RDP VS VNC: Which is the best remote desktop tool?

By LightNode ·

Remote desktop tools are essential in today's digital age, allowing users to access workstations or servers from almost anywhere. Two of the most well-known solutions in this field are RDP and VNC Although both programs are primarily designed for remote access, they each have their own advantages and caveats. In this article, we'll delve into the nuances of RDP and VNC, comparing their features, performance, and security to help you make an informed decision on which remote desktop tool is best for you.

What is RDP?

RDP or Remote Desktop Protocol is a proprietary protocol developed by Microsoft that allows users to remotely connect and control another computer. It allows users to access their applications and data from different locations, facilitating tasks such as remote work, IT support and server management. When properly configured, RDP provides secure remote computing experience across a variety of platforms.

What is VNC?

VNC stands for "Virtual Network Computing" and is a graphical desktop sharing system that allows users to remotely control another computer. It transmits keyboard and mouse events from one computer to another and graphical screen updates back in the other direction over a network connection.VNC is platform-independent, meaning that a VNC viewer on one operating system can connect to a VNC server on the same or a different operating system. There are a number of VNC applications for different platforms, often used for remote technical support and for accessing files from a PC while away from home or in the office.

What is the difference between RDP and VNC?


  1. Origin and proprietary nature:
  • RDP is a proprietary protocol developed by Microsoft and used primarily on Windows systems.
  • VNC is platform independent and based on the open standard RFB (Remote Frame Buffer) protocol.
  1. Performance:
  • RDP tends to be more optimized for Windows systems, providing a smoother experience on that platform, especially when working with Windows-specific applications and features.
  • VNC may not perform as well as RDP on Windows, but its platform-agnostic nature makes it suitable for a wide range of operating systems.
  1. Graphics Rendering:
  • RDP sends drawing commands to the client, allowing the client to reconstruct the image. This method works well for Windows applications.
  • VNC works by sending the actual pixel values of the remote desktop, which makes it more universally compatible, but may be less efficient for dynamic content.
  1. Security
  • RDP has built-in encryption and can be integrated with Windows authentication mechanisms.
  • VNC may require additional configuration or third-party tools to achieve similar levels of encryption and security.
  1. Platform Support:
  • RDP is native to Windows, but there are clients for other operating systems.
  • VNC is inherently cross-platform, with both servers and clients available for a variety of operating systems.
  1. Features and capabilities:
  • RDP typically offers advanced features, especially on Windows systems, such as printer redirection, file transfer, and rich multimedia redirection.
  • VNC is generally more basic in terms of additional features, focusing primarily on remote screen sharing.
  1. Configuration:
  • RDP is easier to set up on Windows due to its native integration.
  • VNC may require more manual configuration, especially if setup on a different operating system.

FAQ about RDP and VNC

Which should I choose between RDP and VNC?

If you're primarily using a Windows environment and seek a smoother experience, RDP is likely more suitable due to its native integration. On the other hand, if you need a cross-platform solution or basic screen sharing, VNC offers versatility. Regardless of the choice, it's crucial to prioritize security, with RDP offering built-in encryption and VNC potentially requiring additional configurations for optimal security.

What is XRDP?

XRDP is an open source implementation of the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol that allows Linux systems to accept RDP connections from Windows RDP clients or other RDP-enabled clients. Essentially, XRDP bridges the gap between the RDP protocol and the X Window System, allowing users to remotely view and control the Linux desktop environment using the native Windows Remote Desktop tool or other RDP clients. This is a popular option for users who wish to remotely access their Linux desktop from a Windows system without installing additional client software on the Windows side.

Which remote desktop tool does LightNode support?

LightNode VPS supports both RDP and VNC. We provide different operating system included Linux and Windows.

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Can I use RDP on Linux VPS?

Yes, you can use RDP on a Linux VPS, but not directly in the same way you'd do with a Windows system. Here's how it's commonly achieved:

  • XRDP: As mentioned earlier, XRDP is an open-source implementation of the RDP protocol for Linux. By installing XRDP on your Linux VPS, you can access the Linux desktop environment using standard RDP clients, like the one built into Windows.

  • Desktop Environment: To use XRDP effectively, you'll also need a desktop environment installed on your Linux VPS, like LXDE, XFCE, or GNOME. Some desktop environments might work better with XRDP than others in terms of compatibility and performance.