Top 11 Best Virtual Desktop Solutions: Free Cloud Desktop

Read this tutorial to learn about the best virtual desktop solutions available and choose the cloud desktop per your requirements:

Virtual desktop solutions are essential for organizing IT resources, especially amidst social restrictions.

With social restrictions in place, every business is shifting towards a remote working environment. Most businesses have been forced to create a virtual environment to survive in the market. However, managing resources virtually can be extremely challenging without the right tool in hand.

Virtual Desktop Solutions

Virtual Desktop Solutions

Virtual Desktop software offers a solution to this problem and allows us to manage staff remotely. From centralizing IT resources to securing data, the platform offers several advantages and builds the perfect foundation for remote work management. It is vital for creating and managing a virtual environment.

That said, not all virtual desktop solutions are the same, and finding an application that offers what you need is not easy. Therefore, IT professionals look for a solution that is easily accessible and has all the features to support remote management. Today, we will review the 11 best virtual desktop software in 2021.

Fact Check: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VIRTUAL DESKTOP SOLUTIONS) market revenue to cross $30 billion by 2026: Global Market Insights.

North America is the largest market for virtual desktop solutions:

Virtualization market by region

[image source]

Pro-Tip: For teams perpetually working in a remote environment, a virtual desktop solution holds them together. Therefore, it’s best to seek a solution that offers features for everyone in the team. Features like application virtualization, profile management/ user virtualization, and mobile client support for Android, iPad, and iPhone are also important.

Ultimately, the principal purpose of a virtual desktop solution is to deliver excellent UI and simplify IT systems management.

FAQs About Cloud Desktop

Q #1) What are Virtual Desktop solutions?

Answer: It is a concept where both software and hardware resources host a desktop OS on a virtual machine running on a secure data center. These solutions give users remote access to virtual desktops from other user devices, including mobile devices.

The interface is running on a centralized server, but users can access the PC like it’s in front of them. A remote terminal or desktop provides a connection to a secure VM, which the provider customizes and hosts according to user needs.

Q #2) What are the top benefits of Virtual Desktop solutions?

Answer: VD solutions can provide you and your team with a range of benefits. It gives a solid IT strategy where you can completely monitor and manage the virtual environment, reducing and even eliminating the need for physical hardware.

Compared to physical desktops, virtual desktops are easier to manage. At the same time, they provide users similar or better performance, depending on your plan. Centralized management and several features for backup make it easy to recover important data and secure it more effectively.

Ultimately, it gives you the perfect platform for handling several mobile devices, laptops, and client desktops with reduced cost and complexity. It is the foundation of mobility-based infrastructure that also secures data and corporate information with the help of virtualization.

Q #3) How do I connect to virtual desktops? 

Answer: The remote display protocol is what connects your machine with the rest of the system. This set of data transfer rules facilitates virtualization and helps you display the client’s screen on another machine.

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List Of Top Virtual Desktop Solutions

Here is a list of popular Cloud Desktop Solutions:

  1. V2 Cloud
  2. Amazon Workspaces
  3. Microsoft Azure
  4. VMware Horizon Cloud.
  5. Cloudalize Desktop-as-a-Service
  6. dinClouddinWorkspace
  7. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.
  8. OVHcloud
  9. Evolve IP
  10. Red Hat Virtualization
  11. Nutanix AOS
  12. Itopia Cloud Automation Stack

Comparison Of Online Virtual Hosted Desktops

Virtual Desktop SolutionsFeaturesPriceBest ForRatings
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V2 CloudMulti-user Desktops,
Web & mobile app, malware protection, etc.
The price starts at $40 per month.Business owners, IT managers, etc.5/5
Amazon Workspaces· Collaboration
· DaaS
· Multi-Device Support
· Third-Party Integration
· Two-Factor Authentication
Free Tier
Contact Vendor
Personal use and organizations of all sizes5/5
Microsoft Azure · Application Development
· API Management
· Infrastructure-as-a-Service Solutions
· VDI
· Virtual Machine
Contact Vendor
Free account for 12 months
Personal use and organizations of all sizes4.8/5
VMware Horizon Cloud· Dedicated & Floating Desktops
· vGPU Desktops
· User Environment Manager
· Remote Session Desktop & Apps
· Unified Management Console


