Working from home has been the new norm across the globe for more than a year now. What this means is that if you have any issues with your computer, or let’s say a friend of yours or an employee in your company cannot figure something out on their computers, accessing the device to troubleshoot the issue can be a hassle. In such scenarios, remote access plays an important role. You can access someone else’s computer remotely to try and figure out what the problem is and this is a technique that has existed even before we were forced to stay at home.
Remote access or remote desktop manager is a common tool used by the IT teams in corporations or large offices where it may not be possible to physically attend to a technical issue. Not just businesses, but it is common for individuals to use remote desktop connections too. Be it for helping out a friend or a relative who may not be as well-versed with computers, or even to transfer files between your computer and theirs.
What is TeamViewer?
One of the most popular remote access applications is TeamViewer. TeamViewer has been around for a while and has become synonymous with the concept of remote access and remote control of remote desktops. It is available across multiple platforms including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, etc., and provides all the required features you may need while accessing a remote desktop.
Why are people looking to replace TeamViewer?
However, TeamViewer has a few limitations too. Firstly, the image quality on TeamViewer may not be up to the mark if your internet connection is unstable. While this may not be that big of a deal, privacy and security is an extremely important factor especially since your computer is home to a lot of personal information which cannot be compromised. Unfortunately, there have been reports of vulnerabilities in TeamViewer that were exploited to reveal the system passwords of users. Back in 2016 too, Chinese spies were able to breach TeamViewer’s security protocols which have put a question mark on how safe TeamViewer really is.
Features to look for in a good remote connection tool
Good remote desktop software to access a remote machine must have some basic features like
- Ability to view the remote computer screen in good quality regardless of the client’s internet connection quality
- Have file transfer
- Remote printing
- Allow for more than single-user access
- Ability to switch user profiles
- Session recording
- A simple user interface
- Allow concurrent sessions
- Have security features to protect your data.
We will try to ensure that most of the TeamViewer alternatives we mention below have these features built into them.
Top 8 TeamViewer Alternatives in 2021 [Free and Paid]
If you are concerned about these safety lapses or want to overcome some other downsides of TeamViewer, we have ten different TeamViewer alternatives that you can choose from to help you access remote desktop connections. These TeamViewer alternatives may have their own set of advantages both in terms of features as well as reliability. You can try each remote desktop software before settling for the one that best suits your needs. Do note that this list contains both free and paid TeamViewer alternatives based on whether it is for your personal use or for commercial purposes. Don’t worry, even the paid TeamViewer alternatives have free trial versions which you can check out before paying for the full version.
1. Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection
This is the most popular TeamViewer alternative for the basic reason that it comes pre-installed on every Windows PC/laptop by default. Chances are that you are not even aware of the existence of Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection while it has been hiding on your PC since the beginning. This is a good alternative to TeamViewer for basic tasks. Since it comes pre-installed on all Windows PCs, it is also free to use.
In order to use Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection, just search for it in the universal search menu in the taskbar and fire it up. Once opened, you have to enter the name of the computer you want to remotely access. To know the name of the computer, open ‘This PC’ on the computer you want to access, right-click and select Properties. You will find the name of the computer listed there.
Special features: In-built into Windows, works even with slow internet connections, one of the more secure options.
Supported Platforms: Windows only.
Download Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection
2. Chrome Remote Desktop Access
This is another tool that has been hiding inside an app that you probably use on a regular basis but may not be aware of. Google Chrome on both Windows and Mac allows you to use Chrome Remote Desktop which can be a great alternative to TeamViewer especially if you want to access one of your own computers remotely. You can set up your existing devices to be accessed remotely so if you forget your laptop behind, you can still access the files on it from a different location.
If you want to provide remote support to someone else, you can ask them for an access code which you can enter in Chrome’s Remote Desktop Site. You can also share your screen and allow someone else to remotely access your computer and help you with any issues that you may have. This is a fast and convenient solution since most of us have Chrome installed on our computers so you don’t have to download any additional app/software. Chrome Remote Desktop is free to use.
Special features: Built right into Chrome, has different modes for support and screen share, works across different devices
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, basically any device that can run Google Chrome.
Download Chrome Remote Desktop
AnyDesk is another popular remote desktop client which provides strong competition to TeamViewer in terms of features. AnyDesk also claims to provide better picture quality compared to TeamViewer and can connect to any number of remote devices which makes it a compelling alternative even if you are a business or an organization looking to purchase remote desktop software. You can set a password for unattended access, use a virtual desktop preview to hide sensitive content, record sessions, and even print documents from a remote computer.
The app UI is simple, and AnyDesk can be used on most popular platforms including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi, ChromeOS, etc. If you are an individual, AnyDesk can be downloaded free of cost for personal use and for unlimited remote sessions. If you want to use it as a TeamViewer alternative for commercial purposes, prices start from $10.99 per month and vary based on the plan you choose.
Special features: Secure, fast, good image quality, has a bucketload of features like screen capture, chat, file transfer, etc.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi, ChromeOS.
Price: Free for personal use, from $10.99 per month for commercial use.
4. VNC Connect
VNC Connect is another paid alternative to TeamViewer which promises fast and stable connectivity for remote access and support. VNC Connect is offered by RealVNC and is one of the more popular apps even on Android for users who want to access their Windows PCs remotely using their smartphone. VNC Connect emphasizes security and claims that its solution is easier to deploy compared to the competition.
While VNC Connect is a paid software, you can download a free trial version for 30 days. The features provided by VNC Connect are good, but one downside we experienced is that there are two separate apps, one for the host and one for the user who needs to connect to the host in order to receive support. This was unnecessary as both functionalities could have been integrated into the same app just like all the other apps featured in this list. VNC Connect charges users on a per-computer basis and the pricing starts from $3.39 per month per computer.
