Best VPN for Remote Desktop in 2024 – How to Set Up VPN on Remote Desktop

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the past couple of years have dramatically increased the need for remote access solutions to work networks and systems. Fortunately, there are several ways in which people can now access a specific computer from a remote location by using Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

While RDP had security vulnerabilities in its early days, it now offers a secure way for people to access other systems remotely. However, the process of connecting to remote desktops using RDP can be made easier with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

For even safer remote desktop connections, using a VPN is essential. However, some VPNs are better than others for accessing a remote desktop since they provide the necessary security features and extra tools for a stable and safe connection.

So, if you want to secure your remote working, we strongly recommend using one of the VPN services listed below. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about using a VPN for remote desktop, which services are the best, and the differences between VPN vs. Remote Desktop. Show more

VPN vs. Remote Desktop: What’s the Difference?

So, what are the exact differences between VPN vs. RDP? Both offer people secure access remotely to work networks and sensitive data without needing to be in the same building as their work network. However, there are some clear-cut differences between the two.

Firstly, a VPN connection enables users to access a remote network from a different location. All internet traffic is sent through a secure and encrypted tunnel, meaning a remote user can sit at home and access files on their corporate network through VPN port forwarding.

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a protocol that Microsoft developed, enabling users to access another Windows operating system via a host machine. This works in a similar way to a virtual machine, as a type of screen sharing, which means you can work from home and have your work desktop in front of you.

The main difference when it comes to VPN vs. remote desktop is speed. When users employ a VPN, all activity is transferred via an encrypted tunnel which can slow down speeds; with RDP, mouse clicks, screen images, and keystrokes are sent across the RDP connection, which results in a faster internet connection and total computing power.

Do You Need a VPN for Remote Desktop?

Although the remote desktop protocol is a lot safer than it was in the past, it still poses security issues that can be exploited by cybercriminals or unauthorized users. So, by using a VPN with an RDP solution, users can access a local network from another place in a secure manner since VPNs implement more security measures such as advanced encryption.

Which VPN is Best for Remote Access?

Below are the best VPNs for remote desktop server access. All of the following VPNs help add an extra layer of security when you connect to a remote computer via RDP so that you can rest assured that you have a secure and safe connection to the remote PC at all times.


VPN Service: NordVPN

Max Speed: 115000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 6
Number of Netflix Libraries: 12
Information sharing: None
OS support: Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
Using VPN on Smartphone
  • proiconUltra-fast connection
  • proiconNo-logs policy
  • proicon5400 servers in 54 countries
  • coniconLimited payment options
  • coniconNo Split Tunneling on desktop
  • coniconOnly 6 simultaneous connection


First on the list of the best RDP VPN services is NordVPN. Nord offers plenty of great features that complement RDP. For example, it offers a static IP address add-on, which is beneficial for users, especially those using port forwarding. This also hides your public IP address and means you don’t have to use a different dynamic IP address whenever you want to connect to your work computer.

As well as enabling users to control their work PC from home securely, users can ensure that all of their internet traffic is encrypted and hidden from third parties by connecting to a VPN server. From snoopers on a public Wi-Fi network to your home internet provider, no one will know you are using additional software to work remotely.

NordVPN can easily be installed on Windows systems and offers a well-designed computer client, which makes the VPN pretty straightforward to use. Users can adjust tunneling protocol options and activate security features like the kill switch in the client settings area to ensure they consistently access the internet securely.

Every NordVPN plan comes with protection for up to six devices, meaning you can use the VPN when you connect to a remote computer as well as on your other devices to protect regular internet activity.

Price Starting At: 3.29 $ / monthly 39.48 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 5400+

VPN Service: Surfshark VPN

Max Speed: Unlimited
Type of IP offered: Shared
Simultaneous connections / Users: Unlimited
Number of Netflix Libraries: 15
Information sharing: None
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, ChromeOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
Macbook Pro VPN
  • proiconFull 15 Netflix Libraries
  • proiconTons of server locations
  • proiconGreat deal on 24 months
  • coniconNo Apple Pay Payment Option
  • coniconVery expensive monthly
  • coniconAllows P2P from all servers

Surfshark VPN

Another great RDP VPN is Surfshark VPN. This VPN is excellent for users who want easy-to-use VPN software that they can use on every device they own. Surfshark VPN’s software is compatible with almost every major operating system, including Windows.

If you want to protect your data when using the Remote Desktop Protocol, then Surfshark is an excellent option. Every VPN connection is secured with military-grade encryption and the best tunneling protocols in the VPN game to fully protect user identity when online.

