Parallels Access for Mac offers a transparent way of working with your computer remotely from your mobile device. The software comes with a trial period and after that requires a monthly or annual subscription. On the performance side, the app is quite robust and can accept connections from both iOS and Android devices as well as its Web app.
Solid performance: While no remote desktop software can be a complete substitute for interacting with an actual device, Parallels Access for Mac comes close. It is fast and responsive as long as you're on a high-speed network, and there aren't too many animations on the screen. If you're in a situation where bandwidth is limited, you can opt to reduce the visual quality for an increase in responsiveness.
Set and forget: You can set the software to start up automatically with your Mac, so it is constantly available. You can even enable it to automatically check for updates and apply them, ensuring you always have the latest version at all times. Another nice touch is the prompt that appears when you open the app for the first time, asking you to disable sleep on your computer, so it's online all of the time.
Secure: In the app's settings you can request that all mobile clients, even those that are using your Parallels account, must enter the Mac's username and password for added protection. There are also options that allow you to lock the Mac to observers physically present in the room while you're using it and keep it locked once you log out.
Requires subscription: It is hard to justify owning such a product and paying a monthly subscription when there are cheaper and even free services that give you similar capabilities. On the plus side, you have a 14-day free trial to test the software before purchasing a subscription.
No Mac client software: If you're on another Mac and want to access your computer back home, you're stuck with using the product's Web application. There is no client software for Mac or Windows, only for iOS and Android.
Although Parallels Access for Mac covers the basics when it comes to working with remote computers, it doesn't offer anything truly groundbreaking that warrants a premium subscription, especially when compared to free services like TeamViewer. The software is also hampered by the lack of a native desktop client -- to make computer-to-computer connections, you'll have to use Parallels Access' website.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Parallels Access for Mac 2.5.