Collaborative environments call for seamless communication, and desktop sharing software empowers employees to share their ideas in real-time.
Desktop Sharing and Screen Sharing tools enable employees to share their screens with other employees whether they’re in the same office or working remotely.
Depending on the features of each tool, users can do screen shares, remote control other computers and devices, whiteboard ideas, collaborate on projects, video-conference, text chat, voice calls and more.
Here is our list of the 7 best desktop sharing software:
- TeamViewer EDITOR’S CHOICE Our top pick for desktop sharing solution for both home and enterprise users. Remote Desktop sharing software with remote access, mobile video sharing, and more. Free version available for personal use.
- Zoom Video conferencing solution with screen sharing, meeting calendaring, and mobile screen sharing.
- Join.me Online screen sharing solution with audio and video conference calls, whiteboarding, and customizable meeting links.
- Slack Communication platform with text, video, voice communication, and screen sharing.
- Skype Free communication platform with screen sharing, call recording, and on-screen polls.
- GoToMeeting Unified communications platform with audio calls, video calls, screen sharing, and integrations with Office 365 and Google Calendar.
- Windows Quick Assist Free screen sharing tool included with Windows 10.
Best Desktop Sharing software
Most desktop sharing apps have a range of collaborative features and capabilities such as remote desktops, screens sharing, whiteboarding, video conferencing, calls, chat and even scheduling. We rated the following tools according to their ease of use, popularity and overall reliability.
TeamViewer is a remote desktop sharing software that enables the user to access other desktops remotely. It supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Raspberry Pi, Android, iOS, and Windows App making it accessible no matter what platform you’re working from.
Screen sharing is extremely secure and complies with HIPAA and SOC2 regulations. The platform uses components such as 256-bit AES Encryption and Two-Factor Authentication to ensure that user connections are secured so that nobody can snoop on your activity.
If you want more control then you can use Remote Device Control to take control of a remote device. The Remote Device Control feature is compatible with computers, Android, and Windows 10 mobile devices. Remote control is useful for those support scenarios where you need to demonstrate something directly.
- Widely adopted and easy to use for both technicians and end-users
- Available across a variety of platforms such as Windows, Linux, as well as Android and iOS
- Uses two-factor authentication to keep sessions secure
- Offers one-time and ongoing connection options, supporting both one-off sessions and recurring support models
- Both agents need to be on the same version to initiate a connection
- Free version may detect commercial use if used on a domain environment
- More from technical assistance, and less for presentations
TeamViewer is a tool designed for those who want screen sharing alongside Remote Desktop capabilities. It’s available for free for personal users. For enterprises, there is a range of pricing options available starting at $35.90 (£28) per month for a Single User license. You can download the 14-day free trial from this link here.
Start 14-day FREE Trial: teamviewer.com/en-us/teamviewer-automatic-download/
OS: Windows Mac, Linux, Android & iOS
Zoom became a household name in 2020 when Covid19 saw an explosion in the need for people to work from home. It is a free real-time messaging and video conferencing solution that enables the user to host online meetings and connect with other users. With Zoom, you can set up group meetings and calendar them through Outlook, Gmail, and iCal. Individuals receive a link to join the chat and click to the meeting room. Once in the meeting room, they can communicate with other users through HD video and audio.
Meeting rooms can support up to 1000 video participants. As part of the service, users can also opt to share their screens. The host can choose to lock screen share so that only hosts can show their screen content. There is also a call recording feature so that participants can revisit content later on.
Mobile users can also get in on the action, share their screens and annotate. Being able to join chats from mobile is useful because it enables employees to screen share whether they’re at their desks or elsewhere.
- Designed to be easy to use
- Can host large meetings, with up to 1000 users, ideal for enterprise use
- Easily access to meetings from mobile devices
- Free version caps meeting at 40 minutes
Zoom is undoubtedly one of the best video conferencing tools on the market. It’s free to host a meeting for up to 100 participants, although there is a 40-minute limit cap. Paid versions start at $14.99 (£11.69) per month per host for 100 participants and a 24-hour meeting limit. You can sign up for free.
Join.me is an online screen sharing solution that allows the user to create a customized meeting link and invite other users to join them. The online meeting room offers one-click screen sharing that can be shared with up to 250 people, and a customizable background so that you can add a touch of your company’s branding.
The presenter swap feature enables users to share their screens one after another. A user can select participants to hand over control to who will then display their screens with the rest of the chat. Similarly, the whiteboarding feature enables users with the join.me mobile whiteboard to share real-time notes on the discussion.
Join.me also offers video and audio conferencing calls so that multiple users can connect. For audio conferencing, there are local conference numbers across the US and over 50 other countries with toll-free numbers to make sure that users can connect without being subjected to any unnecessary costs.
- Incredibly simple link sharing, ideal for non-technical users
- Meeting rooms can be customized and branded with the company logo
- Offers whiteboard sessions for real-time collaboration
- Interface can be challenging when trying to access its more advanced features
Join.me is an excellent alternative for enterprises that want screen-sharing with emphasis on presentation support. Bonus features like presenter swap and whiteboarding are ideal for presentation scenarios. Pricing starts at $10 (£7.80) with support for up to five users per meeting. You can start the free trial from this link here.
