Our Top Picks

Chrome Remote Desktop Logo
Chrome Remote Desktop
4.0
  • Free to use
  • No extra applications — just a Chrome browser extension
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android
Best for Google Users
Visit Chrome Remote Desktop
Chrome Remote Desktop is Google’s remote desktop software that allows users to share their device or access another device using a Chromebook or directly through the Chrome browser. You don’t need to create any new accounts or download any applications to get up and running — all you need is the Chrome Remote Desktop browser extension for Google Chrome. You can set up one-time or recurring access to a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer easily and then access the device from an iPhone, iPad, Android, or another computer. Given its flexibility, ease of use, integration with the Google system, and completely free access, we chose Chrome Remote Desktop as the best option for users who are already in the Google ecosystem.

With Chrome Remote Desktop, it’s easy to set up connections to new desktops using PINs or one-time access codes. One-time codes are ideal for remote troubleshooting and other situations where someone needs temporary remote access without ongoing permissions.

Chrome Remote Desktop is free to use, and there are no premium add-ons or extensions. While that makes it more accessible than paid options, it also makes Chrome Remote Desktop somewhat less versatile when it comes to more advanced features that are only available with premium remote desktop software.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free to use
  • No extra applications — just a Chrome browser extension
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android

Cons

  • No chat or remote printing

What Customers Are Saying

Most users and reviewers agree that Chrome Remote Desktop is the most convenient remote access software for personal users who are involved in the Google Workspace ecosystem. They also appreciate having the flexibility to configure either recurring remote access or one-time permissions depending on the specific use case.

Summary

Chrome Remote Desktop Logo
Chrome Remote Desktop
  • Starting Price
    • Free
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Support Options
    Community Support
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4
ConnectWise Control Logo
ConnectWise Control
3.5
  • Easy to set up and start using
  • Numerous updates and bug fixes released in 2021
  • Outstanding customer reviews
Easiest to Implement
Visit ConnectWise Control
Remote access software can be tricky to navigate, especially if you’re working in an organizational setting with lots of users and technicians. ConnectWise Control was a knockdown choice for the easiest remote access platform to implement due to its incredibly straightforward setup process. After making an account and signing up for a free trial or a paid subscription, click on the Create button to set up your first session. Across both professional reviews and user feedback, we found nearly unanimous praise for ConnectWise Control’s outstanding ease of use.

Reading through the software’s changelog, recent updates appear to cover bug fixes and some basic feature changes. The most significant update in 2021 has been the addition of a new security service that provides real-time auditing and trigger-based notifications for authentication events.

Like some of the other platforms we’ve mentioned, ConnectWise Control uses a variable pricing system that depends on your scale, the features you’re looking for, and whether you need remote support or just unattended access. Remote support starts at $24 per month paid annually for one user and one connection, while unattended access is available from $30 per month paid annually for up to 25 agents. That’s substantially more expensive than an alternative like Zoho Assist, which starts at $10 for both remote support and unattended access. You can start with a 14-day free trial before starting a paid subscription.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy to set up and start using
  • Numerous updates and bug fixes released in 2021
  • Outstanding customer reviews

Cons

  • More expensive than most alternatives

What Customers Are Saying

Along with the simple setup process, customers like the speed and reliability of the platform’s connections. They also note that ConnectWise Control makes it easy for agents to access files and critical information like the serial number of a remote device.

Summary

ConnectWise Control Logo
ConnectWise Control
  • Starting Price
    • ONE: $24/month
    • STANDARD: $42/month
    • PREMIUM: $54/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Phone, Email
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 3.5
ImPcRemote Logo
imPcRemote
5.0
  • Relatively robust free option
  • Supports Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android
  • Cross-device chat and file sharing
Best Free Option
Visit imPcRemote
imPcRemote is a slightly more versatile and better overall option when it comes to remote access. Given the decent free plan available with imPcRemote, plus the lack of free remote access tools on the market, it was easy for us to identify imPcRemote as the best free remote access platform in 2021. While Chrome Remote Desktop is free to use, it’s much more convenient for users who are already involved in the Google ecosystem. That’s especially true since the host needs to be running Google Chrome — the service isn’t intended for any other browser.

imPcRemote’s free tier is somewhat limited compared to paid alternatives, but it comes with helpful features like cross-device chat and file sharing. It’s currently available on Windows, Linux, and Mac as well as iOS and Android through mobile apps on the App Store and Google Play Store.

