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CoRD was a Mac OS X remote desktop client for Microsoft Windows computers using the RDP protocol. It's easy to use, fast, and free for anyone to use or modify. 2020-04-13: This project is defunct. Most people will be happy with Microsoft's clients. Get the Remote Desktop client. Follow these steps to get started with Remote Desktop on your Mac: Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the Mac App Store. Set up your PC to accept remote connections. (If you skip this step, you can't connect to your PC.) Add a Remote Desktop connection or a remote resource. Microsoft Remote Deskop is an effective free tool for managing remote-desktop connections from a Mac. Perfect for those who travel frequently, or those who have a Mac/PC environment at work that. Official from Microsoft website: 'Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac (version 2.1.1) is not intended for use with Mac OS X v10.7 (Lion) or later'. That's a shame!!! And we almost have 10.8.1 released:p – sorin Aug 21 '12 at 9:57.

There are numerous reasons behind the use of remote desktops, which play a crucial role in today’s IT software ecosystem. If you’re providing support services for desktops and laptops, working with virtual servers or applications, or working in a company in which the offices are distributed nationally or internationally, you’ll be using remote desktop software.

Windows systems come with a built-in protocol for remote connections. Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) provides a graphical interface through which users can connect to a remote computer via a network connection. However, there are now several RDP alternatives on the market, designed to address potential functionality gaps. My top recommendation for a remote desktop alternative is SolarWinds® Dameware®, offering an on-premises and a cloud version, both designed to facilitate the easy handling of remote desktop issues.

What Is RDP?

RDP, short for Remote Desktop Protocol, is a protocol developed by Microsoft. It allows you to connect to another computer using a graphical user interface, so you can interact with the remote machine. You can control a remote desktop session and delete or copy text between applications running on the host machine and the guest machine. This helps with remote troubleshooting and issue resolution, so IT staff won’t need to go directly to the computer experiencing the problem.

However, with the rise of cybercrime have come warnings about the security of RDP. Moreover, several RDP alternatives have appeared on the market, many of which offer much more in the way of capabilities depending on your specific needs. If you’re looking for an alternative to Remote Desktop Protocol, consider the options below.

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Best Remote Desktop Alternatives 2020

Dameware Remote Support is a significant upgrade from RDP, designed to provide all of the same features as the Microsoft protocol along with added features that help enhance problem resolution and cybersecurity on remote devices. Like RDP, DRS makes it easy to connect remotely to other computers. With additional features built to go beyond those in RDP, DRS makes for a comprehensive and easy-to-use remote desktop connection manager alternative.

Like RDP, DRS offers multi-platform remote access, with support for Mac, Windows, and Linux computers. In an enterprise setting, for example, it can work across your Windows desktops, Linux servers, and Mac devices staff may connect with from home. That includes providing access to computers from Android and Apple devices including tablets, which are not supported in RDP.

Both RDP and DRS offer the ability to connect over both the internet and LAN. This is particularly important in DRS since this, along with the tool’s other features, can help facilitate straightforward troubleshooting. With both DRS and RDP, you can remotely reboot entire systems or stop services and processes if something is causing the system to fail. DRS is designed to go beyond that, though—it includes system tools that allow you to fix problems on a computer you’re connected to remotely without having to interrupt the user’s session. DRS, like RDP, also lets you directly copy and paste—or delete—text in applications between the host and guest machine.

Dameware Remote Support offers a free trial for up to 14 days.

Another good option to consider, particularly if you are working in a cloud-based IT environment, is Dameware Remote Everywhere. DRE is in some ways the same tool as DRS, but it offers slightly different features.

First, DRE is designed for use in the cloud, which means it is accessible from any compatible device with internet connection. RDP also connects to remote devices over the internet; however, a distinction between the two tools may arise when it comes to speed. While DRE has a particular focus on speed, with remote connections typically established within eight seconds, RDP typically has slower connection times.

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DRE also includes additional features for taking screenshots and recording during remote sessions and connecting with the user through VoIP or video call. RDP doesn’t natively include these features, with the only way to record or take screenshots during remote sessions is by implementing outside tools and procedures.

Dameware Remote Everywhere offers a free trial for 14 days.

Best Rdp Client For Mac

Royal TS provides support for RDP and other connection protocols, including VNC, SSH, FTP and SFTP, and connection through web-based interfaces. Like other professional tools, it includes credentials management and sharing features, so you don’t need to log in repeatedly. It also provides remote troubleshooting capabilities.

One of the unique features of Royal TS is it can create command tasks and key sequence tasks, which allow you to create your own tasks and automate parts of your troubleshooting processes. For example, ping and traceroute are built in, and you can automate repetitive tasks, so you can execute them as soon as a connection is established.

