Comparing Remote Desktop Tools: Nice DCV, RDP, and VNC


The surge in remote work has shone a spotlight on the crucial role of remote desktop tools. Among the most widely used in this arena are Nice DCV, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), and Virtual Network Computing (VNC). Each of these solutions provides remote access capabilities but differ considerably in terms of their features, functionality, and overall performance. Let’s dive into a comprehensive comparison of these solutions.

Nice DCV

Nice DCV, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) product, offers an advanced remote display protocol that supports even high-quality 3D graphics streaming. Another notable aspect of Nice DCV is its support for the QUIC protocol, enhancing its performance on networks with high packet loss or latency issues. However, it is predominantly designed for use within the AWS environment, limiting its scope outside of it.


RDP is Microsoft’s native solution for remote connections, delivering a fully interactive and feature-rich experience, including clipboard sharing and printer redirection. While it shines in Windows environments, it can work on Linux systems as well, albeit with some limitations. However, it requires a substantial amount of bandwidth to function optimally.


VNC is an open-source solution noted for its platform-agnostic approach. While it offers extensive compatibility and customizability, its performance may not match that of Nice DCV or RDP. Moreover, it might be slightly more complex to set up.

Comparison Table

Here’s a succinct comparison table outlining the key characteristics of these three solutions:

Developed by AWS Microsoft Open-Source Community
Cost No additional charge with AWS EC2 Part of Windows license Free
Compatibility AWS environments Primarily Windows, Limited on Linux Multi-platform
Performance High-quality even over low-bandwidth High, but requires more bandwidth Moderate, can be dependent on setup
Ease of setup Straightforward within AWS Easy in Windows, More complex in Linux Can be complex
Security High High with additional features Basic, with password protection and encryption
Multimedia support High Moderate Low
Customizability Low Low High
QUIC / UDP Support Yes No No


Selecting between Nice DCV, RDP, and VNC for remote work hinges on your particular needs. If you’re engaged with the AWS ecosystem and require high-quality remote sessions, Nice DCV could be your go-to option. On the other hand, if you’re operating mainly within a Windows environment (or Linux with some limitations) and have ample bandwidth, RDP might serve you better. For those in search of high customizability and wide-ranging platform compatibility, VNC could be the ideal solution. As always, the best remote desktop solution will perfectly dovetail with your unique requirements and circumstances.

We provide AWS images for all three remote destop protocols:


Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS - GUI Gnome with RDP

Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS - GUI Gnome with RDP - Arm

Ubuntu Desktop Basic 22.04 - Web and RDP

Ubuntu Desktop 22.04 LTS - Web and RDP - ARM

Amazon Linux 2 with GUI Mate Desktop RDP

CentOS 9 Desktop - GUI Gnome with RDP

Windows 2019 - Nice DCV (no GPU)


Ubuntu 20.04 - NICE DCV with NVIDIA Tesla GPU Driver

Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS - GUI Gnome with NICE DCV

Ubuntu Desktop 22.04 LTS - GUI Gnome with NICE DCV

Ubuntu 22.04 - NICE DCV with NVIDIA GRID GPU Driver

CentOS 9 Desktop - GUI Gnome with NICE DCV


Ubuntu 18.04 LTS - GUI Gnome VNC

Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS - GUI Gnome with VNC

Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS - GUI Gnome with VNC - Arm

Ubuntu Desktop 22.04 LTS - GUI Mate with VNC

Amazon Linux 2 with GUI Mate Desktop VNC

CentOS 9 Desktop - GUI Gnome with VNC