Gallery: 10 screen sharing programs for Windows and Mac that make collaboration and support easy
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Mikogo is designed to be an all-in-one video conferencing, screen sharing, and collaboration platform. It features the ability to turn presentations over to other users and share only specific windows on your computer. It even has a virtual whiteboard that allows you to mark up your screen.
Unfortunately a lot of those outstanding features are only available for premium subscribers. The free version only lets you do the most basic of screen sharing tasks–and only with one other machine. If you want to extend your reach up to 25 viewers it’s going to cost you $16 a month.
Mikogo is free for viewers, though. Presentations can be watched from the web without a single download.
Screenleap is purely for presenting a shared screen, and it can do so right from the web and on mobile devices. There’s a small install for the presenter, but anyone simply watching the presentation can do so in a browser.
The drawback to Screenleap is that it’s only a desktop sharing app–there’s no built-in video or audio conferencing component, and no ability to share control of your desktop. The lack of these features makes it a bit limited when compared with other software platforms that package some or all of it together.
Chrome Remote Desktop
Chrome Remote Desktop is a great tool for remoting into another computer and performing support tasks. It’s not a presentation tool, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful.
The Chrome RD app has to be installed on both machines, and once you set it up you just have to add a computer to it to get permanent access between them. There’s also short-term access for remote support.
Obviously, you need to have Google Chrome installed on your computer to run Chrome RD, but that’s the only restriction: It runs on Linux, Windows, Mac OS, and even Android.
Slack itself doesn’t come packaged with screen sharing technology, but it is infinitely customizable. A number of Slack add-ons are available that add screen sharing to the already popular chat app.
Slack’s multi-channel approach to work chat is already wildly successful, and now with simple slash commands you can launch video chat as well, which will likely expand its user base even more.
Windows Remote Assist
Windows Remote Assist comes baked into all Windows machines that are running XP or later. Rather than being a presentation app it is designed for user support. When you open it you get a simple option to request support, and the app can send an email or a file for the support person to open and connect to your computer. You also have the option to lend support to someone else.
In Windows 10 Remote Assist has been replaced by Quick Assist. The only practical difference is that it requires the person rendering help to be signed in to a Microsoft account.
Mac Messaging app
Anyone using iMessage on their Mac can share desktops with another iMessage user. Just click on Details in the upper-right corner of the window while you have a chat open with that person. Click the screen share button (it looks like two overlapping squares) and wait for them to accept.
Messaging also automatically opens up your mic when the connection is made so you can start chatting immediately. You can give control of your computer over to the other person, too, making it a great collaboration and support app that you probably didn’t even realize was installed.