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How to Use RDP/VPN in Network Communications

The ability to work remotely is moving from an exception to almost an expectation. At this moment, more than 4 million people all over the United States work remotely. Remote work is an upward trend, with 74% of all professionals expecting remote work to become the norm eventually. 

Moving forward, giving your employees the ability to work remotely with a trustworthy network will not only be vital to recruiting quality talent but is essential for keeping sensitive data safe. The two main network communication technologies for remote work are the RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) and VPN (Virtual Private Network). If you own a business and have a team, you simply cannot compete if you don’t grasp RDP and VPN technologies. 

What Is an RDP? 

Created by Microsoft in 1998, RDP software is included on every Microsoft device from Windows XP onward. Now, clients also exist for other operating systems as well such as Linux, Unix, macOS, Android, and Windows Mobile. 

With RDP software seeing an increase of 281% since 2020 and an expectation for 50% of businesses to increase their spending on RDP software, the demand for remote access is expected to hit an all-time high by 2027.

RDP, short for Remote Desktop Protocol, is a feature used to give remote team members access to all the electronic resources they would have if they were physically in the office. When your employee connects with an RDP, they are connecting to an individual remote computer. They have complete control of everything on that computer, just like they would if they were using it directly.

Setting up an RDP for your employees is an extremely easy process. You only need to set the remote computer to allow RDP connections and then connect it by using an RDP client. This doesn't require you to install any additional software if you are using a Windows operating system.

You must rent a Windows server, in which the provider will give you access to the RDP server via a password, username, and IP address.

From here, you or your employee can simply launch the RDP client, enter in the above information, and then configure the SOCKS proxy, which will trick your network into thinking that you are working directly from the base computer.

This is a completely safe and secure process and can hide your system from intruders.

What Is a VPN? 

With at least $2.9 million lost to cybercrime every minute, it's essential to have a secure network setup for your business.

A VPN or Virtual Private Network operates as an addition to an extensive public network. With a VPN, the user is operating on a private network that provides advanced encryption on any transferred data. Using a VPN for your employees’ remote access to network resources means that you never have to worry about privacy or data breaches.

In addition, a VPN can use any port, whereas an RDP can only use one. Access to only one port can create problems with the port being blocked by the administrator and the employee not having access to the RDP.

Setting up VPNs to facilitate remote work is a very involved process because you must configure several things such as your firewalls, routers, remote server, and any devices used on your network. Most businesses decide to call in IT professionals to get this done. However, if you are providing a VPN for an individual user, they may not require as much security as your entire network does. 

When your team members work remotely, they should first connect to the RDP following the above protocol. After that, they can then connect with the VPN on the remote desktop by following a few easy steps

As the VPN is activated, a process called tunneling technology helps protect and encrypt data. Typically, data is divided into two tunnels when it is transferred, but tunneling allows this data to be encapsulated in one encrypted package and transferred through a public network with private network communications.


A common mistake is thinking that an RDP is synonymous with a VPN. The truth is that while they are often used together in network communications, they have different functions. Using both an RDP and a VPN will give you the advantages and security of each. 

The RDP is what lets your employees access the tools and interface they need to perform a task, while a VPN is what keeps everything encrypted and secure. If you only need your team to work directly on your server, a VPN might be enough on its own. 

In many circumstances, however, you will need both an RDP and a VPN. With an RDP, employees have access to the full range of resources and tools they would have in the office, and while an RDP does offer a certain level of security, it's best not to use an RDP without a VPN, as there could be privacy breaches. 

Ready to Go Remote? 

Giving your workforce the flexibility of either partly or fully remote work is a smart competitive move. You will attract better job applicants, and your team will stay more consistently productive. You understand what an RDP is, what a VPN is, how the two differ, and why you should use them together. 

But it takes specialized knowledge and experience to understand all the intricacies of putting a system like this together. That is where managed IT services like Data Magic come in. When you get our professional assistance, you won’t have any stress from set-up or management. Get on with the critical work of being a leader and leave the technical details to us. 

Read More: The Benefits of Outsourced IT Support and 7 Things To Look For

Our managed IT service will set up your system and keep it running exactly as it should. When your remote team runs into network issues, this cuts down on productivity. That is why hiring a managed IT service is a necessary investment

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