Royal TS distinguishes itself from RDP when it comes to credential allocation. While RDP lets you save and share credentials between teammates, it does not let you save credentials tied to a remote desktop gateway. Not only does Royal TS let you create objects and folders and dynamically allocate credentials, it also lets you link folders and connections to inherit credentials. These features are designed to facilitate strong access and security measures.

Royal TS offers a free download of its “Lite” version, which allows up to 10 connections and 10 credentials. The paid version is also available through the developer’s website.

If you’re looking for an RDP alternative specifically for use with Mac computers or mobile devices, Edovia produces many products, including several versions of Screens.

Screens iOS allows you to control other computers from your iPhone or iPad, using an SSH connection. It can connect to Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, and Windows PCs, using the Screens Connect app. You can view the current session (e.g., for troubleshooting), or start a new session.

Screens Mac provides the same capabilities as Screens iOS, but from Mac OS systems.

There is a free trial of Screens Mac, and a free version, called Screens Express, with limited usage for specific circumstances. Screens Mac is downloadable through the Edovia website. You can buy Screens iOS from the App Store.

Terminals is an open-source remote desktop manager intended to manage the problem of controlling multiple connections simultaneously. It integrates RDP as one of the protocols it supports, but also works with VNC, VMRC, SSH, Telnet, RAS, Citrix ICA, and HTTP and HTTPs.

It includes several basic features to make the remote connection experience smoother, including a multi-tab interface, resizable windows, customizable toolbars, and a connections history, so you can see which machines you have connected to recently. You can also search by server name and look at protocol notes. This tool is high-quality, but basic, and it may not be suitable for a large enterprise needing a greater set of features for IT support and troubleshooting management.

You can download Terminals for free on Github.

As a free tool, Terminals is a mRemoteNG alternative. For a comparison of mRemoteNG vs. Terminals, look at both repositories in Github to view the documentation, as it gets a little technical.

How to Choose an RDP Alternative

There are several factors behind choosing a good RDP alternative, but your decision will in large part depend on the number of connections you’re dealing with, the type of information in your environment (e.g., if it’s sensitive and needs extra security), and the size of your enterprise.

A free or open-source tool might be suitable in a low-risk, small business environment, in which case Terminals is a good choice. For a large enterprise or a company with sensitive data, invest in a professional tool such as Dameware Remote Support or Dameware Remote Everywhere.

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Applies To: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016

You can use the Remote Desktop client for Mac to work with Windows apps, resources, and desktops from your Mac computer. Use the following information to get started - and check out the FAQ if you have questions.

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Note

  • Curious about the new releases for the macOS client? Check out What's new for Remote Desktop on Mac?
  • The Mac client runs on computers running macOS 10.10 and newer.
  • The information in this article applies primarily to the full version of the Mac client - the version available in the Mac AppStore. Test-drive new features by downloading our preview app here: beta client release notes.

Get the Remote Desktop client

Follow these steps to get started with Remote Desktop on your Mac:

  1. Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the Mac App Store.
  2. Set up your PC to accept remote connections. (If you skip this step, you can't connect to your PC.)
  3. Add a Remote Desktop connection or a remote resource. You use a connection to connect directly to a Windows PC and a remote resource to use a RemoteApp program, session-based desktop, or a virtual desktop published on-premises using RemoteApp and Desktop Connections. This feature is typically available in corporate environments.

What about the Mac beta client?

We're testing new features on our preview channel on AppCenter. Want to check it out? Go to Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac and select Download. You don't need to create an account or sign into AppCenter to download the beta client.

If you already have the client, you can check for updates to ensure you have the latest version. In the beta client, select Microsoft Remote Desktop Beta at the top, and then select Check for updates.

Add a workspace

Subscribe to the feed your admin gave you to get the list of managed resources available to you on your macOS device.

To subscribe to a feed:

  1. Select Add feed on the main page to connect to the service and retrieve your resources.
  2. Enter the feed URL. This can be a URL or email address:
    • This URL is usually a Windows Virtual Desktop URL. Which one you use depends on which version of Windows Virtual Desktop you're using.
      • For Windows Virtual Desktop (classic), use https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/api/feeddiscovery/webfeeddiscovery.aspx.
      • For Windows Virtual Desktop, use https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/api/arm/feeddiscovery.
    • To use email, enter your email address. This tells the client to search for a URL associated with your email address if your admin configured the server that way.
  3. Select Subscribe.
  4. Sign in with your user account when prompted.

After you've signed in, you should see a list of available resources.

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Once you've subscribed to a feed, the feed's content will update automatically on a regular basis. Resources may be added, changed, or removed based on changes made by your administrator.

Export and import connections

You can export a remote desktop connection definition and use it on a different device. Remote desktops are saved in separate RDP files.

