Remote access protocols are widely used in technology these days. Using remote access protocols, you can connect to another computer for remote work or connect to a server for managing your website. In this blog post, I’ll cover EVERYTHING you need to know about the RDP protocol as one of the most used remorse access protocols, from RDP’s common use cases to connection guides and technical information are all presented here.
What Is the Remote Desktop Protocol?
The first time I heard about RDP, I was on vacation. I took a few days off and went on a trip with my family, but I still had an important presentation due a day after my trip. So I was working on my laptop in the hotel room, heavenly rays of sunshine shimmering on the ocean in front of me, and everything was going just great. Well, until I noticed I had forgotten to copy some important files from my office computer.
The panic was real, okay? I was doomed. I started calling every coworker to see if they could email me the files or somehow access my computer. Just as I lost all hope, one of our IT guys said, “You have your laptop with you, right? Why don’t you connect to your computer with an RDP?”
A Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a network connection that allows you to remotely connect from one device to another. You run the software, make your connection, and the destination computer’s desktop appears on your device. Then, you can make changes to that computer, transfer files, install or uninstall software, and work with it just as you work with your own device. The IT guy saved my day by suggesting RDP. That day I successfully connected to my office computer, transferred my files, and finished the presentation.
As a Microsoft protocol, a built-in version of RDP called Remote Desktop Connection (previously known as Terminal Service Client) is already included in Windows 10 and most previous Windows versions. It is the most commonly used Microsoft server connection software. You can use RDP to connect to physical computers and cloud-computing solutions like Azure to connect to virtual computers.
How Does RDP Work?
The remote desktop protocol requires two pieces of software to work. RDP client software should be running on the computer requesting access. RDP server software must run on the computer being accessed (the destination device). When the connection is made, the device requesting access will have a graphical interface of the remote computer.
RDP transfers screen information from the remote desktop to your desktop using standard data transfer protocols (TCP/IP). That’s why you can use your mouse and keyboard to control the remote desktop. With RDP, data flows from the server (remote device) to the client (you) and rarely the other way. The data transferred by RDP can have the following forms:
- Keyboard tap and mouse movement: Transferring this data allows the server-side computer to take inputs from the user remotely.
- Licensing and authentication data: This type of data allows communication between the two computers. The client and the server use this information to verify the licensing details.
- Serial device communication data: When using RDP, you can also print something from the server-side computer or even connect it to a scanner. Allowing serial device communication data in the RDP channels lets the server-side computer recognize serial devices as if they are physically close to each other.
- Presentation visuals and audio: Allowing the transfer of presentation data lets users present their files even when they don’t have the presentation files on their computers.
Data transmission via RDP has seven steps. The technical process has a lot of descriptions, but I don’t want to confuse you. So to simplify it, the data is sectioned first, directed to a channel, then encrypted, and wrapped. Afterward, it gets framed before finally being packaged to go over the wire to the other device.
RDP Security Issues
Now, we know that RDP is very useful, but honestly, RDP security issues and vulnerabilities are a major setback. For example, suppose you are using RDP to transfer essential files or just working with confidential information on your remote device. In that case, you might be exposed to cyberattacks. The connection makes it easy for hackers to have access to your information. A solution to make sure you have a secure and safe connection is to have an RDP gateway. You can read this blog post to learn more about what the gateway does and how you can use it.
How to Enable RDP 2FA
One way to make sure your connection is secure is to enable RDP Two-Factor Authentication or, for short, RDP 2FA. As you probably know, it’s very common to use the same password for Windows login, emails, social media, and other services. Using SSO or Single Sign-on services helps companies manage logins to their multiple applications. SSO services can make sure you have a stronger RDP connection by using security measures like RDP 2FA.
Reasons Why You Need an RDP Server
If you are still not sure whether you need a remote desktop protocol or not, check these situational examples where you would need a remote desktop connection. If any of these options apply to you, then it’s time to invest in an RDP.
