VPN vs Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop vs VPN – Everything You Need To Know

Did you know that you can access and use a computer system from another computer? Sounds confusing right? Actually, it’s pretty simple. You can access another computer system in two ways, namely Remote Desktop and a VPN. Both have clear differences and number of pros and cons as well. Now, take a look at this comparison between Remote Desktop vs VPN to decide which is best solution for your needs:

What is Remote Desktop (RDP)?

Have you ever seen a video where someone broadcasts whatever they’re doing on the screen? RDP is just like that, except that it’s you who is controlling that particular system. Remote desktop, also referred to as RDP and screen sharing, is a software that allows you to connect with another computer system wirelessly.

It doesn’t matter if the computer is in the same building, or thousands of miles away, you can easily connect to and use it as if you were physically there. All you need is a Remote Desktop tool or software, and some popular ones include Netviewer, LogMeIn, Teamviewer, Citrix, and Apple Screen Sharing.

On a Remote Desktop, you effectively take control of the whole system. All keystrokes and mouse movements are sent to the remote desktop through the internet. The screen, on the other hand, is sent to the user so they can see what is happening.

Get secure remote access with PureVPN in just $0.99. Experience remote access like never before with PureVPN’s 7-day trial.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is much different as compared to RDP. While using a VPN service, your device connects to a VPN server. You cannot directly control the VPN server, which is the case with a Remote Desktop. A VPN acts like a tunnel for your communications and allows you to change your IP address so that you can remain secure and anonymous online.

When connected to a VPN, you continue to use your device instead of an external one. However, your device stays protected against a plethora of online threats, and your virtual location changes which bring other advantages.

The security aspect is the most significant advantage of using a VPN over RDP. Remote Desktop doesn’t come up with features such as encryption, while every major VPN brand offers up to 256-bit encryption.

Remote Desktop vs VPN

A VPN is used to connect with and access resources available on another network. Unlike RDP, a VPN lets you access another network instead of the whole system altogether. A premium VPN service encrypts your traffic from end-to-end so that you can browse the web with a cloak of security and privacy.

While comparing Remote Desktop vs. VPN, we find that a VPN is much better for security purposes and online freedom than a remote desktop system.

Also, RDPs are costly as compared to a VPN. They can only be accessed via a PC, while a VPN can be used on any device of your choice. A Remote Desktop requires greater internet speeds as compared to a VPN, but it continues to lag despite that.

With a VPN, you can also get to access features such as dedicated IP. Security-wise, using a dedicated IP address has its advantages. You get to use a whitelisted IP address that is under your personal use only. You can increase the security of your bank account and any other accounts by limiting access to your dedicated IP address.

Remote Desktop Security Issues

Remote Desktops are insecure because you can never tell what malware or key loggers are installed in the system. Moreover, there’s no way to check if the owner of the RDP is actively monitoring your screen.

Also, Remote Desktops are impossible to use in an environment where employees carry their own devices to work. Turning work computers into Remote Desktops can be incredibly dangerous to the security of your business.

Do You Need RDP or VPN?

That depends on the reason you wish to use it.

If You’re a Business:

  1. It’s better to use PureVPN as it provides your employees with security and privacy and keeps all confidential information safe.
  2. You can get a dedicated IP via PureVPN. With the dedicated IP, you and your employees can access remote servers.
  3. If you want to test a software or code, it’s better to use RDP as it is perfect for experimentation and helps keep your business workstations safe.
  4. Use an RDP if you need IT technicians to access remote employees’ computers for maintenance and troubleshooting tasks.

If You’re an Individual User:

  1. You can browse the web securely and privately.
  2. Use it to stream your favorite online channels even if they are unavailable at your location.
  3. Enjoy top-of-the-line encryption.
  4. Avoid online surveillance and tracking by arming yourself.

A VPN is the best solution as it provides the best features for your everyday browsing needs. It takes care of your online privacy and disallows foreign entities from accessing your network.


Sheheryar Khan Sheheryar Ahmed Khan is a privacy enthusiast, currently affiliated with PureVPN. His reporting covers subjects related to online privacy, anonymity, and security. Also a believer in online freedom, Sheheryar likes to spend his free time streaming football matches and TV shows online.

Have Your Say!!

Join 3 million+ users to embrace internet freedom

Signup for PureVPN to get complete online security and privacy with a hidden IP address and encrypted internet traffic.