I constantly find myself using Microsoft’s Remote Desktop tool to connect to machines both within my house and at work. Managing a large number of machines can be a rather daunting chore, and we’ve covered some tools in the past that try to provide an interface for managing multiple Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connections. I have to say that Remote Desktop Manager is among the best.
First off I want to point out that there are both free and paid versions of the app. You can compare the features between the two versions here, but in general I’d say the free version is more than sufficient for most home users just looking to manage a few connections.
What I like about the app is that it supports a wide range of connections rather than just RDP. You can add VNC connections, TeamViewer, LogMeIn, Telnet, SSH, and more so that they are all just a click away. You no longer have to think about what you need to do in order to initiate each of the connections because Remote Desktop Manager will do that for you. It can even manager your FTP sessions from Filezilla or WinSCP.
So what’s the biggest downside of not paying for the app? Well, for me it would be the password management features you get in the paid version. In the free version you can save passwords for your various connections, but they are stored on your machine the same way that Microsoft’s RDP stores the sessions. That means they are stored on a per-connection basis so you’ll need to enter them in the first time you connect to each of the machines, and if your password changes you’ll need to go back through and update each of them. If you paid for the full version it is capable of creating credential repository within the app that you can then use to assign credentials to each of the connections. If your password changes you just have to change it in one spot and you’ll be all set. As you can imagine if you have hundreds of connections being used within the app that can be a lot of time saved, but for the typical home user who’s password rarely changes that probably isn’t as big of a deal.
Remote Desktop Manager Homepage (Windows only; Free/Paid Versions)