What is Remote Access?

Remote access is a general term that refers to the ability to connect to and control a computer or network from a different location. It allows individuals to access their computers or networks remotely, typically over the internet, as if they were physically present at the location. This technology enables users to work, access files, run programs, and perform various tasks on their remote devices. Remote network access is commonly used for telecommuting, remote support, and remote management of servers or networks.

Remote Access and RDP

It provides convenience and flexibility, allowing individuals to stay productive regardless of their physical location. The archetypical remote access method is Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), which gives access to a full remote desktop or published applications. Other similar protocols exist.

Using RDP, remote users can work on a remote access desktop as if they were using a PC local to them. This has benefits like better data security as data remains in a central data center, systems updates are easier to manage when IT controls centralized PC desktop images, license control is easier and often more economical, and users get the same desktop look and feel irrespective of location or device. 

There are also downsides to this RDP approach. The user experience can be slow depending on their available network connectivity and the type of applications they need to run. Users often need to install specific RDP software on their devices to connect to various remote services. There can also be security risks if the collection of remote PCs is not set up and secured correctly.