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Microsoft Remote Desktop Services OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is #2 ranked solution in top Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) tools and #3 ranked solution in top Remote Access tools. PeerSpot users give Microsoft Remote Desktop Services an average rating of 8.2 out of 10. Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is most commonly compared to TeamViewer: Microsoft Remote Desktop Services vs TeamViewer. Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 57% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 23% of all views.
Buyer's Guide

Download the Remote Access Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2022

What is Microsoft Remote Desktop Services?
Remote Desktop Services is a server role in Windows Server that provides technologies that enable users to access session-based desktops, virtual machine-based desktops, or applications in the data center from both within a corporate network and from the Internet. Remote Desktop Services enables a rich-fidelity desktop or application experience, and helps to securely connect remote users from managed or unmanaged devices.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services was previously known as Remote Desktop Services, MS Remote Desktop Services.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Customers
Bank Alfalah Ltd.
Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Video

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Microsoft Remote Desktop Services pricing:
"I am aware that for Azure we do have an extra license because we are leveraging on different tenants."

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Reviews

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PAM Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
MSP
Light, built into the operating system, and requires no implementation
Pros and Cons
  • "It's built into the operating system and has a command line interface capability to insert credentials, IDs, a password, et cetera."
  • "The only problems that you're going to have with the remote desktop are going to be firewall ports, security, and NLA, which is a net network level access control, or TLS transfer layer security or some other SSL-type of security."

What is our primary use case?

I use Remote Desktop to do a credential swap where it goes from being the explicit user accessing the endpoint to a privileged credential.

What I do is, in the connection process with RDP, the user logs into the PAM tool as first name.last name, which is his normal domain account. However, BeyondTrust, with the remote desktop connection, substitutes the user's first name.last name with a privileged credential that looks like his name. It would be like A-first.last. This is so that we can also perform session recording and keystroke logging, as well as keep a detailed log of who is connected to which desktop and which account.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable suite feature for us is that it's light. It's built into the operating system and has a command line interface capability to insert credentials, IDs, a password, et cetera.

What needs improvement?

If anybody who's going to be using this, I’d warn that some of the dependencies that are very helpful when the window servers are running it would be best if they have network-level access enabled. It can speed up authentication. However, it really it also works well with TLS security as well as others on the certificate level. That said, I really don't know if I would start swinging in the dark after that.

Usually, during a privileged session, you don't want the privileged credential password being visible, nor maybe would you want keystrokes or screen scrapes to take place.

One of our first problems was the only time RDP ever gave me a problem was when an organization would build a new server. They would automatically build it. They would name it. They would put the connection settings on it. And then they would also put a certificate on it. Then the engineering team that ordered the server would then rename the server, which would nullify the certificate. That's the only time that RDP or remote desktop ever gave me a problem. And that was not the remote desktop's problem. It was a process flaw.

The only problems that you're going to have with the remote desktop are going to be firewall ports, security, and NLA, which is a net network level access control, or TLS transfer layer security or some other SSL-type of security. Those are the only times you get into any issues. And that's only due to the fact that the originating site is not compatible with the target site. However, that's rare. That said, even then, that's more on the rare side. I'm a PAM architect, a privileged access management architect. I usually knock down those problems before we get to them since I ran it all a hundred times.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve used the solution for 20 to 25 years.

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July 2022
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What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is rock solid. It’s stable and reliable. There are no bugs or glitches, and it doesn’t crash or freeze.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The sky is the limit in terms of scalability. It’s not a problem at all if you need to expand. The only limiting factor is the budget. Obviously, the more you grow, the more you pay.

Tens of thousands of people use the solution. The primary use is to segregate a user from a direct login to a desktop.

How was the initial setup?

The solution is actually built into the larger product. We pretty much just have to secure the connection.

It's actually maintained as part of the standard windows update tools and also could be updated manually with specific patches that might be something more specific to your organization. I've only experienced that once and that was years ago.

What about the implementation team?

I’m implementing the remote desktop for customers.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It’s built-in. It’s free. It doesn’t cost extra.

What other advice do I have?

We are Microsoft partners.

The deployment is both on-prem and cloud. If I was working with an organization that is a monster and they're distributed or maybe even a multinational or multi-state, I would use Azure Cloud and do use the Azure remote desktop solution.

There are so many different types of uses. In my use case, it is so painfully specific for connection brokering. We use it as part of the built-in connection process with our PAM tool. You can actually just sit down at your desktop and then do a start run, and then run MSTSC, which means micro soft terminal services client, which is a remote desktop. You can connect to one of your own computers at home, or you could connect to a server. However, you have to know the ID and password to connect. I circumvent that by doing a command line connection where I insert the credentials and the users connect, not even knowing what ID or password they're using to connect with.