What I shared with you at the beginning of this blog post is just an example of how you can use RDP while traveling. Whether traveling for business or pleasure (or both), you can always use the remote desktop protocol to access your workspace server. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are — you can always do your job using RDP.
Working From Home
There are thousands of reasons for people to work from home. You could be a working stay-at-home parent, the distance to the office might make daily transportation hard for you, or just maybe, there might be a pandemic situation going on (thank you, COVID-19). No matter what the reason, you still have to fulfill your daily tasks. RDP makes it possible to connect to your office computer from your laptop or PC at home.
If you work in customer service or as a technical support agent, you will be getting calls all day about the tiniest system malfunctions. Some customers are not as familiar with the computing system as you are. You can use an RDP to easily connect to their computer and help them with even basic actions like setting up a printer, software installation, computer troubleshooting, and maintenance.
Sometimes, our laptops or PC systems have limitations in terms of RAM or CPU for the kind of job we are doing (for example, web application development). Using an RDP, you can connect to a more powerful workstation and benefit from your own limited system.
As you know, the Binance cryptocurrency exchange is not available in certain countries. This makes it almost impossible for traders from those countries to enter the market and use it the way the rest of the people do. I say it’s almost impossible because by acquiring an RDP server in the destination that is “Binance approved” and connecting remotely to it, you can trade the way everyone does. However, Binance trading isn’t the only reason for using an RDP server. Crypto trading is a demanding field that requires constant presence in the market. With the 24/7 functionality of RDP servers, you gain a huge advantage over other traders.
Imagine you’re a developer making and running different bots. How would you know they’re working flawlessly? Or more importantly, how would you if there are any flaws to fix? One short answer: Botting RDP. You can use a botting RPD server to test your bots before the official release and check if there’s room for improvement.
RDP can be categorized into two groups: Shared RDP and Admin RDP. But what are the differences between these two groups? Let’s dive deeper to familiarize ourselves with these concepts.
Shared RDP is like a resource pool that many users utilize for different purposes. On a shared RDP plan, you don’t have any types of resources dedicated to your use. So, for example, if you bought a plan with 2 GB of RAM, that amount of RAM isn’t allocated to your use; it’s for every user on the server. If you’re a business owner and your website has a regular number of daily visitors, even the idea of sharing your server’s resources may sound scary to you. And this feeling of doubt towards shared RDP isn’t so irrational since hosting a website on a shared server can have multiple consequences.
Unstable website performance:
If one of the websites on the server experiences a sudden rush of users, your website’s performance will decline. Why? Because the resources are limited. If a website is taking up most of the resources, there won’t be much left for other websites to perform normally.
Lack of control:
On a shared hosting plan, you don’t have any control over the server because you don’t have root access. So, configuring the server, changing default settings, and installing and uninstalling applications would be impossible.
Everyone on a shared RDP has the same IP. When one IP address is identifying lots of different websites, it has some drawbacks. For example, your website’s behavior will be characterized by the behavior of other website owners. If a website is sending spam, other domains with the same IP might get blacklisted and negatively affected by that behavior.
So, what’s the point of getting a shared RDP plan?
Shared RDP is a good hosting solution for small businesses that are on a tight budget. If you’re at the starting point of your business and your initial startup costs are limited, you can get a shared hosting plan from a reputable provider who tries to offer good services and mitigate the disadvantages of shared RDP. And when your website reaches a level where you have fewer financial concerns, you can consider migrating to an admin RDP plan. This brings us to the concept of the second type of RDP.
Admin RDP stands on the opposite side of shared RDP. On an admin RDP plan, a portion of the server is isolated for your use, and you get dedicated resources, and as the name implies, you get admin access. Although there may be other users on the server, your share of it is totally separated. Meaning that you won’t experience any of the drawbacks of shared RDP. One major factor in which shared RDP and admin RDP differ is server management. In shared RDP, the provider is responsible for server management and server maintenance tasks such as software updates and security upgrades. However, server management in admin RDP can be in two forms: managed and unmanaged. In the managed scenario, you delegate all the maintenance tasks to the provider, but in the unmanaged scenario, you take matters into your own hands.
