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Review: Manage desktops remotely with these 5 tools

Atera, ConnectWise, Kaseya, ManageEngine and SolarWinds deliver remote management and more

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Remote monitoring and management (RMM) can be a great way to keep tabs on workstations, servers, and other IT infrastructure and also automate some maintenance and remediation tasks. This can help save time and resources in the IT department.

Choosing an RMM solution can be a daunting task. There are many options, each with varying functionality, reliability, and cost. We evaluated RMM solutions from Atera, ConnectWise, Kaseya, ManageEngine and SolarWinds. Here’s what we found:

  • Atera was the simplest RMM solution we reviewed with one of the most user-friendly web GUIs. It’s a great solution for managing computers where advanced functionality and high configuration flexibility isn’t needed. Its simple pricing structure is based upon the number of admins or technicians also makes it economical for smaller businesses.
  • ConnectWise Automate is one of the most advanced RMM solutions with great configuration flexibility. However, it had the steepest learning curve in the setup and administration processes, partly due to a complex GUI and navigation process. It’s relatively new Ignite plugin, however, promises eased deployment with preconfigured configurations. It’s implementation price and minimum commitments may be too high for smaller businesses, but suitable for large enterprises.
  • Kaseya VSA is another advanced RMM, but with a more user-friendly GUI than ConnectWise Automate. However, Kaseya VSA lacks a knowledge base or FAQ and satisfaction surveys for end users.
  • ManageEngine Desktop Central is a RMM primarily for just desktop management, as it lacks printer and other device monitoring, requires another product for ticketing, and doesn’t offer managed security or backup solutions. However, its free editions can be attractive to smaller IT departments.
  • The SolarWinds MSP Remote Monitoring & Management seemed like a solid all-in-one RMM tool, except that the ticketing functions require another product and GUI. Its feature-set seemed to be somewhat between the simpler Atera and the more advanced offerings from ConnectWise and Kaseya.

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