If you’re not satisfied with the free offerings from imPcRemote, you can always upgrade to a premium license. Licenses currently cost $29 per year for personal use and $29 per year per connection for businesses. The paid business plan comes with extra tools like custom branding and unlimited connections compared to just 30 monthly connections with the free plan and 1,000 with the paid personal subscription.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Relatively robust free option
  • Supports Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android
  • Cross-device chat and file sharing

Cons

  • Fewer testimonials and user reviews compared to more established platforms

What Customers Are Saying

Unfortunately, imPcRemote doesn’t have as much attention from professional reviewers as some of the more popular remote access applications. With that in mind, you’ll need to try the free tier yourself to get an idea of the platform’s features and reliability.

Summary

ImPcRemote Logo
imPcRemote
  • Starting Price
    • Free Version Available
    • imPCRemote Instant: $29/year
    • imPCRemote Professional: $29/year
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Version Available
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Installed - Linux
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Phone
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 5
ManageEngine Remote Access Plus Logo
ManageEngine Remote Access Plus
3.5
  • 30-day free trial
  • Features for HIPAA compliance
  • Free for up to 10 devices
Remote access introduces a variety of cybersecurity risks for all organizations, but security concerns are even more important for health care companies. ManageEngine has specific practices in place to protect these organizations from issues related to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) violations, which can lead to substantial monetary penalties. With unique user identifications, automatic logoffs, real-time reporting, and 256-bit encryption, ManageEngine Remote Access Plus is as good as it gets for health care businesses.

While other ManageEngine platforms have been updated regularly throughout 2021, ManageEngine Remote Access Plus hasn’t been changed as often. With that in mind, it’s safe to say that this service mostly comes with the same features that have been included during the last several years. That doesn’t mean there are any problems with the application, but it may not be as actively supported as some of the other remote access software we’ve covered.

You can start with a 30-day free trial of ManageEngine Remote Access Plus through either a cloud or on-premises deployment. The platform is also totally free indefinitely for users who have up to 10 devices. Pricing depends on the features you need as well as the size of your team and whether you want to use the service in the cloud or on your own servers. The Standard subscription is available for $75 per year (on-premises) or $100 per year (cloud) for 25 computers and five technicians while Professional runs $95 or $150 per year for the same team size.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 30-day free trial
  • Features for HIPAA compliance
  • Free for up to 10 devices

Cons

  • Inconsistent updates

What Customers Are Saying

ManageEngine Remote Access Plus has relatively limited customer reviews compared to more established remote access software. However, the one verified review we could find was extremely positive, and ManageEngine’s other applications have also received strong praise from the vast majority of users.

Summary

ManageEngine Remote Access Plus Logo
ManageEngine Remote Access Plus
  • Starting Price
    • Professional
    • On-Premise: Starting at $95/year
    • Cloud: Starting at $15/month
    • Standard
    • On-Premise: Starting at $75/year
    • Cloud: Starting at $10/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    30-Day Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
  • Support Options
    Chat, Phone, Email
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 3.5
Parallels Access Logo
Parallels Access
4.8
  • Excellent mobile functionality
  • Receives some updates
  • Remote file access
Best for Mobile Access
Visit Parallels Access
While most remote users access one computer from another desktop or laptop, you may also be interested in a remote access platform that’s optimized for mobile devices. In that case, Parallels Access is the best option out there due to its mobile-friendly design that enables conventional desktop applications to run well on a smartphone or tablet. For example, you’ll be able to launch desktop apps through dedicated icons on your mobile device instead of launching them through the desktop you’re accessing.

Parallels Access doesn’t receive as many updates as the base Parallels platform, but it still keeps it current with the latest releases. As of February 2021, the Parallels Access iOS client can be run on M1 Macs, allowing users to run mobile apps on their Mac laptops or desktop.

