COVID NOTIFICATION: We are still providing full-scale remote and onsite support for our clients. Our team, the equipment, and the HDCav Help Van are all operating in accordance by the strictest health protection guidelines. Help Desk Cavalry is committed to the safety of your team as well as ours.

We often find that people conflate VPNs and remote desktop access. While it’s true that they both allow a computer user to access a different machine through that computer, they have fundamentally different purposes and advantages.

What is a VPN?

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is basically an encrypted tunnel from one machine to another, allowing access to necessary files and data. VPNs are completely set up and controlled by the company (or in our case, Help Desk Cavalry). They are secure and protect against remote access intrusions like man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks.

What is remote desktop access?

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) provides access from one computer to another, allowing the user to remote control the computer and operate it as though they were on that machine. This provides access to the machines software, computer-specific information, and admin tools and functions. There are many secure RDP tools on the market today, all of are extremely handy for things like remote support and accessing more powerful machines.


  • Can access work-related assets
  • Encrypts information & protects against MITM attacks


  • Expensive
  • Does not provide physical-level access to work computers


  • Access work-related assets
  • Cheap or even free
  • Provides physical-level access to work computers


  • Needs security protocols in place to ensure safety

Which option is best?

Using a combination of the two can provide the right access for the right workers at the right time. And make sure it’s all secure. Often many workers can get everything they need using only a secure VPN, while others may need the full control that comes with remote desktop access. Companies need to assess which workers need which kind of access and provide either the VPN or RDP tools to allow the connection. Working with an IT partner–like Help Desk Cavalry–can take the guess work out of ensuring the best and most secure connectivity for your workers without spending too much money.

If you’re ready to protect the safety of your data while providing fast, reliable access to all workers who need it, contact us today. We’re ready to take a look at your workforce and design the right plan for you.