Remote Desktop vs Remote Assistance
Remote Desktop Services is a component in Windows operating system, which allows a user to remotely access data and applications on another computer over the network. Remote Desktop Services use the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and was first introduced in Windows NT 4.0 (as Terminal Services). Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance are the two client applications in Windows that use Remote Desktop Services. Remote Assistance can be used by one user to assist another user remotely. Remote Desktop can be used to remotely login to another computer and access the desktop, data, applications and even control it remotely.
What is Remote Desktop?
As mentioned above, Remote Desktop is a client application on Windows that uses Remote Desktop Services as its underlying technology. Remote Desktop can be used to remotely login to another computer and access the desktop, data, applications and even control it remotely. However, Remote Desktop is not available on all versions of Windows. Some of the Windows versions that include Remote Desktop are Windows XP Professional, all three versions of Windows Vista and Windows NT Terminal server and all its later server versions. Remote Desktop in client versions of windows allows only one user to login at a time. But the server versions do not have this restriction.
What is Remote Assistance?
As mentioned above, Remote Assistance is a client application on Windows that can be used by one user to assist another user remotely. In other words, Remote Assistance allows users to ask for help by giving others access to their own computer. Remote Assistance uses Windows Remote Desktop Services as its underlying technology. All versions of Windows include Remote Assistance. The user who wants assistance sends an invitation. Once the invitation is accepted by the other user, she will be manually granted permission to control the computer.
What is the difference between Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance?
Although both Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance applications use the same underlying remote technology (Remote Desktop Services), they have quite different purposes. In simple terms, Remote Desktop allows a user to remotely control a desktop and applications of another computer over a network, while Remote Assistance allows users to ask for help by giving others access to their own computer. Remote Assistance requires an invitation from one user to initiate the remote connection, while Remote Desktop does not require an invitation. Remote Desktop only requires a username and a password (on the remote machine) to connect. When using Remote Assistance, the user who sends the invitation needs to manually grant permission for the other user. Therefore, the user who needs assistance should always be logged in on her system to get help through Remote Assistance. Both users see the same desktop in Remote Assistance, while only the owner sees the desktop and others see the welcome screen in Remote Desktop. You need Windows XP to offer help through Remote Assistance. However, you can use many versions of windows to connect to a system running Windows XP through Remote Desktop.