Remote Desktop - any good and cheap?

Hi everyone, I’m new here but 3 years with TaxCycle already.
I’d like to ask you guys about a Remote Desktop. I’m using AnyDEsk but it’s not easy to use on my laptop when I’m home as the image reduces way too much. I had Teamviewer in the past but it’s now costly. Any suggestion for a good one but not expensive?
Thank you

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We are using Splashtop
Splashtop Pricing | Business, SOS, Remote Support not sure how inexpensive you are looking for but I don’t think it is too bad. Seems to work pretty good although depending on how dumb the client is it can be a challenge getting them to install the client software.

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We use RDP extensively in our office. We use the RDP client built into Windows over a VPN.
Note that we are working in a terminal server environment. Depending on your environment, you may need to use a version of Windows (pro?) that supports RDP hosting on the machine at your office that you log into if you are not using a network server at your office.

Thank you, I found them and already downloaded for trial. I liked the price of $7/mo.

Txs for replying.

Splashtop is good…but does have some screen resolution issues. If it works, it works well. If using it to connect to some older machines…well, there are some odd results. But generally, I have the pro version and it’s fine.

RDP is OK…but…exposure of your machine’s IP directly to the internet is a HUGE vector for threat actors. It is the MOST commonly used vector for unauthorized access, so VPN is a must. We use Azure virtual machines, connected via either Point-to-Site VPN (for remoting from anywhere) or Site-to-Site (from the office only). No public internet access address for the VMs.

I notice that Splashtop is located in the US… does this cause issues for Cdn accountants that are supposed to remain within Canadian borders?

Could you explain?
Are you referring to Canadian accountants practicing within the physical boundaries of Canada?

Or a prohibition against providing services to US resident while the CPA is in Canada.

Or are they prohibitions against data storage outside Canada?

I haven’t read up up to rule number 20,640 of the CPA Rules of Professional Conduct, if that exists. I’m not sure if you’re referring to the CPA Handbook, the rules of prof. conduct, or both.


No data involved if you don’t want, with Splashtop, other than a login. And you don’t even need to maintain that on their servers - you can hold only the IP/Dyndns if you want, keeping your login info separate in something like (Canadian version and data residency).

Splashtop is just a tool for connection, and if that is an issue, so is RDP - essentially they are no different. Or, for that matter, the “control” functions in Teams and Zoom.

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It is my understanding that the CRA strongly encourages all data to be stored within Canada. They have developed laws within the last 3 years to protect Canadian data held outside of Canada but I was always told that it was dangerous. For example, under the patriot act in the US, they can access any data held on US servers. As such, I always use Canadian suppliers/servers for backup and transmission.

Data Residency Requirements for Canadian Businesses
While PIPEDA does not mandate that companies keep their data within Canadian borders , it does specify how Canadian citizens’ information can be stored. Businesses are held responsible for the data they collect, process, transfer, and store.

See article: Canadian Data Residency: Everything You Need to Know | The ITeam

Apparently this does not apply - see response from Smallbizguy - I was just curious.

Excellent answer, thank you!

  • Our e-courier service to transfer large electronic docs is based in Canada.
  • We don’t have cloud storage.
  • Our telephone and internet service is with Shaw, who knows where they keep the data?
  • Our merchant services (Visa & Mastercard) is based in TN, USA.

3 out of 4, not bad, eh.

For what it’s worth…almost all data travelling between centres in Canada…goes through the US.

Do a tracert any time from your location to your host location and you’ll see that your packets are transiting all kinds of US locations. Below, a tracert extract from central BC to Coquitlam:

Tracing route to []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 * * * Request timed out.
2 4 ms 2 ms 2 ms 10.xx.xx.xx
3 10 ms 11 ms 12 ms []
4 11 ms 11 ms 10 ms
5 * * * Request timed out.
6 18 ms 12 ms 12 ms
7 11 ms 11 ms 10 ms
8 * 18 ms 18 ms

Under the Patriot Act any packets traversing the US can be grabbed, not just data…given that you have no control over BGP or routing, it affects just about everyone whether you like it or not (or whether the CICA says you can do something or not…).

Most large ISPs peer with US carriers to transit their data cheaply (or more cheaply than other Canadian routing).

Data residency, however, is a different issue and is generally in respect of the location where the data is at rest. You do control that by choosing wisely.

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I previously used Teamviewer but they became too expensive.
I currently use MSP360 (previously cloudberry lab) for the 2 clients I need to connect to and I use the free version which is far superior to Teamviewer in my opinion. You can also sign up for a subscription version.

For the free version go to and under Cloudberry Lab select Free Products and then Cloudberry Remote Desktop.

Hope this helps.

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Zoho Assist is a good. Cost is $160 year.

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I’ve been using it for the trial version first. And use it till now

I use RDP that is built into Windows - been doing it since it was first included and have never had any issues with it. Just remember to put your NumLock back on when you log in at the office.

Why pay for something that is included in your current software?

Because it is the single biggest vector for attempts to gain access to your system, regardless of whether you use the default port 3389 or change it to something else. Port scanners live for this. Find 'em on Shodan and go after them. If nothing’s happened to you yet…that’s good. But eventually…

I just had a discussion with that company that provides my backup on a Canadian server.
Mastermind Backup Solutions

It is such a great company. They are very client-focused.
I got to thinking about our conversations regarding the maintenance of data within Canada and thought this might be helpful for others out there. (There is nothing in this for me - I just thought it might be useful for other small accountants like myself)

Have been using them for several years. Excellent service, reliable as a rock, reasonably easily implemented (the restore can be a bit tricky depending on what you’re doing), but the cost can’t be beat. I’ve essentially been able to create backups that give me a “warm site” for my Azure server on another host that I can restore to within a couple of hours. (And I’ve tested them!)

Have had the odd customer service issue and emailed them; have had responses relatively quickly with a fix.