RDP vs. VPN: Understanding the Key Differences

Today, we’ll discuss two protocols that, while fundamentally different, are often compared because they both allow remote connection to another computer: RDP and VPN, courtesy of Surfshark VPN.

First, what is RDP? The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), developed by Microsoft, involves a server and a client component, enabling remote connection to and interaction with a computer as if you were physically present. It’s widely used for remote support but also, unfortunately, in numerous online scams because the remote controller gains access to all the computer’s features and content.

RDP has likely featured in films or series you’ve watched (or on Sandoz’s YouTube channel), where a hacker remotely takes control of a device, moving the mouse or typing text, much to the victim’s shock.

Now, onto VPNs. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows users to connect to a remote network via the internet securely. Unlike a direct connection, a VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between the user’s device and the VPN server, safeguarding data privacy and security. This technology enables remote access to network resources—like files and applications—as if the user were connected locally. However, this description applies to corporate VPNs, not commercial VPN services like Surfshark, which primarily help bypass geo-restrictions and secure connections on public wifi.

So, RDP or VPN? Essentially, both allow remote connection to computer systems—RDP to individual computers and VPNs to networks, providing flexibility, access, and security. However, VPNs are used to encrypt network traffic from your computer, while RDP enables direct control of another computer.

The two technologies are complementary. For example, in our post-2020 world, allowing employees to access work computers from home securely involves using a VPN for foundational security, especially over public Wi-Fi. Surfshark VPN not only secures your browsing and RDP access but also includes malware detection and personal data leak alerts with Surfshark One.

While RDP may suffice within secure networks, a VPN like Surfshark adds a crucial layer of security, affordably priced (less than 3€/month with a 2-year plan) and supports unlimited simultaneous connections.

Besides security, VPN services offer multiple benefits:

  • Bypassing censorship and accessing geo-restricted content
  • Concealing your browsing activities from ISPs
  • Accessing international catalogs of streaming services
  • Finding better deals on flights and hotels
  • Reducing ads

Surfshark VPN is compatible with all major desktop and mobile operating systems and a wide range of devices, offering a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. This makes it a versatile and risk-free option for enhancing your online security and freedom.

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Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek, where I've demonstrated my passion for technology through extensive blogging. My expertise spans various operating systems, including Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, with a focus on providing practical and valuable guides. Additionally, I delve into WordPress-related subjects. You can find more about me on my Linkedin!, Twitter!, Reddit Facebook

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