AnyDesk is a remote desktop software developed by ex-TeamViewer employees that has been released as a first beta version in 2014.
TeamViewer, best known for its ease of use that gets rid of most technicalities such as IP addresses, firewalls or ports is one of the most popular programs in the remote desktop market.
Tip: Check out our first look at AnyDesk 3.0 Beta released in 2016.
The new video codec DeskRT plays a central role in achieving that goal. It has been specifically designed for graphical user interfaces to address requirements that set them apart from image or video materials.
The software is for instance only transferring the parts of the screen that change which reduces the bandwidth requirements significantly.
The developers have benchmarked their program and several other remote desktop applications such as TeamViewer, Google Remote Desktop or Splashtop and the result was that AnyDesk beat all other solutions in framerate, latency and bandwidth tests.
Note: There have been no independently run benchmark tests yet, so take the findings with a grain of salt until they are verified by third-parties taking AnyDesk and other solutions for a test ride.
The results are impressive nevertheless: AnyDesk was the only program to reach near 60 fps while TeamViewer came second with composition enabled (15 fps) and Splashtop second with it disabled (30 fps).
As far as latency goes, AnyDesk's was measured at or below 8ms with composition and 16.5 ms with composition disabled. The second best program was once again Teamviewer with 74.3 ms with composition enabled, and RDP at 43,6 ms with composition disabled.
The Benchmark results are as impressive. AnyDesk transferred 1.44 and 1.4 Megabyte respectively during a one minute transfer test. Splashtop managed to come second here with 3.11 and 6.65 Megabyte respectively.
You can download the full benchmark report here.
All you need to do is download AnyDesk from the developer website and run it afterwards. The interface looks browser-like with the tab-like bar at the top and the Hamburger menu on the right.
The AnyDesk address is displayed on start which others can use to connect to the desk. Here you also have the option to enter an address of another user to connect to that user's system remotely.
As far as settings go, there are a view of interest. You can add a password for unattended access to the system and define permissions here for remote users. It is for instance possible to block access to the clipboard or block mouse and keyboard use.
The program compromises between display and audio quality and reaction time which you can modify in the settings as well. You can either switch that to lowest reaction time or to best audio and video quality instead.
Here you can also enable and disable visual helpers such as showing a remote cursor or transmitting hotkeys, and whether hardware acceleration should be used.
Connection requests are displayed on screen by default. Here you see who is requesting the connection, and can modify several permissions such as use of the clipboard, before you hit the accept or dismiss button.
A quick test showed great promise. Both the image quality and responsiveness was excellent. While too early to come to a conclusion as independent benchmarks need to be run for confirmation, it is fair to say that AnyDesk could give TeamViewer a run for its money.
AnyDesk will be offered in four different versions. There is AnyDesk Free, a limited version that is free for non-commercial use. It is good for one simultaneous connection, and supports the transmission of audio and video but lacks other features that only the commercial programs support.
The first commercial version, AnyDesk Lite, is available for €60 yearly or a one-time payment of €290. It bumps the simultaneous connections up to three, supports commercial use the creation of Anydesk-Aliases which are easier to remember than numbers when it comes to remote connections.
The only downside right now is that AnyDesk is only available for Windows. The company is working on Linux and Mac ports, and an iOS client.
If you are running Windows and use remote desktop software occasionally or all the time, you may want to take AnyDesk for a test drive especially in corporate environments and situations where bandwidth or latency is an issue as it may provide improvements in those scenarios.
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