Remote access to a desktop is one of the most niche power-user features out there. However, it is perfectly doable on an Android device. There are two basic ways to do it. Users can remote into their Android device from a computer. We covered that functionality in our best screen mirroring apps for Android list. This list focuses more on accessing your desktop computer from your Android device. There are a bunch of apps that boast remote access as a feature. However, only some of them are actually good. Here are the best remote desktop apps for Android!
The best remote desktop apps for Android
Price: Free / $79-$229 per year
AnyDesk is a serviceable option in the remote desktop space on Android. It works like any other remote desktop app. You connect your phone to your computer and then use your computer from your phone. It worked pretty well in our testing and it uses a simple UI. There weren’t any real issues with it. The app is free for personal use. The prices we listed are for commercial use mostly. It definitely has its flaws, but we also put apps in lists for a reason. Give it a try and see if you like it. Worst case, you don’t and have four other options. VNC Viewer and this app competed for the fifth slot on this list so it’s right up there as well.
Chrome Remote Desktop
Chrome Remote Desktop is one of the most popular remote desktop apps. Users install the app from the Chrome Web Store on their computer and then this app from Google Play. From there, follow the installation instructions and you should be able to connect. The app worked most of the time in our testing. It’s quicker and simpler than many of the other options, including TeamViewer. However, it’s also been two years since Chrome Remote Desktop saw an update as of the writing of this article. We recommend trying this one first, but don’t be shocked if it’s not a flawless performance.
Microsoft Remote Desktop
Microsoft Remote Desktop is arguably Chrome Remote Desktop’s biggest free competitor. It works about the same way. You simply enable remote access on your Windows PC and install this app on your phone. The two should let your devices connect to one another. The positive part is you not needing a Google Chrome installation for this one to work on Windows devices. The bad news is the performance is about the same so you’re not really getting a better product. In any case, PC users should definitely try this one first since it’s first-party software and it may prove to be more stable over a longer period of time. Microsoft has another remote desktop app (Google Play), but it’s more for Windows Server and Enterprise.
See also: Ways to control your Android from a PC
Splashtop Personal Remote PC
Price: Free / $5 per month / $16.99 per year
Splashtop is a less popular, but still fairly successful remote desktop app. It works like the others with dual apps on your computer and Android device. You can access anything on your computer from your phone on your local network. You can add access from anywhere for $5 per month or $16.99 per year. This lets you access your device on any network, including any WiFi network or mobile data. The app also lets you access your webcam to check up on your home without too much trouble. It worked as well as Chrome and Microsoft did in our testing.
Price: Free for personal use
TeamViewer is kind of the obvious choice for remote desktop apps. It gives remote access to your computer from your Android device. It’s a little bit more complicated of a setup, but it works just as well as one would expect. It also includes features like file transfers in both directions, encryption, and real-time sound and HD video transmission. There are features included for helping, say, a friend or coworker. However, it works perfectly fine for just goofing around on your computer as well. The app is entirely free for personal use. Those who use it for business need a subscription.
If we missed any great remote desktop apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!