Remote Desktop Software

The Best 8 Free and Open Source Remote Desktop Software

The Best 8 Free and Open Source Remote Desktop Software

On a fairly regular basis, my friend gets to work from home. Being a software engineer, he has to deal with a lot of software tasks on the work computer, which is bandwidth extensive. My friend finds it difficult to run regular applications from home as the uplink speed is limited from home.

So with the help of a remote desktop, he runs the applications on the work computer, which is at the office while he is at home. The remote access software tools allow my friend to have secure and connected workspaces from anywhere productively. It provides on-demand IT support as it will enable viewing of the screen from anywhere. This clearly clarifies the importance of desktop remote access.

What Is The Best Remote Desktop Software?

Remote desktop application allows corporate IT personnel to connect from a remote location by employing a computer. This technique helps in accomplishing a wide range of tasks productively and efficiently. The users don’t have to be physically present to log into the system.

Several corporate make use of remote desktop software because it provides effortless accessibility to a computer or network from a far-flung distance and access to home networks.

Key aspects of Remote desktop Software:

The user should look for the following features in a remote desktop tool:

Key Aspects Of Remote Desktop Software

What Are The Benefits Of A Remote Desktop App?

Notable benefits of remote desktop application are as follows:

Benefits Of Remote Desktop Application

Future Of Remote Desktop Application

The future of remote desktop application will see a few added functionalities like;

  • Virtual Reality will take over video conferencing, enabling absolute virtual networking.
  • The industries will save the internet and office space cost
  • Rise of mobile computing, cloud computing, and streaming
  • User can work in multiple environments
  • Offer the development support needed for scalability from anywhere, anytime.

Why Use Remote Desktop Software?

There are several reasons due to which remote desktop software is used:

Uses Of Remote Desktop Software

Who Can Use A Remote Desktop Networking Facility?

 The following people can use the remote desktop networking facility:

  • Support teams – The remote desktop software manages the day-to-day routines and tasks that help in improving the efficiency of the support team.
  • Software and licensing administrators- Regardless of the physical location of the administrator or device, the remote desktop access software aids in scheduling and running maintenance on devices.
  • Heavy data archive work team- The team that performs heavy data archive work makes use of the remote desktop solution.

How Does A Remote Desktop Networking Function?

Remote Desktop Networking Process

After going through the detailed information about the remote desktop software, you are all set to learn about the free and open source remote desktop software right? But, before that, if you are keen to know about some of the most popular instant remote support software, like Zoho Assist and ManageEngine Remote Access Plus as given below-

Zoho Assist

Zoho Assist is a cloud-based remote desktop application that enables you to support your customers from any distant location. It helps you to establish remote support sessions and access your customers’ devices that can include PCs, laptops, mobile devices, and servers effortlessly. You can empower your IT help desks and provide the best customer support with the help of Zoho Assist remote desktop software.

Zoho Assist



  • Can schedule remote sessions depending on your customers’ convenient time
  • Allows troubleshooting remote computer devices
  • Enables file transfers with high-end security during live remote sessions
  • Can support Windows and Mac operating systems
  • Allows unattended remote access
  • Enables instant messaging, voice & video calling parallelly with remote access sessions
  • Allows technicians to reboot the remote computer system without disrupting the remote session
  • Enables monitoring and accessing multiple systems simultaneously

Although there is a free plan, the price for the premium set of features of Zoho Assist varies from $333 to $500 billed annually.

ManageEngine Remote Access Plus

ManageEngine Remote Access Plus is an enterprise-level software that allows system administrators and IT help desk technicians to access remote computers from a centralized location for troubleshooting problems, accessing files, and much more. Overall, it provides an excellent remote support experience and saves time in troubleshooting problems to a great extent. It also allows collaboration between multiple technicians from different locations for better problem resolutions. Quicker technical solutions result in reduced downtimes and better productivity.

ManageEngine Remote Access Plus
(Source: ManageEngine Remote Access Plus)

Key Features

  • Includes easy to use interface providing excellent troubleshooting experience.
  • Allows secure remote desktop sharing for Windows, Linux, and Mac platforms.
  • Enables technicians to voice, video, and text chat for better and quick troubleshooting.
  • Allows managing the entire list of all hardware and software installed in the computers within the network and keeps track of them.
  • Enables renaming remote computers within the range effortlessly.
  • Allows turning off remote computers from a central location.
  • Generate real-time reports that enable monitoring performed tasks and make quick and informed decisions.

If you are into a small business, then free remote desktop software will be an apt choice for you.  You might have searched for “how to develop remote desktop software” or “free remote desktop software download” in search engines to acquire a pocket-friendly solution for you. Developing remote desktop software on your own can be a tedious and time-consuming job. And if you are investing in proprietary software, you can’t change its source code as it is based on restrictive copyright licenses and prove to be expensive for you. In that case, an open source remote desktop tool can be the best option as it is free to download and also allows customization.

Here, you can explore the list of best free and open source remote desktop software that will add productivity to your business. Let’s move ahead to explore the same!

