The Hidden Costs of Citrix RDP and Why You Should Consider an Alternative


Remote desktop solutions have become a lifeline for businesses. They enable employees to access corporate networks from anywhere, ensuring business continuity and flexibility. Citrix Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is one of the most well-known solutions in this space, but what are the hidden costs associated with it? This article aims to shed light on these often-overlooked expenses and suggest Citrix RDP alternatives.

Understanding Citrix RDP

Citrix RDP has long been a staple in remote desktop solutions, offering a robust platform that allows businesses to manage virtualized applications and desktops efficiently. While its value proposition is compelling—providing secure remote access, high availability, and scalability—the initial and ongoing costs can be significant.

Initial Costs of Citrix RDP Licensing

One of the first considerations when implementing Citrix RDP is the licensing cost. Citrix offers a variety of licensing models, including perpetual licenses and subscription-based plans. While these options provide flexibility, they can also be quite costly compared to alternatives like TruGrid Secure RDP or Microsoft Remote Desktop. Additionally, the initial licensing fee often doesn’t cover all the costs associated with deployment.

Infrastructure Upgrades

Another hidden cost of Citrix RDP is the need for infrastructure upgrades. To run Citrix efficiently, businesses often need to invest in high-performance servers, additional storage, and enhanced network capabilities. These upgrades can quickly add up, making the total cost of ownership (TCO) much higher than initially anticipated.

Maintenance and Support Costs

Once Citrix RDP is up and running, ongoing maintenance and support are crucial to ensure smooth operation. Citrix offers support packages, but these come at an additional cost. Furthermore, maintaining the necessary infrastructure internally can be resource-intensive, requiring a dedicated IT team to manage updates, troubleshoot issues, and ensure security compliance.

User Training and Productivity Losses

Implementing a new system like Citrix RDP often necessitates user training to ensure that employees can use the software effectively. Training sessions can lead to productivity losses as employees take time away from their regular tasks to learn the new system. The learning curve associated with Citrix’s complex environment can be steep, impacting overall productivity during the initial phases of implementation.

Over-Licensing and Management

Over-licensing is another potential pitfall. Businesses may purchase more licenses than needed to avoid compliance issues, leading to unnecessary expenses. Effective license management is crucial to avoid this trap, but it requires careful planning and ongoing monitoring, which can be time-consuming and complex.

Hidden Operational Costs

Operational costs related to network bandwidth and storage usage are often overlooked when evaluating Citrix RDP. Running remote desktop sessions can consume significant network bandwidth, necessitating upgrades to avoid bottlenecks. Additionally, storage requirements for virtualized environments can be substantial, adding to the overall cost.

Impact on Employee Satisfaction and Turnover

The choice of a remote desktop solution can also impact employee satisfaction and turnover rates. If the system is difficult to use or unreliable, it can lead to frustration and decreased morale. Over time, this can contribute to higher employee turnover, another hidden cost for businesses.

Evaluating the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Before committing to Citrix RDP, it’s essential to evaluate the TCO. This involves considering not just the initial licensing fees but also infrastructure upgrades, maintenance and support, user training, and potential operational costs. By taking a holistic approach, businesses can make a more informed decision about whether Citrix is the right choice for their needs.

Alternatives to Citrix RDP

Given the hidden costs associated with Citrix RDP, it’s worth exploring alternatives that might offer a better balance of cost and functionality. Two noteworthy options are TruGrid Secure RDP and Microsoft Remote Desktop.

TruGrid Secure RDP

TruGrid Secure RDP provides a simplified and secure remote desktop solution that is both cost-effective and easy to implement. It offers features such as multi-factor authentication, encrypted connections, and an intuitive user interface. Unlike Citrix, TruGrid does not require extensive infrastructure upgrades, making it a more affordable option for many businesses.

Microsoft Remote Desktop

Microsoft Remote Desktop is another viable alternative, particularly for businesses already using Microsoft products. It offers seamless integration with Windows environments, making it easy to deploy and manage. Microsoft Remote Desktop is known for its reliability and performance, and it comes with a lower initial cost compared to Citrix RDP. Additionally, businesses can benefit from Microsoft’s extensive support and resources.


While Citrix RDP offers a powerful remote desktop solution, it’s important to consider the hidden costs associated with its implementation and maintenance. From initial licensing fees and infrastructure upgrades to ongoing support and potential impacts on employee satisfaction, these expenses can add up quickly. By evaluating the total cost of ownership and exploring alternatives like TruGrid Secure RDP and Microsoft Remote Desktop, businesses can make more informed decisions and choose a solution that best meets their needs.