As an IT systems administrator or manager, it’s important to have the appropriate tools at your disposal to get your work done efficiently and accurately. Remote desktop connection tools are a key piece of the puzzle because they help you with troubleshooting and help you quickly resolve end-user issues.
RDCMan is a client that is widely used to manage multiple remote desktop connections because it's a convenient option. However, RDCMan has not kept pace with the level of advanced technology that we're pursuing. Instead, we have two great supported client options: MSTSC and Universal.
- RDCMan is a central place where you can organize, group, and manage your various Remote Desktop connections. This is particularly useful for system administrators, developers, testers, and lab managers who maintain groups of computers and connect to them frequently. As an example - my customer manages over 200 Exchange servers worldwide.
- On your local Windows 10 PC: In the search box on the taskbar, type Remote Desktop Connection, and then select Remote Desktop Connection. In Remote Desktop Connection, type the name of the PC you want to connect to (from Step 1), and then select Connect. On your Windows, Android, or iOS device: Open the Remote Desktop app (available for free.
Manually managing remote connections eats up time you could be spending on higher priority tasks. Using a remote desktop connection manager allows you to focus on more important things. My top choices are SolarWinds® Dameware® Remote Support (DRS) for on-premises use and SolarWinds Dameware Remote Everywhere (DRE) for use in the cloud. Read on to learn more about the best remote desktop connection managers or click on the links below to jump ahead to each tool review.
- Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager
What Is a Remote Desktop Connection Manager?
A remote desktop connection manager is used to manage remote desktop administration for the different connections and sessions you have. Typical enterprises have multiple Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) sessions per day and managing these manually means having to repeatedly enter your credentials. Logging in and keeping track of these sessions can become tiresome even without having to make SSH or Telnet connections for troubleshooting.
A remote desktop connection manager or RDP client consolidates your connections in one place, so you don’t have to log in to numerous remote connection sessions per day.
Best Remote Desktop Connection Managers
There are several good remote desktop connection managers available today. Here are my top five.
1. SolarWinds Dameware Remote Support
One of my top choices for a remote desktop connection manager, Dameware Remote Support, is a high-quality remote administration software designed to help you provide efficient end-user support when something goes wrong.
DRS supports multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and it comes with several utilities to help with remote control and troubleshooting. First, it can connect either through a LAN or over the internet. This facilitates troubleshooting through distributed networks and gives you the ability to fix a problem even when the LAN is having issues. Second, you can use DRS to stop, start, or reboot processes and services. Additionally, you can use it to copy and delete files and view and clear event logs.
DRS also provides you with several direct system tools and TCP utilities, allowing you to remotely troubleshoot without having to launch a full remote session. This helps keep productivity disruptions to a minimum while the problem is resolved.
DRS provides numerous Active Directory and user account management tools to manage and set up your Active Directory users, groups, and domains. In addition, you can remotely edit policies, reset passwords, and unlock accounts.
You can also centrally manage who has access to DRS itself and set up login processes, so you don’t have to re-enter credentials every time. With multi-factor authentication, DRS is a safe way to manage remote access troubleshooting within your IT environment.
You can download a free trial of Dameware Remote Support for up to 14 days.
2. SolarWinds Dameware Remote Everywhere
My other top choice is Dameware Remote Everywhere, another tool offered by SolarWinds. DRE provides many of the same features as DRS but is specifically designed for a cloud environment. It also provides a few extra features, such as remote connection to mobile devices, live chat and connection for troubleshooting (including VoIP and videoconferencing), and support for Android and iOS devices.
Otherwise, it’s essentially the same tool. It’s sold as an annual license—with included product support—for use in a cloud setting. Additionally, the tool integrates with SolarWinds Service Desk to provide a complete service and troubleshooting approach.
Like Dameware Remote Support, you can access a free trial of Dameware Remote Everywhere for 14 days.
3. Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan)
Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan) is useful for establishing regular remote connections. Like other tools, it can save login credentials, so you don’t need to enter your credentials every time you want to create a remote connection.
RDCMan also supports connections between virtual machines and consoles, allows you to establish smart groups, and gives you the ability to import servers from a text file. This tool is useful for supporting RDP connections, but it cannot support other protocols for a broader range of remote connections. It’s essentially an RDP client, and other tools are much broader in terms of their protocol offerings.
You can download RDCMan for free through the Microsoft website.
4. Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager
With this remote desktop manager, you can automatically launch and consolidate connections in one centralized window. You can also save your login credentials with “one-click” connections, making it easier to manage multiple remote sessions.
Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager makes it possible to share your remote sessions with your team members and manage and control other users’ access to accounts. With secure password vaults and two-factor authentication, this tool takes a secure approach to remote desktop connection management.
A free trial of the Enterprise Edition is available.
mRemoteNG is an open-source software designed to serve as a centralized tool for managing remote connections. It allows you to see your remote connections in an interface relying on a tabbing system, and it supports several protocols for establishing remote connections, including RDP, VNC, ICA, SSH, Telnet, HTTP/HTTPS, rlogin, and raw socket connections.
This free tool is light on features. As such, it’s best suited for home users and IT staff in a small business without the budget for a professional tool.