Free Demo
$2,950 per host per month
$6,400 per host per month
$4,800 per host per month
Medium to large organizations4.7/5
Cloudalize Desktop-as-a-Service· DaaS
· Multi-Device Support
Free Trial
Contact vendor for pricing
DaaS for Medium to large organizations4.6/5
dinClouddinWorkspace· VDI
· Virtual Machine Encryption
· Virtual Machine Migration
· Virtual Machine Monitoring
· Virtual Server

Free Demo
Contact vendor for pricing
Medium to large organizations4.4/5

Let us review the virtual desktops listed above:

#1) V2 Cloud

Best for Business owners, IT managers, Managed Service Providers, and Independent Software Vendors.

V2 Cloud

V2 Cloud is the fully integrated cloud desktop solution for the secured remote access. It offers the features of antivirus protection as well as daily backups. It has an intuitive management console.

It is a web-based tool and also offers an easy to use mobile app. It is a platform with expandable 50 GB disk space, daily backup snapshots, office 365 & AzureAD integration, and blazing fast processors & drives.

Features:

  • Multi-user desktops are Windows Server-based and have the capacity to hold 250 users on each virtual machine.
  • Daily Backups with the facility to restore individual files.
  • All the apps have the built-in facility of live help chat.
  • It offers many more features like IPsec VPNs and MFA & SSO, etc.

Verdict: V2 Cloud offers an easy to use platform with quality support and superfast cloud desktops. This Desktop as a service (DaaS) is a cost-efficient, fast, and scalable solution for business owners, IT managers, Managed Service Providers, and Independent Software Vendors.

Price: V2 Cloud offers a free trial for 7 days. Its Basic plans start at $40 per month and business plans start at $60 per month.


#2) Amazon Workspaces

Best for personal use and organizations of all sizes

AWS home

Amazon WorkSpaces is one of the leading hosted virtual desktop environments and infrastructure providers in the industry. The platform allows you to provision Linux and Windows desktops in a matter of minutes and scale your desktop infrastructure across the globe.

With scalable payment and a range of plans, Amazon WorkSpaces helps you to build the perfect plan for the company and delivers exactly what your company needs.

Features:

  • Collaboration
  • DaaS
  • Multi-Device support
  • Third-Party integration
  • Two-Factor authentication

Verdict: Amazon Workspaces is the ideal virtual desktop solution that offers powerful remote access features assisting workers file sharing and collaboration.

Price:

  • Free Tier:2 Standard bundle WorkSpaces with 50 GB User volumes and 80 GB Root.
  • Amazon offers separate pricing for OS bundles and region. You can check the pricing here.

Amazon pricing

Website: Amazon Workspaces


#3) Microsoft Azure

Best for personal use and for organizations of all sizes.

AZure

Backed by the technology giant Microsoft, Azure is perhaps the earliest cloud platform for VM creation in the software industry. Facilitating XML web services and smart client applications, and helping to build and operate web-based applications, Microsoft Azure also gives users free cloud desktop and cloud personal computer for as many as 12 months.

Features:

  • Application development
  • API management
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions
  • VDI
  • Virtual Machine

Verdict: For organizations working on the Windows Server, Microsoft Azure is the ideal choice given its plethora of powerful Windows cloud desktop features.

Price:

  • Free account for 12 months
  • Contact vendor for pricing

AZure pricing

Website: Microsoft Azure


#4) VMware Horizon Cloud

Best for medium to large organizations.

VMware Horizon Cloud

Relying on the powerful Instant Clone technology, VMware has revolutionized the deployment of customized virtual desktops. It is one of the few platforms that have zero dependency on the parent after cloning, due to in-memory cloning inside parent virtual machines. As a result, you can deploy and scale servers quickly and easily and can create a powerful and robust virtual desktop infrastructure.

