Nowadays, having a program to remotely control our Windows computer or PC, and our Mac with macOS operating system, is something totally necessary and fundamental. Teleworking is here to stay, and to be able to control computers remotely we can make use of programs that will allow us to connect to them easily and quickly. In addition, there are programs that make use of reverse connections so that we do not have to open any port on our home or company router, therefore, incoming connections are greatly facilitated. Today in this article we are going to recommend the best remote control programs for Windows and macOS that you can use.
What characteristics should a remote control program have?
Currently there are a large number of solutions in the form of programs to remotely control different computers, either from other computers and even also from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Depending on the chosen program, its internal workings and characteristics are clearly different. For example, the remote control program SupRemo makes use of reverse connections to connect to remote computers, this means that we do not have to open any ports, in addition, the information traffic is encrypted point-to-point. The popular VNC program is very different: in this case neither the authentication nor the data traffic is encrypted point-to-point, as if this were not enough, the VNC server must always have an open port on our router to be able to connect remotely. Of course, we must know the public IP address to be able to connect, something that with programs like TeamViewer or SupRemo does not happen.
Easy to use
It is very important that the program that we are going to use to remotely control a PC is easy to use and with an intuitive graphical interface. There are very advanced remote control programs that work very well, but they have a complicated graphical interface to understand with many configuration and customization options. The possibility of not having to know the public IP or the ports to use to connect remotely to a computer is also highly recommended.
The use of reverse connections is something very interesting that will make our lives much easier. Programs such as TeamViewer have this functionality so that we do not need to open ports on the router, not even by UPnP, in addition, we also do not have to know the public IP of the destination to connect to it: it is enough to put an ID and password that is registered in the Cloud to automatically connect through a reverse connection.
When we go to choose a remote control program for our PC, it is recommended that it be multiplatform, that is, that we have a version for Windows and macOS, in addition to being able to remotely control our equipment through our smartphone or tablet with Android or iOS operating system . In this way, regardless of the operating system we are using, we will always use the same program with the same graphical user interface, greatly facilitating the user to transition from one operating system to another.
Although we normally administer Linux-based operating systems via SSH, having a remote control program with a graphical user interface is also very interesting in home desktop environments, in this way, it would be highly recommended to have this same program in Linux, since either with a native installation on the operating system, or using the popular Wine.
Different versions: free and non-commercial, or paid and commercial
Normally, remote control programs have two different versions, a totally free version for home environments where we want to manage all our computers, those of friends or family, and a paid version to give technical support in our company to different clients, or also to manage all the teams in our company centrally. These two versions, on the one hand, guarantee that the software can continue to be updated and maintained, and also that home users can use it completely free of charge.
Once we have seen the main features that a remote control program should have, let’s see which ones are the best.
Remote control programs for Windows and macOS
All the programs that we are going to recommend below have a specific version for Windows operating systems and also for macOS operating systems, as well as being compatible with smartphones and tablets with Android and iOS.
The Teamviewer program is one of the most used par excellence, it allows us to perform remote access remote control, and we will also be able to control, manage and even monitor the different computers in a basic way. This program uses reverse connections to greatly facilitate the connection to the different computers, we will not have to know the IP address or open any port on the router. This remote control program is compatible with both Windows and macOS operating systems, in addition, it also incorporates applications for mobile devices with Android and iOS to remotely control our PCs.
Teamviewer allows us to create a list of computers and contacts to connect easily and quickly to them, without the need to continuously use the ID and password. In this way, we can register the different physical and even virtual computers with our user account, with the aim of managing them remotely without having to enter the ID and password each time we connect: everything will be saved directly in this « contact book ». Of course, Teamviewer also supports a presentation mode, where the source will not have access to the remote control, but will see our shared screen, this is ideal for presentations.
Teamviewer is free in its non-commercial version, that is, for home use. However, if you use it a lot with your home computers, it is likely that it will automatically recognize that you are using the software as commercial and force you to buy a paid license. This has happened to us, where we had about six computers in the “contact book” with desktops, laptops and virtual computers, and Teamviewer recognized that the use was commercial, and we had to stop using it after many years.
Teamviewer has several paid versions:
- A user with a single session : € 29.90 per month, it is the cheapest rate, it must be paid annually (€ 434.15 including VAT per year).
- Multiple users with multiple control sessions : € 59.90 per month must be paid annually (€ 869.75 including VAT per year).
- License for teams with up to 3 simultaneous sessions : € 129.90 per month (€ 1886.15 including VAT per year).
As you can see, the paid versions of Teamviewer are not very affordable for a home or small office user.
The SupRemo Control program is the best alternative to Teamviewer that can be used today. This program will allow us to carry out unlimited installations for remote work, without any advanced configuration to start working: we will simply have to install it and provide the ID and password that it will indicate in the main menu. In addition, by establishing a secondary and personal password, SupRemo allows unguarded access to enter the computers without the need to specifically allow the connection. Among the other features, SupRemo is customizable with the company logo in terms of the graphical user interface if we purchase the paid version, it allows to register a contact book and share them, and it can also be updated automatically.