I’d rate the solution ten out of ten. It’s a meat and potatoes product.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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BHARAT B  SHARMA - PeerSpot reviewer
Director at Shreenathji Solutions
Real User
Top 5
Easy to set up and reliable, but needs an additional control panel
Pros and Cons
  • "You can scale the product."
  • "We've had issues with security breaches."

How has it helped my organization?

It's helped with cutting costs and making access easier. People can work remotely using this product. For remote billing, it's working well. 

What is most valuable?

The ability to access the computer from a remote location is great. With the Windows Server as a client, we can use more than one computer at a time.

The initial setup is simple. 

It's a stable solution.

You can scale the product.

What needs improvement?

We've had issues with security breaches. The main problem is that if we are using this with the individual computer and using a remote desktop, there are some loopholes there. When I implemented this on an individual computer within two or three days it got captured.

There is a problem with the printing and sharing of this program. There is a lot of customized software leaving the market due to this. If somebody wants to run a specific program with the specific settings, they don't want full access to the computer. Then there are some problems that have to be resolved.

We'd like to have an additional control panel available in order o more easily give resources to the computers. There are a lot of restrictions and having a program panel would make things easier. It would help us set up the right access and permissions.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for 20 years. It's been a long time. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. If it is configured properly, then it'll not create any problems in between. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability depends on the server size. It does not scale on a personal computer, however. 

How are customer service and support?

The solution can be configured in such a way that you are able to maintain it yourself. We've never had to reach out to technical support for assistance. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

For printer redirection, we are using third-party software.

We've used Citrix and VMware in the past.

How was the initial setup?

The implementation is very straightforward. If there are some problems or if clients have installation issues, that can be solved by the technician and it's very easy.

I'd rate the implementation a three out of five in terms of the ease of the process. 

It does not take too much time due to the remote desktop. You just have to do some settings on the server or computer. We only need about three people to handle deployment tasks. 

What about the implementation team?

I'm a consultant and an integrator. I never call up a third party to help with implementation. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution is not too expensive. It's moderately priced. I'd rate it a three out of five in terms of affordability. 

What other advice do I have?

We are using this and Windows Server and Windows 10 or Windows 9, whatever is available.

Normally this is a private cloud, however, right now, a lot of our customers are on AWS and they're using it from the cloud, also.

I'd advise new users to first gather good knowledge and do some planning before the implementation. 

I'd rate the solution six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: integrator/consultant
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Yousra Azzouz - PeerSpot reviewer
Head of Systems Analysis at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Reliable, works well, and is quick to deploy
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is now stable."
  • "Sometimes the server stops working, and we don’t know why. Occasionally we’ll get a message to the effect of "There is no remote license.""

What is our primary use case?

We use it in our bank.

We have some servers, and more than two users go remotely with them. We prepare with the Microsoft engineer servers that take them and the license for the users when they need them.

How has it helped my organization?

It has generally improved how our organization functions.

What is most valuable?

The solution is now stable.

The initial setup is simple. It's quick to deploy.

It works well and does what we need it to do.

What needs improvement?

Sometimes the server stops working, and we don’t know why. Occasionally we’ll get a message to the effect of "There is no remote license."

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve been using the solution for about one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

While we had a problem before, now everything is stable. It’s reliable now. We’ve dealt with our issues and no longer have troubles.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I can’t speak to the scalability. I’ve never attempted to scale. That’s handled by someone else in the company.

Right now, we have 50 licenses available to us. We use the solution quite extensively.

How are customer service and support?

I’ve never dealt with technical support for issues related to the stability problem. I can’t speak to how helpful or responsive they would be. Other team members deal with them. We do have a support contract with Microsoft.

I have dealt with them on Teams on Active Directory and found them to be helpful. I found their help to be excellent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We already had a license with Microsoft, and therefore, it was natural to use this product as well.

How was the initial setup?

It’s not difficult to set up. It’s pretty straightforward.

The deployment is pretty fast. It only takes about an hour and a half. We only needed to have three people handle the deployment and maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

An engineer worked with us to set up the servers. We have machines joining the domain, and we have workgroup machines.

We handled everything in-house. We didn’t need the help of consultants.

What was our ROI?

I’m not sure if we have seen an ROI.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I cannot speak to how much the solution costs. My understanding is that it is moderately priced in that it is not cheap or expensive. We ended up getting it when we renewed our license. It’s an extra feature with the broader Microsoft license.

What other advice do I have?

I’m not sure which version of the solution we’re using.

I’d recommend the solution to others. It’s solved problems for us and worked well.

I’d rate the solution nine out of ten.

