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Remote Desktop Vs VPN Service: Key Differences Finally Explained

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Many people on Internet discussion forums and answering sites seem to be having a problem with distinguishing between a remote desktop and VPN services. It is hard to blame them, since these two concepts are definitely alike, and a layperson has every right to be confused. To make it easier for you, below you will find a concise explanation of their key differences.Let us get the definitions straight first. A remote desktop is not a network tunnel, but merely the ability to “take over” and use a desktop from a remote location, that is, without having to actually sit in front of it. In order to perform this kind of action, special software needs to be installed on the computer to later interpret the remote actions of the user. The type of link here is a basic one-to-one connection with GUI interface.A virtual private network is a network that cannot be accessed from outside. Imagine you can enter a LAN network from a remote location. This is probably the simplest way of explaining what a VPN server and appropriate VPN software allow for. If you happen to have a friend who says he works from home, this is what he or she most probably utilizes to do that. In comparison to remote desktop connection, VPN is more universal and can connect multiple computers to a server, basically excluding GUI interface.What are the main differences in installation, maintenance and technicalities?1. Virtual private networks require special VPN software to be installed. They need professional maintenance. This can be done by company’s network administrator, but still tends to be quite costly to purchase and set up. Also, firewalls on the remote LAN have to be reconfigured in order to be able to receive VPN connections. This is not required with remote desktop, since the connection type is generally firewall friendly.2. VPN connects local computers to remote LANs, but unlike remote desktop, it does not give the user direct access to the remote computer. Also, performance results are rather not very impressive for VPN in terms of resource access over the remote LAN. This proves to be particularly true for file transfer and direct remote files access.3. Manual configuration is a must for VPN software. This has to be performed by the end user, and typically needs some customized setup options provided by the network administrator.It is important not to confuse VPN services with remote desktop connections, and furthermore, to stop perceiving them as competition to each other. So, let us have it explained once and for all on the following example. Imagine you work from home. There are two ways you can do this. If you decide to use virtual private network, then a VPN server will work like an adapter that enables outside connections to intranet networks. However, if it were your desire to simply work from the computer that resides on your desk at your workplace, you would first need to log in to the intranet at work via the VPN service, and only then use remote desktop protocol to access the work PC.

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Written by davisjeffery24

July 26, 2013 at 5:44 pm

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