In-depth

The best remote access software

We round up the top remote access software for mobile workers, including those with collaboration, screen-sharing and support tools

Remote access controls on a laptop computer

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing most of the world indoors, the market for remote access software is bigger than ever.

However, even with a global vaccine rollout, demand for remote access software is estimated to continue growing beyond the current situation. The market is expected to increase by 15.71% by 2025, reaching a total size of $3.83 billion. This is not entirely due to the mass shift to remote working, either, as demand is also coming from advancements in technology, increasing security threats such as lost devices and data isolation, and also the sharp rise in EdTech.

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The UK government's recent dismissal of remote working seems at odds with the businesses and employees currently living with it. A number of surveys have suggested that most employees want to continue to work from home to some degree after lockdown, and research suggests that remote working is now one of the most desirable benefits of a new job. Companies, large and small, are also rethinking office space for a new world of hybrid work, which could be the biggest legacy of the pandemic.

With the market rapidly growing, there are plenty of choices available to businesses to keep their employees productive from home. Here is a selection of the best remote access software providers around.

LogMeIn Pro

Before LogMeIn acquired Citrix's GoTo suite of business applications, LogMeIn Pro – now also styled Pro by LogMeIn – was the company's primary remote access application. Even though the company has added a whole range of other applications to its lineup, this is still one of the simplest and most effective tools for small businesses.

Tier

Number of computers that can be accessed

Price per year (ex VAT)

Pro for Individuals

2

£299.99

Pro for Power Users

5

£699.99

Pro for small businesses

10

£1,299.99

Pro 25 for small businesses

25

£2,899.99

Pro 50 for small businesses

50

£5899.99

The solution offers numerous ways to access your computer remotely. Official apps are available to download for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, Android (via Google Play or Amazon) and Windows, or if for whatever reason that doesn't suit you can use a compatible browser.

There are other features included across all tiers of LogMeIn Pro, such as remote printing, 1TB of cloud-based file storage and unlimited users.

ConnectWise Control

Formerly known as ScreenConnect, ConnectWise Control is focused on providing remote IT support, rather than users accessing their own computers remotely from another device.

ConnectWise Control is subdivided into two options: Support and Access. Support is the more comprehensive of the two, providing remote meetings, file transfer, remote support, remote printing, unattended access, VoIP, chat, reporting dashboard remote diagnostics and more, depending on which tier you’re signed up to.

As the name would suggest, Access focuses on unattended access, with security and device management at its heart.

Control Support pricing starts from $19 per month ex VAT for the lowest tier, One, rising to $35 per month ex VAT for the next tier up, Standard, and $45 per month ex VAT for the top tier, Premium.

Control Access is priced per number of ‘unattended access agents’, which is to say ConnectWise client software installed on the computer to be remotely accessed. The lowest tier is $30 per month ex VAT for 25 unattended access agents, going up to $1,250 per month ex VAT for 2,500 agents.

Splashtop

Splashtop offers a wide variety of remote access products for almost every conceivable use case.

First, there are classic tools for IT teams and MSPs supporting both internal users and external customers: Remote Support, which gives both attended and unattended access to servers and computers, and SOS On-Demand Support, which is a simpler feature for providing remote break/fix assistance to individuals using Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices.

Name

Price per month (ex VAT)

Restrictions

Personal

Free

One user, non commercial use.

Business Access Solo

$5

Individual users only. Access up to two computers.

Business Access Pro

$8.25/user

Intended for four or more users. Volume licensing agreements available for teams of 10 or more

Remote Support Plus

From $25

25 computers per year.

Remote Support Premium

From $40

25 computers per year.

SOS

$17

Attended devices only, but an unlimited number

SOS+10

$19

Up to 10 unattended devices, unlimited attended devices

SOS Unlimited

$34

No

Enterprise Remote Support and Access

Enquire directly

N/A

Ruggest & IoT Remote Access and Support

Enquire directly

Free trial for up to 100 devices. A trial is available for over 100 devices by arrangement with Splashtop

Next, there’s the somewhat more comprehensive Enterprise Remote Support and Access, which is a self-hosted, on-premise product for larger organisations to – as the name would suggest – provide remote access and support. IT administrators can access any managed computer remotely, including virtual machines.

At the other end of the scale, there’s Business Access, which allows individuals or teams to access laptops and desktops running Windows or Mac remotely from their smartphone, tablet or another computer. 

For those organisations managing a lot of remote devices that typically operate unattended at most times, such as kiosks, IoT devices, point of sale (POS), or digital signs, there’s Rugged & IoT Remote Access and Support. 

There’s also a free Personal tier, which is for non-commercial use and as such doesn’t include many of the bells and whistles of the others.

TeamViewer

One of the best-known names in remote access, TeamViewer offers fully cloud-based products for a wide range of scenarios.

For individuals, there’s the eponymous TeamViewer remote support software. It’s for private, non-commercial use only, although in addition to accessing your own computer remotely you may, for example, help out a friend or relative remotely – handy if you’re in a government-mandated lockdown, for example.

There are also three TeamViewer business options, Single User, Multi-User and For Teams. All of the tiers offer attended and unattended access, file sharing, remote printing, and device management, and device management ranging from up to 200 to up to 500 depending on the tier.

In addition to the above, there are five options for businesses to choose from Tensor, IoT, Pilot, Remote Management and Servicecamp.

TeamViewer Tensor provides remote support, remote access, and remote device control. It also supports single sign-on (SSO), is device agnostic, has the ability to audit every connection made to and from a PC to the Tensor platform, and has Internet of Things (IoT) support.

For more specialised IoT support, there’s TeamViewer IoT. It’s already in use in settings such as manufacturing, logistics and transport, utilities, and building and infrastructure. It can be used to monitor and, where possible, fix devices remotely, and also allows admins to set up data and rules-based security monitoring, alerting them if any devices or sensors start behaving unusually.

TeamViewer Pilot offers the ability to provide remote support via augmented reality (AR). This allows someone on the ground who needs to fix an endpoint quickly but lacks the expertise to connect with a specialist who can guide them through the process via their smartphone.

TeamViewer Remote Management is a rather more standard product than Pilot. It offers centralised monitoring and management for devices and the corporate network, as well as patch management, asset management, endpoint protection, and backup.

Similarly simple is Servicecamp, a service desk option that can be added onto other business-level TeamViewer subscriptions.

TeamViewer’s pricing is highly configurable, so we recommend you visit the company’s website for more details.

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