We have a partnership with Microsoft.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partners
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Senior Software Analyst at a university with 201-500 employees
Real User
Great screen draw feature; option of using two monitors is very useful
Pros and Cons
  • "Good screen draw feature and ability to use two monitors."
  • "Lacks a notification feature when internet is down."

What is our primary use case?

When I'm in the office I use the solution to connect to another server to look at files or services that are running, things like that. When working from home I use it to connect to our VPN and then to my work computer and pretty much do everything that way. I'm a senior software analyst at an educational institution and I believe we have a partnership with Microsoft. 

How has it helped my organization?

Because of Covid, the solution has given those stuck at home the ability to continue working.

What is most valuable?

I think the price of this product is great. The solution allows me the option of using two monitors. I like the screen draw in Remote Desktop, it's better than GoToMyPC, which I've used previously although the improvement could also be related to a better internet connection over the past six months. 

What needs improvement?

It would be helpful if there was a feature that notifies you when the internet is down so you're not working for nothing, it should be something that pops right up where you can see it. The internet is always going to go down and the product seems to notice that it's down before my VPN notifies me that it's gone down. You're working and nothing's happening and it takes time to get the notification. 

For an additional feature, I'd like to see Remote Desktop specify which computer Zoom meetings will run on. I've joined a couple of sessions from home, and when I turn on my video, all you see is my empty desk chair at the office.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for six months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is not really relevant but the solution is used by a fair number of the IT staff. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never needed to use technical support. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I previously used GoToMyPC because I used to do upgrades from home at night. We were paying for that solution which wasn't necessary with the free Microsoft option. I used both of them for a short time and realized Remote Desktop really seemed to draw the screen better and also everybody else was using it. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. You've got to have the IP address of the computer you're connecting to - in our organization it's managed by our network manager.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. 

I rate this product an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
ArtemPavlenko - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Infrastructure Director at Halyk Bank
Real User
Allows for secure remote work with clipboard blocking capabilities and good reliability
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is scalable."
  • "The training profiles could be better."

What is most valuable?

The main feature for us is the ability to block a copy to the clipboard, which we can provide for our users. Sometimes we have to provide only remote desktop features without the ability to copy the content of the remote desktop. The clipboard provides the ability to connect desktops to our users. It's a secure way to work remotely.

It's pretty easy to set up once you are used to the process.

The solution is scalable.

It's pretty stable. 

What needs improvement?

It's not as reliable a protocol as, for example, Citrix.

The training profiles could be better.

I'd like to have more granular remote profiles.

We'd like to see on-site multi-fact authentification.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for around ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. I haven't had any issues whatsoever. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is very scalable. 

We have about 8,000 users. 

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is okay, however, it could be better.

The problem is sometimes I cannot find the right professional. Maybe later I will subscribe to a dedicated professional for me, as sometimes it's difficult to describe my landscape. We lose little time dealing with this. That said, when I work with my dedicated professionals from the Microsoft team, everything becomes much better.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We also use Citrix. We've been using both for about the same amount of time. 

It's easy when you work together with those technologies, however, the biggest advantage of Citrix is it is a more reliable protocol. Secondly, it's easier to connect devices. Citrix training profiles are also much better.

When we moved to Citrix, we found that the technology needs much lower bandwidth for our internal network. We need fewer people to support our users. It's much easier to scale when we talk about Citrix.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. Maybe it's a little bit difficult the first time, however, in our case, we have about three or five solutions professionals who are using these technologies day by day. It's not difficult for them.

We have five people who basically maintain the solution. They are enough for a company that has 8,000 people on the product.

What other advice do I have?

We are a Microsoft client.

I'd rate the solution a six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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IT consultant at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Easy to use and implement with the ability to scale up
Pros and Cons
  • "It's pretty stable."
  • "We had some instability during the implementation process. This has since been resolved."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily for remote desktop services. It's used to start up a desktop service, and we can use a password and a user name to work remotely on other servers.

What is most valuable?

The product is very easy to use. 

The solution's implementation process is simple. 

It's pretty stable. 

It can scale well.

What needs improvement?

I can't think of an area that is lacking currently.

We had some instability during the implementation process. This has since been resolved. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used the product for two years now. It was implemented at the beginning of COVID.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is okay in most cases. Sometimes, especially in the beginning, we had some problems. However, that was due to the implementation of this solution. At this moment it's very stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability, as far as I know, is not an issue. We moved all employees to this solution. We started with a few, and now almost a thousand colleagues are using this solution. Therefore, for us, in our experience, the solution looks very good if you need to scale.

How are customer service and support?

I've never been in contact with Microsoft technical support. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Before this solution, we used Citrix.

