What is a Thin Client?

Intermediate – Computing

Reading Time – 1 minute, 27 seconds


To begin with, what is a thin client? It’s a low cost, low power device that is connected to a display, keyboard, mouse, and provides USB ports to connect other peripheral devices. A network connection is used to link the client to a processing device such as a server or a cloud. This type of hardware does not process or store data. They consist of flash memory and they are used to input data from the users and output information.

In general, thin clients usually run client applications that enable users to connect to a remote desktop on another computer. This type of computer access the hard drive and the applications installed on a remote server that runs a remote desktop protocol (RDP) and virtualization software. It then serves as a virtual application to users by enabling a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

Thin clients are utilized in organizations that require several computers to perform the same tasks. For example, students in a computer lab can use thin clients to run the same application on a server. They are most commonly used in reservation counters in railways and other transportation systems to revert tickets and retrieve information.

The benefits of thin clients

These are some of the benefits of thin clients.

  • High security
    It is not possible to run any unauthorized software as the applications running on thin clients are controlled from the server end. Also, the data cannot be copied or saved anywhere from them except on the server.
  • Low cost
    This type of computing do not require high processing power, much electricity, hardware resources, and or storage space. Hence, it is a low-cost option for organizations that require multiple computers to perform the same tasks. The maintenance cost is also low as software updates are made to the server end and not to the client-side

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