The Real Difference Between Thin Clients and Zero Clients

Thin Clients and Zero Clients

The present and the future call for technology integration in every business, regardless of size and industry. Competitive entrepreneurs maintain an organized workplace which allows them to focus solely on business and not worry about clutter. These business individuals store their data and applications in a central server which has all the features of a PC, but with added security, powerful connectivity, seamless hardware and software upgrades and cutting-edge functionality. Today, thin clients and zero clients make this possible to achieve.

Thin Clients and Zero Clients are lightweight computers that replace desktop hardware to introduce the benefits of VDI, and they share many similarities. To begin with, in an environment supported by these devices, VDI and computing power reside on networked servers. With reliable Internet access, users receive a standardized and consistent IT experience on any desktop, tablet, laptop, or mobile device. Lower power consumption and reduced risk of security vulnerabilities such as malware and virus attacks are other benefits that one can gain from using the endpoints.

Moving forward, we will explore the real difference between thin clients and zero clients.

Thin Clients

Thin clients are lightweight devices designed to replace desktop PCs in a virtual desktop environment. They have components one would expect to find in their fat client counterparts including processors, memory, storage, USB ports, and OS. Easy to install and manage, thin clients are cost-effective computing solutions which can be used to operate protocols like Microsoft RDP, Teradici PCoIP, Citrix HDX and VMware Blast Extreme. This will facilitate connectivity to your virtual or physical remote machine and from there, you can access virtualized applications.

Apart from the memory and storage capacity, the majority of the data is stored on a remote server. Even if a client is corrupted it can be disassociated from the rest of the clutter in a matter of seconds. The user can be provided with another machine having the same data present on the old system thus avoiding any delay in the ongoing work. As these are lightweight devices so they provide mobility and they don’t cover a huge space. These may seem like small factors but once you are figuring out the impact on hundreds of users the same factors can change the whole working environment.

Zero Clients

Zero clients can be defined as ultra-thin computing models with a very small form factor that is used in Virtual desktop infrastructure or VDI. Similar to thin clients, zero clients are easy to set up and use. Additionally, they require little to no updates and configuration is not needed. However, unlike thin clients which use an OS, zero clients install firmware that helps you to connect to your remote machine. Many displays and decoding developments occur in specific hardware, thereby increasing the efficiency of zero clients. The Teradici Tera2 chipset supports many of the most recognized zero clients. These zero clients use the PCoIP protocol to facilitate the remote connection, accelerate dedicated hardware at the endpoint and promote user experience.

Difference Between Thin Clients and Zero Clients

If you study the features and benefits which thin clients and zero clients offer, you will see that they work more or less in the same way as one another. Both are high-performance endpoint devices that you can use to connect to a remote machine and manage in centralized computing infrastructure.

Thin Clients and Zero Clients integrate varying VDI connection types. A Thin Client device includes a variety of connection types that are managed with a central repository. A Zero Client integrates at least two connection types that, although not compulsory, can be centrally supervised. This makes Thin Clients more flexible, while Zero Clients offer a more dynamic video and graphics performance with a particular protocol. 

Meeting individual user needs with a Thin Client involves installing or hosting the right apps. The device provides a seamless desktop experience with e-mail clients, browsers, office or PDF viewers, and connectivity to legacy client-server apps. Conversely, a Zero Client can access apps that are found in the datacenter server. This device is capable of handling the most graphics-intensive apps and supporting high-end multimedia. Enterprises can easily use one of these endpoints to cater to workloads leveraging quad monitors, without sacrificing precision.

While Thin Clients have minor and less frequent software updates, they still require more updates as compared to Zero Clients. These devices are typically configured by leveraging a template from previous Thin Client configurations, making the process very straightforward. Even though Thin Clients have longer updates, they can be scheduled for off-peak hours so that end users can plan accordingly and ensure maximum productivity. Updates and maintenance cycles are minute when it comes to Zero Clients, and configuration is quick as well as simple. 

Zero Clients represent the most secure devices in virtualization. They have no OS’s that one can infect, and data is not stored on the endpoints. Users cannot install unauthorized or malicious software on a Zero Client, mistakenly delete system files, or copy intellectual property to removable media/flash drives.

Difference between Thin Client and Zero Client

How ZERO+ Clients Can Improve Your Operational Capability?

ClearCube Technology introduces Zero+ clients, endpoint devices that are thinner than the ultra-thin zero clients. These computing models support Wifi and have the ability to run multiple remote display protocols. ZERO+ clients are a valuable addition to our range of endpoint devices as they offer the flexibility of thin clients and the convenience of zero clients.Difference between Thin Client, Zero Client and Zero+ Clients

Zero Clients, Zero+Client, Thin Clients What’s the Best Choice?

Thin Clients effortlessly support SMBs and large enterprises seeking remarkably flexible configurations that deliver an unmatched desktop experience. Large organizations with intensive workflows and workloads are recommended to opt for Zero Clients that incorporate impressive graphics capabilities, quick boot-up times.

The best way to choose between thin clients and zero clients for your business is to consult one of our experts who can then access your business model and suggest options with ideal price points. Contact us by clicking on the live chat widget at the bottom right of your screen or send an email to and our team will assess your unique requirements. Based on our evaluation of your business model, we will then recommend an endpoint device that provides the best fit for your needs.

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