As the name suggests, screen sharing refers to the process of giving another person/people access to your computer screen. Screen sharing (which is also referred to as desktop sharing) is important for collaborative purposes among other objectives.
Share Your Screen
Screen sharing is made possible by special software that utilizes graphical terminal emulators. The software basically allows a second user to see everything the first user sees on their computer.
One of the most common uses of screen sharing is online training. Online trainers use screen sharing to demonstrate processes and share information with their trainees.
Screen sharing also supports businesses in applications such as video conferencing. Screen sharing enhances communication among friends, relatives, coworkers, clients, and staff.
You can easily share your screen with your friends or coworkers to show them something on your computer instead of taking a screenshot and emailing them a file.
Screen sharing is a major asset to virtual workers and telecommuting as well as virtual collaboration systems. There are many screen sharing apps/software today. Below is a discussion of some of the most popular ways to share your screen with others.
The app specializes in voice calls and video chat. Users can also send text and video messages, images and files and create conference calls.
Skype allows screen sharing during voice and video calls. All you need to do is right-click and click on “share screens”.
In case you are using more than one screen you have the option of selecting the screen you want to share.
You can also select the specific window you want to share if you have many windows open. This helps ensure your privacy so that you only share the app that you want others to see instead of sharing every app that’s open on your computer.
Screen sharing is free on Skype for 25 or less people. It costs $2 a month to screen share as well as utilize other features for more than 25 people.
The software has many notable features besides screen sharing such as 6-way video conferencing, application sharing, recording, surveys, polls, and public profiles.
AnyMeeting offers free and subscription based options for users to access the features and functionalities of the software. The free option comes with ads while the paid/subscription option has no advertisements.
The Ad-free plan caters for a maximum of 25 attendees. The Meeting Pro plan which caters for a maximum of 30 attendees costs $18/month or $180/year.
Webinar Pro plans which cater for a maximum of 100, 200, 500 and 1000 attendees cost $78/month or $780/year, $128/month or $1,280/year, $198/month or $1,980/year, $298/month or $2,980/year respectively. Screen sharing isn’t available in the 500 and 1000 attendee plans.
The free plan is great for screen sharing with friends.
The software is now among the most popular self-hosted remote screen sharing software apps in the market today however the merger with ConnectWise seems to be pushing a SaaS model where users pay per month rather than self-host the software on their own servers.
ScreenConnect stands out for having unmatched remote support, access, and meeting capabilities.
ScreenConnect can be hosted on a person’s own server, PC, virtual private server (VPS) or virtual machine (VM). Once the software is installed, the central web app can be accessible both in and out of the LAN (local area network).
The app also has an open architecture structure which can be used by users to implement custom plugins, script as well as perform various integrations. ScreenConnect is suitable for highly specialized screen sharing applications.
ScreenConnect has four main SaaS plans which are all subscription plans.
The first plan (plan one) costs $19 per user per month (billed annually) for 1 active session featuring 10 access nodes.
The Basic plan costs $39 per user per month for 1 active session and 50 access nodes.
The Standard plan costs $49 per user per month for 3 active sessions and 100 access nodes.
The Premium plan costs $64 per user per month for 10 active sessions and 200 access nodes among other features such as video auditing.
Stand-alone, or self-hosted, plans now start at a staggering $2,195 where they used to cost $400 or less for a single user supporting multiple machines.
Formerly Express, Join.me targets small businesses and social media users.
The application is simple, fast, and easy to use regardless of one’s computer knowledge as well as the device you are using. (Editor’s note: I’ve purchased join.me in the past and have had a significant amount of trouble getting my clients to connect.)
The app’s free plan offers instant screen sharing as well as video conferencing capabilities with VoIP.
The pro plan costs $20 per month per user and comes with online meeting capabilities featuring unlimited audio conferencing.
The enterprise plan costs $25 per user per month and comes with premium meeting capabilities featuring advanced management.
You don’t need to download anything to use Join.me since the app is web browser based (unless you are the host).
WebEx offers on-demand collaboration, web conferencing, video conferencing and online meeting capabilities.
The app stands out for many things – the most notable being the app’s face to face collaboration capabilities featuring HD video.
Screen sharing has never been more secure with Cisco behind the WebEx brand.
WebEx offers 3 plans including Premium 8, Premium 25 and Premium 100 for up to 8, 25, and 100 people respectively. Plans range from $24 to $69 per user per month.
All plans come with full screen, split-screen, or up to seven video feeds, VoIP, free mobile apps, video recording as well as markup and whiteboard tools.
Apart from desktop sharing, the software also stands out for online meetings and video conferencing.
Screen sharing on GoToMeeting is above board since transmissions are encrypted and protected by optional passwords.
GoToMeeting has a free trial period but no free plans. There are 3 main subscription plans namely; the Starter, Pro and Plus which cost $24, $39 and $49 per user per month for up to 5, 25 and 100 attendees respectively.
Fuze is another great way to share your screen with friends. Fuze can be described as a cloud based visual communications solution that brings many people together and helps them get connected better across many devices.
Fuze stands out as a screen sharing solution because it offers rich interaction, HD voice and video as well as better content collaboration than most similar software available online today.
Fuze has a number of screen sharing plans. The free plan (Fuze Free) offers HD screen sharing for 3 participants. The plan also offers 3 HD video streams, cloud content and unlimited VoIP.
Fuze Pro costs $20 per month per user. The plan offers HD screen sharing among other features/services for 25 participants. The plan comes with 12 HD Video streams, HD VoIP as well as US toll audio.
Fuze Premium costs $40 per user per month. The plan offers HD screen sharing to 250 participants. The plan also comes with 12 HD Video streams, HD VoIP as well as US toll audio. Other special features include; remote control webinar recording.
The above information summarizes some of the main ways to share your screen with friends, workmates, and other individuals or groups of people.
While most of these tools are geared toward business users you can certainly use them with friends, workmates, and family.
If you have other tools that you recommend please list them in the comments.