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Virtual desktop software offers a secure way for employees to work from anywhere using any device. And, at the same time, it can drastically reduce infrastructure costs.
What happens is that your hardware and software runs off a cloud instead of using the CPU you have locally. The desktop OS can be part of a hardware infrastructure housed in a secure data center or can simply be another normal machine in a different location. Your operating systems, data and apps are separated from the local computer and run from a remote server instead. Users can access these apps through any device and everything appears as if it runs on their local machine.
How is this useful? First off, there are huge savings on infrastructure costs. Additionally, with all data in one place, it’s easier to secure it. Moreover, management and maintenance of hardware and software is centralized, and only authorized persons can access it. Additionally, besides improving productivity and efficiency, virtual desktop software promotes the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture as well.

Best Virtual Desktop SoftwareBest Virtual Desktop Software

In case you’re looking to implement virtual desktops, here are some features you should look for. Keep in mind that the price depends largely on hardware and software requirements, number of users, level of security and other features. The best virtual desktop software is likely to:

  • Allow access from any device, anywhere. Great for working from home.
  • Grant administrative control to add new users and software.
  • Store data securely in the cloud.
  • Provide firewall, end-to-end encryption and automatic, regular backups.
  • Have multiple data center locations for faster access speeds.
  • Offer multiple operating systems – Windows, iOS, Linux and more.
  • Include load balancing to allocate users evenly across host pools.
  • Offer high level of graphics performance.
  • Include a user-friendly cloud management console.
  • Allow easy deployment, management and scaling of all your applications.
  • Allot dedicated resources for each server.
  • Offer profile management / user virtualization.

Best virtual desktop software in 2021

V2 Cloud

Best virtual desktop software: V2 CloudBest virtual desktop software: V2 Cloud

💸 Pricing:
Three plans – Basic, Business and Enterprise starting from $40/month for a single user, $70/month for four users, scaling to $1,120/month for 64 users.
🧰 Key features:

  • Fully managed desktop-as-a-service solution
  • Built-in security
  • Multi-user desktops, Supports dual monitors
  • Global data centers for a fast experience
  • Secure remote access
  • Daily backups
  • Built-in live support
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Published apps to deliver an on-premises app as a web app
  • Intuitive management console

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Best virtual desktop software: ShellsBest virtual desktop software: Shells

💸 Pricing:
Lite at $4.95/month, Basic at $8.95/month, Shells Plus at $13.95/month and Shells Pro at $24.95/month. The number of processors, storage and memory varies with the plans.
🧰 Key features:

  • Allows you to download, store, access or edit your files on any device
  • Work without being limited by device or operating system
  • Automatic, safe back-ups to cloud
  • Firewalls and end-to-end encryption for data privacy
  • Update performance, speed and memory with a single click
  • Top end technology at affordable costs
  • Comes pre-equipped with mobile terminal view and iOS and android apps
  • Scales easily
  • Global presence
  • Turn any old device into a computer with Shell

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Best virtual desktop software: Amazon WorkspacesBest virtual desktop software: Amazon Workspaces

💸 Pricing:
Pricing depends on a number of variables – for instance, the monthly charges for 10GB user volume and 80GB root volume with 2 GB memory is $21. The price varies from region to region too, and hourly billing is also possible.
🧰 Key features:

  • Fully managed service allowing you to scale up or down quickly
  • Users can access their workspace from Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebooks, tablets and supported browsers
  • User data security within Amazon Virtual Private Cloud
  • Pay-as-you-go pricing model to optimize costs
  • Built-in auto scale load balancing
  • Suitable for contingent workforce and remote teams
  • Bring your own Windows desktop license to Workspaces
  • Separate educational pricing available
  • Encrypt storage volumes of Workspaces
  • Persistent storage in the AWS cloud

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Best virtual desktop software: KamateraBest virtual desktop software: Kamatera

💸 Pricing:
The rates vary depending on operating system, storage, included internet traffic and more. For instance one Public IP Windows 10 desktop with 20GB storage would cost $13/month. Per hour rates are also available.
🧰 Key features:

