MeshCentral vs. RustDesk: Which One Should You Use?

The remote desktop industry has seen exponential growth, with a projected market value of $9.27 billion by 2030.

As remote work becomes more prevalent, there’s a huge demand for reliable software.

MeshCentral offers robust security features and scalability, making it indispensable for large-scale enterprises. RuskDesk provides a seamless user experience and enhanced accessibility, catering to diverse user needs.

The main difference is that MeshCentral is an open-source remote management solution, offering extensive customization options and flexibility, while RustDesk is a lightweight, user-friendly remote desktop software, focusing on simplicity and ease of use for quick deployment and remote access tasks.

Choosing the right tool can significantly impact productivity and efficiency in the evolving landscape of remote work.

Meshcentral vs. RuskDesk: Overview Feature Comparison at a Glance

Here’s a quick overview of the key features and how they compare for both remote desktop software:

Ease of InstallationMeshCentral requires setup on a server, which may be complex for beginners.RustDesk offers a straightforward installation process suitable for all users.
User InterfaceMeshCentral has a feature-rich interface with multiple customization options.RustDesk boasts a clean and intuitive UI, making it easy to navigate.
Remote AccessBoth tools provide secure remote access to devices, with MeshCentral offering more advanced options.RustDesk offers seamless remote access capabilities, ideal for basic use cases.
Performance and ReliabilityMeshCentral is known for its robust performance, suitable for managing large networks.RustDesk offers reliable performance, ensuring smooth remote desktop connections.
Security FeaturesMeshCentral offers advanced security features like two-factor authentication and encryption.RustDesk prioritizes security with built-in encryption and secure connections.
Pricing and PlansMeshCentral offers a free open-source version, with additional features available in paid plans.RustDesk offers a free plan with limited features, alongside affordable paid options.
Customer SupportMeshCentral provides extensive documentation and community support, with limited official support.RustDesk offers responsive customer support, ensuring users receive timely assistance.

What is MeshCentral? Who is it for?

MeshCentral is an open-source remote management software designed for IT administrators, system administrators, and businesses requiring secure remote access and control over their networked devices.

MeshCentral Pros:

  • Customizable and extensible due to its open-source nature.
  • Supports multi-platform compatibility, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Provides robust security features such as two-factor authentication and encryption.
  • Offers a centralized management interface for easy device monitoring and administration.
  • Allows for remote desktop access, file transfer, and task automation.

MeshCentral Cons:

  • Steeper learning curve for non-technical users.
  • Requires self-hosting or deployment on a dedicated server.
  • Limited official support compared to commercial solutions.
  • May require additional configuration for complex network setups.

What is RustDesk and Who Should Use it?

RustDesk is a lightweight remote desktop software designed for individuals, small businesses, and IT professionals seeking a simple and efficient solution for remote access and support.

RuskDesk Pros:

  • User-friendly interface with easy setup and deployment.
  • Cross-platform compatibility for Windows, macOS, and Linux systems.
  • Fast and responsive performance, even on low-bandwidth connections.
  • Secure connections with end-to-end encryption and password protection.
  • Allows for remote file transfer and clipboard sharing.

RuskDesk Cons:

  • Limited feature set compared to more advanced remote management tools.
  • Lack of customization options for specific use cases.
  • Relatively new and may lack some advanced features found in established solutions.
  • May not be suitable for large-scale enterprise deployments.

Complete Comparison of MeshCentral vs. RuskDesk

This is where we dive deeper into the main features as we compare them side by side:

1. Remote Desktop Access:

MeshCentral offers comprehensive remote desktop access, allowing users to view and control remote devices seamlessly. It provides advanced features such as multi-monitor support and remote keyboard input.

RustDesk, while efficient for basic remote access, may lack some advanced functionalities like multi-monitor support.

Winner: MeshCentral provides more robust remote desktop capabilities.

2. Security Features:

MeshCentral emphasizes security with features like two-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption, ensuring data privacy and protection against unauthorized access.

RustDesk also prioritizes security with password protection and encryption, but it may lack some advanced security features found in MeshCentral.

Winner: MeshCentral offers more comprehensive security measures.

3. Cross-Platform Compatibility:

Both MeshCentral and RustDesk support multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, ensuring flexibility and accessibility across various devices.

Users can seamlessly access remote devices regardless of the platform.

Winner: Tie – Both tools offer excellent cross-platform compatibility.

4. Ease of Use:

RustDesk prides itself on its user-friendly interface and easy setup, making it accessible to users with varying technical skills.

