By Ellie / Last Updated December 30, 2021

What is remote access?

Remote access is known as the ability for an authorized user to remotely access a computer or network from another device situated at a distant location. Users are able to access the resources stored on another computer or network and even take complete control of it if they are granted remote access.

What is Remote Access

How does remote access work?

Typically, all remote access solutions generally work in a similar way. In all remote access connections, there are three main components.

  • Remote Access Server: It’s one server in the organization network that is the destination of all remote access connections.
  • Remote Access Client: All computers that remotely connect to the network, called remote access clients or remote computers.
  • The type of communication and infrastructure it uses: They include many types such as VPN, cloud service, Remote Desktop, third-party software and etc.

What are the types of remote access?

Remote access can be achieved by taking many different forms. Here we’ll introduce the most popular three types of remote access:

  • Remote access software
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Cloud services

Remote access software

What is Remote access software? Remote desktop software makes it possible to connect to a computer in another place via an internal network or the internet, allowing them to view and operate it as if they were sitting right in front of it. You can browse or transfer files, upgrade computer systems, play games, and troubleshoot computer issues, among other things.  

Existing remote access software is of all kinds, some of which are charged and some of which are free. Probably the most widely used remote access software is the free Windows built-in Remote Desktop. With the IP Address and user name of the host computer, users could remotely control it via Remote Desktop.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Virtual Private Network (VPN) mainly creates a secure Internet connection between users and the network through advanced encryption and tunneling technology. It is called a virtual network because the connection between any two nodes of a VPN is based on the network platform provided by public network service providers.

To put it simply, your traffic data is transmitted to the VPN server of an Internet provider through a secure channel. Through this server, your encrypted data, hidden geographical location, and IP address are sent to the network station you want to browse, enabling you to achieve remote access. But note that, compared with remote access software, but remote access enabled by VPN can only allow you to access the resources shared on the same network, instead of taking control of the other devices.

Cloud services

Companies that provide cloud services enable users to store files and applications on remote servers and then access all the data via the Internet. With cloud solutions, data files can be downloaded to remote computers. This means the user is not required to be in a specific place to gain access to it, allowing the user to work remotely.

Again, cloud services only allow you to access data that has already been stored on remote servers. With remote desktop software, you can access a specific desktop, the files, the applications, and everything else related to that desktop from a remote location. Therefore, even cloud service provides a form of remote access, it still can’t be a replacement for remote access software.

Why remote access is important?

Different people use remote access for different purposes. But we all had to admit that remote access has brought convenience to our life. Here’s a remote access example. Even if you work at the office every day as an IT expert, you may occasionally be required to respond to an after-hours emergency or work remotely during a travel-inhibiting event such as snowfall.

What are the pros and cons of remote access? 

The following are the primary benefits of remote access:

  • Time-saving. Remote access enables you to access or transfer data, like files or folders, on work PC from home without spending time going to the office from home.
  • Break space limit. With remote access, you can remote into your office computer even you’re on a business trip abroad.
  • Improve working efficiency. One IT professional can remotely access multiple computers to troubleshoot problems at the same time, improving his working efficiency greatly.
  • Cost-saving. Remote access breaks the time and space limits, helping you save traveling fees. Besides, there’s much free remote access software for your choice now.

Of course, remote access has its shortcomings:

  • Security concern. Remote access may bring additional vulnerabilities that could be used as attack points. For instance, it’s difficult to keep tabs on everyone accessing your system remotely. You can’t physically authenticate all the users. And that, of course, makes it easy for attackers to infiltrate the system using genuine accounts, and then leave unnoticed.
  • Network Dependency. The effect of remote access is greatly dependent on your network speed. You need a stable Internet connection to maintain your workflow. Otherwise, even the slightest downtime can potentially affect your productivity. 

Find a fully satisfactory remote access solution

How to realize remote access? The best way we suggest here is to find remote access software. You can use AnyViewer, the free yet professional remote control software for Windows. It is developed by a skilled team, providing you with fast and stable remote access. Also, it is secured by Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) encryption, protecting your data from leakage. If you’re just looking for free remote access software with powerful functions, try AnyViewer.

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