Other very interesting features of this program is that it is multiplatform, it is compatible with Windows and macOS, in addition, we also have versions for Android and iOS, so we can remotely control our equipment with these mobile devices. SupRemo is a very easy-to-use software, in addition, it does not require installation or configuration, we can use it in “portable” mode without problems. As if this were not enough, SupRemo makes use of reverse connections through an ID and password, without the need to know the public IP address nor will we need to open ports on the home router.
This remote control program will allow us to transfer files and folders easily and quickly between the remote computer and us, in a bidirectional way, and many other advanced features such as updating the SupRemo software on the remote computer, if it is not updated to the latest version available.
SupRemo is free in its non-commercial version for home use, but we also have a paid professional version for professional or continued use of the tool. In this case, SupRemo allows you to pay quarterly or annually, and its price starts from € 5 per month, clearly cheaper than Teamviewer. SupRemo has two payment versions:
- Solo : allows a simultaneous connection. In the quarterly payment it is worth € 33 + VAT, in the annual payment it is worth € 98 + VAT.
- Business : allows 3 simultaneous connections, but can be increased by € 5 more per month per month for each connection added. In the quarterly payment it is worth € 59 + VAT, in the annual payment it is worth € 178 + VAT.
As you can see, SupRemo prices are clearly cheaper than Teamviewer, with similar characteristics and identical operation.
The Logmein program is another of the most recommended software for remote control, it has all the fundamental characteristics that we ask of any remote control program, such as ease of controlling equipment remotely for teleworking and being multiplatform, in fact it is available for computers with Windows and also for macOS, in addition, it has applications for mobile devices with Android and iOS. It also allows reverse connections to avoid knowing the IP address and opening ports on the router, and we can even create a list of equipment to connect to easily and quickly.
When we connect remotely to a computer with Logmein, we can access and see everything that happens on the screen, or we can also control it remotely without problems, and all with the minimum possible latency. Other features are that it allows unlimited users, to access different computers simultaneously, we can change the screen if the remote computer has several monitors, and we can also get 1TB of Logmein cloud storage to share files and folders safely with anyone .
Logmein is a paid software, although we have a free 14-day trial without having to enter a credit card. Logmein only allows the payment invoiced annually, although the prices will also indicate it to us on a monthly basis. The cheapest price of Logmein is € 30 per month, so we must take it into account.
- Individuals : allows 2 simultaneous connections, we have 1TB in the cloud and we will have 1 free LastPass Premium license. The monthly payment is € 30, but it is billed annually so the price each year is € 349.99.
- Advanced users : it allows 5 simultaneous connections, we have 1TB in the cloud and we will have 3 free LastPass Premium licenses. The monthly payment is € 70, but it is billed annually so the price each year is € 839.99.
- Small businesses : it allows 10 simultaneous connections, we have 1TB in the cloud and we will have 5 free LastPass Premium licenses. The monthly payment is € 127, but it is billed annually so the price each year is € 1,519.99.
As you can see, the prices of Logmein are quite high, starting with the minimum € 30 per month that we will have to pay to use it, the strong point is that we have 1TB in the cloud for free and a LastPass Premium license incorporated in the price .
The VNC program was the software par excellence to control equipment remotely, until the appearance of programs that make use of reverse connections. However, VNC has been updated and now we can also buy a paid subscription to access the different computers through cloud connections, in this way, we can make both direct connections with IP address and open port on the router, as well as also through the VNC cloud to make reverse connections.
VNC in its version compatible with the cloud is called VNC Connect, and it is compatible with all operating systems including Windows, macOS, Linux, we can install it on a Raspberry Pi, and also on other operating systems. Of course, we can use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets with Android and iOS to install the VNC Viewer client to remotely control these devices.
VNC in its client / server version is always free, however, it was complicated to use it because we had to know the public IP or dynamic DNS domain plus the open port on the router to access, but now they have also incorporated paid versions with support in it. Cloud, these versions are as follows:
- Professional : allows you to control a remote device simultaneously, it has a price of € 2.79 + VAT per month, but it only allows connections in the cloud. It has a 128-bit AES encryption and we do not have the possibility of direct connection.
- Business : allows you to control a remote device simultaneously, it has a price of € 3.99 + VAT per month, it allows connections in the cloud and direct connections. It has AES 256-bit encryption.
We also have other plans if we want to remotely access several computers simultaneously, but this is mainly aimed at technical support companies that want to use the same VNC account.
As you have seen, we have many alternatives with different prices and different characteristics to remotely control our computers. Without a doubt, our favorite programs are SupRemo for its ease of use and the very competitive price it has, and also VNC in its free version to control equipment locally or remotely, either directly or via VPN to add a layer of security.