To export an RDP file:

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  1. In the Connection Center, right-click the remote desktop.
  2. Select Export.
  3. Browse to the location where you want to save the remote desktop RDP file.
  4. Select OK.

To import an RDP file:

  1. In the menu bar, select File > Import.
  2. Browse to the RDP file.
  3. Select Open.

Add a remote resource

Remote resources are RemoteApp programs, session-based desktops, and virtual desktops published using RemoteApp and Desktop Connections.

  • The URL displays the link to the RD Web Access server that gives you access to RemoteApp and Desktop Connections.
  • The configured RemoteApp and Desktop Connections are listed.

To add a remote resource:

  1. In the Connection Center select +, and then select Add Remote Resources.
  2. Enter information for the remote resource:
    • Feed URL - The URL of the RD Web Access server. You can also enter your corporate email account in this field – this tells the client to search for the RD Web Access Server associated with your email address.
    • User name - The user name to use for the RD Web Access server you are connecting to.
    • Password - The password to use for the RD Web Access server you are connecting to.
  3. Select Save.

The remote resources will be displayed in the Connection Center.

Connect to an RD Gateway to access internal assets

A Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway) lets you connect to a remote computer on a corporate network from anywhere on the Internet. You can create and manage your gateways in the preferences of the app or while setting up a new desktop connection.

To set up a new gateway in preferences:

  1. In the Connection Center, select Preferences > Gateways.
  2. Select the + button at the bottom of the table Enter the following information:
    • Server name – The name of the computer you want to use as a gateway. This can be a Windows computer name, an Internet domain name, or an IP address. You can also add port information to the server name (for example: RDGateway:443 or 10.0.0.1:443).
    • User name - The user name and password to be used for the Remote Desktop gateway you are connecting to. You can also select Use connection credentials to use the same user name and password as those used for the remote desktop connection.

Manage your user accounts

When you connect to a desktop or remote resources, you can save the user accounts to select from again. You can manage your user accounts by using the Remote Desktop client.

To create a new user account:

  1. In the Connection Center, select Settings > Accounts.
  2. Select Add User Account.
  3. Enter the following information:
    • User Name - The name of the user to save for use with a remote connection. You can enter the user name in any of the following formats: user_name, domainuser_name, or [email protected]
    • Password - The password for the user you specified. Every user account that you want to save to use for remote connections needs to have a password associated with it.
    • Friendly Name - If you are using the same user account with different passwords, set a friendly name to distinguish those user accounts.
  4. Select Save, then select Settings.

Customize your display resolution

You can specify the display resolution for the remote desktop session.

  1. In the Connection Center, select Preferences.
  2. Select Resolution.
  3. Select +.
  4. Enter a resolution height and width, and then select OK.

To delete the resolution, select it, and then select -.

Displays have separate spaces

If you're running Mac OS X 10.9 and have disabled Displays have separate spaces in Mavericks (System Preferences > Mission Control), you need to configure this setting in the Remote Desktop client using the same option.

Drive redirection for remote resources

Drive redirection is supported for remote resources, so that you can save files created with a remote application locally to your Mac. The redirected folder is always your home directory displayed as a network drive in the remote session.

Note

In order to use this feature, the administrator needs to set the appropriate settings on the server.

Use a keyboard in a remote session

Mac keyboard layouts differ from the Windows keyboard layouts.

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  • The Command key on the Mac keyboard equals the Windows key.
  • To perform actions that use the Command button on the Mac, you will need to use the control button in Windows (for example Copy = Ctrl+C).
  • The function keys can be activated in the session by pressing additionally the FN key (for example, FN+F1).
  • The Alt key to the right of the space bar on the Mac keyboard equals the Alt Gr/right Alt key in Windows.

By default, the remote session will use the same keyboard locale as the OS you're running the client on. (If your Mac is running an en-us OS, that will be used for the remote sessions as well.) If the OS keyboard locale is not used, check the keyboard setting on the remote PC and change it manually. See the Remote Desktop Client FAQ for more information about keyboards and locales.

Support for Remote Desktop gateway pluggable authentication and authorization

Windows Server 2012 R2 introduced support for a new authentication method, Remote Desktop Gateway pluggable authentication and authorization, which provides more flexibility for custom authentication routines. You can now try this authentication model with the Mac client.

Important

Custom authentication and authorization models before Windows 8.1 aren't supported, although the article above discusses them.

To learn more about this feature, check out https://aka.ms/paa-sample.

Tip

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Questions and comments are always welcome. However, please do NOT post a request for troubleshooting help by using the comment feature at the end of this article. Instead, go to the Remote Desktop client forum and start a new thread. Have a feature suggestion? Tell us in the client user voice forum.