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User or Device RDS CAL, which to choose for my windows server?

Server 2019 50 User CAL RDS
Server 2019 50 Device CAL RDS

In this article, we will consider what is the difference between the Windows Server User Cal and Device CAL licenses, i.e. the license for the device and for the user.

What are the User CAL/Device CAL client licenses (per user/per device) in general?

A client license (or CAL – Client Access License) is a client license for the ability to connect to Windows Server (RDP – terminal licenses), SQL Server, or Exchange Server. By itself, the server license performs only server tasks, and does not allow users to connect to the functionality of this software, in order to have such an opportunity, you need a separate User CAL or Device CAL licensing.

For example, to use RDP (remote desktops) on Windows Server for more than 2 user connections, you need to purchase User CAL / Device CAL client licenses.

User CAL License (Per User)

Allows one user to access the server software from any device. I.e. it does not matter from which device (computer) a certain user will log in.

By purchasing this license, for example, for 50 users, you can distribute this license to all your employees and it does not matter from which devices some will connect to the server.

Device CAL License (Per device)

Allows any number of users to connect from a single device (computer). In simple words, it is a client license for the computers themselves.

By purchasing such a license, for example for 50 devices, you purchase a license for each device separately in your organization. And no matter how many users you have, the main thing is that the connected devices (computers) themselves do not exceed the maximum number available in your client license. (otherwise there will be errors when exceeding the limit)

Which licensing method do you need?

If we are talking about terminal licenses (RDP – Remote desktops) – everything is simple here, if your server is connected to a domain, then you need “To the user (User CAL)”, if you do not use the domain in your server, then you need “To the device (Device CAL)”. Because if you license RDP without a connected domain – “to the user”, then you will have the following errors, they are solved by changing the settings in Windows Server to the “To the device” mode, and your client license will work accordingly not “to the user”, but “to device”.

You can purchase User Cal and Device CAL activation keys at the lowest prices in our catalog, delivery of keys to your email within a few hours.