Attended vs. Unattended Remote Access: Differences & Use Cases

Attended vs. unattended remote access are two solutions to control a device remotely. This post compares both solutions and lists their use cases to help you to decide which one is better to choose.


By Ellie / Updated on May 14, 2024

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Overview: Attended vs. unattended remote access

In order for modern corporate entities to thrive, it is imperative that they prioritize the protection of confidential data, facilitate seamless remote work practices, and ensure consistent operational efficiency. The ability to promptly address issues, regardless of the location of individuals, equipment, or devices, has become increasingly critical.

Remote access solutions have become essential instruments for companies operating in various sectors and industries, effectively tackling the aforementioned difficulties. Nonetheless, it is vital to assess whether your particular needs call for attended vs. unattended remote access or a blend of both when contemplating these options.

What is attended remote access?

Attended remote access is interactive remote support where a technician gains controlled access to a user's device, guiding them to resolve issues in real time. It involves a user-initiated support request, secure connection establishment, and collaborative troubleshooting.

Attended Remote Access

Attended remote access is widely employed when users seek instant remote assistance and guidance for technical matters. This service proves particularly advantageous for resolving intricate issues, delivering detailed instructions, and ensuring real-time support to individuals using various devices or applications.

What is unattended remote access?

Unattended remote access is a software feature that allows remote access to a device via a network when there is no one physically present. It is particularly beneficial for managing IT infrastructure, conducting remote software installations, accessing files, and resolving non-urgent issues.

Unattended Remote Access

IT professionals extensively utilize unattended remote access software to diagnose and resolve technical issues across a wide range of devices, including desktop computers, smartphones, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This tool enables technicians to establish a connection with the customer's device even when the customer is not available, allowing them to perform maintenance tasks, execute scheduled operations, and address any necessary actions without direct customer involvement.

Differences between attended & unattended remote access

While unattended remote access software provides a broader range of technical capabilities compared to attended remote access software, it does not imply that businesses should always choose one over the other. The decision between the two depends on the specific technical support needs and requirements of the company, considering factors such as operations, functionality, infrastructure, and the working environment.

Here’s an outline of the attended vs unattended remote access differences in three aspects.

How do attended and unattended remote access work?

There are differences between the usage of attended and unattended remote access.

Attended remote access

When utilizing attended remote access support, the first step involves downloading an application to enable remote sessions. This platform generates either an entry code or an authentication process, verifying the identity of the IT admin seeking to address the issue. Throughout the remote session, it is necessary for the end-user to be present and actively engaged.

Unattended remote access

Unattended remote access relies on a pre-installed agent, which offers various functionalities for IT teams. These features are accessed through a centralized dashboard and deployed onto properly configured devices. Once activated, these devices are ready to receive unattended updates and support without requiring direct user involvement.

Why use attended and unattended remote access?

There are differences between the reasons for using attended and unattended remote access.

Attended remote access

By utilizing attended remote access solutions, businesses can achieve the following benefits:

  • Boost productivity: Attended remote access enables seamless collaboration and quick issue resolution, leading to improved productivity levels within the organization.
  • Enhance service proposition: With attended remote access, businesses can offer a more comprehensive and efficient service to colleagues, clients, and customers. This, in turn, creates opportunities to increase profits and enhance engagement and satisfaction levels.
  • Ensure compliance: Attended remote access helps businesses meet regulatory guidelines and adhere to relevant legislation, ensuring compliance and minimizing potential risks.
  • Minimize device downtimes: By leveraging attended remote access, businesses can swiftly troubleshoot and resolve issues, reducing device downtimes and minimizing disruptions to operations. This improves overall efficiency and reduces productivity losses.

Unattended remote access

Unattended remote access solutions offer numerous advantages to businesses, including:

  • Enhanced productivity: Unattended remote access contributes to increased productivity levels by allowing for efficient troubleshooting and problem-solving without requiring immediate user intervention.
  • Comprehensive service proposition: Businesses can provide a more comprehensive service to colleagues, clients, and customers through unattended remote access. This expands opportunities to drive profits and improve engagement and satisfaction levels.
  • Improved compliance: Unattended remote access helps businesses adhere to regulatory guidelines and legislation, ensuring compliance and mitigating potential risks.
  • Minimized human errors: By reducing the reliance on manual interventions, unattended remote access decreases the likelihood of human errors impacting operational efficiency.
  • Robust security systems: Unattended remote access solutions can be tailored to a business's specific environment and equipped to adapt to evolving security risks, providing a robust security framework.
  • Addressing remote work requirements: Unattended remote access effectively caters to the needs of a remote and flexible workforce, enabling seamless access and support regardless of location.
  • Streamlined operations: Implementing unattended remote access allows businesses to streamline operations, reducing costs associated with resources, transportation, and staff training. This optimization leads to greater efficiency and financial savings.

