Best MDM Software Shortlist
Here’s the short list of tools that I’ll cover. Keep reading to get the full details on each of these software tools.
- IBM MaaS360 - Best for fast deployments
- Jamf Pro - Best for Apple devices
- JumpCloud - Best for security
- ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus - Best for on-premises
- Kandji - Best for administrator support
- Microsoft Intune - Best for Microsoft integrations
- SureMDM - Best for edge use cases
- Rippling - Best for employee onboarding and offboarding
- Hexnode UEM - Best for mid-market
- Miradore - Best freemium software
- AirDroid Business - Best for Android devices
- SimpleMDM - Best for small and medium businesses
Stuck on which MDM solution is best to manage and protect your organization’s endpoint devices like laptops and smartphones? In this article, I’ll dig deeper into how this type of software can help make things easier for you. I’ll analyze each solution by examining their features, advantages, disadvantages, and pricing. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to determine which MDM software will work best for your needs.
What Is MDM Software?
Mobile device management (MDM) software is a tool that allows IT administrators to manage all devices connected to the corporate network centrally. The software connects to your company’s devices, which you can use to control access, install software, and enforce security policies.
MDM software can be used for phones, tablets, computers, and other IoT devices running operating systems like iOS, Android, Windows, and more. It gives IT administrators enterprise-level control and allows them to protect and monitor devices for security threats.
Overviews of the 12 Best MDM Software
Here are my top 12 MDM software recommendations, including their features, benefits, and starting price points.
1. IBM MaaS360 - Best for fast deployments
IBM MaaS360 is an MDM solution that allows companies of all sizes to get up and running with a solid MDM solution fast.
Why I picked IBM MaaS360: I picked IBM MaaS360 because of its ability to deploy quickly and comprehensively across your network. I like that it has a fully featured free trial, which can roll into a paid-tier subscription automatically.
IBM MaaS360 Standout Features and Integrations:
One of IBM Maas360's standout features is its ability to securely access company resources or files without end users needing a VPN. What was helpful for managing my devices was that the software allowed me to deploy that secure access to all of my users very quickly and with almost no work on the end user's part.
Integrations are available natively with Azure, identity management solutions, and many APIs. It can also connect to other unified endpoint management systems (UEM).
Pricing: From $4/device/month
Trial: Free 30-day trial
- Built-in security features
- Silent operation so users aren’t inhibited
- Flexible policies
- Customization is lacking
- Requires some training to use
2. Jamf Pro - Best for Apple devices
Jamf Pro software is an MDM solution that provides various management and customization options to help IT professionals manage multiple Apple devices through one portal.
Why I picked Jamf Pro: Jamf Pro stood out to me as a solution tailor-made for organizations that primarily use Apple devices. The solution's focus on customization and flexibility helps to balance the otherwise strict nature of iOS devices. Plus, I liked that it offered lower pricing options for educational institutions, which often use Apple devices but don’t have the same budget as private organizations.
Jamf Pro Standout Features and Integrations:
Features I liked are that Jamf Pro works closely with Apple to make its integration as simple as possible. Another feature I liked is that my IT department didn’t have to handle the physical devices; they were shipped directly from Apple. Also, Jamf Pro has built-in automation that lets me know when updates are needed or when something has changed on a particular device.
Integrations are available natively with applications and services like AWS, Microsoft applications, Google, and Okta. Jamf Pro also integrates well with Apple applications such as Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager.
Pricing: From $4/month/device
Trial: 14-day free trial
- Comprehensive documentation
- Flexible deployments
- Simple user design
- Complicated setup
- No out-of-the-box configurations
3. JumpCloud - Best for security
JumpCloud is an identity and device management solution that allows you to manage Windows, MacOS, and Linux devices easily through one platform.
Why I picked JumpCloud: I picked JumpCloud because I think this solution treats device management as something that cannot be separated from cybersecurity. The integration of its identity management and device management solutions sets JumpCloud apart and is a good choice for security-conscious organizations.
JumpCloud Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that made JumpCloud stand apart for me are directory insights and system insights. Together they essentially work as real-time reporting for events occurring across my connected mobile network. The other thing I think JumpCloud does well is how it treats macOS, Windows, and Linux devices equally, which allows me to manage devices the same, no matter what operating system they use.