There are only a few subscription options available for Parallels Access. Personal plans cost $19.99 for one year or $34.99 for two years. They come with one user account plus support for up to five computers and an unlimited number of mobile devices. Business plans are available for $49.99 (one year) or $89.99 (two years). Business subscribers get unlimited users and mobile devices. While they’re still limited to five computers, they can add extra sets of five for $49.99 per year or $89.99 every two years.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent mobile functionality
  • Receives some updates
  • Remote file access

Cons

  • Limited computers, even with Business plans

What Customers Are Saying

While some Parallels Access users report a slight input lag, they’re generally satisfied with the platform’s unique mobile-friendly interface. Tasks that would normally be complicated on a smartphone or tablet are streamlined effectively by the Parallels Access mobile app.

Summary

Parallels Access Logo
Parallels Access
  • Starting Price
    • Personal
    • 1-Year Plan: $19.99
    • 2-Year Plan: $34.99
    • Business
    • Business 1-Year Plan: $49.99
    • Business 2-Year Plan: $89.99
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Phone, Chat, Email
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.8
RemotePC Logo
RemotePC
3.5
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Robust features at higher tiers
  • Receives regular updates
Best Customer Service
Visit RemotePC
While several providers on this list offer personalized customer support, RemotePC stands out from the rest for a few main reasons. First, 24/7 support is available with all RemotePC subscriptions, with service available through either email or live chat. It also offers immediate phone support on weekdays from 6 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. Pacific time. Furthermore, we found extensive praise for RemotePC’s support turnaround times and thorough answers across consumer and professional reviews. Those features give it the best overall customer service of any piece of remote access software in 2021.

The service has been updated numerous times in 2021 alone, introducing both bug fixes and brand-new features. For example, RemotePC’s 7.6.34 release on Mac (8/3/21) integrated cloud backups into the Mac version of the platform. RemotePC subscriptions also include access to its video conferencing platform, giving you both functionalities in a single plan.

After introductory offers for the first one or two years, the cheapest RemotePC plan starts at $39.50 per year for the Consumer tier. This subscription is limited to one license on up to two computers. More expensive plans offer unlimited licenses, higher device limits, and other advanced features like user management, single sign-on (SSO), and session recording. While RemotePC’s higher tiers are more expensive than some users may be willing to pay, they also come with powerful features that aren’t available with every competitor.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Outstanding customer service
  • Robust features at higher tiers
  • Receives regular updates

Cons

  • No free option

What Customers Are Saying

Our research indicated that RemotePC has a loyal audience that appreciates the platform’s simplicity and responsive customer service. However, they also note one important limitationremote devices with multiple monitors can’t be shown in a single window on the device that’s accessing them.

Summary

RemotePC Logo
RemotePC
  • Starting Price
    • Consumer: $29.62/year
    • SOHO: $52.12/year
    • Team: $187.12
    • Enterprise: $374.62/year
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Phone
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 3.5
Splashtop Logo
Splashtop
4.9
  • Impressive educational solutions
  • Consistent updates
  • Free trial with no payment method
Best for Education
Visit Splashtop
While most remote access providers focus on either personal or professional use, Splashtop has unique experience in enabling remote access for students who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers custom solutions tailored to the needs of particular schools and organizations — for example, it has worked with schools to optimize remote access for low-spec home computers and provide scheduled access to lab computers based on student schedules. Given its close attention to the needs of educational institutions in the era of remote work, we’re confident naming Splashtop the best remote access software for education in 2021.

Splashtop has also been extremely proactive about keeping its applications current, with several updates being released in each month of 2021. That includes new versions of the Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS platforms that come with bug fixes as well as compatibility updates and extra features.

Meanwhile, Splashtop’s pricing structure is a little more complicated than some of the alternatives. There are separate subscriptions for four different types of users: businesses and individuals; managed service providers; information technology (IT), support, and help desks; and education. Those plans start at $5, $40, $17, and $2.50 per user per year, respectively. Free trials of each Splashtop subscription are available for seven days with no payment method required.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Impressive educational solutions
  • Consistent updates
  • Free trial with no payment method

Cons

  • Confusing price structure

What Customers Are Saying

All of Splashtop’s tools have strong reviews from users and professionals, including personal, business, and educational solutions. Customers are particularly happy with the unique ability to scale up resolution beyond the native capabilities of the device being accessed.

