if you outgrow the basic plan, you can upgrade to the Pro plan for $8.25 a month. This (affordable) upgrade gives you access to advanced features like:
- Remote access to 10 computers
- Ability to view multiple monitors at the same time
- Two users remoting to the same computer
- Remote wake and reboot functionality
Plus, you can add more than one user (each user is an additional $8.25/month) so your small team can access everything they need. And if you have more than four users, you get 20% off.
But keep in mind there are no month-to-month payment options. You’re responsible for paying for each user on your account for an entire year in advance.
Try Splashtop free for seven days (no CC required).
#2 – RemotePC — The Best for Remote or Distributed Teams
Whether you’re shifting to remote work for good or you’ve always been a distributed team, remote access software helps take the burden off your employees.
You supply the tech and software stacks while your employees access their office computers from home.
If this sounds like the perfect setup for your business, RemotePC is an excellent choice.
With their software, you can connect to any device, including PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. So regardless of the device you want to access, RemotePC has you covered.
Furthermore, you can connect to remote computers with nothing but an internet connection. No hardware or software installation is required.
This makes working from home or anywhere in the world a breeze for your employees.
Furthermore, RemotePC uses TSL v1.2 and 256-bit AES encryption with personal keys and secondary passwords to protect your devices and your information.
And you can connect to your work devices from anywhere in the word, transfer data, print documents, and invite coworkers to collaborate on your computer in real-time.
Whether you’re a team of one or 100+, RemotePC has a plan suitable for your business.
Furthermore, you can easily add more computer connections to your plan with no hassle.
The cheapest plan starts at $29.50/year for one user, or you can upgrade to the Soho plan for $69.50/year with unlimited users.
This pricing is unbeatable and one of the cheapest price points you’ll find in the industry.
RemotePC’s team and enterprise plans come with a 7-day free trial. However, the lower packages don’t. So, I recommend opting for a free trial plan to try it out before you buy.
Just don’t forget to downgrade to the plan you need before your trial period expires.
Sign up today to get started.
#3 – Zoho Assist — The Best for SMBs Offering Remote Support
Zoho Assist is a cloud-based remote access software for scheduled and on-demand customer support sessions.
Additionally, you can opt for one of the unattended plans to access devices even if your customers aren’t present at their computers.
So if you’re a small to midsize business offering remote support to customers, Zoho Assist is a smart and affordable choice. Plus, you can try it out for free using their limited free forever plan or a 15-day free trial.
Source: Zoho Assist
With Zoho Assist, you get access to live voice and video chat during your sessions, reboot + reconnect capabilities, instant file transfers, screen sharing options, and more. The solution exists specifically for remote support teams, so you know you’re in good hands.
Furthermore, you can remotely access and manage virtually any device, including:
- Mobile devices
- And servers
While their free plan is great to try it out, I highly recommend upgrading to the standard ($8/month) or professional plan ($13/month) depending on what you need.
Both options are affordable. But if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, I recommend the professional plan.
On this plan, you can create a fully-branded experience, share your screen, schedule sessions, and take advantage of their mobile app for just a few dollars more per month.
Start your 15-day free trial to take Zoho Assist on a test drive today.
#4 – LogMeIn Rescue — Best for Enterprises Offering Remote Support
Best for Enterprises
An enterprise solution for large companies offering multi-faceted remote customer support to deliver branded support experiences from day one. Trusted by brands like Geek Squad, Lenovo, and 3M. Pricing starts at $108/month for individuals and small teams. Custom enterprise pricing available on request.
Large businesses offering remote support require an enterprise plan with the bandwidth to handle a large team of technicians. And LogMeIn Rescue is a fantastic choice.
This remote access software is for enterprise IT and customer support teams. From simple troubleshooting to complex workflows, Rescue scales to seamlessly meet your needs.
So regardless of how fast you grow, you don’t have to worry about outgrowing your remote access software.
And they believe there’s more to excellent customer support than solving technical problems. While that is important, they know there’s more to growing your business and providing exceptional experiences.
So, they created the Rescue software to help you offer world-class customer support, save time, save money, and boost efficiency across your company.
Furthermore, brands like Geek Squad, 3M, Lenovo, and Canon trust Rescue to give their customers a branded and seamless support experience from anywhere in the world.
LogMeIn Rescue offers one plan for individuals and one plan for teams, although you need to contact their sales team for a custom enterprise quote. However, each plan includes:
- Real-time monitoring
- Screen sharing
- Remote control access
- File transfers
- Customization and branding
- Agent collaboration
- And more
And with these advanced features comes a steep price tag.
For individuals or small teams, pricing starts at $108 per month. So, I don’t recommend this remote access software unless you’re a large business with more advanced requirements (and a higher budget).
Try it free for 14 days to see if Rescue is right for you.
#5 – Parallels Access — The Best for Mobile Remote Access
Best for Mobile Remote Access
Extremely affordable for individuals and businesses. Access your computer from anywhere in the world and use desktop applications straight from your mobile device. Prices start at $19.99 a year for individuals and $49.00 a year for businesses.
Mobile remote access is an add-on feature of most of the options on this list. However, mobile is at the forefront of what Parallels Access does.
They focus on creating a seamless mobile experience to access your computer from your phone, anywhere in the world.