The table below provides a thorough comparison between shared RDP and Admin RDP.
|Shared RDP||Admin RDP|
|IP||Shared IP||Dedicated IP|
|Performance||Unstable and reliant on other users’ activity||Stable and reliable|
|Cost||Cheap||Depends on the resources|
|Management||Easy/ Doesn’t require technical knowledge since the server is managed by the provider.||Depends on the server management type/ May require technical knowledge.|
RDP Gateway; Definition and Benefits
Remote desktop gateway is a service that let’s users connect to the RDP server of an organization. RDP gateway uses the remote desktop protocol and redirects incoming RDP requests to the organization’s RDP server.
If you’re wondering what’s the point of using it, RDp gateway has five main benefits that make it worthy of considering:
Certificate authentication and Multi-factor authentication (MFA):
RDP Gateway supports these two additional forms of authentication, ensuring that unauthorized users can’t connect to the RDP server. This way login process is more secure and valid.
No VPNs needed:
If RDP clients use RDP Gateway, they don’t need to use a VPN to make a successful RDP connection, resulting in a simplified connection.
Reliable connection with SSL certificate:
Having a reliable and secure connection is a must when you’re connecting to an RDP server. RDP Gateway uses SSL certificates to ensure the reliability and security of your connection.
Built-in service in Windows servers:
Since RDP gateway is a built-in service within Windows servers, it frees you from additional software installation and configuration. It’s ready for you to use.
One connection for multiple users:
RDP Gateway makes multiple simultaneous connections to an RDP server possible. This way it facilitates remote work and makes collaboration hassle-free.
RDP Servers With Specific Purposes
RDP servers can be pre-configured for a specific purpose. This way you get the specific requirements of the task you want to perform on the server, and you don’t need to bother installing or configuring them.
We can’t cover RDP and not cover Forex as it’s a hot trend in the financial markets. If as a trader, you want to connect to your Forex server using the remote desktop protocol, a Forex RDP is the best service you can get. A Forex RDP provides remote access to a virtual computer that you’ve dedicated to trading. This way, you can access your trading platforms, EAs, and all other trading tools and applications you regularly use.
Since the key tenet of a successful trading experience is access to a stable and speedy internet connection, using a Forex RDP counts as a strategic trading decision. And just like other types of RDP servers, a Forex RDP runs 24/7, boasts high levels of security, and you can access it from anywhere. On top of all that, Cloudzy’s Forex RDP has two popular trading platforms, MT4 and MT5, pre-installed.
Gaming is a resource-demanding process. Most video games these days require intense rendering and processing power. And most personal; computers these days don’t meet those requirements. Having a server with dedicated resources frees you from the limitations of your own PC. It also allows you to set up a game server and play with friends and family or even monetize the server as a great side hustle.
Game RDP is basically a server that has RDP pre-configured. This way, you can connect to your game server via RDP.
How to Use RDP on Linux
Although RDP is a Windows-based protocol and widely used for communication between Windows computers, it doesn’t mean you can’t use it on Linux. The best solution for using RDP on Linux is xRDP.
xRDP is a free and open-source RDP server. It’s primarily designed for Linux and Unix-like operating systems to use the RDP protocol and have a functional remote desktop experience.
You can read this blog post to learn how to install and connect to a Linux server with xRDP.
Alternative Protocols for RDP
Although RDP is a powerful and secure connection protocol, it’s not the only one. As a proprietary tool developed by Microsoft, those users who don’t prefer Windows can’t use RDP. If you’re one of those users, you have two options, using open-source software that are implemented based on RDP, like xRDP, or using other protocols that are secure enough and meet the same standards. Here’s a list of RDP alternative protocols:
Virtual Network Computing (VNC):
VNC is a cross-platform protocol meaning that, unlike RDP, it’s not developed for one operating system. So, when you want to make a connection between two machines with different operating systems, VNC is a better protocol. Just like RDP, you can use VNC to share graphical desktop data and access and control another computer remotely.