Who will use attended and unattended remote access?

There are differences between the groups using attended and unattended remote access.

Attended remote access

Attended remote access is primarily used by:

  • IT support teams
  • Help desks
  • Customer service representatives

Unattended remote access

Unattended remote access is commonly utilized by:

  • SaaS providers
  • Internal IT support teams
  • Distance learning platforms
  • Remote workers (working from home)

Does unattended remote access offer advantages over attended?

In summary, unattended remote access provides businesses with increased control over their device fleets, enabling full visibility into device activity. This facilitates faster resolution of IT issues, optimizes business infrastructure for improved profitability, and enhances compliance adherence. Ultimately, unattended remote access empowers companies to enhance the customer experience and boost colleague satisfaction.

However, if the requirement is to allow strangers to have control over a computer and provide instant remote support, attended remote access would be more appropriate.

Best recommended attended & unattended remote access software

If you still find it challenging to decide between unattended and attended remote access options, there is a recommended solution available: AnyViewer. AnyViewer is a comprehensive and free remote desktop software that caters to both attended and unattended remote access needs. Unlike other software that may charge separately for each type of access, AnyViewer offers free services for all types of remote access requirements. This makes it a convenient and cost-effective choice for any user.

What set AnyViewer out?

Discover the exceptional features that set AnyViewer apart as the top choice among its competitors.

  • Seamless compatibility: AnyViewer offers seamless compatibility across a wide range of devices, including Windows, iOS, and Android. This ensures effortless remote desktop access on multiple platforms, providing flexibility and convenience.
  • User-friendly interface: AnyViewer prides itself on its intuitive interface and user-friendly setup process. With a straightforward design, users can easily navigate the software and establish remote connections without unnecessary complexities or steep learning curves.
  • Lightning-fast performance: AnyViewer employs an optimized connection algorithm that delivers lightning-fast performance. Users can expect swift and seamless connections, enabling efficient remote control and uninterrupted workflow, even in demanding environments.
  • Enhanced security: Your data privacy and protection are paramount with AnyViewer. The software utilizes Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) encryption, along with other industry-standard security measures, to safeguard your sensitive information during remote sessions.
  • Impressive in-session features: Whether you're using AnyViewer for attended or unattended remote access, you'll have access to a wide range of impressive features. These include screen sharing, file transfer, chat functionality, restart/reboot capabilities, multi-monitor support, and more. AnyViewer ensures a comprehensive and seamless remote access experience.

How to use AnyViewer for attended & unattended remote access

The steps to use AnyViewer for attended and unattended remote access may vary. Please refer to the instructions below for each type of remote access. But first, you'll need to download and install AnyViewer on both computers.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/Servers
Secure Download

How to access an attended device via AnyViewer

Step 1. Start AnyViewer on the host computer, go to Connect section, copy your device ID, and send it to your partner.


Step 2. Start AnyViewer on the client computer, go to Connect section, enter the partner ID, tick Remote control mode, and click Connect.

Step 3. Select Send a request to your partner and click OK.

Send a Control Request to Your Partner

Step 4. The host computer will receive a request. Click Allow to configure the remote control.

Qequest to Control Your Device

How to access an unattended device via AnyViewer

Step 1. Start AnyViewer on the host computer, click Sign up to create a new account, and log in.

Log in Anyviewer

Step 2. Start AnyViewer on the client computer, and log in to the same account you just registered.

Free Editions

Step 3. Go to the Device section, select the target computer and click One-click control.

Connect to My Devices

Notes:✎... It is recommended to upgrade to the cost-effective Professional or Enterprise plan to enjoy the following rights:
Assign up to 100 devices for unattended access.
Establish more concurrent sessions.
Access in privacy mode to well-enough protect data and privacy.
Start a connection with high-image quality.


The bottom line

This post primarily compares attended vs. unattended remote access. If you want a tool that supports both attended and unattended remote access, AnyViewer stands out as the premier choice. It offers seamless compatibility across various devices and a user-friendly interface for effortless navigation. Whether you're a business professional, IT support team or remote worker, AnyViewer provides a comprehensive and reliable solution, making it the top contender in the market.