ByBrian Turner,cristian cawley,David Nield
Manage security for BYOD and EMM policies
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
The best mobile device management software makes it simple and easy to manage security across all your mobile devices.
Managing a fleet of devices across multiple departmental disciplines is not for the faint of heart. The solution is MDM software, but what does it bring to your organization? Is it worth the money? Will you be able to exert the level of control you need?
Strictly speaking, mobile device management, commonly referred to as MDM, is all about managing mobile devices.smart phones(opens in new tab),pills(opens in new tab), and more and morelaptops(opens in new tab)be under the control of the MDM. More recently, with the advent of Bring Your Own Device, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) tools have been incorporated into MDM.
However, MDM is different from Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) as it is more closely related to all other device endpoints fromInternet of Things(opens in new tab)hardware forprinters(opens in new tab),desktop computers(opens in new tab), youusable(opens in new tab).
What can you expect from an MDM application? Several key features of MDM ensure that devices are available remotely for audits, over-the-air (OTA) updates, software runs efficiently, and devices are available for remote troubleshooting and diagnostics. MDM software runs on a server or admin system and can be used to monitor a wide range of devices. The Open Mobile Alliance issued a protocol called OMA Device Management, a specification used by most MDM tools. It can be found on many smartphones, PDAs and other mobile devices.
While the use of MDM software can be considered a recent development, mobile device management goes back years. Major MDM features can be found in BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10 during the platform's popular years.
TechRadar recently reviewed the top features of various mobile device management software to help you choose among the best MDM suites available. We looked at several mobile device management suites that offer common MDM features at a range of scalable prices.
But which one should you consider for managing cell phones, tablets, laptops and other devices in your organization? Here we present the best MDM solutions currently available.
We also introduced thebest endpoint protection software.
The best MDM solutions of 2023 in full:
Why You Can Trust TechRadarOur expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best one for you.Learn more about how we test.
A premium MDM solution that even offers a free package
reasons to buy
+ free version available Feature-rich MDM with easy device enrollment
free version available+
Feature-rich MDM with easy device enrollment
reasons to avoid
- No support for Chrome OS or Linux Free version has limited features and no EMU option
No support for Chrome OS or Linux-
Free version has limited features and no EMU option
First on our list is Miradore, a feature-packed MDM with both free and premium options. With comprehensive functionality, a simple user interface, and easy device enrollment, Miradore feels like the complete MDM experience. Shortcomings include a lack of support for Chrome OS and Linux, and while the free version misses out on some features from the premium option, that shouldn't come as a surprise.
What is most surprising about Miradore is how the product bridges the gap between free and premium features. Upgrading obviously costs, but there aren't any premium features that feel free.
Overall, when it comes to mobile device management products, Miradore is right up there with the best. It offers full MDM functionality, an easy user interface and a lower price than any of the competitors we've seen (around $3 / £2.75 / AU$4.50 per device, per month). Miradore even offers a free package.
read our completeMiradore review(opens in new tab).
2. Or hexagonal
MDM software that can run on premises or hosted in the cloud
reasons to buy
+ Can be expanded to a full UEM One of the most affordable MDM solutions on the market
Can be expanded to a full UEM+
One of the most affordable MDM solutions on the market
reasons to avoid
- UEM packages offer some features that MDM subscribers cannot access
UEM packages offer some features that MDM subscribers cannot access
Supporting both major mobile operating systems, Hexnode has the option of local or remote cloud management, with UEM upgrade if needed for static hardware and IoT.
Hexnode's features include "contactless enrollment" which allows devices to be automatically added to the MDM environment via certificates. This is a huge benefit that saves time for manual enrollment and prevents end-user enrollment errors. Hexnode supports all common mobile OS management frameworks, but administrators also have the option of flashing custom Android ROMs with Hexnode preinstalled and preconfigured.
One of the cheapest MDMs available, Hexnode is at the affordable end of the market. Hexnode's 30-day free trial is the best way to try it out on your organization's Android and iOS devices.
Overall, Hexnode is a flexible MDM solution that supports both major mobile operating systems. With the option of hosting on your own server or having an instance in the cloud, Hexnode offers a wide selection of tools to manage software, patches, security and much more. If you want to go beyond MDM, UEM packages are also available for desktops and other endpoints.