X11 network protocol is a network protocol that allows sharing of the graphical interface of a remote desktop. X11 forwarding only displays GUI rather than the whole desktop. So it can eliminate security concerns. Imagine you want to allow someone to access your desktop, but you don’t want them to be able to go around and access all the information. Therefore, it’s fair to say X11 is more secure than other protocols, especially for scenarios where you’re not the person who wants to access your PC. Unlike RDP, X11 forwarding is platform-independent and works on various operating systems.
PC over IP, or PCoIP for short, is a display protocol like RDP that allows transferring visuals and other data types between two desktops. As you may know from previous sections, RDP uses TCP/IP to transfer data. But the primary data transfer protocol for PCoIP is UDP/IP. PCoIP has built-in features that balance out the negative network conditions. For example, if the network is experiencing high latency or reduced bandwidth, PCoIP makes sure that users’ remote experience is not affected by these swings. It also has great color accuracy, which makes it the perfect fit for graphic designers and video editors.
Desktop virtualization is the process of creating a simulated workstation. The point of virtual desktops is that it makes resources accessible to users regardless of what their own resources are. Let me elaborate. A company has lots of remote employees who are working on resource-demanding tech projects. Of course, these employees are going to need enterprise-level resources that most individuals don’t have on their local computers. So, the company uses desktop virtualization to provide those resources for its employees. This way, no matter what PC, OS, or technical resources the person has, everyone can access great resources on a virtual desktop.
There are three main advantages to desktop virtualization. I just explained one of them, which is facilitating remote work. But what are the other two?
One major advantage of desktop virtualization is cost-efficiency. The technical resources needed for deploying desktop virtualization are all gathered in a data center, and everyone can access them from any operating system. This means that companies don’t need to invest much in providing expensive systems for their employees. The local computer used by the remote worker doesn’t do any of the complicated processing; it’s just an end for communication and input.
Another advantage of virtual desktops is that they eliminate security concerns. The only security concern in using virtual desktops is protecting the central data center. And, of course, securing such an important infrastructure is not a piece of cake. But it takes security off of individuals’ shoulders.
There are two major methods for implementing desktop virtualization:
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI):
With the help of VDI technology, all virtual desktops are hosted on a central server. The magic of VDI lies on top of a powerful hypervisor that sections a virtual machine into different virtual desktops. There are to implement and manage VDI. companies can manage VDI on their own data centers. This way, configuration, management, updates, and maintenance are all internal tasks for the company’s IT team. The second method is using Desktop as a Service (DaaS). Daas is a type of VDI that is hosted in the cloud rather than the company’s data centers and is managed by a third-party provider. Amazon Workspaces is an example of a DaaS provider and is hosted on AWS cloud infrastructure. Citrix is another VDI and DaaS provider that offers different plans for hybrid workspaces that require a platform for remote apps and remote desktops.
Remote Desktop Services (RDS):
RDS is a platform for sharing virtual desktops. RDS can be used within a close network of computers. In this case, the server that runs RDS and allows users to use its virtual desktops is in the same physical space as the client computer. RDS can also be hosted in the cloud. In this case, regardless of the location, everyone can access it.
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Remote Desktop Software
Since work environments have adapted to remote working situations due to the 2019 Covid pandemic, people have realized the importance of developing and using functional remote desktop software.
Remote desktop provides an accessible platform for remote desktop display. But what’s the point of remote desktop software when we can simply use RDP or other similar protocols? Remote desktop softwares are generally easier to use and have a friendly interface. Other advantages of remote desktop software include cross-platform support, enhanced features, and built-in optimization technology. Optimization technology helps with enhancing the overall performance and reducing latency.
