Thin Clients vs. Desktops


Thin clients basically work as an interface connecting a workstation and server. The user is able to access the documents, desktop environments, applications, and data which are stored in the networked servers. With thin clients, a desktop-like environment can be executed on a server and the desktop environment is remotely visible on the thin clients’ desktop screens. Therefore, a business can either re-purpose the hardware of an old PC or purchase cheaper alternatives. This can be done by exploiting the servers’ processing power. The client does all the processing in a typical workstation setup.

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Thin clients may not be the ideal choice for each company, but they do have several advantages when used correctly. You may consider several areas when making a comparison between thin clients and desktops. Some of the major areas to consider include manageability, costs and security. You will find thin clients to be quite ahead of conventional desktop workstations in majority of the cases.


A central information center manages thin clients removing several issues which come up in the process of keeping different computers backed up, updated and secure. Manageability becomes easy with products such as XenDesktop, Citrix VDI-In-A-Box and Horizon View (VMWare).


Buyers will notice a lot of cost savings with thin clients as compared to conventional desktop workstations. Even though there has been a significant reduction in the prices of desktop PCs, thin clients have the advantage of being competitively priced and thus offering the opportunity to save money. Administrative and maintenance costs are also reasonable. This is because it is simpler to maintain thin clients as they do not have several parts which typically fail or cause problems as seen in traditional PCs.


With respect to thin clients, all kinds of data get stored only on one central server which eliminates the risk of it being misused in case the thin client of computer if lost or stolen. As mentioned earlier, a central server manages thin clients. Therefore it is simpler to keep an account of system access and avoid malware or viruses from damaging the network.