TeamViewer is a popular administrator and helpdesk tool and holds quite a decent share of the RAT market. TeamViewer alternative. In this walkthrough, we will be explaining best free TeamViewer alternatives 2021.
A Remote Access Terminal (RAT) is a program that is used by individuals, remote system administrators, or tech support personnel to remotely connect to a computer, server, or networking device across an Internet connection or via a local area network (LAN).
Editor’s Note: RAT is quite different from Remote Access Trojans. The latter is used for malicious purposes and shares the same acronym. The only tools we will discuss here are the useful RATs. Tools that allow administrators and helpdesk technicians to remotely connect to, and access clients’ computers, wherever in the world they are located.
Although TeamViewer is a well-known tool, there are other options for you. In this article, we have compiled a lot of other alternatives that you could consider:
1. Microsoft Remote Desktop
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Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Assistant will aid you in setting up your screen for remote access. However, it only works on the Windows OS. But for Windows computers users, Microsoft Remote Desktop is one of the best apps – and one of the easiest to use – for accessing other desktops remotely.
To run it, you’ll need at least 8.1 or higher.
2. Dameware from SolarWinds (FREE TRIAL)
SolarWinds is a tech company that is famous for its innovative and robust solutions that are employed in monitoring systems, networks, and other IT infrastructures.
The company also makes remote administration tools. As a matter of fact, they have three main remote support tools:
2.1. Dameware Mini Remote Control
Dameware Mini Remote Control is a great replacement for TeamViewer that is small and has a tiny digital footprint. This on-site tool works is compatible with any device that is running Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux and also supports multiple sessions at a time.
Don’t be deterred by its small appearance, Dameware Mini Remote Control is much stronger than it looks: it doesn’t matter if the remote computer is on the same LAN or halfway across the world, whether it is attended or not, this tool will connect to it – even if it has been turned off or happens to have crashed. Great right?
Most notably important, Dameware Mini Remote Control is a secure RAT. The authorization and role assignments are enhanced by the tool’s ability to integrate with Active Directory – guaranteeing stronger control over roles and privileges.
2.2. Dameware Remote Support
Dameware Remote Support is another on-site RAT; it is equipped with even more advanced features than the Mini Remote Control.
3. Zoho Assist (FREE TRIAL)
With a catchy name like Zoho, the company already has an edge in the market. Its distinctive advantage is the brand sign that elucidates that the company is famous for its large collection of collaboration tools.
Zoho is the proprietor of solutions for helpdesk support, social media outreach management, email hosting, and much more; they also have a RAT: Zoho Assist.
4. ISL Online (FREE TRIAL)
ISL Online is a remote desktop system that is designed for use by product technical support operators. It is calibrated so that it can be used to access the computers of outsiders with permission over the internet.
There is nothing to stop in-house technicians from using this system for backing up a company’s own users.
There are three elements to the ISL Online system
- Server: Responsible for all communications. The server part is offered as a cloud-based system and it can also be downloaded and installed on-premises. It runs on Windows and Windows Server.
- Technician Console: The support technician console is called ISL Light and it is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux
- End-user interface: The end-user module is also available for those three operating systems and it is called ISL Online Client.
The technician interface possesses a big panel for the view of the remote desktop. A menu of tools is displayed at the top of the window, allowing technicians to explore the remote computer’s file directories or transfer and execute files.
There is also an integrated chat system in the interface that allows communication between the technician and the computer user.
This tool is majorly for user-attended access. It allows every step taken by the technician on the remote computer visible to that device’s owner.
In a way, it allows independent PC owners to be confident in allowing remote access because they feel that they are in control and not being duped by a hacker. You can test-run ISL Online with a 15-day free trial.
PCHelpWare is entirely free. You can even customize it with your company’s logo. Advantageous features like tight security, clipboard transfer, file transfer and even text chat are all enticing enough to draw one’s attention.
PCHelpWare is only recommended for older Windows devices. It has not been updated yet, but it does work on extremely old Windows versions, including:
- The Windows 95
- Windows 98
- The Windows ME
- Windows 2000
- The Windows 2003
- Windows XP
- The Windows Vista
We have included this here because it can be very difficult to find a remote desktop software that is compatible with older versions of Windows. If you still use the older versions, you can consider PCHelpWare.
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6. ConnectWise Control
While some free Teamviewer alternatives require you to buy a premium package if you want to use it for commercial or business purposes, ConnectWise Control does not.
It has a free plan for businesses that you can use forever, without ever upgrading to a premium plan.
ConnectWise Control was developed for businesses who want to provide tech support via remote screen sharing.
On signing up, you will automatically get a 14-day free trial of the premium version, but once your trial ends, you can continue using the free version infinitly.
The free version of course comes with limitations. For instance, you will only be able to connect to one end-user during a session.
However, a walk-around to this is that you can use ConnectWise to take control of another screen from a computer or mobile phone, whether you have Windows, iOS, or Android.
All in all, if you operate a small business with a small tech support team and you are looking for a free alternative to Teamviewer to provide support for your clients, ConnectWise’s free plan might be just what you need.
7. Jump Desktop
Jump Desktop is another excellent free Teamviewer alternative for Windows devices. It is free for both personal and business use, something that not all free Teamviewer alternatives offer.
You’ll need to need to install it on a Windows computer to access the free version. With this, you can control and view not only other Windows computers but Mac computers as well.
For Android and iOS devices, their services attract a token.