Here’s a list of popular remote desktop softwares:
Chrome remote desktop:
Chrome remote desktop is a free remote desktop software that comes as a Google Chrome extension. So, it obviously won’t work without this browser. Although Chrome remote desktop is very accessible and easy to use, it can’t be a good solution for companies. The data transfer volume in businesses is simply too much for Chrome remote desktop, so you can only rely on it for personal use.
TeamViewer is a remote access software with a massive user base. It claims to be able to host 45 million devices at once and has a large platform support, with the ability to support 130 different devices. It has basic plans for personal use and enterprise-level plans for businesses. These plans have different user capacities, with 15 users for the TeamViewer premium account and 30 plans for the TeamViewer corporate account. They also come at different prices. The premium account is $65.9/m, and the corporate account is $139.9/m, making both plans quite expensive compared to other available services in the market.
AnyDesk is another remote desktop software that offers most of TeamViewer’s features at a much more affordable price. It has personal and enterprise plans for different need bases. It also has drag-and-drop file transfer and a built-in VPN for macOS, Linux, and Android users. The most interesting fact about AnyDesk is that it has a free version that’s pretty enough for personal use.
|Chrome remote desktop||TeamViewer||AnyDesk|
|Encryption Method||SSL encryption/ AES encryption||RSA/ AES 256-bit encryption||RSA/ TLS 1.2/ ECDH|
Things to Consider When Buying an RDP Server
When purchasing an RDP server, there are several important factors to consider. But before getting to introducing these factors, if you’re still hesitant about buying an RDP server or if you don’t know what the benefits of an RDP gateway are, you can read this blog post to get your answers about this topic.
Here are some key factors to keep in mind when buying an RDP server:
Performance and scalability:
Since all of your employees and their work experience are going to be reliant on the technical resources of your RDP server, make sure you know what are adequate and suitable resources for your organization. For example, you should know how much RAM you’re going to need or what type of storage suits your organizational needs. And to be comfortable along the way, you should make sure that the provider allows you to scale up or scale down your resources based on your needs.
Whatever your reason for using RDP is, you don’t want your server to be vulnerable to security threats. So, the RDP server provider that you choose must assure you of robust protection measures. These measures include encryption methods, DDoS protection, intrusion detection, security updates, etc.
Server maintenance and server management tasks require high levels of technical expertise. And, of course, you can use some extra help when dealing with server maintenance tasks. Therefore, you should look for a provider that’s reputable for its helpful and effective support team. So, you know that if a technical problem arises, it’ll be quickly addressed and taken care of.
Although price doesn’t count as a technical feature of the server, it’s still a highly significant factor. Whether you want an RDP server for personal use or for your organization, the price of the server should fit your budget. It should also be cost-efficient, meaning the plan must be worth your pay.
The remote desktop protocol has made the world of computing a lot easier. Whether you already have a specific remote device or you need access to a server, you can use RDP for a smoother connection. If you need access to an RDP server, you can check out our plans here. We offer various affordable plans, so any user with any type of RDP server requirements can find the right solution. We also offer servers in 15 strategic locations in the US, Europe, and South Asia. Our servers are stable, reliable, and fast with minimum latency.
Explore RDP-related articles in Cloudzy :
- Introduction to Debian RDP server
- Comparing RDP to VNC
- Comparing RDP to PCoIP
- Comparing Citrix to Microsoft RDP
- Comparing VDI to RDS
- Comparing RDP to Teamviewer
- What is RDP Gateway
- Best RDP providers
- What is Chrome Remote Desktop and how to use it
- How to use RDP to connect to a Windows VPS from your Mac device
- How to fix Windows RDP internal error
- How to change remote desktop port in Windows VPS
- How to prevent RDP brute force attacks
- How to send Ctrl+Alt+Del via RDP
- How to enable audio over RDP
- How to enable RDP over Windows server 2012
- How to enable RDP over Windows server 2016
- How to connect to Windows VPS via RDP