Integrations are available natively with popular platforms like ADP, Salesforce, Slack, Box, and Cisco AMP. It can also connect to dozens more applications with its API.
Pricing: From $2/device/month
Trial: Free plan available (up to 10 devices) + Free demo available
- Security-focused solution
- Convenient administrator portal
- Integrated security tools like MFA and SSO
- Can be complicated to use
- Lack of customization
4. ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus - Best for on-premises
ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus is a software program that provides various tools for managing mobile devices. It’s compatible with smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, TVs, and other devices.
Why I picked ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager: I picked ManageEngine MDM because of its focus on easy-to-use features and intuitive user design, even in more complex use cases, such as on-premises deployment. I found that ManageEngine’s on-premises version was able to balance control and usability, which is often hard to find.
ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Standout Features and Integrations:
Features I want to highlight here is that ManageEngine MDM effectively keeps personal and corporate information separate on BYOD devices. It also includes whitelist and blacklist policies that allowed me to control what information comes through and stays out. ManageEngine MDM also offers standard security controls such as update alerts and malware protection.
Integrations are available natively with platforms like ServiceNow, Zendesk, and Zoho CRM. It also offers custom API integrations.
Pricing: $495/50 devices (billed annually)
Trial: 30-day free trial + Free plan available (up to 25 devices)
- Comprehensive features for a variety of use-cases
- Customer support focused
- Administrator portal that is simple to use
- Pricing is an annual commitment
- Limited customization features
5. Kandji - Best for administrator support
Kandji is an MDM solution that manages Apple devices through an administrator portal. It is focused on automations that help IT administrators streamline device management.
Why I picked Kandji: I picked Kandji because of its strong focus on administrator support. Too often, software solutions prioritize end users regarding usability, but administrators are equally, if not more, affected by poor user design.
Kandji Standout Features and Integrations:
One of Kandji’s top features is “Liftoff,” which allows for personalized device onboarding for new employees. It also allows me to migrate my existing devices and data from other MDM solutions. Finally, the program prompted me to set up my solution policies with configurations to ensure compliance with specific regulations.
Integrations are available natively to over 20 platforms including Active Directory, Okta, Google Workspace, Apple Business Manager, Microsoft Teams, Azure AD, and Slack. Kandji also offers an API.
Pricing: Pricing upon request
Trial: 14-day free trial
- Administrator support
- Good customer experience
- Customizable and flexible
- Only available for Apple products
- Pricing is not transparent
6. Microsoft Intune - Best for Microsoft integrations
Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based device management software that integrates directly with the Microsoft Security suite of tools.
Why I picked Microsoft Intune: I picked Microsoft Intune for its ability to integrate directly with the most common type of corporate device — Windows machines. The ability to integrate it with all of Microsoft’s security solutions is a substantial benefit, and the consolidation of tools could be a cost-saver for many companies.
Microsoft Intune Standout Features and Integrations:
One of the best features of Microsoft Intune is how easily it handles remote access applications, including legacy software. It also allowed me to connect my end users’ apps directly to Azure AD and Office 365, which improved insights and monitoring into usage and possible security threats.
Pre-built integrations include Microsoft’s Configuration Manager, Windows Autopilot, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, and Managed Google Play, among others.
Pricing: From $8/user/month
Trial: 1-month free trial
- Zero-touch deployment
- Easy-to-use interface
- Supportive training and documentation
- Only one Intune account per device
- Can require a more complicated setup
7. SureMDM - Best for edge use cases
SureMDM manages company-owned and employee-owned devices for Android, iOS/iPadOS, Windows, Linux, macOS, Wear OS, VR, and IoT platforms. It can secure, monitor, and manage corporate and BYOD devices.
Why I picked SureMDM: I picked SureMDM from 42Gears because it allowed me to manage a large variety of device types. For organizations that have edge use cases, such as needing to manage a VR device, SureMDM was the only solution I found that was up to the task.
SureMDM Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that impressed me about SureMDM include its fast deployment speeds, the ability to troubleshoot my users’ devices remotely, and an equipment tracking and returning solution that reduces lost devices. The team behind SureMDM also focuses on reducing cost and time spent managing devices, and in using it, I found that the solution was clearly built with cost-saving features in mind.
