Remote Desktop Services is by far the best solution for onsite remote access
Ho'omana Nathan Horton | TrustRadius Reviewer
January 01, 2019

Remote Desktop Services is by far the best solution for onsite remote access

Score 10 out of 10
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Overall Satisfaction with Remote Desktop Services

We use Remote Desktop Services to access servers ourselves, provide remote support to users across campus, provide access to servers for end-users, and provide access to RemoteApps for users. For going from Windows to Windows on a local network, this is by far the best solution for remote access that we have found.
  • When you connect with RDS, everything looks and feels (and is) exactly like you're sitting at that desktop. This is great for us and for users.
  • You can sign in with RDS and the desktop will be the same as when you left it (if you choose to set it up that way).
  • Although they take some setup, RemoteApps are a very handy way to let users access a program without requiring them to actually connect to a remote desktop on the server.
  • Frankly, I'm not aware of any way this could be improved on Windows. It's a completely seamless Windows remote access experience.
  • That being said, RDS on Mac isn't quite as seamless an experience, so you may have some difficulty training Mac users in RDS. But that isn't really a fault of the program.
  • Overall RDS has helped us provide services and programs to our users with relative ease.
  • The only "negative" impact is that users can have a bit of difficulty understanding how RDS works and what it means to access a remote desktop, but that isn't any fault of the program, it just takes a little extra training for users.
We used RDS on-site primarily because of how easy it is for users to transition from their own desktop to a remote desktop. However, from off-site, there are VPN and other security considerations to take into account, and the process gets a little more complex. In this situation, especially if you're trying to support a user who is outside the local network, it can be easier to use something like Chrome Remote Desktop or TeamViewer. However, the Windows functionality of RDS is totally unmatched.
Microsoft's Remote Desktop Services is particularly nice if you have a server license for a program and don't want to install it on everyone's machine but do want to give everyone access to the program. They can either use RDS to connect to the server, or you can set up a RemoteApp.

It's also nice if you have people who work on two different workstations in two different locations. We have several people who sometimes work at one desk and sometimes in an office, so it's nice for them to be able to access one machine or the other easily without having to walk back and forth.

One note, if users don't have an Active Directory account, or if you don't want to mess with putting people into various permissions groups, RDS may not be the best solution for them. This wasn't an issue for us since our organization was small enough that we could manage AD permissions and groups rather easily.