MeshCentral, while powerful, may have a steeper learning curve due to its extensive feature set and customization options.

Winner: RustDesk is more beginner-friendly.

5. Performance and Responsiveness:

MeshCentral delivers fast and responsive performance, even over low-bandwidth connections, ensuring smooth remote access experiences.

RustDesk also boasts fast performance but may not offer the same level of optimization for challenging network conditions.

Winner: MeshCentral excels in performance and responsiveness.

6. Customization and Extensibility:

MeshCentral’s open-source nature allows for extensive customization and extensibility, catering to diverse use cases and requirements.

RustDesk, while adaptable, may have limitations in terms of customization due to its closed-source nature.

Winner: MeshCentral offers superior customization options.

7. Support and Community:

MeshCentral benefits from a robust community of developers and users, providing extensive support resources and active development.

RustDesk may have a smaller community but still offers adequate support channels for users.

Winner: MeshCentral has a stronger support and community ecosystem.

Meshcentral Use Case Examples:

  1. Managed Service Provider (MSP): An IT support company uses MeshCentral to securely manage client devices across various businesses. They can remotely update software, troubleshoot issues, and enforce security policies, all from a centralized dashboard.
  2. Healthcare System: A hospital deploys a self-hosted MeshCentral server for remote access to specialized medical equipment. Strict security controls and audit trails ensure patient data remains protected while allowing technicians to remotely maintain these critical systems.

RustDesk Use Case Examples:

  1. Small Business Owner: A freelance graphic designer uses RustDesk to quickly offer remote support to clients struggling with software. The speed and simplicity mean minimal troubleshooting time for the client, improving customer satisfaction.
  2. Tech-Savvy Family: Parents install RustDesk on both their own computers and their elderly relatives’ devices. This lets them easily access and troubleshoot any computer problems remotely, saving time and potential frustration for everyone involved.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Remote Access Software

Let’s go through the six important factors to consider when deciding on a remote access software for your daily and business needs.

1. Self-Hosted vs. “Out-of-the-Box” Ease:

Meshcentral: Excels in self-hosting. This gives maximum control, but demands technical setup. Great for IT managing many machines within a secure internal network.

Rustdesk: Can be self-hosted, but shines in its ease of use with their public relay servers. Less setup, but raises potential security concerns if handling sensitive data.

2. Performance and Network Conditions:

Meshcentral: Highly configurable for different scenarios. If optimized, it performs well even on slower connections.

Rustdesk: Known for blazing speed and responsiveness, especially on good networks. May suffer more if bandwidth is limited or firewalls restrict traffic flow.

3. Remote Access Capability:

MeshCentral: Offers advanced options suitable for managing large networks.

RustDesk: Provides seamless remote access capabilities.

Consideration: Depending on your remote access needs, choose the tool that aligns with your requirements.

4. Performance and Reliability:

MeshCentral: Known for robust performance, suitable for large networks.

RustDesk: Ensures reliable performance for smooth remote connections.

Consideration: Assess your network size and performance requirements to make an informed decision.

5. Security Needs and Compliance:

Meshcentral: Built with security in mind. Granular permissions, two-factor authentication, etc. Ideal for compliance-sensitive industries or those managing high-value assets.

Rustdesk: Baseline security is good, but its focus is ease of use. If handling sensitive data on public servers or requiring detailed audit trails, Meshcentral is likely safer.

6. Scale of Management:

Meshcentral: Designed to manage large numbers of devices. Its interface and features make sense when you have complex groupings, filtering, and mass actions to perform.

Rustdesk: Better for personal use, small teams, or ad-hoc remote support. Its simplicity is an asset when managing only a handful of machines.


Let’s answer and compare common questions about Meshcentral and Rustdesk to help you choose the right remote desktop tool for your needs.

Is it free and open-source?YesYes
How’s the performance/speed?Generally good, can be optimizedKnown for excellent speed and low latency
Works behind firewalls/NAT?Yes, designed for thisCan be tricky, may need extra setup
Self-hosted or uses their servers?Primarily self-hostedOptions for both, but public server less secure
Focus on security?Robust security featuresStrong baseline, but less enterprise-focused
Large-scale management ease?Built for many devicesBetter for smaller-scale or personal set up


MeshCentral’s robust performance and advanced features make it ideal for managing large networks.

However, its complex installation process may be a drawback for some users.

In contrast, RuskDesk offers a straightforward installation and a user-friendly interface, addressing the complexity issue of Meshcentral.

This makes RuskDesk more accessible to users of all levels, providing a seamless experience without compromising on performance or functionality.