Summary

Splashtop Logo
Splashtop
  • Starting Price
    • Business Access Solo: $5/month
    • Business Access Pro: $8.25/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    7-Day Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Ticket, Chat, Phone
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.9
TeamViewer Logo
TeamViewer
4.8
  • Compatible with BlackBerry OS
  • Receives regular updates
  • Free for personal use
Best for BlackBerry OS
Visit TeamViewer
Most pieces of remote access software are compatible with desktops and mobile devices across the major operating systems, including macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS. TeamViewer goes even further with support for Chrome OS, as well as BlackBerry OS, which is neglected by most other platforms. With that in mind, TeamViewer was a natural choice for the best BlackBerry OS remote access software available in 2021.

TeamViewer was missing support for biometric identification up until July 2021, but it added support for face and fingerprint-based security on July 28. It has also introduced several other features in recent months including two-factor authentication, web-based remote access, and support for augmented reality.

Best of all, the TeamViewer is totally free as long as you don’t download it for commercial use. Commercial subscriptions start at $50.90 per month billed annually for one user to create one session at a time. At $102.90 per month, the Multi-User plan is still limited to one connected user at a time, but there can be up to 15 users on the same account. The Teams subscription offers up to three simultaneous channels along with support for up to 30 licensed users for $206.90 per month. That makes TeamViewer one of the more expensive providers we looked at, even compared to other commercial platforms like Goverlan.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Compatible with BlackBerry OS
  • Receives regular updates
  • Free for personal use

Cons

  • Even paid plans are limited to 10 participants per meeting

What Customers Are Saying

TeamViewer users appreciate its simple, sleek interface along with more advanced features like file sharing and remote printing. They also like the platform’s integrations with other TeamViewer services like TeamViewer Meeting and TeamViewer Engage for digital customer engagement.

Summary

TeamViewer Logo
TeamViewer
  • Starting Price
    • Single User: $50.90/month
    • Multi User: $102.90/month
    • For Teams: $206.90/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    14-Day Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Phone, Ticket
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.8
VNC Connect Logo
VNC Connect
4.2
  • File transfers and cross-device chat
  • Basic free plan for personal use
  • Remote support doesn’t require any installations
Best for Remote Support
Visit VNC Connect
Free remote access software is widely available for personal users, but enterprises and other organizations typically have to pay for sufficient remote access features. While some alternatives may offer additional features for other use cases, VNC Connect is an especially cost-effective choice for organizations that need a remote access platform for remote support. Instant support is available for $16.99 per technician per month — three concurrent sessions —

or $33.49 per technician per month — 10 concurrent sessions. This doesn’t require any installations, making it extremely convenient to connect to remote devices and troubleshoot any lingering technical issues.

These plans also come with helpful features like file transfers, session histories, and text chat between devices. It’s worth noting that RealVNC, the company behind VNC Connect, was acquired by a larger enterprise called Livingbridge in August 2021. Whether that will lead to any changes to the platform is yet to be seen.

Free users can’t get any support from RealVNC, but they can use the platform indefinitely and access up to five computers from a device with the VNC Viewer app. Professional plans start at $3.39 per month, while Enterprise starts at $4.59 per month and comes with direct connections and remote deployments. The instant support add-on is available for $16.99 per technician, per month, for up to three concurrent sessions or $33.49 for up to 10.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • File transfers and cross-device chat
  • Basic free plan for personal use
  • Remote support doesn’t require any installations

Cons

  • RealVNC was recently acquired by Livingbridge

What Customers Are Saying

VNC Connect is an extremely popular remote access platform with strong reviews from existing users. Customers generally report extremely responsive remote connections with minimal delays between inputs and outputs.

