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Best Free Remote Desktop Software For Mac of 2024

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Using remote desktop software is a great way to remotely access a Mac but you usually have to pay for it.

Previously you could use Apple’s Back to My Mac in macOS to remotely access another Mac for free but the company removed it in 2019.

However, there are still some pretty good free alternatives available so here we’ve looked at the best free remote desktop software for Macs in 2024 which make great alternatives to Back to My Mac.

These remote desktop tools can all connect from Mac to Mac as well as from Mac to PC or from mobile devices such as iPad, iPhone and Android to Macs.

They all allow you to remotely view the desktop of another Mac or PC and many of them also offer unattended access and help-desk support tools too.

They also all have limited free forever versions for personal use but some can be used without limitation for commercial use too.

If you need a solution for professional or commercial use, you’ll find better options in our reviews of the best remote desktop software for Mac.

Note that there is no Mac version of the popular free Windows remote control support app UltraViewer but all of these applications are good replacements for it.

1. TeamViewer

rdp for mac - teamviewer for mac

TeamViewer is a widely-used remote desktop software that makes it easy enough for anyone to connect to and control a Mac or PC anywhere in the World.

It offers cross-platform compatibility, file transfers and session recording, and is known for its ease of use.

One of the best things about TeamViewer is that for home users it’s free to use although for small businesses and corporations, there are added enterprise features available.

TeamViewer is probably the most popular desktop sharing tool out there for gamers on both Mac and PC as its easy enough to use for any age group, although there are better ways to play PC only games on a Mac.

All you need to do is install the TeamViewer client on both machines and enter the ID of the computer you want to connect to.

Alternatively, you can give someone your partner ID and password to allow them to connect to you.

Note that the Mac version of TeamViewer does not support sound or remote microphones. You can only hear sound if the remote computer you are connecting to is running Windows.

Pricing: Free for personal use, Plans start at $24.90/month

Pros:

  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Robust feature set including file transfer, chat, and session recording
  • Good performance even on slower connections

Cons:

  • Free version limited to non-commercial use
  • Can be resource-intensive
  • Mac version doesn’t support audio

2. AnyDesk

anydesk for mac
AnyDesk for Mac. Source: AnyDesk

AnyDesk is a lightweight remote desktop software known for its lightning-fast performance and low latency. It offers simple setup and a user-friendly interface, making it ideal for quick remote access tasks.

AnyDesk has an intuitive setup wizard that even beginners to remote desktop connections will be able to follow.

You can also drag and drop files between Macs and PCs for quick file sharing or use the built-in file transfer manager for more control.

Other features include customization of the quality of the remote display, configure access permissions and the ability to record sessions for reviewing later.

The free version of AnyDesk is only for personal use and connecting to one device only but plans are available for connecting to multiple devices.

If AnyDesk detects that you are using it professionally on a free personal plan, it can revoke access to it.

Pricing: Free, Plans start at $14.90/month

Pros:

  • Lightning-fast performance
  • Low latency
  • Simple interface
  • Supports cross-platform connections

Cons:

  • Limited features in the free version
  • May not be suitable for complex tasks

3. Chrome Remote Desktop

chrome remote desktop

Chrome Remote Desktop is a browser-based remote access tool developed by Google. It allows users to remotely access other computers or provide remote assistance directly from their Chrome browser, with no installation required.

It works simply via a Google Chrome plugin in the Google Chrome web browser so it’s a very simple and free way to connect your Mac to another Mac, PC or mobile device.

Just enter the ID of the computer you want to connect to, and Chrome Remote Desktop will connect instantly.

Since it’s only a browser plugin, it is limited in features and there’s no way to share sound between computers with it.

However, as 100% free and cheerful remote desktop solution that requires no downloading or installing anything on your Mac, it’s very effective.

In terms of privacy, Google claims that it does not record any of your activity using Chrome Remote Desktop.

Connections are protected by SSL and are directly from host to remote session without any Google servers in between.

Pricing: Free

Pros:

  • Completely free to use
  • No installation required, runs directly from the browser
  • Simple setup process
  • Works well for basic remote access needs

Cons:

  • Limited features compared to dedicated remote desktop software
  • Requires a Google account
  • Doesn’t support sound

4. Microsoft Remote Desktop

microsoft remote desktop for mac
Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac. Source: Microsoft

Microsoft Remote Desktop (formerly Microsoft RDP for Mac) is the official remote desktop software developed by Microsoft. It enables users to connect to Windows PCs and servers remotely from Mac computers.

In the past, Microsoft Remote Desktop was notoriously unreliable on Macs although it has been considerably improved in recent years.

However, unlike the Windows app, the Mac version does not support more secure methods of login such as via smart cards, PIV and CAC cards etc.

You can save connections that you use regularly although you can’t yet create shortcuts on your Mac desktop to your most frequent connections.

