Best RDP & VPN Alternative 2023 – Splashtop Remote Access
Splashtop is a high-performance alternative to your RDP/VPN infrastructure
Legacy VPN a Nightmare? Fed-up With Slow and Expensive RDP?
Try Splashtop Instead and Support BYOD! Considering Microsoft RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) over a VPN to enable employee remote access to Windows and Mac computers? Using RDP alone outside the firewall exposes traffic to security risks – and can make host computers vulnerable to outside attack – so VPN is required.
This may seem like the easy or inexpensive choice, but organizations who implement it soon come to realize that this solution is expensive to set up and maintain, hard to scale, and cumbersome for employees to use, not to mention the lag issues.
Common problems of using legacy remote access through RDP over a VPN:
- Increased security risk (especially with the BYOD trend where 60% of employees use a smartphone for work)
- Difficulty setting up, maintaining, and scaling for more users
- Poor user experience with connectivity and lag issues
Meet Your Alternative
Splashtop offers an alternative solution to RDP/VPN which is easy for employees to use and simplifies remote access setup for IT. Splashtop Business Access supports your business continuity plan (BCP), disaster recovery plan (DR), work-from-home initiative (WFH), pandemic policy, telecommuting and BYOD initiative, enabling employees to stay safe while being productive from anywhere.
Watch why Splashtop is a superior remote access alternative to VPN (virtual private network).
Why is Splashtop a Better Choice than Legacy RDP/VPN?
Traditional VPN / RDP
Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
Yes (authentication is first established through Splashtop cloud broker, and only after this arms-length authentication is successful, the remote user is given access to the authorized system). Gartner’s June 2019 analysis predicts that by 2023, 60% of enterprises will phase out their remote access VPN in favor of Zero Trust Network Access solutions*.
No (too much trust is established between the remote device and corporate network, exposing lateral threats, such as ransomware)
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA/MFA)
Yes, but some MFA features are not free
Not available in most VPN solutions
Yes, automatically updates itself against new threats
Manual and risky. Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) warned, ” As VPNs are 24/7, organizations are less likely to keep them updated with the latest security updates and patches.” (March 13, 2020)
Need to worry about different versions of VPN client and RDP as well as compatibility issues
Disable / Enable file transfer and remote print
Logging and monitoring
Human readable logs
Logs are not human friendly
Ease of Use
Click & connect – fast remote connections
No – Painful to setup and use VPN and RDP; VPN can take 20+ seconds to connect, and RDP is often slow.
Can use personal device, supporting BYOD
Yes – Can use any personal device including mobile tablets and phones
No – Need company-issued device to ensure security
High performance; 3D CAD / CAM capable; 1080p @ 60fps; 4k @ 30fps
Lag & Unable to support 3D CAD / CAM and streaming video & RDP support for MAC is weak
File transfer, lock keyboard/mouse, chat, etc
Limited built-in tools with MS native RDP client
On-board thousands of users
Quick & easy (both IT deployed and end user self-provision)
Long and difficult process for IT
Limited by gateway hardware
Not applicable; software based
VPN CPU/memory can overload and needs to be upgraded
Corporate access uses corporate bandwidth. Personal browser uses home bandwidth.
Users often forget they are on VPN and all personal traffic (Youtube) are also routed through the corporate network, congesting the network. Disabling split-tunneling reduces productivity; enabling split-tunneling increases risk.
Just use any personal device, including tablets, smartphones, Chromebook
Need company-issued devices
Set up VPN gateway at each office
Not applicable; software-based
Requires setting up & managing VPN gateway for each office
Yes – Splashtop managed updates
No – always troubleshooting issues, and requires manual updates
Consistent tool across platforms
Yes – Consistent remote access experience across Windows, MAC, and Linux operating systems
No – RDP is only Windows friendly
Cost effective starting at $5 per user per month (volume license discount available)
Complex & expensive to setup and manage; manual security updates; requires company-issued device; facing constant user support challenges
Easy user/group management
Need to set up VPN user/group management and also RDP user/group management, resulting in redundant work and difficulty to track/manage
End-users and IT love Splashtop
VPN / RDP setup is a hassle for IT and users
Still need RDP?
Use Splashtop Connector to remotely access computers and servers through Splashtop without using VPN or installing a remote access agent. See our Splashtop Connector vs RDP & VPN comparison for more information.
RDP & RD Gateway Vulnerability Risks
On November 5, 2019, The FortiGuard Labs team recommends that customers immediately apply the latest patches from Microsoft for CVE-2019-0708 on any affected machines, and where possible, also disable RDP completely. BLUEKEEP RDP ATTACKS ARE STARTING: https://www.fortinet.com/blog/threat-research/bluekeep-rdp-attacks-starting-patch-now.html.
On September 27, 2018, The Public Service Annoucement (PSA) warned “CYBER ACTORS INCREASINGLY EXPLOIT THE REMOTE DESKTOP PROTOCOL (RDP) TO CONDUCT MALICIOUS ACTIVITY,” outlining issues around outdated RDP versions with flawed encryption mechanism, unrestricted access to the default RDP port (TCP 3389) https://www.ic3.gov/media/2018/180927.aspx
On January 14, 2020, CERT Coordination Center released Vulnerability Note VU#491944 on MICROSOFT WINDOWS REMOTE DESKTOP GATEWAY (RD Gateway) ALLOWS FOR UNAUTHENTICATED REMOTE CODE EXECUTION: https://kb.cert.org/vuls/id/491944/. “Microsoft RD Gateway in Windows Server 2012 and later contain two vulnerabilities that can allow an unauthenticated remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges…. the flaws lie in handling of fragmentation. This vulnerability is exploitable by connecting to the RD Gateway service listening on UDP/3391.”
No more Legacy RDP over VPN hassles! Access your desktops, apps, and files with Splashtop
Splashtop is designed to give users seamless, secure remote access to their computers from any device, embracing BYOD. With its industry-leading remote desktop technology running through a secure SSL (AES-256) tunnel, Splashtop allows users to access their PC and Mac desktops via their Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or Chromebook devices as if they are sitting in front of their computers or servers. You get all the benefits of RDP/VPN without the issues and complexities mentioned above. Also, it takes only minutes to set up.