Summary

VNC Connect Logo
VNC Connect
  • Starting Price
    • Professional
    • Device Access: Starting at $3.39/month/computer
    • Instant Support: Starting at $4.59/month/computer
    • Enterprise
    • Device Access: Starting at $4.59/month/computer
    • Instant Support: Starting at $33.49/month/computer
    • Plans are billed annually
  • Free Trial/Demo
    30-Day Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Installed - Mac
    Installed - Windows
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Phone, Chat, Ticket
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.2
Zoho Assist Logo
Zoho Assist
4.9
  • Unparalleled integrations with other Zoho tools
  • Local printing, file transfer, and local reboots
  • Free for one technician and up to five computers
Best for Zoho Users
Visit Zoho Assist
Zoho is a digital platform that offers a variety of applications including help desk software, customer relationship management (CRM), and meetings and scheduling. Zoho Assist is the Zoho remote access tool, and it’s an ideal option for any organization that already uses other Zoho services. In addition to integrations with common platforms like Slack and Google Workspace, Zoho Assist comes with unparalleled connections to Zoho Desk and Zoho SalesIQ. Users can immediately create a connection in Zoho Assist from a customer support ticket in Zoho Desk or a customer conversation in Zoho SalesIQ, enabling seamless support for your audience.

The most recent update to Zoho Assist was the release of version 8.0 in April of 2021. That update added support for Android 11, a new customer console for Mac users, and a self-service portal for clients who need to schedule support requests. While that was the 10th Zoho Assist update in one year, there haven’t been any changes to the platform since 8.0 was released.

You can use Zoho Assist for free for one technician and up to five computer licenses. After a 15-day free trial, subscriptions start at $10 per month for remote support for one technician or unattended access to as many as 25 computers for unlimited technicians. Plans go up to $24 for remote support and $15 per month for unattended access, with extra features like session recording, contact management, custom domain mapping, and session scheduling.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Unparalleled integrations with other Zoho tools
  • Local printing, file transfer, and local reboots
  • Free for one technician and up to five computers

Cons

  • No updates since April 2021

What Customers Are Saying

Zoho Assist has some of the best customer reviews of any remote access software currently available. Customers are particularly happy with no-install connections and other helpful features like cross-device chat and file transfers.

Summary

Zoho Assist Logo
Zoho Assist
  • Starting Price
    • Remote Support
    • Standard: $8/month/technician
    • Professional:
    • $13/month/technician
    • Enterprise: $21/month/technician
    • Unattended Access
    • Standard: $8/month/technician
    • Professional:
    • $13/month/technician
  • Free Trial/Demo
    15-Day Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Web-Based, Cloud, SaaS
    iPhone / iPad
    Android
  • Support Options
    Phone, Email
Ratings
  • User Review Score: 4.9

How We Chose the Best Remote Access Software

Remote access software enables users to set up one device — usually a desktop or laptop — to be accessed by another device somewhere else. You might want to access your work computer from home, or your IT department might need access to your team’s devices to troubleshoot any problems.

Whatever your use case, remote access software is the easiest way to facilitate a remote connection. These are the three main features we used to compare the top remote access platforms and help you find one that works for your budget and needs.

Pricing

Certain remote access services are intended primarily for personal use while others are built from the ground up for a professional audience. With that in mind, there are significant gaps between the various providers in terms of both cost and functionality.

To help you find the best value, we tried to evaluate the overall value of each platform and determine whether it was worth the price. With so many remote access applications out there, there’s no reason to overpay for something that’s available for less money somewhere else.

Compatibility

While some remote access platforms work with a variety of devices and operating systems, others are significantly more limited. Along with each platform’s features, we considered how well it works with some of the most common operating systems.

We also noted a few specific platforms that are compatible with less popular operating systems. For example, TeamViewer offers support for BlackBerry OS, which isn’t even on the radar for most remote access platforms and other digital services.

Performance

No matter what you need remote access for, you don’t want to have to deal with any slowdowns or other performance issues. Ideally, you should notice little to no input lag or visual glitches when accessing a computer from another computer or a mobile device.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict what your experience will be with a particular piece of remote access software. The performance will depend on the service itself along with other factors like the device you’re using and the quality of your connection. We focused on professional and user reviews to get an idea of how these platforms function in practice.