It has pre-built integrations with Office 365, Splunk, Cisco ISE, and Intel AMT. It has a RESTful API which allows you to perform additional, bulk functions.
Pricing: From $3.99/device/month (billed annually)
Trial: 30-day free trial
- Flexible and customizable
- Strong history of customer support
- Simple user interface
- It can be overwhelming to configure
- Can be slow to install on users’ devices
8. Rippling - Best for employee onboarding and offboarding
Rippling is an MDM tool that allows you to purchase, warehouse, ship, manage, and return physical devices for employees.
Why I picked Rippling: I picked Rippling because it's built with one of the most popular use cases for MDM software strongly in mind — onboarding and offboarding employees. In prioritizing this use case, it solves distributing and retrieving corporate hardware, one of the biggest pain points for IT administrators.
Rippling Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that made Rippling stand out to me was its focus on BYOD setups. A common frustration for many IT administrators is managing employee concerns about having corporate information on their personal devices. Rippling made that process easier by integrating the onboarding process with device management and assisted me in managing those concerns.
Rippling has pre-built integrations for a wide variety of other tools, including GitHub, Google Workspace, Greenhouse, Jira, Webhooks, and Zendesk.
Pricing: From $8/user/month
Trial: No free trial
- Reduces on and offboarding friction
- Create common workflows to deploy easily
- All-in-one HR solution
- Does more than just MDM, which may be more than you need
- Customer service can be lacking
9. Hexnode UEM - Best for mid-market
Hexnode is a tool used by IT professionals to manage corporate devices and segment corporate data on personal devices from a unified platform.
Why I picked Hexnode: I picked Hexnode UEM because of its solid compromise between core features and enterprise-level user design. As a strong mid-market option, it delivers on its offering well by providing options for fast scalability while remaining at a very affordable price point.
Hexnode Standout Features and Integrations:
Hexnode’s standout feature is called “kiosk” mode. Kiosk mode allowed me to quickly put a device on standby or lock down part of its operation. This security-focused feature could help prevent cyber attacks from spreading across my network through connected devices, and I think it’s an ingenious functionality.
Hexnode offers around 15 native integrations, including Apple Business Manager, Freshdesk, Okta, Zendesk, Google Suite, and various operating system connections.
Pricing: From $1.08/device/month
Trial: 14-day free trial
- Can run custom scripts to deploy updates remotely
- Low starting price
- Simple inventory view
- Administrator portal lacks some top-level information
- User interface is not always intuitive
10. Miradore - Best freemium software
Miradore is a simple-to-use MDM solution that allows organizations to manage corporate devices quickly. It offers a comprehensive free tier option.
Why I picked Miradore: I chose Miradore because, unlike many of the other tools on this list, it offers a free forever option. This free tier is very helpful for many organizations that will only ever have a small number of users and don’t need to overload on features.
Miradore Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that I found impressive about Miradore is that its customer support goes above and beyond. I think the company’s commitment to responding promptly and thoroughly is undoubtedly its standout feature. When it comes to devices and security, I always look for a solution with people behind it that I can rely on.
Miradore offers around 10 native integrations, including Apple Business/School Manager and an array of Google and Microsoft applications. It also offers a custom API.
Pricing: From $2.75/device/month
Trial: 14-day free trial + Free plan available
- Focus on customer service
- Simple to use
- Good security tooling options
- Limited advanced features
- No way to set up pre-configurations
11. AirDroid Business - Best for Android devices
AirDroid Business is an MDM tool used to manage Android devices exclusively.
Why I picked AirDroid Business: I picked AirDroid because, for businesses that exclusively use Android devices on their network, I think it's best to go with a solution that specializes in managing those devices. This specialization is critical as it allows you to rely on expert customer support from AirDroid Business.
AirDroid Business Standout Features and Integrations:
One top feature of AirDroid Business is its auto-enroll feature, which allows administrators to pre-set configurations and deploy them to new users with just a few clicks. It also has some user-focused privacy features, such as a black-screen display for screen shares that ensure administrators only see what they need to, without compromising employee privacy on BYOD phones.
AirDroid Business only offers a few integrations, such as Windows and Google Android Enterprise. It also offers an API.