How to Choose the Best Remote Desktop Connection Manager Tool
When considering the right remote desktop manager for your business, think about the size of the company and the kind of problems you’re trying to solve. If you’re a small or midsized business or you want to play around with remote desktop connection management, a free tool may be enough. However, large companies will need a premium tool with a broader range of features to support complex and distributed troubleshooting.
For IT professionals looking for an on-premises solution, I recommend Dameware Remote Support. For a cloud system, my pick is Dameware Remote Everywhere. These and other premium tools offer free trials, which can help you choose the right tool for your business.
Are you looking for the best remote desktop connection manager?
Then you’re in the right place.
As a System Administrator, it is common to establish multiple RDP connections on a day to day basis. You may also make other daily connections like SSH or telnet to manage and troubleshoot network equipment.
To manually establish these connections over and over again is a major pain.
How many times a day do you enter in your credentials? Somedays I could end up making 50+ connections a day. That’s 50+ times I manually enter in my credentials to make a remote connection.
This is why I started using a remote desktop connection manager.
It saves me time and is much more efficient.
Let’s take a look at some of the best remote connection manager.
mRemoteNG is a multi tab remote connection manager. Just like RDCman it is a centralized tool that manages connections to remote systems. mRemoteNG has many features that RDCman does not have such as the ability to manage different connection types.
In addition to RDP, it supports VNC, ICA, SSH, Telnet, RAW, Rlogin and Http/S protocols.
The tab features comes in handy when you open multiple sessions and need to jump back and forth between them.
More features include, easy to organize and maintain a list of connections, store credentials for auto logons, importing from Active Directory, fullscreen mode, allows for grouping and nesting folders and more.
I really like this tool, it is easy to use and has a clean interface. I can group together all server connections and create separate groups for all other types of connections like SSH.
RoyalTS is a connection manager that supports a variety of connection types such as RDP, VNC, SSH, S/FTP and web based interfaces.
It includes a built in credential manager, team sharing options so you can share a list of connections.
You can also automate tasks like command sequence and streamline workflows.
When researching connection managers, RoyalTS kept popping up on searches and in forums. It appears to be a popular choice by other System Admins.
I personally found it to be a bit clunky and complicated to get started. It does have a lot of features that other connection managers do not have but I just found it difficult to get started compared to other products.
3. Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager
Devolutions is another centralized connection manager that can handle different protocols and centralize credentials You can even integrate existing password managers such as keepass and lastpass.
This product includes a two factor authentication features. This will enforce two successive steps of authentication to grant access to the data source.
It also has the ability to manage desktops and servers with a mobile application. Devolutions comes in a free edition and paid edition. The free version is good for standalone users, the enterprise is best for teams.
4. DameWare Mini Remote Control
Damware is a tool primarily used by help desk staff and support technicians to easily establish connections with end user devices.
The main difference between this and an RDP connection manager is it allows the screen to be shared. With RDP the remote system will log off so you can’t share the screen with the end user. That’s why RDP managers are best for servers.
Damware is supported on Multiple platforms and allows remote control of Windows, Linux, and Max computers.
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- Chat message to communicate with remote users
- Built in screenshot tool
- Secure file transfer
- Lock end users keyboard
- Remote Wake on LAN
- Remotely edit BIOS settings
- Active Directory integration
- and much more
Terminals is a multi tab remote desktop manager that supports several protocols such as RDP, VNC, SSH, Telnet, Citrix, HTTP and HTTPS.
Key features include a multi tab interface, open terminal window in full screen, resizable windows, connection history, customizable toolbars and search.
Terminals also includes several network tools such as ping, tracert, wak on lan, port scanner and who is. This can come in handy for some basic troubleshooting.
Terminals is an open source project and is currently not under development. It does still work on Windows 10.
Best Free Remote Desktop Manager Windows 10
Bonus Pick: Dameware Remote Everywhere
Dameware remote everywhere is a cloud based remote support solution that allows IT professionals to access nearly any platform (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android).
Remote everywhere allows you to quickly gain remote access to systems that are on premise such as users in the office or remote workers like when they are at home, at a hotel or anywhere with an internet connection. The cloud based web portal makes it easy to manage connections and support remote workers. This is a great tool for helpdesk or any IT professional that needs to remotely support end users.
- Session recording
- Hide wallpaper and screen blanking
- Screen sharing and multi-monitor support
- Organize and manage connections
- Live chat and video conferencing
- Built in troubleshooting tools
- Remotely restart and shutdown devices
- and much more.
Each remote connection manager has its pros and cons. To find what best fits your needs I recommend downloading and trying them out for yourself. I personally use mRemoteNG and Damware mini remote control.
I use MremoteNG to manage RDP server connections and ssh connection to network switches. I like that it has a clean interface its simple to use and is not bloated with extra junk that I don’t need. I can also share the connection file with my team to make the whole team more efficient.
Helpdesk and my team use DamWare to connect to end users desktop and laptops. It allows us to remote shadow end users systems to troubleshoot and assist with any issues they have. With its wide range of features it’s a great tool for end user support.
That’s all. I hope that this list helped you find a remote connection manager for you and your team. You may also want to see check out my list of Active Directory Tools.
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