Features:

  • Dedicated & Floating desktops
  • vGPU desktops
  • User Environment Manager
  • Remote session desktop & apps
  • Unified Management Console

Verdict: VMware Horizon Cloud offers one of the fastest cloud workspaces in the industry. Maximizing uptime and scalability, VMware Horizon Cloud drives the highest performance amongst the best-hosted desktop services.

Price:

  • Standard capacity – $2,950 per host per month: 1 vCPU, 2GB of VRAM, and 30GB HD.
  • Graphic Desktop Capacity (M10) – $6,400 per host per month: 2 vCPUs, 8GB of vRAM, 120GB HD, and a 1GB vGPU, including Max 64 VMs per host (64 M10s)
  • Workstation capacity (M60) – $4,800 per host per month: 4 vCPUs, 16GB of vRAM, 120GB HD, and a 2GB vGPU.

VMpricing

Website: VMware Horizon Cloud


#5) Cloudalize Desktop-as-a-Service

Best for solution deployment and testing for software providers, medium to large organizations.

Cloudalize

Cloudalize is an all-round platform dedicated to solution deployment and testing. That said, it also provides excellent features for Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), giving the perfect infrastructure for remote work and collaboration management. With this solution, you can automate the entire decision-making process and create workflows according to your needs.

Features:

  • DaaS
  • Multi-Device support

Verdict: With secure remote access, Cloudalize offers a reliable setup for virtualized desktop management.

Price:

  • Contact vendor for pricing.

Cloudalize Pricing

Website: Cloudalize Desktop-as-a-Service


#6) dinClouddinWorkspace

Best for medium to large organizations.

DinCloud

dinWorkspace is the offshoot of the famous dinCloud cloud services provider. Relying on its strong portfolio of cloud management, dinWorkspace gives users a cloud desktop in the form of hosted workspaces, where users can control virtual computers online through direct and open access.

On top of that, the platform’s subscription-based services are tailored for various plans, giving you a secure, cost-efficient, and reliable platform for online virtual desktops.

Features:

  • VDI
  • Virtual Machine Encryption
  • Virtual Machine Migration
  • Virtual Machine Monitoring
  • Virtual Server

Verdict: Apart from powerful cloud infrastructure, dinWorkspace gives you a privately hosted virtualized desktop for medium and large companies.

Price:

  • Contact vendor for pricing.

DinCloudPricing

Website: dinClouddinWorkspace


#7) Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Best for small to medium-sized businesses.

Citrix

Social restrictions have forced businesses to adopt a digital workspace regardless of their size. Citrix Workspace is a solution targeted at small-medium-sized businesses. It gives users a unified, secure, intelligent virtual desktop environment where they can guide, organize, automate the virtual workflow, making it easier to collaborate with others and make timely decisions.

Features:

  • Activity/News feed
  • Content management
  • Document management
  • Employee directory
  • File sharing

Verdict: While there are plenty of options for large enterprises, not many virtual desktop solutions compare to Citrix Workspace when it comes to hosted virtualized desktop solutions for small-medium businesses.

Price:

  • Workspace Essentials: $2 per user, per month
  • Workspace Standard: $7 per user, per month
  • Workspace Premium: $18 per user, per month
  • Workspace Premium Plus: $25 per user, per month
  • Contact vendor for customizable and scalable pricing

CitrixPricing

Website: Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops


#8) OVHcloud

Best for medium to large enterprises.

OVCVirtualCloud

Although known for hyper scale cloud services, OVHcloud virtual cloud infrastructure support medium to large enterprises. Previously, OVHcloud offered a virtual desktop solution for smaller businesses but has now discontinued it in favor of a powerful virtual cloud infrastructure with robust virtual machines.

Features:

  • High-Performance Computing (HPC)
  • Virtual Machines (VMs)
  • Edge Computing
  • Virtual Networks

Verdict: Leveraging high-performance virtual infrastructure, the OVCloud virtual infrastructure solution allows you to create a scalable virtual workflow for medium to large enterprises.

Price:

  • Value $5.52/month
  • Essential $10.58/month
  • Comfort $21.16/month
  • Elite $31.28/month

OVHPricing

Website: OVHcloud


#9) Evolve IP

Best for smart and affordable VD solution for small and medium-sized businesses.

