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Editors' Review

Download.com Staff Sep 19, 2010

Windows' built-in Remote Desktop Connection utility is a bit basic; it offers few options, and multiple connections fill up the taskbar, making it awkward to switch among desktops. If you regularly access multiple remote machines or just want an improved remote desktop client, check out RD Tabs from Avian Waves. It uses a tabbed interface to manage open remote connections with a familiar functionality similar to current browsers, keeping everything in one spot. But it offers so much more than just better organization, with extra features like password encryption, remote terminal server management, connection thumbnails, and command line scripting.

To use RD Tabs, your computer must have Microsoft Net Framework 2.0 or higher; the installer might use Windows Update to check for the latest version. We installed it on machines running Windows XP and Windows 7 Ultimate, and successfully established remote connections via both. That's no trick, though, since Windows does it well enough. But if you're familiar with the Windows client, RD Tabs' efficient yet feature-packed interface will come as a revelation. RD Tabs' clean dialog is anchored by a full complement of useful file menu entries, including an interesting Tools menu and numerous Connections menu settings. The connection tab bar and an additional taskbar display connection, time, and security status as well as other relevant data. Establishing a remote connection is just as easy as with the Windows tool, though, despite RD Tabs' numerous options; a New Connection wizard walked us through each step of the process. Tabs on the connection properties dialog let you configure everything from log-on and display options to alternate shells. There's even a user experience tab for allowing options like blinking cursors and bitmap caching, something unexpected that could prove useful in accessing an unusually configured remote machine. This flexible tool seems to lack no configuration option or setting.

If you regularly access remote desktops, RD Tabs can definitely improve your experience. It's an excellent example of the sort of free tool that not only enhances Windows but adds many capabilities, too.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 3.0.10

Version 3.0.10 may include unspecified updates, enhancements, or bug fixes.

General

Release April 10, 2018
Date Added April 9, 2018
Version 3.0.10

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows Vista, Windows, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7
Additional Requirements Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2

Popularity

Total Downloads 36,814
Downloads Last Week 12
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Developer's Description

Remote Desktop is an important tool for any System Administrator or Help Desk Technician who manages Windows servers and desktops on-premises or in the cloud. However, the remote desktop client that Microsoft bundles with Windows leaves a lot to be desired. This is where RD Tabs comes in.

RD Tabs is the original advanced multi-tabbed Windows Remote Desktop client and connection manager. It started back in 2006 with a simple idea: bring the then new idea of tabbed web browsers to remote desktop. From there, a way to remember saved session properties that was superior to a bunch of .rdp files was added (favorites), including the ability to batch edit multiple favorites at a time, making management of stored passwords simple. But why stop there? Features allowing split-screen, multiple Windows, scaled desktop sizes were added. Now in present day more advanced features are coming fast. From an integrated PowerShell scripting engine, to colored tabs for organization, RD Tabs makes a System Administrator's life so much easier.