Screen sharing with your colleague to collaborate, or remotely access another computer to troubleshoot a technical problem?
The employees working from home due to the Corona pandemic has caused companies to explore different ways for people to communicate and collaborate, with services and apps replacing in-person or gather-around-a-desk meetings and sessions.
Here is an array of services and apps offering free screen-sharing capabilities have organized the main focus of the tool like remote access, web conferencing, or screen sharing alone.
Screen sharing, when a person shares his computer’s desktop or a single application with more people, usually to serve three objectives:
- Quick meetings and collaboration between co-workers.
- Client communications, like sharing a presentation or application.
- Technical support for IT staffers or tech-savvy individual looking for a solution for a remote worker’s issue.
Because of different purposes, screen sharing is seen as a feature in various types of applications and services, from web conferencing and video chat services to remote access apps. Besides, several tools just do screen sharing as the main functionality.
Fortunately, several apps and services have expanded free offerings due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Time limits with meetings, the number of participants to be allowed, and restrictions on free versions have been lifted by IT companies, temporarily to help the vast amount of users.
Free tools are although unsuitable for secretive and sensitive meetings. An organization that requires to share private company data should look to enterprise-level products.
Dead Simple Screen Sharing
Dead Simple offers screen sharing via a web browser, by installing Chrome or Firefox extension. Here, no signup is needed. The whole screen and just an application window can be shared with limited four participants. For this, the host may email links to meeting participants. The basic plan gives access to screen sharing and audio. The bigger plans include video conferencing features and support for up to 150 people for $18 per month.
The free version of Mikogo helps presenters to share their screen, document or application with one person live over the web. Participants do not require to download or install plug-ins. Voice conferencing and remote support features are available, but not video conferencing. The service offers a free 14-day trial of Mikogo Professional that allows up to 25 meeting participants; after the 14 days are over, the account automatically becomes a free version.
Screenleap gives you a chance to share your screen instantly to any device with a browser. Sharing is supported by Windows, Mac, iOS, Android or any OS which supports the Chrome browser. With an app download, you can rapidly “share your screen now” to start the share. There are no audio or any video conferencing features with the free version, but you can type in a chat window to communicate with participants. The open plan gives up to 40 minutes per day, up to eight viewers, and two meetings. Basic strategies begin at $15 per month. Higher-end plans are also available.
Show My PC
The person who wants to share the screen downloads an app, with Show My PC providing an access code for others to view. The company offers home or office PC access services, starting at $5 per month. Viewers can see the presenter’s screen, but may not control anything. There are no video or audio capabilities either.
AnyMeeting’s Pro Video Conferencing plan, usually $13/user/month, is free for users, the rest of 2020. In addition to the video conferencing features, screen-sharing tools have application window sharing, desktop sharing, and individual Chrome tab sharing options. Meeting users can also annotate on a shared screen in real-time in a meeting.
Cisco Webex Meetings
Cisco recently adjusted its meeting limits for the users and participant limits for Webex; the free plan now gives you meetings with up to 100 participants (up from 50), HD video, screen sharing, and a private room, with no time limits on sessions. It used to be 40 minutes earlier. The service does require to sign up for a Webex Meetings account.
Initially designed for gamers looking to connect via voice, video and text, Discord allows screen sharing among its many features. Discord “channels” can be set up via a web browser, or an application can be downloaded to a computer. It works with multiple mobile devices. The host and participants are required to register for an account.
Huawei’s SAP HANA Solution
Huawei and SAP are still going strong and reshaping a wide range of fields. It includes innovations in intelligent IoT, big data, SAP HANA on HUAWEI CLOUD, and SAP HANA appliance.
You can share the screen with other users in Google Hangouts audio and video calls. During a request, you have the option to choose a presenter to start a screen share. Hangouts are free where users just need a Google account which most users already have. Users can schedule meetings by Google Calendar, which gives all attendees the meeting URL. Google offers a business version of Hangouts called Google Hangouts Meet as part of its G Suite office suite.
