Wondering What’s the Difference Between RDP and VPN? Here’s the Answer

It is important that in today’s virtual and online era, you take the necessary steps to protect yourself, your privacy, and your data. There are several tools and applications that you can use to do this. Throughout your search and browsing online, you probably have heard about a VPN. However, you probably have not heard of an RDP. Both have their functions, and it is worth understanding what they do to determine which one you actually would benefit from using.

What A VPN Is

VPN is an acronym that stands for the virtual private network. This is used to hide your activities and presence online, giving you more privacy from others that may be able to track you or use your data. You mask your computer, hiding your network by making it appear as a different network from a different location when you browse. This is used for both personal and professional purposes. 

A VPN is commonly accessed using VPN extensions for Chrome. Incorporating it into your browser makes it easy and transparent. But it is important to note the purpose of the VPN is still to avoid tracking or to mask your location from the web service provider

What RDP Means

RDP stands for remote desktop protocol. With this tool, you gain more than just a means to hide yourself and your activity. With this remote desktop protocol, instead of simply faking your location to being a computer on a different network or location. This is mostly used in professional situations and very specific scenarios. With an RDP connection, this means that you have the ability to access files, programs, desktop, and storage space as if you were sitting in front of the computer in person. This is done through the creation of a virtual connection between you and a remote computer. Again, you are not masking your own location, pretending your computer is on a different network, but instead are altering the system to access a different computer entirely. This is similar to streaming from one computer to another but provides you the power of control over the other desktop or computer.

Different Usages

Both a VPN and RDP are capable of doing jobs remotely, but the actual capacity may not be fully understood and in fact, differ quite a bit. Although you may believe VPN and RPN are the same, there are significant differences in their capability, allowing for different uses and situations upon further examination. As mentioned, an RDP connection provides you control and capability of a different computer. This is beneficial for certain situations where you may not be able to afford a PC that has the power for certain jobs, but accessing a remote computer that has that capability opens up a huge opportunity. This can be implemented in workplaces and schools, facilitating the chance for individuals to rely on skills when it comes to their work and not be limited by the tools or equipment they have. Because the purpose of RDP allows for control, security and speed are not comparable to a VPN, especially if you already own a capable computer and simply want those specific features. 

Different Roles In The Workspace

Both RDP and VPN are tools that you can use in your workplace. You don’t have to choose one over the other, but function with them both as they do different jobs. You can and should use a VPN to allow employees to work remotely, especially if you have people that are traveling and working abroad. This will provide them with secure connections that are crucial in public spaces that you may use when your operations function around the clock. RDP can also be used by your same company but by technicians to address IT issues that require them to gain control of your computers. This helps to keep your business running, even if you don’t have a physical workspace.

Personal Browsing

If you aren’t running a business, the fact of the matter is you won’t need to use an RDP. You won’t often find yourself in need of controlling another desktop or laptop unless you find yourself in a highly specific situation such as being a business administrator of your own independent company. A VPN gives you the security you need on public networks to browse in your local coffee shops, even when traveling. Chances are you might not even have heard of an RDP, but have definitely heard the term VPN used and might even have one yourself already.

A virtual private network is more common, especially when users have computers that are often more capable of different jobs and tasks. There are situations where you will find a remote desktop protocol useful, but they are fewer and far between when compared to VPN demands. It is still important to keep this in mind, as you never know when you will need remote access in tech sectors.

Wondering What’s the Difference Between RDP and VPN? Here’s the Answer was last updated March 26th, 2024 by Charlene Brown