The cheapest Express plan includes the basic MDM Suite and basic kiosk and only costs around $1 / £1 / AU$1.50 per device per month.
read our completeHexnode review.(opens in new tab)
3. Citrix Endpoint Management
A comprehensive MDM solution with broad compatibility
reasons to buy
+ Easy device registration All supported mobile and desktop operating systems Printers and IoT devices are also supported
Easy device registration+
All supported mobile and desktop operating systems+
Printers and IoT devices are also supported
reasons to avoid
- Potentially expensive with all but the most basic licenses Even more expensive if your organization doesn't already use Citrix Workspaces
Potentially expensive with all but the most basic licenses-
Even more expensive if your organization doesn't already use Citrix Workspaces
The only entry in our top five MDM from an established name in the IT industry, Citrix Endpoint Manager combines MDM with UEM functionality.
The MDM dimension of Citrix Endpoint Manager handles all common operating systems, along with Chrome OS and Linux (for Raspberry Pi thin clients).
In addition to the price, Citrix Endpoint Manager also requires Citrix Workspaces, which is an additional expense. In short, if your organization already uses Citrix, Citrix Endpoint Manager will be easy to implement and therefore ideal. If not, it is better to avoid this solution.
Overall, a competent and comprehensive MDM solution as expected from Citrix, but unless your organization already has Citrix Workspaces and associated hardware requirements, adopting Citrix Endpoint Management can be more expensive than competency MDM.
read our completeCitrix endpoint management review(opens in new tab).
4. MDM do ManageEngine
A complete MDM solution
reasons to buy
+ On-premise and cloud hosting options Can be installed on corporate and BYOD hardware
On-premise and cloud hosting options+
Can be installed on corporate and BYOD hardware
reasons to avoid
- The UI is a little lame
The UI is a little lame
No support for Linux
Ranked fourth on our best MDM list, ManageEngine supports cloud and on-premise hosting with a full feature set. In addition to the usual Android, iOS, Windows and macOS, ManageEngine also supports Chrome OS.
A key aspect of this software is its security management, which can detect compromised devices, root and even jailbreak iPhones and iPads. By default, remote wipes and mobile-based threats can be initiated on a corporate network protected by granular permissions by device or user.
Overall, ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus provides complete desktop and mobile device management across multiple operating systems. On-premises and cloud options are available.
read our completeManageEngine MDM Review(opens in new tab).
5. SAIR MDM
A full-featured MDM system with a free trial period
reasons to buy
+ packed with features Legacy device compatibility Supports multiple operating systems and form factors
packed with features+
Legacy device compatibility+
Supports multiple operating systems and form factors
reasons to avoid
- Hard sell approach during trial period
Hard sell approach during trial period
SOTI MobiControl is packed with features and can be considered a complete set of tools for managing Android, Apple, Windows, macOS and even Linux devices. In addition, commercial Zebra mobile computing devices are also supported.
Local and cloud installation options are available for administrators, and SOTI integrates with SOTI Hub and SOTI Surf if needed for remote file access from anywhere.
Overall a complete mobile device management system, SOTI MobiControl has broad device compatibility and can be hosted on-premises or in the cloud. There are several licensing options available to keep your MDM on budget, and the software is also available with a 28-day free trial period.
Meanwhile, the free trial of SOTI MobiControl lasts for 28 days but freezes after 7 days of inactivity.
read our completeSOTI mobile control review(opens in new tab).
MDM software testing and qualification
Throughout our MDM software feature reviews, the various sets, including those from notable names like VMWare, Microsoft, Citrix, and VMWare, were evaluated against the following criteria:
Did the package meet the basic requirements of an MDM? Did you include common features (see below) or offer improvements?
Ease of installation and configuration
How easy is it to configure MDM, both on the host/server computer and on individual devices?
Are any devices incompatible? Missing features on some platforms? Does MDM target a specific platform?
MDM pricing is a vital consideration. This is often based on the number of users, although trial versions are often available to help with decision making. If an MDM is free, its features should match the common features expected of that software (see below).
Who uses an MDM?
In most cases, a system administrator or any trusted colleague would use an MDM. Of course, this depends entirely on the scale of the organization in question. In some cases, the use of MDM may be outsourced or may be managed by an office manager or logistics specialist.