This free multi-platform, open-source video conferencing service provides screen-sharing capabilities during calls, including the ability for a host to share YouTube videos with all the participants. No downloads or accounts are required to use Jitsi Meet. Requests can be hosted right through the website, with Chrome extensions available. People can be invited through a simple and custom URL, and users can trade emojis and messages with integrated chat with calls.
The free version of Proficonf provides unlimited meeting times with up to 2 participants. It supports screen sharing, media sharing, which includes file sharing, YouTube links, and a whiteboard. Additional Pro and Premium versions provide more participants (up to 250 in premium), along with permanent rooms. The host offers to sign up for an account.
One of the first video conferencing services via account and download, Microsoft-owned Skype also allows you to create video meetings with no signups or downloads if you don’t feel such as downloading the app or signing up for an account. Screen sharing is supported via the free call offer. For companies looking to expand options for collaboration thru remote workers beyond screen sharing and video calls, Microsoft has a free version of Teams software available to download. Teams is included with Office 365 business plans.
The free version UberConference supports up to 10 meeting participants, but with a drawback that there is a 45-minute time limit, and PINs are required. These can generally be handled through a calendaring application, however. Screen sharing is started thru a share button on the UberConference dashboard.
Video meetings are conducted through a browser with Whereby. No downloads or logins are needed for guests. The free version provides you with one user and one meeting room for up to four participants. Although with Pro and Business versions offers additional meeting rooms and users. The free version supports YouTube video watching in addition to essential screen-sharing functions.
Zoom’s basic plan is free, which allows for an unlimited number of meetings, with no time limits for one-to-one sessions. For meetings among 3 to 100 people, a 40-minute time limit is instituted, with upgrades available for longer sessions. Screen sharing has a desktop, application window and whiteboard, and also a connected iPhone or iPad.
The AnyDesk remote desktop software supports different operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Chrome OS, iOS, and Raspberry Pi. It’s free for personal use. Its business plans start at $11 per month.
Chrome Remote Desktop
Chrome Remote Desktop gives you access to the other computer via the Chrome browser, a Chromebook, or iOS device or an Android. You may set it up for short-term access, like for ad hoc remote support, or longer for remote access to applications and files. It aids cross-platform support, including Mac, Windows, or Linux systems.
LiteManager Free is remote desktop software that has the main functions and features of the regular LiteManager program of omitting extras like audio-video chat, recording, and ticketing. It gives you to control up to 30 computers.
MingleView is a free peer-to-peer Remote Desktop sharing and control-based application, also gives you access to host online presentations and meetings with family, friends, and work colleagues. Participants can join a meeting to troubleshoot any PC with a six-digit meeting ID. The tool gives supports to unlimited connections and participants and also works on Windows computers only; no Mac version available.
The Remote Utilities remote access program offers you to connect with a remote PC over LAN or the internet. The free edition provides firewall bypass capabilities, 16 different connection modes, and connection over the internet by ID or by IP address/DNS name. A commercial version is also available.
TeamViewer offers you to establish a connection to any PC or server within a few seconds, controlling the PC remotely as if you were sitting in front of the system. Users can share audio and video with participants, in addition to screen sharing, and you can opt to show parts of your screen or individual applications if you need to avoid sharing an entire desktop. Chat, file sharing, and whiteboard features are supported. The app requires a download. You can email meeting invitations to participants. TeamViewer is free for personal, non-commercial users. It generally has students, friends and family support as its users.
The free UltraViewer app gives you control a partner’s computer to support them as if you were sitting in front of their screen. You can receive and send files via a chat window and toggle the chat on and off. It also supports screen sharing with multiple computers. It is available for Windows only such as XP, 7, 8, 10, Windows Server.
The VNC Connect service gives a free home subscription for personal use, that lets you access up to five internet-connected computers securely from a device running the VNC Viewer app. However, the company doesn’t offer support for home subscriptions. A free trial for 30-day of the company’s Professional and Enterprise versions is provided. Using the tool needs downloading the VNC Server app to the computer you require to control, and the VNC Viewer app on the device. You can manage from both. Both apps are available for operating systems including Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, Android and Chrome OS.