Special features: Emphasis on data encryption, works well on Android, supports remote printing, specifically meant for troubleshooting purposes.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX.
Price: Starts from $3.39 per month after a 30-day free trial.
Download VNC Connect
5. DWS Remote Control
DWS Remote Control is one of the lesser-known services for remote access but is a very simple and useful tool. The biggest advantage of DWS Remote Control is the fact that it can be accessed right from a web browser and is open source. There is no download required on the client’s side for a remote session which makes it very convenient to use. You just have to download a server-side app called DWAgent and set it up once.
DWS Remote Control is free to use and since it is open-source, you can use the APIs to implement the service into your own app or website. DWS also supports applications that are specific features that help you interact with certain aspects of the remote computer. These include controls for the screen, files, and folders, text editor, shell, system log, etc.
Special features: Can be accessed directly from a browser, does not require an additional app, open-source.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi, Wandboard, Pine64.
Download DWS Remote Control
6. Zoho Assist
Zoho is a popular name in the software industry especially when it comes to applications that help you run a business. Zoho Assist is one such app that brings remote desktop control to your business/organization and can be a good TeamViewer alternative. Zoho Assist is used by popular brands like Hitachi, OnePlus, Tata, Ola, etc., and has a good repute in terms of service too.
Zoho Assist offers features like file transfer, instant chat, voice chat and video calls, session recordings, and all the basic features that you would expect from a remote desktop client. Since Zoho Assist is primarily meant for large businesses and companies, it is a paid solution with plans starting from INR 400/$6 per month. However, you do get the option to download a 15-day free trial before you decide to purchase it.
Special Features: Good for large businesses, includes options of voice and video chat, tailored for India, integration with popular apps like Slack.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, ChromeOS.
Price: Starting at Rs. 400 per month after a 15-day free trial.
Download Zoho Assist
7. Ammyy Admin
Ammyy Admin is one of the simplest TeamViewer alternatives both in terms of features as well as the installation process. The app requires zero configuration and you do not have to login or sign-up with your credentials. All you have to do is head over to their website and download the latest version of Ammy Admin. The downloaded file is a portable version of the software which means it does not require any additional installation. Just open it and you’re good to go.
Given how light and simple the app is, a lot of features are missing and it may not be as powerful as some other applications we mentioned above. However, it is free of cost for personal use so we cannot really complain much. If you are planning to use the software in a corporate environment, you can purchase it with prices starting from $33.90 per computer which is a one-time fee. However, we recommend using Ammyy Admin for personal use only since it lacks some important features.
Special features: Lightweight, easy to install, portable app, no login/sign-up required
Supported Platform: Windows only.
Price: Free for personal use, starting at $33.90 per computer for commercial use.
Download Ammyy Admin
8. ISL Online
ISL Online Remote is another sophisticated remote access software that can be used to control computers and even smartphones remotely. The UI present on ISL Online is very refined and looks minimal. You get features like chat, file sharing, whiteboard, system info, switch monitors, multi-window, and the remote connection is also end-to-end encrypted. ISL Online can be used on multiple operating systems.
Along with computers, ISL Online can also help technicians fix software issues on mobile devices like Android and iOS smartphones remotely which can be useful to you depending on the nature of your work. However, ISL Online also requires you to download two different applications based on whether you are providing support or receiving support. If you are going to use it purely in a corporate environment, then it makes sense. You can try ISL Online for free for a period of 15 days after which pricing starts from $145 per year.
Special features: Support for multiple platforms, simplistic UI, end-to-end encrypted, can even be used to troubleshoot smartphone issues.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux.
Price: Starting from $145 per annum after a 15-day free trial.
Download ISL Online
Is it time to look at Timeviewer alternatives?
If TeamViewer lacks the features you are looking for and you are concerned about your privacy and security, you can certainly look for alternatives that can perform as good as or even better than TeamViewer in certain cases. These were the best TeamViewer alternatives that we came across for remote access and remote desktop control and we highly recommend you try out one of these services in case you are not happy with TeamViewer or you want to try something different. If you are looking for an alternative for personal use, we would recommend AnyDesk as the primary option since it is both reliable and has a lot of features to offer. For corporate use, we would suggest you go through the features and pricing of each of the solutions and pick the one that suits your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions about Alternatives for TeamViewer
Now that we have covered things like what TeamViewer is, why you would need to look for an alternative, what to look for in a TeamViewer alternative, and the best available alternatives, let’s address some of the most frequently asked questions we have come across.
Is there a free alternative to TeamViewer?
Yes, there are a few free alternatives to TeamViewer which we have included in this list. If you are looking for remote access software for personal use, software solutions like Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection, Chrome Remote Desktop Access, and AnyDesk to name a few are good options to consider. Go through the details we have covered for each of the above and you should be able to figure out the best free TeamViewer alternative for your use case.
What is the best Teamviewer alternative?
In our opinion, AnyDesk does a fairly good job for personal use cases since it has all the options you would ideally require. It even has a usable free plan suitable for personal use. If you are looking for something at a commercial level, we would advise going through the individual prices of all remote management software and check which one suits your needs the best.
Is VNC better than TeamViewer?
VNC Connect is a popular app that is majorly focused on commercial businesses and large companies that primarily provide IT support. It is secure and feature-rich, but cannot be used by individuals. Both TeamViewer and VNC are equally good and have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.
What is the fastest remote desktop sharing software?
All remote desktop solutions depend on a good Internet connection between the host and the client, and Chrome Remote Desktop Access is considered quite fast in gaining access to your remote machine. In addition, Chrome Remote Desktop Access is optimized for running on most systems.