The most important aspect of mobile device management software is that it should be easy to use. Information about devices, their status, location and availability must be instantly accessible, preferably through mouse-controlled windows, tiles and menus. Some MDM suites offer mobile management consoles, a half development that nevertheless maximizes control possibilities.
More importantly, MDM software typically, and should, feature granular account control, allowing the system administrator responsible for mobile devices to create and configure one or more accounts for more specific purposes. Therefore, an account dedicated to recording device types may be available to an internal or external auditor; an account can be assigned exclusively to manage device usernames or passwords for technical support personnel.
How to buy an MDM package
The most important rule of thumb when purchasing MDM software is to take your time and consider all of your options. You will need to understand the scope of the software, how easy it is to use for management teams, and how simple it is for the end user to enroll their devices. Pricing will also be an important consideration, as MDM solutions are typically based on either a full annual price or a per-user license.
If the software is hosted remotely, this will be included in the price, but if an in-house solution is preferred, additional budget may be required to ensure the server hardware is up to date. Meanwhile, remote review deployments and even inventory audits can have an impact on network bandwidth, so factor this eventuality into your planning.
Buying an MDM is a simple case of going to the website of the service of your choice and signing up for a trial or trial. From this point, evaluate the software. If you are deemed successful, you can enroll in the long-term MDM. If the solution looks good but doesn't match the scale of your organization, most vendors offer custom enterprise pricing.
What are the common characteristics of an MDM?
Mobile device management software comes in many shapes and sizes and is compatible with many types of devices and platforms. However, they all satisfy specific basic characteristics.
Compatibility with mobile security frameworks:Apple DEP, Android Enterprise ZTE, and Samsung Knox (for Samsung Android devices) are all required for MDM to work effectively. As such, these systems are fully compatible with the MDMs we reviewed.
easy enrollment:While manual registration is an option, easy automated registration for end users to configure through an onboarding portal saves IT technicians time.
Profiles for quick integration:Whether required by device, user group, location, department, etc., profiles that pre-configure email accounts, Wi-Fi access, and more can be automatically applied upon enrollment.
Browser-based management console:while some MDMs offer a desktop/server application for administration, all have a browser-based option ideal for remote administration.
Device resource management:Device hardware may be blocked or restricted, such as the iPhone camera.
Application Management:Similarly, apps can be restricted to those approved by organization policy. A sound recorder can be blocked, for example.
kiosk mode:this is the ability to restrict the use of a mobile device or computer to the point of allowing only one or two of the specified software applications to run.
GPS location and remote cleaning:Vital to device security, these tools can find lost or stolen phones, missing employees, and completely wipe corporate data (often leaving personal data intact, particularly on BYOD phones and tablets).
Other notable features not available with all MDM include Active Directory integration, enhanced options for end users, and the extension of MDM functionality to full endpoint management. Many MDMs also provide functionality to create select app stores to replace the default stores.
Manage mobile devices for your organization? Need MDM software
Maybe you only have a few laptops and iPhones to deal with. If so, you probably don't need to worry about MDM software. But in a growing organization with an increasing number of phones and tablets of all models, MDM software is vital.
A wide selection of MDM software is available. The five examples featured above were ranked in a series of reviews focused on their features and pricing. We believe they are the best mobile device management solutions on the market today, suitable for all scales of operation.
Which MDM solution is best for you?
When deciding which MDM solution to use, first consider what your real needs are, as budget options may seem attractive for profitability but leave out useful tools. Also, cutting-edge software can really meet all needs, so make sure you have a good idea of what features you think you might need from your MDM solution.
How we tested the best MDM solutions
To test the best MDM solutions, we first created an account with the relevant software platform and then tested the service to see how the software could be used for various purposes and situations using a variety of mobile devices such as different smartphones. and tablets. . The goal was to get each MDM platform to see how useful its basic features were and also how easy it was to get started with more advanced tools.
Read how we test, rate and review products on TechRadar(opens in new tab).
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Brian has over 30 years of publishing experience as a writer and editor on a variety of computing, technology and marketing titles. He has been interviewed several times for the BBC and has been a speaker at international conferences. Its techradar specialty is software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, ranging from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.