For some time now, I have been using both Remote Desktop (RDP) and GoToMyPC to connect to the various Windows machines I am responsible for. I present here a summary of the differences I have found between the two applications:

The Same Both GoToMyPC and Remote Desktop support Windows and Mac (my operating systems of choice.

Pro-GoToMyPC GoToMyPC is a Java-based application, and runs in Windows, Mac and Linux. There have been ports of RDP for Linux but these are not officially supported, so GoToMyPC wins on this point.

GoToMyPC supports drag-and-drop file transferring. I wish RDP did this - RDP can only transfer files if using a Windows XP/2003/Vista version - the Windows 2000 version does not support file transfer at all.

GoToMyPC provides a handy one-stop web-based location for managing computers I am able to connect to. With RDP this is much harder - I must know the addresses of all the computers I manage. This process is much more difficult when dealing with dynamic IPs, although it can be mitigated somewhat by using a service like DynDns.

Pro-RDP When RDP is running, my Internet is unaffected. GoToMyPC appears to use a much large amount of bandwidth - Google and Skype chats start to skip when I connect with it. RDP appears to make much more efficient use of bandwidth.

RDP comes with Windows and is free to use. GoToMyPC has a hefty monthly fee which is hard to justify if you are a technical user who is able to keep track of IT inventory and/or control the operating systems in use on the network.

Which one is better? I see a lot of merit to GoToMyPC and recommend it for clients who are looking for a quick, brainless solution and don’t mind spending the money. My personal preference is for Remote Desktop because it is light-weight and fast. Although, as I mentioned, I really do wish it supported drag-and-drop file transfers.