The COVID-19 pandemic compelled practically all businesses, large and small, to shift to a remote working environment almost instantaneously. While some companies had the tools and practise in place to make the shift go smoothly, others have been scrambling to figure out how to give remote employees secure access to company systems, applications, and data.
Most people mistakenly believe that a VPN and RDP are the same things. Although both offer remote workers a secure connection to corporate network resources, a VPN and RDP are two quite different options with distinct benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a look at how they compare so you can make an informed decision about which option is best for your business.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN creates a secure internet connection between a user and a network by employing advanced encryption and tunnelling techniques. Remote workers can access sensitive data from a corporate network without exposing it to unauthorised users since business networks can connect to each other. This is unquestionably safer than using an open, public Wi-Fi network, which provides no such security.
VPN is theoretically a security solution because internet traffic and user identification are encrypted, but it does provide remote network access, whether users are working from home, a coffee shop, or an airport.
However, there are a few disadvantages to consider while using a VPN as a remote work option. To begin with, VPNs typically demand a large amount of bandwidth. Users can view and work with files that are transported to and from your computer and the external network. File size can have an impact on performance because the VPN does not compress or optimise data.
Also, VPNs aren’t suitable for databases and line-of-business software programmes, which are often built to function on a LAN with sufficient bandwidth to handle fast speeds. Databases typically perform poorly or not at all via a VPN connection.
Finally, depending on the type and size of the print job as well as the volume of printing and scanning activities, printing and scanning can be problematic. End-users must access driver files and other local computer settings to enable printing and scanning via VPN, and certain firewall configurations are frequently required.
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
RDP is a secure network communication protocol developed by Microsoft that allows remote management and access to virtual desktops and applications. By mirroring the graphical interface of the distant computer, RDM allows a remote user to not only log in to a network but also to utilise network processing and storage resources. You can eliminate the requirement to acquire and maintain dedicated server and storage systems by using the cloud for RDP.
All processing happens on the remote computer with RDP. An RDP connection transmits only screen images, keystrokes, and mouse actions, considerably reducing bandwidth requirements. In other words, everything happens on the network, and the user only sees it through the RDP connection.
The most significant benefit of Buy RDP is that it allows you to access network resources, databases, and line-of-business software programmes without the restrictions and high bandwidth requirements of VPN. RDP is appropriate for low-bandwidth environments since so little data flows via the connection. The usage of cost-effective utilities that help to automate processes and overcome driver file difficulties substantially simplifies printing and scanning. RDP also allows you to share resources, use multiple screens, and disconnect from the remote desktop without having to log out of your apps.
Early versions of RDP had security issues, including a vulnerability that allowed unauthorised users to compromise RDP sessions. RDP’s security features have greatly improved in recent versions. The end-user device does not keep any data, making it easier to comply with increasingly stringent compliance laws.
Newer versions of the Windows operating system can identify people who are permitted to access a network or machine via an RDP session, in addition to basic encryption and smart card authentication. Microsoft also offers network-level authentication as a way to prevent remote access to users.
VPN or Remote Desktop or Both?
A VPN solution is often an effective choice if your corporation has no bandwidth-intensive data, databases, or line-of-business applications, as well as modest printing and scanning requirements. You should be able to access network resources remotely without experiencing any performance or security difficulties.
An RDP solution is the superior alternative if you need a wide range of processes, functionality, and capabilities that aren’t provided by a VPN. Although RDP takes longer to set up and configure than VPN, remote workers will feel more at ease in the RDP environment, which requires less bandwidth and fewer premises-based infrastructure. Remote workers can use RDP to work as if they were in the office, with no restrictions. RDP can also be used in conjunction with a VPN for optimal functionality and security.
If you’re concerned about your remote workforce’s productivity and security, contact us to examine your existing setup and if you should use a VPN, Remote Desktop, or a mix of both. To accommodate you, we are presently offering complimentary virtual consultations.