But before exploring, let's have a quick look at the comparison chart of free and open source Remote Desktop Software. 

The Best 8 Free And Open Source Remote Desktop Software Comparison Chart

Free and Open Source Remote Desktop Software Comparison Chart

List Of The Best 8 Free And Open Source Remote Desktop Software

TightVNC (free, open source)

TightVNC (Virtual Network Computing) is an open source remote desktop software that allows remote network access to the users. This free remote access software is helpful in administration, education, and tech support.

The user can save their valuable time on traveling and cut their expenses by making use of this cross-platform. If your family or friends are facing problems with their computers distantly, then you can make use of this remote desktop solution. Even if you are far away, then also make sure that nothing is going wrong on your computers as this app allows you to observe the desktop of a remote machine. With the help of the local mouse and keyboard, you can control the desktop. 


(Source: TightVNC)


  • Scaling of the remote desktop
  • Better web browser access
  • Compatible with standard VNC (Virtual Network Computing)
  • Multi-monitor support
  • File transfers
  •  Access without client
  • Reverse connection
  • Detects screen updates
  • Performance optimizations
  • Bug fixes
  • Automatic SSH (Secure Socket Shell) tunneling
  • Full control and read-only
  • JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) image quality setting

xrdp (free and open source)

xrdp is the open source remote desktop access software that offers graphical login to remote machines. This free remote desktop solution uses RDP (Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol) and allows connections from various RDP clients. The user can use this system to access Linux desktops.

It serves as the open source remote desktop protocol server. This app supports audio redirection, drive redirection, and two-way clipboard transfer. 

Neutrinolabs maintains xrdp software. The user gets the GUI (graphical user interface) due to the remote desktop protocol. 

 xrdp(Source: xrdp)


  • Remote Desktop Access
  • Quick Start
  • Drive redirection
  • Access to remote resources
  • RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) functionality
  • Remote administration
  • Easy installation
  • Meeting Initiation
  • Reporting
  • Two-way clipboard transfer
  • Audio redirection

X2Go (free and open source) 

 X2Go is the free and open source remote support software that allows users to access a graphical desktop of a computer. The access can be over low bandwidth or high bandwidth connection. In the client configuration, this app specifies the name of the desired executable by accessing single applications.

Some vendors address this remote desktop solution as Remote Control. This cross-platform remote desktop software provides better encryption of data. 

This desktop access tool can be effortlessly selected from multiple desktop environments. It uses the No Machine NX3 technology that helps in the graphical part of the remote desktop sessions.

X2GO (Source: X2Go)


  • Graphical remote desktop
  • File sharing
  • Desktop sharing
  • Disconnect and reconnect to a session
  • Printer Sharing
  • Published applications
  • Traffic is strongly tunneled over SSH ((Secure Socket Shell)
  • Use your network
  • Secure connection
  • Session transfer and session recording
  • No Machine NX3 technology
  • Single applications
  • (proxied) RDP (Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol) sessions
  • XDMCP (X display manager control protocol) sessions

Nomachine (free, open source) 

If you are looking for a speedy, secure, and free remote desktop solution, then Nomachine is the apt choice for you. It serves as the fastest and highest quality remote desktop solution. 

The user can find this app on their server and private. It is apt for professionals, SMBs, and large organizations.

The user can use this enterprise desktop for remote desktop access. It allows the user to work from anywhere and from any device to any computer. This open source remote support software has outstanding network transparency. The user can access all the files, edit documents, watch videos, play audio, and play games with this application.


(Source: Nomachine)


  • Lessens IT complexity
  • Reliable and agile  
  • Centralize user access
  • Extensible & flexible
  • Remote Collaboration
  • Cloud Agnostic
  • Centralize user access
  • Policy-based access
  • Encryption and Security
  • Built-in load-balancing and scriptability

Xpra (open source, free)

Xpra serves as an open source remote desktop administration tool that offers remote access to individual applications or full desktops. This free remote access software is “rootless,” as the programs that users run under it are shown on the desktop as the regular programs.

It is a multi-platform that allows the forwarding of sound, clipboard, printing devices, applications, and desktop screens. This app is usable over reasonably slow links. The software can adapt to changing network bandwidth constraints. Over SSH (Secure shell), the user can access the sessions. 


(Source: Xpra)


  • Remote administration
  • Secure Connection
  • Meeting Initiation
  • Session Recording
  • Hardware acceleration
  • Multi-user support
  • Built-in HTML5 client
  • Proxy Server
  • File transfers
  • Webcam
  • Drag and Drop
  • System Tray
  • Synchronize DPI (dots per inch) from the clients to the server

AeroAdmin (free) 

AeroAdmin is the free and open source remote support software that allows users to set up a remote desktop connection within a few seconds. The non-tech-savvy users can control remote computers and can share screen effortlessly. Both professionals and non-tech-savvy users will find this app understandable and easy-to-use.

This full-featured multi-task remote access software is safe and secure to use. It is easy, quick, and efficient for home and commercial use. 

The software has a user-friendly interface. It does not require installation or configuration.