Trial: 14-day free trial
- Security and privacy-focused
- Specialized for Android use cases
- Easy to implement
- Downloading to end users’ devices can be slow
- There’s a learning curve for many of the core features
12. SimpleMDM - Best for small and medium businesses
SimpleMDM is a basic mobile device management solution that helps administrators manage Apple devices.
Why I picked SimpleMDM: I picked SimpleMDM because its no-frills design is perfect for smaller organizations that don’t need a ton of features but just want to get the job done. What stood out most to me with SimpleMDM was its dedicated focus on a product that was intuitive and accessible. Streamlining usability and functionality is something that many of my small business colleagues ask for and is often neglected by many software solutions; SimpleMDM fulfills that need excellently.
SimpleMDM Standout Features and Integrations:
One of the features I liked most about SimpleMDM is its automated Wi-Fi and VPN configuration tool, which makes it easy to set up end users' devices remotely. It was also very fast to get up and running, which is a plus when you’re working with a small or one-person IT team, as small businesses often are.
Integrations include connections to all Apple devices, including Macs, iPhones, iPads, and even Apple TV. It also has a hosted Munki integration, but not much beyond that.
Pricing: From $2.50/device/month (billed annually)
Trial: 30-day free trial
- Easy to use, intuitive design
- Smooth and clean functionality
- Specialized Apple device management
- Minimal advanced features
- Customer support is limited
Other MDM Software Options
Though these didn’t make my top 12 list, they are still worthwhile solutions to check out.
- SOTI MobiControl - Best for fast data delivery
- Citrix XENMobile - Best for powerful security integrations
- Datajar.mobi - Best for automated Apple device management
- FileWave Unified Endpoint Management Software - Best for analytics and reporting
- Cortado MDM - Best for fast BYOD onboarding
- Comodo MDM - Best freeware
- Kitewire Mobility - Best for employee freedom
- Amtel MDM Solution - Best for telecommunications integration
- Appaloosa.io - Best for unique app management
- Moki Total Control - Best for PoS and digital signature
Selection Criteria For MDM Software
Here’s a summary of the main selection criteria I used to develop my list of the best MDM software solutions for this article:
First, I evaluated a range of MDM software solutions and narrowed down the list to those that most substantially met the core requirements for a functioning MDM solution. These are the basic functions that all the solutions needed to have in order to make my list:
- Connects to multiple endpoints remotely
- Offers an administrator portal where all connected devices can be managed centrally.
- Ensures a basic level of protection of corporate information being transmitted using the devices
To ensure that the solutions could deliver on those core features successfully and with minimal hardship on the administrator's part, I looked for solutions with these features:
- Security: The security of an MDM solution is paramount. In all cases, I tried to select solutions that emphasize security as a core pillar of their product.
- Policy configurations: Having flexibility over your organization’s BYOD and device policy configuration is important with an MDM solution. In my research, I prioritized solutions that offered flexibility and control when giving administrators choice.
- Setup support: I looked specifically for solutions made by companies that users had a supportive customer experience with. This is because the nature of software is that sometimes things will go wrong. However, if a company is responsive to it, you can still rely on it as a good solution.
- Ease of implementation: Being able to deploy MDM software across your organization rapidly saves your IT department valuable time. I selected tools that can be implemented easily and, in some cases, in as little as a few minutes.
- Integrations: Choosing an MDM solution that will work for all your devices is important. In some cases, I chose solutions that work for Apple or Android devices. The other important integrations to consider are Active Directory, Apple Business Manager, Azure AD, and Okta. Be sure to look for the unique integrations that your company needs.
An MDM solution shouldn’t negatively impact how your end users experience using their mobile devices. I tried to select tools that focused on silent operation as much as possible. I looked for solutions that were simple for administrators to use as well.
I evaluated a range of MDM software solutions and tried to pick ones where there were multiple levels of pricing tiers, free tiers, or freemium options and where volume discounts were available for larger deployments. The average range is between $2 to $5 per device per month, with some solutions on either side.
How does MDM work?
What information can MDM software see?
Why do organizations use MDM?
MDM solutions allow you to easily manage the mobile endpoints of all your devices and improve security across your organization. Whichever MDM software solution you decide on, consider implementation, integrations, security, and user experience when evaluating the solution.
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