Source: Parallels Access
With Parallels, you can use your phone (or tablet) to:
- Access your computer’s hard drive
- Copy or open files with a few taps
- Use the applications on your computer
- Easily zoom in and move things around
- Add desktop applications to your phone’s home screen (Android only)
- Copy files from one device to another
This takes “computer in your pocket” to a whole new level.
Furthermore, Parallels simplified mobile navigation and finger controls of your desktop applications. This means you can use the gestures you’re used to.
You can also use the browser application to connect to your desktop via another computer. However, mobile optimizations are what make them stand out from the crowd.
They also offer a business version ($49.00 per year) with unlimited users, centralized access control, and 24/7 customer support.
And you can get a high-volume discount if you need more than 20 computer connections.
The best part of Parallels Access is the price. It’s $19.99 per year ($1.67/month) for one user, unlimited mobile devices, and remote access to five separate computers.
Plus, you can save even more by paying for two years in advance ($34.99 for two years).
Download your free trial to take Parallels Access for a test drive today.
#6 – Chrome Remote Access — The Best Free Remote Access Software
If you’re on a tight budget, Chrome Remote Access is a free tool for Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It’s free forever, with no upgrades or payment plans.
However, it does require Google Chrome and is quite limited compared to some of the other options on this list. But it’s an excellent free solution for anyone interested in a quick and straightforward remote access software.
In less than 60 seconds, you can set up your computer for remote access on another device.
All you have to do is download and install the Chrome extension on the computer you want to access elsewhere.
You can also open your computer up for remote customer support or access someone else’s computer using their one-time access code. It’s by far the easiest solution to use despite its limitations.
While it’s not great for large teams or for offering professional customer support, it’s great for businesses or individuals who don’t need anything fancy.
Ran into a snag and need a coworker to take a quick look? Need to collaborate on a slide deck? Maybe you’re helping your grandparents install new software on their computer.
Chrome Remote Access is the perfect free and straightforward solution for one-off situations.
Download the extension to get started.
When Does It Make Sense to Invest In Remote Access Software?
There are several distinct use cases for remote access software. However, not every business needs it. And you can go with free software for a lot of personal, one-off situations.
But premium remote access software may be a necessity if you:
- Offer remote customer support
- Allow your employees to work from home
- Manage a 100% distributed team
- Need to access your computer/files from anywhere
- Want to use desktop applications on your phone
Furthermore, different remote access tools exist for different purposes and serve businesses of various sizes.
So, if any of those situations apply to you or your business, it’s crucial to understand what you need (and don’t need) before making any decisions.
The bottom line: Free remote access software is excellent for one-off situations or personal use. However, premium software is better for businesses offering remote customer support, a work-from-home environment, or the need to access files from other devices.
Methodology For Choosing The Best Remote Access Software
Narrowing down your choices can feel impossible if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
And while my recommendations are a great place to start, I want to share the methodology I used so that you can make the right decision for your business and specific situation.
Feel free to use these criteria as you scout out the best options for your business.
Price is often the most limiting factor when it comes to choosing remote access software. Some plans cost a few dollars a month, while others are $100+ per month for a single user.
And one of them (Chrome Remote Access) is free.
Does more expensive always mean better? Not exactly.
Most of the expensive options on this list are for large businesses and enterprises. So, they come with a large-business price tag.
And they’re overkill for small businesses in terms of functionality.
Rather than choosing the most expensive option, find the software that meets your minimum requirements at a reasonable price point for your business.
Your Use Cases
Before you make any decisions, it’s crucial to understand how you’re going to use it.
Furthermore, do you need unattended access, or are on-demand services sufficient?
Your best option depends on how you plan to use it. So, start by making a list of requirements and use-cases for your businesses. Here are some features to consider:
- Unattended access vs. on-demand access
- Built-in scheduling tools
- Live chat, video chat, and screen recording/sharing
- Single monitor vs. multiple monitor access
- Remote printing and file sharing
- Access from mobile devices
- Essential integrations
You can use your list to narrow down your top choices.
Number of Users and Devices
How big is your company? And how many devices do you need to access remotely?
It’s crucial to understand these two points because the best remote access software for you depends on your answers.
You should also consider how fast you plan to grow.
For example, with RemotePC, you can add additional remote connections to your package in just a few clicks. You never have to worry about outgrowing your plan or the software. So, this is an excellent choice for fast-growth companies.
Lastly, pay attention to the number of users allowed on each plan vs. the number of user accounts you need. Some software enables unlimited users, while others do not.
Security is typically a top concern with companies using remote access software. And for a good reason. If it’s that simple to access your computer remotely, how easy is it for someone else to take over?
However, the good news is that most remote access providers understand this and work to remove vulnerabilities before they occur.
From two-factor authentication and one-time access codes to 256-bit AES encryption, every recommendation on this list is secure. However, specific industries have particular privacy and security requirements (like HIPPA).
So always make sure your use of the software meets those requirements.
Some software on this list is easy to install. In contrast, others require a bit more work upfront. Regardless, access to customer support is critical. You never know when something is going to break or go wrong, especially with software.
So, consider the type of support you get as part of the plan. Does it come with phone, email, or live chat support? What about their business hours? Are they 24/7/365?
Remember: you may not need help today, but you probably will at some point down the road.
Splashtop is my top recommendation for most users. It’s affordable, reliable, and incredibly easy to use.
However, it’s not perfect for every business in every industry.
So, don’t forget to use the methodology outlined here as you go through the process of choosing the best remote access software for you and your business.