With Surfshark, every user gets unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning they can protect mobiles, computers, tablets, and smart TVs simultaneously. The VPN doesn’t just have to be used to remotely access a work PC and important files but can also help overcome geo-restrictions online.

Price Starting At: 1.85 $ / monthly 49.93 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + No money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 1040+

VPN Service: ExpressVPN

Max Speed: 58000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 5
Number of Netflix Libraries: 12
Information sharing: None
OS support: Android, ChromeOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows
VPN on Macbook
  • proiconTons of payment options
  • proicon24-hour live chat suppot
  • proicon30-day money back guarantee
  • coniconMore expensive than competitors
  • coniconOnly 5 simultaneous connections
  • coniconNo servers in Russia


ExpressVPN for remote desktop is a great solution since its software can easily be configured to most routers. If your router supports ExpressVPN and its software, then you can automatically protect every device on your home network, including your Windows PC.

By enabling ExpressVPN on your router, you’ll enjoy more security for your data whenever you use the Windows RDP to access a remote network. ExpressVPN even provider a router applet to enable users to enjoy more control when they are using the VPN.

One of the best things about ExpressVPN is the fact that it is fast and won’t slow down your internet connection when you use RDP to connect to a remote network. Using the VPN’s proprietary Lightway protocol allows users to enjoy speed without sacrificing security on their data.

ExpressVPN offers 24/7 customer support, so if customers are struggling to use the VPN on their Windows device or access a network, they can speak to a member of the support team at any time.

Price Starting At: 8.32 $ / monthly 99.95 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 3000+
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Is There a Free VPN for Remote Desktop?

We don’t recommend using a free vpn for remote access to a work network. This is simply because free VPNs have many limitations that can make using RDP ineffective. For example, free VPNs have bandwidth limits and also don’t provide as secure a connection as premium VPN services.

How to Set Up VPN on Remote Desktop

If you want to enable a remote desktop connection over VPN, then you need to download an RDP VPN. Doing so is relatively simple, and you just need to purchase a subscription plan before downloading the VPN Windows software onto your system. Most VPN services offer a setup wizard for ease of use.

Does VPN Affect Remote Desktop?

Yes, VPN can affect remote desktop connections in positive and negative ways. For example, a VPN can add an extra layer of protection by encrypting all of the data that is sent via the VPN tunnel to the remote system. Even though RDP comes with built-in network-level authentication, it is great that a VPN can provide more security.

However, VPNs may slightly slow down connections; since RDP usually provides people with a way to access a local area network without any connectivity issues, implementing a VPN on top of RDP may cause slight speed issues.

Is Remote Access Possible without VPN?

Yes, remote desktop access is entirely possible without a VPN. However, it is worth using a VPN for extra reassurance that your connections are secure.

The Benefits of a VPN for Remote Desktop

If you use RDP to remotely access other Windows computers, then a VPN can really benefit you in the following ways:

The Drawbacks of a VPN for Remote Desktop

While there are positives to using an RDP VPN, there are some things to consider and bear in mind before purchasing a VPN:

The Bottom Line

An RDP VPN is extremely beneficial if you want more security when using RDP. However, if you're concerned about slow speeds, you may want to purchase a VPN that offers fast server speeds to avoid any lag.


  • Extra layer of privacy
  • Easy to set up
  • Nearly all VPNs are easy to set up


  • Can slow down your connection
  • Shared IP addresses on some VPNs
  • Nor many suitable free VPNs for RDP


Can I Set Up a VPN on Remote Desktop?

Yes, you can set up a VPN on remote desktop. In fact, it is a good idea to do so since a VPN adds an extra layer of protection when connecting to your remote desktop.

What is RDP VPN?

An RDP VPN is a VPN for Remote Desktop which is specially designed to secure users' internet connections over long-distance connections.

Is RDP safe with VPN?

Yes, a remote desktop is safe with a VPN. In fact, it is recommended that users who use remote desktops connect to them using VPN software for more security.

Author Madeleine Hodson

I’m Madeleine, and I'm a writer that specializes in cybersecurity, tech products, and all things related to the internet. I have a keen interest in VPNs and believe that everyone deserves internet freedom and security. I wr...
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VPNSurfers » 10 Best VPNs in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks » Best VPN for Remote Desktop in 2024 – How to Set Up VPN on Remote Desktop
Last updated: July 6, 2022