If your company or organization requires you to Microsoft Remote Desktop, then it’s much better then it used to be although connections can be laggy at times.

Pricing: Free

Pros:

  • Officially developed by Microsoft
  • Supports remote access to Windows PCs as well
  • Free to use
  • Saves most frequent connections

Cons:

  • Limited to connecting to Windows PCs and servers
  • Mac version lacks some features present in Windows version
  • Can be laggy

5. Splashtop Personal

splashtop for mac
Splashtop for Mac. Source: Splashtop

Splashtop Personal is a user friendly remote desktop software that supports high-definition streaming and a free version for personal use.

Splashtop is popular for remote gaming needs as it streams 3D graphics, sounds and video extremely well.

The downside is that Splashtop is only free for local use which means the computer you want connect to must be on the same same WiFi or LAN network as you.

For remote access to any Mac or PC anywhere, you must purchase a plan.

There are restrictions on port forwarding for those that need to customize the setup but Splashtop is generally very easy to use over local connections.

Pricing: Free for Personal Use, Plans starts from $5/month

  • High-definition streaming
  • Supports up to 5 computers locally
  • Easy setup
  • Cross-platform support
  • Free for personal use

Cons:

  • Limited to one remote computer in the free version
  • Not suitable for commercial use
  • Free version only connects to computers on your local network

6. NoMachine

nomachine for mac
NoMachine for Mac. Source: NoMachine

NoMachine is an Enterprise level remote desktop software that also has a free version for personal use. It’s not the easiest remote desktop solution to setup and use but it is more powerful than most.

It offers advanced features like session recording and file transfers plus a host of high-level security features to meet the needs of Enterprises.

You can use NoMachine either via a Mac desktop app or in the Cloud.

Pricing: Free

Pros:

  • Fast and reliable
  • Desktop and Cloud access
  • Supports multiple operating systems
  • Free for personal use
  • Offers advanced features like session recording and file transfer

Cons:

  • Can be complex to set up for beginners
  • User interface could be more intuitive

7. RealVNC Connect

realvnc for mac
RealVNC Connect for mac. Source: RealVNC

RealVNC Connect is a remote desktop software that offers secure connections with encryption. The main product is a paid solution but the RealVNC Connect Lite version is free for personal use.

You can add up to 3 devices with the free version and can even be used to connect Macs to a Rasberry Pi.

The free version also includes two factor authentication and end-to-end encryption.

Pricing: Free

Pros:

  • Simple setup process
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Secure connections with encryption
  • Free for personal use with limited features

Cons:

  • Limited to 3 remote devices in the free version
  • Some advanced features require a paid subscription

8. Citrix Workspace

citrix workspace for mac
Citrix Workspace for Mac.

Citrix Workspace is the replacement for Citrix Receiver which was discontinued in 2018.

Although you can still download old versions of Citrix Receiver for Mac, it lacks all of the new features and enhancements that have been made to Citrix Workspace.

Citrix Workspace allows you unified access to apps, desktops, and other resources from anywhere on any device.

Some of the resources you can access with Citrix Workspace include Citrix DaaS, Content apps, local and mobile apps, SaaS and Web apps and Browser apps.

Citrix isn’t aimed at those that just want to connect to another Mac or PC for personal use but is popular amongst Enterprises and those looking for a corporate solution.

Pricing: Free

Pros:

  • Backed by Citrix
  • More advanced than the original Citrix Receiver for Mac
  • Free to use

Cons:

  • Complex for individual use
  • Aimed more at Enterprises

9. Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager

devolutions remote desktop manager

Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager is aimed at system admins and small businesses and has all you need to manage a network of computers.

One of the handy things about it is that it’s integrated with other popular RDP clients such as Teamviewer, Microsoft Remote Desktop and even Telnet.

The interface is also well designed allowing you to organize sessions by groups or folders and if you already use the Windows version, you can connect to the same databases with the Mac version so you can access all previous sessions.

Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager isn’t quite as novice friendly as apps such as Splashtop and Teamviewer but it’s one of the few remote desktop tools aimed at the Enterprise market.

Pricing: Free

Pros:

  • Enterprise level remote desktop features
  • Integrated with other RDP apps
  • Well integrated with Windows PC version

Cons:

  • Complex for beginners

10. Iperius Remote.

iperius remote for mac

Iperius Remote is a powerful remote desktop software that’s designed for both help desk and remote access needs.

Iperius Remote can be used to provide technical support, collaborate with team members or access files on your Mac remotely.

You can also print documents from remote machines to local printers with Iperius Remote.

Pros:

  • Suitable for help desks
  • Mac desktop client
  • Free for non commercial or non continuous use

Cons:

  • Not free for commercial use
  • Only one connection at a time

Pricing: Free


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