Thin Clients

What Is a Thin Client?

Outside of the IT world, thin client computers remain an enigma. Some people describe thin clients as little more than dumb computers, but today's thin client solutions are much more than an underpowered PC.

Thin client computing can change the way your business approaches its technology requirements.

What Is a Thin Client

There are a number of scenarios in which a fully functional, independent computing platform just isn't practical, especially when you are trusting sensitive company data to a large group of technological novices. And that's where thin client solutions can help.

The driving force behind thin client technology is the need to give employees the tools they need to effectively function in the workplace while at the same time allowing management to retain strict controls over the computing environment. Thin client hardware currently comprises as much as 5% of the computer sales to large and medium-size companies, and opportunities for smaller companies to also benefit from the technology are becoming increasingly common.

Thin Client Basics

Thin client devices (or terminals) look the same as any other PC. In fact, most thin client devices also behave similarly to PCs in that they are capable of operating Windows and displaying the same applications as traditional computers. The major difference is that in a thin client computing environment, users are viewing and accessing an application that is located on a central server rather than on their machine's own hard drive.

Business applications for thin client computers often focus on a select few tasks that don't require a robust, independent platform. Online applications like e-mail or web surfing are straightforward thin client functions, but companies also use them for other applications that can be located on a corporate server. Device memory isn't an issue because thin client hardware is only a tool for accessing programs and information stored on the server.

Benefits of Thin Client Computing

  • Ease-of-use. Thin client solutions don't require technological expertise to be used effectively. They are configured to make it easy for non-technical workers to perform common computing functions.
  • Reduced costs. Thin client terminals cost less and are more reliable than traditional PCs. Simple designs and fewer moving parts translate into noticeable cost savings for the average company.
  • Streamlined maintenance. Instead of maintaining and upgrading multiple PCs, your IT department can perform a single upgrade on the company server.
  • Security. Thin client computing systems give company managers the ability to restrict access. As long as your server is secure, you won't have to worry about security breaches or the loss of vital data.

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