Managed Services, Network

Chrome Remote Desktop vs. VPN: Which Option is Best for Your Company?

Chaz Hager November 19 2021

Although remote work options aren’t necessarily new, the sheer dependence on them for work during the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing. Many businesses and places of work must have reliable and secure ways to virtually connect teams or departments.

Tools such as remote desktops and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can enhance communication while allowing employees to perform work functions as though they were in a physical office location. Many things happen behind the scenes to ensure that these networks remain private, secure, and compliant.

In this post, we’ll discuss two popular options for remote work—remote desktop and VPN. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits, downsides, and reasons you should choose one over the other. 

What is Chrome Remote Desktop?

Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop is an easy-to-use and seamless way to connect remotely to a computer, even if you’re away from your physical workspace. This tool also allows access to mobile phone devices, tablets, and additional computers.

With Google’s Remote Desktop, you can also share your current screen in order to collaborate with other teammates who may be working from separate physical locations. Using this tool, users can also give or receive remote IT support.

Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop is simply one form of a larger process involving remote desktops. With the right protocols, remote desktop users can log in to applications, networks, or other devices using secure and reliable pathways.

Benefits of Remote Desktops

Remote desktop processes are a popular choice among companies, and they have several notable benefits, such as:

  • Straightforward ability to troubleshoot problems and errors
  • Simple and intuitive features
  • Easy sign-in and monitoring processes for users and admins alike
  • Secure interdepartmental collaboration

Drawbacks of Remote Desktops

Although remote desktop services offer the best options for some, they may not have everything you’re looking for. Here are a few downsides to consider before you choose a remote desktop option.

  • Not as complete in terms of security
  • Easier for an outside party to hack a physical computer
  • Dependent on the uptime of the original business network

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. This type of network is an elaborately encrypted connection that provides access to a specific network. VPNs provide important alternatives to residential and public WiFi connections, which can at times be vulnerable and insecure.

VPNs also serve as a safeguard for remote employees who work from non-corporate locations. By using advanced tunneling techniques, VPNs lock down and strengthen the internet connection between a user and the network. This process is excellent for protecting corporate data and removing known security risks.

Benefits of VPN

If your remote workforce is sizable (as is the case for many enterprise organizations), you likely need a virtual work option that grows to scale. In this case, VPNs provide important advantages, such as:

  • High security protocols that prevent cybersecurity attacks
  • Advanced encryption to protect against open WiFi issues
  • Protection of online identity and privacy

Chrome Remote Desktop vs. VPN— Which Option is Better for Your Company?


Drawbacks of VPN

VPN can be included in a comprehensive security policy for remote workers, but this choice does have a few downsides. Although these might not draw you away from VPNs, you might choose to communicate potential issues before employees start working using this system.

A few drawbacks of VPNs can include:

  • Slower connection speeds 
  • More initial setup and maintenance
  • Higher costs and subscription fees
  • Difficult option for printing and scanning needs

How to Decide Which Option is Best

Before you decide which option is best for your organization, you’ll need to have a good idea about the expectations of your remote workforce and how employees perform essential tasks. Each virtual experience is slightly different, and knowing how your organization’s workflows are set up is crucial.

When choosing between a VPN or remote desktop solution, you may also need to consider factors such as:

  • Cost and available budget
  • Ease of setup and installation
  • Internal resources needed to maintain the connection
  • Troubleshooting processes
  • Level of organizational adoption

Manage Remote Access Securely

A managed IT services provider can help you navigate virtual remote options, decide on the appropriate solution, and offer maintenance when and if your internal IT resources are limited. At Northriver IT, we focus on remote work solutions that bring your entire organization together, including:

  • Voice, chat, and conferencing capabilities
  • Reliable instant messaging services
  • Powerful email tools (through partnership with Microsoft 365)
  • Private access file and document sharing

Wrapping Up

If you’ve been looking to improve your remote work processes, now is the time to make changes. Northriver IT is a trusted partner in helping businesses decide on the right remote work solution.

As the concept and process of work continues to evolve, don’t let your business fall behind modern expectations. Create strong remote work processes today in order to establish your business (and your employees) for a future of success and growth.

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