VPN vs Remote Desktop — What Is A Better Choice?

Remote desktop vpn

Most people think that VPNs and Remote Desktop are the same: Both of them allow you to connect to another computer even when you’re physically miles away. For instance, if you are a business owner on a vacation and you need to access your computer at the office, any of the two solutions will enable you to do this. The question is, which one is a better choice?

Some people call the functionality that Remote Desktop and VPNs provide as “Screen Sharing.” However, it’s actually more than just the sharing of screens, especially when it comes to VPNs.

Remote Desktop Protocol

RDP or Remote Desktop Protocol is a protocol owned and developed by Microsoft that enables users to connect to a computer over a network connection. Remote Desktop allows a device to relay the activities of its screen to another device but only the host device can control the screen activity. Here are some devices that support Remote Desktop:

VPN vs Remote Desktop OS: Windows, MacOS, iPhone, Android

Remote Desktop provides flexibility and convenience since users can work from anywhere using the remote computer’s resources and applications as long as there’s an internet connection. Also, most companies use Remote Desktop to monitor their employees’ activities while working. Remote Desktop is free especially for devices running on Windows since it’s often built-in, and also provides easy setup if used within the same network.  Remote Desktop can even be useful for emergencies when you need to access your computer at home, or even let your trusted friend have access to your own computer.

Though Remote Desktop has a lot of advantages, it also has limitations. Remote Desktop is not very secure since you would not have any idea when an online threat or hacker is spying on your activity and may have a tendency to take over your activities via Remote Desktop connection.  

In addition, Remote Desktop is difficult to set up when you are outside the network. It doesn’t allow you to reboot the remote machine and automatically reconnect. It even kicks out any user from the remote screen since it doesn’t allow multiple simultaneous sessions. When it comes to speed, users find out that having a strong internet connection won’t matter when using Remote Desktop connection since the sending and receiving of applications through the internet remarkably slows down speed.

Virtual Private Network

Virtual Private Network or VPN allows users to access another computer from anywhere just like Remote Desktop. However, the way it works is completely different from Remote Desktop since VPNs allow access to shared network resources while Remote Desktop connection allows access and control over a single computer only. VPNs also do more than screen sharing.

It takes care of your online privacy since it changes your IP address and encrypts your network traffic, making you virtually anonymous to anyone that might be spying on you. This is a very important feature especially since hackers have been using improved technology over the years. Keeping your data secure is a must, and a VPN is the perfect solution for this. VPN provides a dedicated IP network which makes your devices safe. It also allows a simultaneous connection.

There are several free VPN providers on the internet but they are not highly recommended due to security issues. Paid VPNs like LimeVPN are the better choice since they are more secure and does not log any user data. In short, VPN gives you the freedom you deserve online.

Read Here: What are some cool uses of VPN?

Should You Choose a VPN or Remote Desktop?

Choosing between the two ultimately depends whether you are an individual user or a business. For individual users, you only need to use a VPN to access the internet securely and privately, stream video content that is not available in your location, freely access restricted websites, and get away from government surveillance, hackers, and cyberstalkers. Since a VPN makes you anonymous online, you can practically do anything without any worries.

For businesses, it is advisable to use both VPN and Remote Desktop. With the two technologies, companies can implement their security systems easily and safely to their employees. VPNs provide your employees’ with secure and private internet access when they travel, transfer files, or access any website.

Also Read: How to set VPN 2018 for beginners?

Remote Desktop lets IT technicians have access to your employees’ computers for troubleshooting or maintenance. Remote Desktops may create problems while troubleshooting but it also helps in reducing risks if rightfully experimented by software products or programs. It is also good to use Remote Desktop so your employees can access a central system, especially when that system has special features or applications that are not available in your employees’ devices.

Remote Desktop and VPNs should not really be pitted against each other. In fact, they both make a great team if used together. Both provide solutions to different types of online related problems. Both solutions also offer important features and benefits depending on your needs. In the end, it all boils down to your own preference and requirement.