  • Start with a small server and scale up as you go
  • Use management console to upgrade or clone additional servers
  • 13 data centers across four countries
  • Run any Windows and Linux operating system
  • Fast processors and networking speeds
  • Guaranteed dedicated resources
  • Store data securely on secure backup server
  • Centralize software management by installing it on a single machine and allow access to any number of remote desktops
  • SSD drive storage
  • Simple management console and API

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Azure Virtual DesktopAzure Virtual Desktop

💸 Pricing:
The pricing includes two parts – user access rights and Azure infrastructure costs to deploy and manage your virtualization environment. One and three year plans are about 72% cheaper than the pay-as-you-go model. Since pricing can be highly variable, there is a pricing calculator to help you out.
🧰 Key features:

  • Scalable – can save costs using existing eligible Windows licenses
  • Deploy within the Azure portal alongside other Azure services
  • Deliver Windows 10 desktops and applications anywhere virtually
  • Built-in intelligent security
  • Run multiple concurrent user sessions
  • Reduce infrastructure costs by right sizing virtual machines
  • Manage virtual environment from the Azure portal
  • Integrate Azure Virtual desktop into existing desktop and app virtualization environments
  • Remote app streaming
  • Multi factor authentication and role-based access control

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CloudalizeCloudalize

💸 Pricing:
The pricing of this virtual desktop software starts from $0.89/hour + $19.99/month.
🧰 Key features:

  • Managed desktop as a service
  • Secure remote access
  • Deploys rapidly and scales quickly
  • Multi-device and cross-browser functional
  • Cloud-based and Windows-based
  • Powerful GPU technology
  • One-click sharing with guests
  • On-premises cloud technology or third-party data center of your choice
  • Compatible with many programs used by professionals regularly
  • Proprietary technology to deliver greater processing power and speed for both business and education

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VMwareVMware

💸 Pricing:
A Horizon Universal Subscription costs $16.50 per ‘Named User’ per month and $26.70 per ‘Concurrent User’ per month. A Horizon Apps Universal Subscription costs $8.25 per ‘Named User’ per month and $13.40 per ‘Concurrent User’ per month.
🧰 Key features:

  • Functionality going beyond Microsoft Windows Virtual desktop
  • User environment management
  • Advanced power and application management
  • Support for hybrid environments
  • Secure access to digital workspace
  • Multi-cloud architecture
  • Horizon Cloud partners with Microsoft Azure for better experience
  • VMware Apps Volume is available on Microsoft Azure – simplifies app management and saves storage
  • Load balancer ensures great end-user experience
  • VMware End-User Computing Portfolio to help transition to cloud

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CitrixCitrix

💸 Pricing:
The price varies with term and number of users. For a one-year contract it works out to $10.29/user/month. For a three-year contract, it’s $8.23/user/month.
🧰 Key features:

  • Quick and easy deployment of desktops and apps
  • Supports Windows and Linux apps, and desktops
  • Secure remote access to users everywhere
  • On-premises or cloud service
  • Any device access
  • Microsoft Teams optimization within a virtualized environment
  • Unified management console that simplifies large-scale deployment
  • Configuration logging to track administrative changes
  • Centralized image management
  • Universal print server

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Evolve IPEvolve IP

💸 Pricing:
Basic at $2/user/month (one identity source and one app connection); Standard at $4/user/month (two identity source and five app connections); Enterprise at $6/user/month (unlimited identity sources and app connections).
🧰 Key features:

  • Seamless integration with Microsoft Office 365
  • Remotely lock or wipe lost devices
  • Web-based dashboard that allows access from any device
  • Mobile device reporting
  • Enhanced security with extra authentication features
  • Reports and alerts on all aspects of user access
  • Multi-domain support
  • Password sync
  • Log and track corporate device inventory
  • 100% cloud powered

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Red HatRed Hat

💸 Pricing:
To download supported versions of the RedHat software, you’ll need to purchase subscriptions that typically come in one- and three-year terms. It gives you access to support, guidance, updates, security and more.
🧰 Key features:

  • Enterprise virtualization platform
  • Supports resource-intensive and critical applications
  • Built on Linux
  • Open-source and scalable
  • Integrates with other Red Hat and external partner solutions
  • Virtualizes Windows and Linux workloads for improved performance
  • Intuitive tools for easy setup
  • Build and deploy as many template VMs as you want
  • Support for desktop and server profiles
  • Centralized management

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