How was the initial setup?

The solution has a straightforward setup. It's not very complex at all. 

Its deployment took a few weeks. 

The organization, during the start of COVID, had a lot of colleagues started working from home, and it seemed that the Citrix solution was not capable of doing that, so the ICT offices switched to Remote Desktop Services to accommodate people working from home. Our strategy was to have that capability.

The deployment and maintenance are handled by a third party. They aren't necessarily dedicated, however, they are they if something needs to be done. 

What about the implementation team?

We had a third-party integrator that assisted with the implementation. 

What was our ROI?

I haven't witnessed an ROI. 

What other advice do I have?

We use the solution. We're customers.

We're using the latest version of the solution. 

We use Microsoft Authenticator to log on, which is straightforward. 

I would recommend the solution to others. I suggest they just go for it. It's a very good solution. 

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Assistant General Manager Endpoint Application at Telekom Malaysia
Real User
Easy to deploy and there are many features available that you can turn on or off depending on your budget
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is easy to deploy and there are many features available that you can turn on or off depending on your budget."
  • "I would like to be able to leverage it on other operating systems."

What is our primary use case?

My current role is as an Assistant General Manager in Point Application Services. I am a global administrator for Microsoft 365. We chose this solution based on the requirements we had.

What is most valuable?

We are using Azure Virtual Desktop, this is the most valuable feature.

What needs improvement?

The product can be improved by ensuring that people can access it from anywhere and be leveraged on any kind of device virtually. We are leveraging it on some laptops and PCs, but not on mobile devices. I would like to see Virtual Desktop leverage these devices in the future.

Furthermore, I would like to be able to leverage it on other operating systems. Currently, we only leverage it on Microsoft Windows. By being able to access other technologies, companies and users can use multiple technologies.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Remote Desktop Services for less than 3 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. We are not leveraging all the applications on Azure Virtual Desktop yet. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are able to scale up with Microsoft Remote Desktop. 

How are customer service and support?

The support we receive from Microsoft is great.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to using Microsoft Remote Desktop, we were using Citrix VDI. We are still using both solutions with different perspectives because on is leveraging on-premise and the other on the cloud.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is straightforward. By using Microsoft, you have access to the Wizard, which is helpful.

What about the implementation team?

We used the Microsoft team to deploy the solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I am not responsible for licensing and pricing. I am aware that for Azure we do have an extra license because we are leveraging on different tenants. The first tenant is only leveraging on Microsoft 365.

What other advice do I have?

The solution is easy to deploy and there are many features available that you can turn on or off depending on your budget.

I would rate this solution a 10 out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Chinthaka Kannangara - PeerSpot reviewer
Network System Engineer at VSIS
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Secure with a good level of performance and an easy initial setup
Pros and Cons
  • "The performance meets our requirements and the stability is good."
  • "We'd like, in the future, if it would work with Linux or Unix-based operating systems or even Mac."

What is most valuable?

As an internal Microsoft product, we find it very trustworthy. It's quite secure. It connects easily to Windows operating systems on devices. 

The performance meets our requirements and the stability is good.

The solution scales well.

The setup process is easy.

What needs improvement?

The solution is under the Microsoft infrastructure and therefore does not allow for service under other operating systems. We'd like, in the future, if it would work with Linux or Unix-based operating systems or even Mac.

For how long have I used the solution?

Although I don't use it consistently, I have used it for ten to 15 years. It's a pretty old solution. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. The performance is good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's very reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is okay. Sometimes we deploy a server-client scenario, so many clients can connect to the same server and they can log in at the same time simultaneously. There's no issue with scalability in that sense.

We have 50 users on the product currently.

How are customer service and support?

We've never had any real issues. I haven't dealt with technical support.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the initial setup, the implementation process is simple and straightforward. It's not difficult. 

Since it is not a new solution, most of the engineers know how to deploy and how to operate it; we are not waiting for further technical documents for assistance.

What about the implementation team?

Since it was quite easy to deploy, we did not need any outside assistance from integrators or consultants. 

What other advice do I have?

While it's connected to the cloud, it's a solution that is currently on-premises. 

I'm not sure if we are using a specific version. Whatever options that come with Microsoft, we use that. Since they upgraded Microsoft (for example, earlier it was Microsoft XP, and Windows 7, 8, 9, 10, et cetera), the options come up throughout those operating systems. We use whatever they offer.

I would recommend the solution to others. I'd rate it at a nine out of ten. We've had a good experience with it over a number of years. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
Download our free Remote Access Report and find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft, TeamViewer, Citrix, and more!
Updated: July 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Remote Access Report and find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft, TeamViewer, Citrix, and more!