(Source: Aeroadmin)


  • Remote Support
  • Online meetings, webinars, and distance education
  • Remote Monitoring and Control
  • Multi-monitor support
  • Auto-update
  • File Transfer
  • Remote reboot in safe mode
  • Transparent for firewalls
  • No installation or Configuration
  • Unattended access to remote PCS (Personal computer) and servers
  • End-to-end encryption with AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and RSA (Rivest, Shamir, Adleman – public-key encryption technology) algorithms
  • Contact Book
  • Branding and Customization
  • Sessions Reports
  • Parallel Sessions
  • Auto image speed/quality balance
  • Flexible access rights system

Anydesk (free for non-commercial use)

Anydesk provides multi-platform support securely to IT professionals and on-the-go individuals. It is free for non-commercial use. This app can share files across computers and servers in any location in the fastest and efficient way.

The IT professionals have advanced remote file sharing and comprehensive control facilities due to a complete file management option. The highly intuitive options of this free remote desktop solution (for non-commercial use) allow IT professionals to transfer files quickly and securely. With this app, the user will get reliable and uncorrupted transfers.

Anydesk(Source: Anydesk)


  • Online Collaboration
  • Built-in file transfer
  • Lightweight
  • Record Sessions
  • Unparalleled performance
  • User can work from anywhere
  • Maximum Compatibility
  • File Transfer
  • Remote Printing
  • Comprehensive remote file management
  • Intuitive Operation
  • Secure by design
  • On-Screen-Whiteboard
  • Auto-discovery
  • Unlimited Endpoints
  • Mobile to PC Remote Control

Remote Utilities (Freeware)

If you are looking for professional remote access software, then Remote Utilities is the apt choice for you. This free remote desktop software gives full control over the IT infrastructure.

The user can view screens remotely and control the mouse pointer with this app. It is apt for IT professionals, systems administrators, and help desk providers.  

 The self-hosted server of this application enhances the remote utility capabilities. It protects due to 2-factor authentication. The RDP (remote desktop protocol) protocol allows you to connect to a remote computer over the internet.

Businesses can save their valuable time and money with this application as it manages and monitors computer software and hardware.

 Remote Utilities

(Source: Remote Utilities)


  • Active Directory support
  • Full control and view
  • Two Factor Authentications
  • MSI (Microsoft installer) Configuration
  • Self-Hosted server
  • RDP (Remote desktop protocol) Integration
  • Remote Registry
  • Voice and video chat
  • Remote settings
  • Power Control
  • Send Message
  • Task Manager
  • Inventory Manager
  • Text Chat
  • Strong Encryption

Apart from the high-quality free and open source remote desktop software mentioned above, the user can explore the features of one of the popular software –Teamviewer that provides an immense advantage to everyone.

Teamviewer (free/ POPULAR) 

If you are looking for a popular and free remote desktop solution, then Teamviewer is the ideal choice for you. It serves as the leading software solution for remote support, remote access, and online collaboration. This app provides the industry’s high level of connection and data security.

The user can easily and securely access and control the remote desktop and servers. From any desktop or mobile device, the users can share screen on iOS devices. Beyond the screen, the user can fix issues with the help of the TeamViewer’s augmented reality solution known as TeamViewer Pilot.


(Source: Teamviewer)


  • Cross-Platform Access
  • Remote device Control
  • Remote Printing
  • Flexible File sharing Option
  • Secure unattended access
  • Custom Branding
  • Management Console
  • Multi-user support sessions
  • Online meetings and collaboration
  • Security and Monitoring
  • Integrated remote monitoring and management
  • VPN (Virtual Private Network) Alternative
  • iOS Screen Sharing
  • Mobile Device Access

Remote Desktop App - The Complete Solution For IT Administrators

In this digital age, Remote desktop services are a blessing for IT professionals as they can access files and programs on their computers without traveling to their office. The system administrators can access employee devices that help them in monitoring and resolving the issues whenever they come up. The timely administration and implementation improve customer satisfaction by figuring out what the customer wants. It focuses on company culture, stays current on customer reviews, offers proactive customer service, demonstrates product knowledge, sets clear expectations and exceeds them, studies complaints and compliments and provides free product training and support.

The list of the free and open source remote desktop software mentioned in this article allows administrators to monitor device functionality and to effortlessly run the software updates remotely. The open source remote desktop manager allows the running of the necessary troubleshooting process in a more cost-effective way.  

If you are looking for other options in remote desktop apps you can also go through some of the popular ones like ConnectWise Control, CleverControl, and many more mentioned in this complete list of remote desktop software.

In case you have come across any of the free and open source remote desktop software stated in this article, then feel free to share your valuable views on the same.

If you are looking for other software categories, then click here

Andrea Hernandez
Andrea Hernandez

Andrea Hernandez is a tech blogger and content marketing expert. She writes about disruptive tech trends counting blockchain, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Presently, as a senior writer, she is associated with GoodFirms, a pioneering B2B research, review and rating platform. Follow her on social media for valuable information on the software.

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