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What is a remote desktop?

Remote Desktop Defined

Remote desktop services provide a user on one computer access to another computer. The second computer may be in a completely separate location, but the user has access and remote control just as if they were working on their local system.

The second computer could be in a different location, it could be a desktop or mobile device, or it could be a virtual machine. There are many ways of enabling remote desktop, depending on the needs of the organization.

Remote desktop (or virtual desktop) solves two issues related to remote work:

  • Remotely accessing files on a local network
  • Eliminating bandwidth issues

First, if the end user is accessing a corporate system, the IT team can make all corporate applications available. All the work is still being done within the corporate network, and the data never has to leave the corporate confines, reducing cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Second, bandwidth issues are restricted to the user interface. Bandwidth is a measure of how much data travels across network connections. If an employee is working on an application at home and then has to send all the data back to corporate servers, that can become cumbersome.

With remote desktop, all the actual compute work is being done at another location, so there is no concern over massive amounts of data having to travel back and forth. Low bandwidth can still create an unpleasant experience for the end user, but the work itself is not impacted nearly as much.

*from our partners at Comptia