EvolveIPVirtual

With limited IT budgets, companies need a robust, secure, and affordable virtual desktop solution to maintain a remote workflow for their businesses. Evolve IP offers you VDI features so you can enjoy complete control over the virtual desktop environment.

Features:

  • VMware Horizon View Infrastructure
  • Private hosting in Evolve IP’s Virtual data center
  • Private firewall context and VLAN
  • Optionally encrypted disk to meet compliance standards

Verdict: Evolve IP offers you a secure, reliable virtualization experience without straining your budget.

Price:

  • Free Demo
  • Basic $2 per user/month
  • Standard $4 per user/month
  • Enterprise $6 per user/month

EvolveIPVirtualPricing

Website: Evolve IP


#10) Red Hat Virtualization

Best for dedication to companies that want a powerful, customizable Linux-based virtual infrastructure.

RedHat virtualization

Red Hat Virtualization is perhaps the best known online virtual desktop freely available to users. Several companies leverage its open-source solution to create a comprehensive, customized, and scalable infrastructure. Optimize your existing infrastructure and take its performance to the next level while improving application development.

Features:

  • Central Management dashboard
  • Secure virtualization
  • High availability configuration
  • Workload management
  • Cross-Platform migration

Verdict: Rare as it seems, Red Hat Virtualization’s open source and scalable virtual desktop infrastructure is a comprehensive solution for companies of all sizes.

Price:

  • Free version
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server US$349
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Virtual Datacenters US$2,499
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation US$179
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Suite US$99
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Workstation US$299
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Support US$5,000
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for IBM Power Little Endian US$269

RedHat pricing

Website: Red Hat Virtualization


#11) Nutanix AOS

Best for large enterprises.

Nutanix

Nutanix Acropolis offers a unique OS for native virtualization solutions. By supporting virtual solutions such as Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESXi, Nutanix AHV provides you with enterprise virtualization integrated with the Acropolis system.

Features:

  • Acropolis Block Services (ABS)
  • Acropolis Dynamic Scheduling (ADS)
  • Acropolis File Services (AFS)
  • VM Scheduling Policies

Verdict: Robust and intuitive virtual desktop management solution with one-click technologies ease of use; tailored for large enterprises.

Price:

  • Contact vendor for custom pricing

Website: Nutanix AOS


#12) Itopia Cloud Automation Stack

Best for medium to large enterprises who want a solution tailored for the Google Cloud Platform.

Itopia

Itopia’s Cloud Automation Stack serves as the foundation for building and managing a legacy VDI on the Google Cloud Platform. Leveraging this solution, you can manage hybrid Active Directory (AD)environments, VFX workstations, as well as a network of virtual desktops and applications.

From Sandbox to Production, Itopia lets you leverage Windows and Linux virtual machines and AD-based disaster recovery.

Features:

  • Discovery & Automated VDI Migrations
  • Automated Provisioning for Desktops & Apps
  • Identity & Access management
  • Unified console
  • Custom Image Creation & Management

Verdict: Itopia is the best virtual desktop solution for users who rely on the Google Cloud Platform.

Price:

  • 14-Day Free Trial
  • Month-to-Month $16 per named user per month
  • Annual Commitment: $12 per named user per month
  • 3-Year Pricing Custom: Contact vendor for pricing

Itopia.Pricing

Website: Itopia Cloud Automation Stack


Conclusion

Depending on your needs, your preference for a virtual desktop solution can change. Overall, Amazon Workspaces offers the best features for the VD solution and is suitable for any company that wants to transition to the Amazon infrastructure. Microsoft Azure is not far behind and offers nearly the same features, but increases your dependence on the Microsoft technology stack.

If you are a small to medium-sized business looking for affordable virtual workspaces, solutions like Citrix and EvolveIP might be the best for you. In the end, you must see which of these solutions complements your existing architecture.

Research process:

  • We spent 10 hours researching and writing this article so you can get a useful summarized list of tools with a comparison of each for your quick review.
  • Total tools researched online: 20
  • Top tools shortlisted for review: 11
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