Slack is one of the most well-known collaboration tools in the world, allowing users to communicate via chat and Slack calls. During Slack calls, you can access the desktop app and share your screen with other users.
While screen sharing, you can also draw on your screen to add annotations. It is important to note that only one participant can share the screen at one time. Google Chrome users are also limited to spectator roles.
The tool also enables users to create workspaces to provide areas for employees to communicate and manage projects. Workspaces can be used as a medium to communicate and arrange or follow up screen sharing sessions. All data is encrypted in transit and at rest so that you can communicate securely.
- Offers video alongside text-based channels for a more established form of communication than one-off meetings
- Offers screen drawing and whiteboard functionality during the meeting for the presenter
- Great option if you’re also looking for a long term platform to build and manage your internal team
- Does provide as many themes as other products
- Is more resource-intensive than other browser-based platforms
- Search system could use improvement
Slack is a tool that’s worth considering if you want a desktop sharing software that doubles as a complete communication platform. Slack is available for free or you can upgrade to a paid enterprise version starting at $6.67 (£5.20) per month for a group and video calls up to 15 people. You can sign up for Slack for free.
Skype is an audio and video communication platform that’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can conduct live calls and share your screen with multiple users. A drag-and-drop function allows you to add external files up to 300MB to share with other participants.
Call recording allows you to record your calls for playback later. Other participants receive a notification the moment you start recording. The recording will then be available in the chat for up to 30 days in MP4 format.
Another useful feature is that of on-screen polls, which allow you to create a poll to share with other participants. Polls are great for checking up on the opinions of your team democratically.
- Available on multiple systems including Windows, Linux, and mobile platforms like iOS and Android
- Offers call recording for future playback
- Has a better mobile app than other competing tools
- Can hold live votes through polls, great team engagement
- Robust free version
- Whiteboard option is missing
- No remote access support
- No ability to create rooms (like Slack)
Skype is highly recommended as it is a top free communication platform for desktop and mobile devices. It’s easy to use and it offers enough features to satisfy smaller remote teams. Skype is available for free.
GoToMeeting is a unified communications platform that lets you host online meetings. The service supports audio and video calls for up to 250 participants. During calls, you can share your screen with other users and draw on the content. Meetings are secured with a SAML SSO login which restricts access to authorized users.
During the meeting, you can record the call. Conversations can be recorded locally or in the cloud, and there’s no limit to the amount of content you can record. Similarly, there is a transcription feature, which allows you to transcribe the content of calls and share it with your team.
The software also has Office 365 integration, which lets you schedule and manage meetings using Microsoft Outlook. There is also a plugin for Google calendar giving users a range of mediums to book meetings in advance.
- Built with enterprise users in mind
- Recorded calls can be stored locally or directly in the cloud, good for longer meetings
- Offers a transcription feature, ideal for recording meeting minutes
- Google plugin can link directly to users calendars for invites to events
- More expensive than similar solutions
- Could be more user friendly
- Mobile app lacks many features found on the desktop version
GoToMeeting is a top communication provider that offers a ton of features aimed specifically at enterprise users. Smartphone and tablet screen sharing is valuable for teams that want to share content and collaborate outside the office. Prices start at $12 (£9.36) per month. You can start a free trial.
Windows Quick Assist is available for free with Windows 10 and offers a reliable way for Windows users to control computers remotely. All the user needs to do to launch Windows Quick Assist is to click on the Start menu and enter Quick Assist into the search field.
Once the program is open, it is easy to navigate with two options for the user to choose from: Get assistance or Give assistance. When users log in they are given a code, which they can share with another computer to connect securely.
During the connection, the user is shown a notification telling them that screen sharing is on. The controller can complete a range of actions including rebooting the remote device. Windows Quick Assist supports multiple monitors so that the controller can toggle between all the host’s screens.
- Built directly into the Windows platform
- Ideal for quickly troubleshooting issues
- Supports multiple monitors
- Not designed for presentations, lacks features like screen recording and whiteboard
- Cannot replace the features found in RMM solutions
- Only available in Windows operating systems
Windows Quick Assist may not have the depth of features that other communication tools have but it is still useful for educating employees. Windows Quick Assist is a good free tool for Windows users who are looking for basic screen sharing capabilities but don’t want to purchase a complete communications platform.
Choosing desktop sharing software for screen sharing and team collaboration
During a meeting, sometimes it’s easier to display your screen and share it live with other participants than trying to explain everything verbally. Showing key documents, presentations, or websites with desktop and screen sharing software allows you to communicate with others more clearly.
With the rise of remote working and digital enterprises, there is an abundance of desktop sharing solutions on the market, free and paid. Our Editor’s choice for this article is TeamViewer, followed by Zoom, and GoToMeeting. Other top solutions include Skype and Slack.
It’s worth noting that there is a considerable difference in the features offered by different providers. We recommend looking for additional features like mobile screen sharing, calendar integrations, and video recording that allow you to get the most value out of your conversations.