OK for small players, but don't even think about it if you're not.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
November 09, 2018

OK for small players, but don't even think about it if you're not.

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Apple Remote Desktop

We use it across the organization for various maintenance tasks. Whether it is accessing servers, installing packages, or simply assisting staff with technical problems, we have done it all it with ARD at some point.

Some users are more advanced than others and have even used it as a reporting tool. With the advent of Jamf in our organization though, I imagine ARD's days are numbered. Especially considering the security risks that are all but necessary in our implementation.
  • Providing a one-stop shop for doing a variety of troubleshooting tasks
  • Presenting its functions and tools in a clear and useful manner
  • Offering reporting capabilities
  • Supporting macOS in small deployments
  • Randomization of local administrator passwords
  • Lack of auditing capability
  • Lack of abilities to manage access to computers
  • Cannot install DMGs
  • I feel we have made some significant compromises in the security of our macOS deployment to continue supporting Apple Remote Desktop
  • At the same time, Apple Remote Desktop has provided remote access to workstations without providing access to more privileged pieces of our deployment (scripts, packages, et cetera)
  • It is a relatively easy program to learn and teach new staff how to use
  • There is a significant lack of auditing capabilities, and a bad actor (whether that is an employee or anyone else) could cause significant damage with relative ease
I would feel much more comfortable having one of these alternative solutions as our Remote Desktop management tools. Each has their drawbacks and expenses associated with them, but we simply have too large of a deployment to not be considering alternatives. If it is the only solution you can afford, it is OK to start here. I could see where this would have a return on investment, but it is really only suitable for a very small and localized scale. If employees are at all mobile, the duct taping of products necessary (VPN, distribution points, script repositories) would be very cumbersome.
For a small deployment of macOS, I can see where Apple Remote Desktop could suffice. I can see where a company that is strapped for cash could benefit from a knowledgeable employee using it to automate some tasks. I am not comfortable giving an estimate number-wise.

For a large deployment of macOS or iOS, this would be a very inappropriate tool. There are far too many obstacles for an app like Apple Remote Desktop to successfully manage a large fleet of macOS computers or really any number of iOS devices. You simply need an MDM solution in this day and age. This will become increasingly necessary, even in small numbers, but MDM providers have started to provide solutions for customers in these situations.

Apple Remote Desktop Feature Ratings

Screen sharing
File transfer
Instant message
Not Rated
Secure remote access with Smart Card authentication
Not Rated
Access to sleeping/powered-off computers
Over-the-Internet remote session
Not Rated
Initiate remote control from mobile
Not Rated
Remote management of servers & workstations
Remote Active Directory® management
Not Rated
Centralized management dashboard
Not Rated
Session record
Not Rated
Monitoring and Alerts
Not Rated