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What is Remote Access Software?

Remote access software enables a technician to get access to a computer remotely, meaning without having to be near it. The computer has to be reachable through a network connection or across the internet.

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Remote Access


By using remote access software, the technician can perform many tasks on the remote computer including install software, change settings, and run applications.


Remote access software can also be useful for members of the public. It gives the user the ability to use the home computer while out of the house. This means that the remote user doesn’t need to copy over important files and can utilize the larger processing power of the home computer from a much smaller mobile device.


Remote Desktop


One type of remote access tool is the remote desktop system. With this type of tool, the user that accesses the computer from afar is able to get a live image of the screen of that computer. This is possible because the screen is just one possible output device that the CPU can send an image to.


Many remote access tools give options on whether to duplicate the desktop image. This means to simultaneously send both to the screen and to the remote computer, or to divert the image so that it doesn’t appear on the connected screen but gets sent to the remote accessor instead.


There are advantages to both scenarios. When a technician is able to share the desktop view, they can use the opportunity to educate the user about how to use a piece of software. Also, some users prefer to be able to see what the technician is doing.


On the other hand, if the technician just wants to troubleshoot and fix a problem quickly, removing the sight of the desktop from the user temporarily means that the technician can work faster without interference or feedback from the user.


How Does Remote Access Software Work?


Remote access and remote desktop tools are prevalent in situations where an IT department serves a large number of users across an organization. The software is essential if the support department is located in a different building to the user community.


Remote desktop software remove the need for technicians to be physically present at a computer in order to fix it. It also means that the support technician can implement changes to a computer rather than having to explain the required steps to a user with no technical knowledge.


So, the main uses of remote access software is for IT support. Remote desktop software is particularly useful for a Help Desk, which answers calls from users.


Another use of remote access software is to allow employees to access workplace computers from their own devices. The employee doesn’t need to copy documents onto their local hard drive and the business doesn’t need to pay for software to run on the employee’s own computer.


Remote access software can be useful in order to make the resources of a powerful static computer available anywhere, accessed from a mobile device. So, sales agents and educators can use a remote access system to make supporting materials available when visiting a client site.


Useful Features of Remote Access Software


When assessing remote access software for use in your organization, there are a number of essential features that you should look for.

  • Multi-monitor support — One technician should be able to access multiple endpoints.
  • Collaborative access — The access portal should include facilities to enable multiple technicians to work on the same endpoint.
  • User communication channels – the access portal should have an integrated communication channel to enable the technician to chat with the end user.
  • Live desktop viewer – Help Desk technicians need to see what the user can see on the remote computer.
  • File transfer utility – Technicians need to be able to copy files onto the remote computer and transfer files from the remote device.
  • Access and process automation – Enables technicians to script repetitive tasks and bulk fix a series of remote computers.
  • Access privilege controls – Technicians should be able to establish access rights to supported devices without the intervention of a user each time. This utility enables technicians to work when the supported computers are unattended.
  • Connection security – It’s essential because most remote connections are carried over the public medium of the internet.
  • Session logging – All actions performed by the technician on the remote computer should be recorded.
  • Help Desk platform integration – Save time and remove the need for the technician to have several different utilities open at once.
  • Access from mobile devices – You shouldn’t need to be permanently chained to a desk.

Remote Access Software from Atera's Dashboard

Remote Access Software for MSPs


Managed service providers (MSPs) could not operate in their current form without the existence of remote access software. The international nature of outsourced services means that the idea of site visits by technicians rarely makes it onto the contract. If the technician isn’t expected to get physical access to the computers they’re supporting, they’ll need remote access tools.


Remote desktop services enable outsourced technicians to install new software, set up new computers, test applications, and standardize software over the internet. Remote desktop software is especially necessary for MSPs that provide user support.


MSPs that serve clients in many countries might run up against language barriers. Even if the service employs technicians who speak the languages of the company’s clients, they might not be able to speak them very well and those linguists might not always be available for every call.


If the technician is able to explore the troubled computer and fix the problem without having to pass on instructions to a user both the MSP and the client save time and money.


Integrated Remote Access Software


The remote access tool is an essential utility for the technicians of an MSP. However, it is not the only piece of software needed in the industry. An MSP needs to supply all of its technicians with a full remote monitoring and management suite. The remote access software should be an integrated module in that RMM platform.


In order to properly track technician time on a project and properly allocate resources, MSPs also need team management software as well. This is called PSA, which stands for “professional services automation.” Tasks performed with remote access software need to be tracked and timed, so integrating data collection functions reduces data entry errors.


An MSP needs a combined RMM and PSA system that has integrated remote access tools in order to properly serve its clients profitably.


Try a Remote Access solution


Atera is a fully integrated RMM and PSA system that includes two powerful remote access software tools, powered by Splashtop and AnyDesk.


These remote access tools can be launched directly from within the Atera support ticketing system, with integrated time and task tracking, so you don’t need to worry about your technicians filling out their time sheets incorrectly. Atera takes care of task tracking automatically and flows those statistics through to billing.


The Atera system and the Splashtop and AnyDesk tools can be accessed from any device. That means that remote access is also available through mobile devices running iOS and Android as well as from desktop computers.


Atera’s integrated remote access software tools allow technicians to remotely access clients’ machines, record and share screen recordings, chat, collaborate with others, and remotely troubleshoot problems or client challenges.


Your technicians can also transfer files to and from the remote computer. All interaction over the internet is protected with military-grade encryption – a 256-bit AES cipher.


Like all of the other integrated features of the Atera platform, Splashtop and AnyDesk are very easy to use, which you can see for yourself during our free trial.


With Atera, your technicians are better equipped to deliver a quality service to your customers.

Remote Access Frequently Asked Questions