This software is compatible with Windows 7 and more recent versions. Its perk is that it allows many people connect to one single host computer at once, allowing each person access their own cursor for navigation.
Although the Mac version (for controlling and viewing other devices from your Mac device) is not free, it does come with a free trial for 14 days. It includes features like tags for organizing connected devices and a battery saver.
Splashtop Personal is a remote desktop app that is compatible with various operating systems. Since it is entirely free for personal use, it can be a great alternative to Teamviewer.
Although Splashtop Personal is entirely free for Windows and MAC devices, there is a small price if you want to use it on iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads. That is one disadvantage of Splashtop, but if you don’t plan on using it on iOS devices, it will remain free forever.
Not only can you access your computer from another computer, but also, you will be able to access it from your Android phone, for free. Using the free version of Splashtop, you can connect and access up to five different computers.
In theory, if you have one computer at work, another computer at home, and your friend’s computer, you can access all of them for free using Splashtop.
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Splashtop is pretty versatile as you can even transfer files, play games on the other devices and run apps.
Although Splashtop is free, there are some other features available for purchase that can help increase your productivity. For example, you can get the Productivity Pack, an ad-on that features live annotation and screen shortcuts or Anywhere Access to access your computer from any device across the world over the internet.
AnyDesk is another good alternative RAT that has been downloaded over a hundred million times and continues to attract even more loyal users.
The most notable advantage of AnyDesk is its speed. There is a 60 FPS screen refresh rate and an efficient bandwidth management system. Also, it conserves bandwidth resources by simply compressing images before they are transferred. All of this some up to a really good user-experience.
AnyDesk uses banking standard TLS 1.2 protocol to ensure security as well as RSA 2048 asymmetric encryption to verify each connection. So you never have to worry about security.
Lastly, although it was built for the most tasking of users, AnyDesk is free for personal use and works well with almost all operating systems: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Free BSD, and Raspberry Pi. Those that prefer the cloud can even use Chrome to launch AnyDesk.
This is also free for everyone, individual or company. Anyone who needs a remote connection session between Windows machines only. This includes Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. Meanwhile, server versions include Windows Server 2012, Server 2008, and Server 2003.
Don’t be dissuaded because it is compatible with only Windows operating systems
Once you start using UltraVNC, you soon discover that it is a small, light, and efficient tool. The compression of data being passed between the connected devices is highly efficient (and configurable).
This makes it seem almost seamless when working with it – it doesn’t matter if you’re using the GUI or CLI options. Chatting between client and server can be done via an embedded engine and won’t have lag times.
It is also very safe. For example, man-in-the-middle attacks – which let malicious parties snoop in on a connection – are prevented with the help of a Data Stream Modification (DSM) encryption plugin system.
A few downsides to this otherwise great RAT include:
- You must know the IP address of the remote machine before a remote session can be initiated.
- Router port forwarding needs to be configured on the server.
- The interface could do with an upgrade as it looks a bit out-of-date – like something from the Windows 95/NT 4.0 era, to be honest.
And so, apart from these minor issues, UltraVNC is an amazing tool that will deliver as promised.
The fact that you can launch RescueAssist (formerly known as GoToAssist by LogMeIn) from a browser, a mobile or desktop device makes it one of the most convenient and easy-to-use RATs out there.
Remote support – including unattended access sessions – can be initiated with a single click from within a call or chat. Alternatively, if you choose to use your browser, all you need is to add a plugin and you’re all set to go.
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RescueAssist boasts of a 15-second connection time – from IP identification to gaining control of the remote machine – once a session has been launched.
After connection is established, detailed reports can be generated to show relevant information like details of the client device, whether or not service-level agreements are being met, and even notes other technicians have left about previous sessions.
All this makes it easier to start troubleshooting and, eventually, resolve issues.
In case of a need to deal with an escalated problem, the session can also be transferred to another teammate. If that doesn’t help, the whole support team can discuss it in a Slack room with which RescueAssist can also be integrated.
Regardless, even if more people need to be invited in to help, a session screen can be shared among up to 15 support technicians. As a matter of fact, in case of issues on mobile devices (iOS and Android), they can use the devices’ cameras to help with their resolution.
Finally, it doesn’t come as a surprise that RescueAssist is a reliable tool when it comes to security with features like:
- End-to-end encryption that secures stolen data as undecipherable
- Secure remote passwords (SRP) prevent sniffing of in-transit packets.
- And yet, this tool doesn’t require “preferential treatment” or need special configuration when it comes to network peripheral devices like firewalls as it easily integrates into most network configurations.
12. WebEx Remote Access
Cisco is the leader in the network technology industry from educating to provision of other more complex services; therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they too have a remote connectivity solution of their own: WebEx Remote Access Software.
Now, although this is an all-rounded tool that has functionalities like video conferencing and collaboration, Cisco Remote Access Agent.
Their remote access and administration tool is an impressive part of it. And after it has been installed, the agent automatically logs the computers in the Remote Access network and it is ready to host a connection (if it has been enabled, of course).
Security measures put in place include:
- Email notifications notify clients on their devices being accessed remotely
- Access Control
- Authentication by phone
- Role assignments
- Device groupings.
Accountability and tracking are done with the help of session recording.
This RAT can be used to access real-time views and control of invalid servers, computers, and even point of sale (POS) devices. It also mixes well with other third-party productivity and collaboration tools like Slack, Trello, Google Drive, and much more.
There is no need to worry about reconfiguring ports and permissions as WebEx can work with most firewalls and supports most machines behind proxies.
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