Free Screen Sharing Apps
The term screen-sharing includes more than just showing other people what's on your computer screen. It also encompasses remote control of another computer, remote access to files on another computer, and communication between multiple people while they are looking at the same computer screen from different locations. Read on to learn about some free and commercial apps that can be used for screen sharing and remote support...
Remote Access and Screen Sharing Tools
CrossLoop is a collaboration and screen-sharing app for Windows. It lets multiple parties view a single screen, and they can also share running programs on the host computer. The free version is great for remotely assisting another person with a computer problem.
Both parties download a small program, and security is handled with a dynamically generated key (a sequence of random digits) that one person provides to the other. The person providing support can see the other party's screen, and is able to control the mouse and keyboard as if they were seated in front of it. The Pro version includes additional features such as file transfer, mobile remote access with Android devices.
TeamViewer is a remote access platform that I have reviewed in depth. See my related article TeamViewer Remote Access Software. One of TeamViewer's main benefits is that it allows remote access even through firewalls. It can also be configured for simple screen-sharing, collaboration, and so on. TeamViewer is open source software, and is available for a variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. It will also work on tablets and smartphones that run on Android and iOS. It's free for non-commercial use.
Mikogo.com offers free desktop screen-sharing for up to 10 simultaneous users. It's useful for small online meetings and presentations, but that's about it. Audio conferencing is enabled via a separate dial-in service, which may cost money.
Dimdim is a free Web conferencing service where you can share your desktop screen, show slides, chat, talk, and broadcast via Webcam. Dimdim was recently acquired by Salesforce.com.
Commercial Screen Sharing Apps
Screen-sharing apps such as Glance.net are useful for sales presentations, seminars, and other lecture-type presentations. Hundreds of remote, passive viewers can watch a presentation on a host's screen simultaneously. This sort of screen-sharing is also a feature built into Skype's premium VoIP service.
Yuuguu is a small application for Mac, Linux, or Windows systems that enables screen-sharing, collaboration on running programs, and remote control of another computer. Yuuguu includes chat service and the ability to save chat conversations on Yuuguu's server. Free audio-conferencing is thrown in as a side dish, so to speak.
GotoMyPC and Logmein are two other commercial remote access applications that you've probably heard of. They enable you to work on your office computer from home, or access your home computer from any internet-connected computer. What many people don't know is that LogMein offers a free version that does almost everything the Pro version can do, with the exception of remote-to-local printing, file transfer, remote sound and a few other features.
The meaning of "screen-sharing" is rather muddy, as you can see. The thing to remember is that you don't want to give anyone more access to your computer than you absolutely must. If all you want to do is show what's on your screen, then go with a service such as Glance or Mikogo. If you frequently need to let others use files or programs that reside on your computer, then TeamViewer or LogMein Free may be best for you. If you occasionally need tech support from a trusted source should you use a remote control solution such as CrossLoop. Remove the software when it's no longer needed to make sure that nobody can access your system without your knowledge.
Do you have something to say about screen sharing apps? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 19 Sep 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Free Screen Sharing Apps (Posted: 19 Sep 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved