Technology is a wonderful thing, and we’re now living in peak tech-times so to speak, with millions of people in the developed world working from home via the internet. Hence, today’s article is about how to choose the best screen-sharing software, because after all’s said and done, if you want to optimize your workflow with your partners and/or facilitate collaboration with your team, screen-sharing software is the best thing ever invented since Al Gore created the internet.
All jokes aside, whether you work for customer support or you’re in a business meeting and need to share or record a screen, there’s no better way to make your point than screen-sharing technology. Regardless of what you’re going to do with it, today we’ll provide you with some of the best screen-sharing software available on the market, so stay tuned.
How to Choose the Best Screen-sharing software
Since there are literally dozens of options to choose from, it’s important to know the basics before going on a shopping spree, though some of the best screen-sharing software out there come with a free/trial option. Just like with any other remote access software, screen-sharing software must secure ease of access for participants, and that includes cross-device compatibility (should work on desktops, smartphones and tablets), no-install web-access, annotation features, collaboration features (joint annotation, presenter switching, collaborative doc-editing, co-browsing etc.), support features and integrations (things like scheduling sessions).
With all these in mind, let’s see the top contenders in no particular order, right after a short commercial break.
Best Screen-Sharing Software Solutions
Make It Simple
We’ll start with Screenleap, an interesting screen-sharing software that works literally instantly with any browser or device. Screenleap is designed around ergonomics first and foremost, i.e. it is aimed at lazy users who are not necessarily tech-savvy, for quick and easy screen-sharing at a “flick of a switch” so to speak. Even the installation process is incredibly easy and intuitive: all you have to do is to push a “virtual” button on the company’s website and you’ll be all set and ready to go in no time.
Screenleap is built for cross-platform compatibility, as it works great on everything, including iOS, Mac, Android, Windows, what have you (I guess that’s about all there is actually), and can be used directly from your web browser, which means you don’t have to install/download third party software, which is great for some privacy-concerned users. You can also add the screen sharing option to your website, using Screenleap’s API or a premium account.
The software has three pricing plans: the free one, which allows you 40 minutes of “freebies” per day for up to 8 viewers, and three paid-for options, ranging from Basic to Company. Screenleap is also very stripped-down to essentials, as in you won’t get fancy and probably unnecessary features to make your life hell. Everything is stripped down to basics, which may be a benefit or a weakness, depending on your personal preference.
However, if all you require is screen sharing and audio conferencing, Screenleap comes highly recommended, though for the latter option you’ll have to make a (paid) upgrade from the Basic plan.
- Ultra-simple user interface, website integration
- Installation-free viewing, amazing ease of use
- Quick and easy sharing even for boomers
- Cross-platform compatibility
- Comes with free and paid-for options for any budget
- Not as feature-rich as some advanced users may prefer
Our second pick is TeamViewer, and that’s because this screen-sharing software has been with us since like, forever. What’s great about TeamViewer since its inception back in 2005 by a German company is that it makes for a freeware at its best, and comes with tons of features that are not normally found in a free remote access program. Also, TeamViewer is ergonomically designed to be as user-friendly as possible and works on basically any device and platform: Android, Windows Phone, iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows 7, 10 etc.
Another cool thing about TeamViewer is that it’s one of the few screen-sharing software that allows you to remotely view the screen of an iPad or iPhone. Some people describe it as the Rolls Royce of screen-sharing software, but they are mostly referring to its commercial version, which is kind of expensive to say the least. However, personal licenses are absolutely free of charge, and the remote access tools are feature-rich and comprehensive, as TeamViewer allows you to share your screen, annotate it, chat with remote users, invite other people to the session, record video, audio, take screenshots, run remote scripts, use a VPN, transfer files and more.
It’s also worth mentioning that TeamViewer has arguably the best multi-monitor support out there, which allows you to see each monitor as a super desktop, or individually, and moving between these sessions is very easy. If we’re talking about enterprise environments, TeamViewer can schedule a meeting for you, or a phone/video call, or create a presentation.
If you’re worried about security, you must learn that TeamViewer uses strong encryption, i.e. 2048-bit RSA private/public key exchanged between the sessions and the master-server, which means all your data is protected by the same algorithm used by banks and the military. There’s also a 2-factor authentication system and Trusted devices, if you want to go full-secure-mode.
- One of the best-designed and most powerful screen-sharing software out there
- Cross-platform support, works great on multiple monitors
- Tons of features, including team meetings, chat support, portable version available
- Free version available for personal use
- Strong encryption, excellent tech support
- Expensive annual contracts for businesses
No-Nonsense Screen-Sharing Software
As far as inspired brand names go, Join.me plays with the best, making for a simple and ergonomically designed screen-sharing software with an emphasis on conferencing. The thing is, if you’re big on conferencing services, Join.me will fit you like a glove, as it’s specially designed to support conferences with up to 250 participants, and that is kind of awesome, to say the least. Obviously, the number of participants depends on the plan you select, but what’s really important is that you have that option, right?
Besides that, Join.me works great as regular screen-sharing software, offering features like audio/video recording, 1-click scheduling and webinar rebranding, and on top of that, it’s not expensive either. However, Join.me also comes with a free option, which includes a strong list of features, including screen sharing, the most important in our book, but also 3 video streams, meeting participants (up to three at one time), chat, internet calling, file transfer and ten whiteboards.
If you want to go further, there’s the Lite, Pro and Business plan, with prices between $10 per host per month for the Lite, and $30 per host per month for Business, with a 14-day free trial for each of the respective options, to help you sort things out. Join.me is also fully integrated with all major products, the likes of Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office and Salesforce, and the company’s open API guarantees full integration with whatever in-house developed app one may think of.
Bottom line, if you’re looking for simplicity and ease of use, Join.me would make for the sensible option, especially if you’re a first-time screen-sharing software user learning to use the platform. The user interface is well designed and intuitive, and the learning curve is practically non-existent.
- Comprehensive free plan, very cost-effective, with scalable options
- Great for both businesses and personal use, 14 days free trial for paid plans
- Intuitively designed user interface, can display up to ten video-streams at once
- Feature-rich, shines at hosting meetings
- Valuable integrations, highly customizable
- Limited admin controls
- No SSO (single sign-on)
Free Yet Powerful
Next in line we have Zoom, an enterprise-grade screen-sharing software, which truth be told, is more of a video-conference tool, but that doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things. Zoom is built with an emphasis on big-businesses/enterprise environments, and it’s great tool to have for online meetings, training and tech support, video webinar, conference rooms, and even as the next –gen enterprise phone system. Zoom also provides cross platform messaging and file sharing services, and their priced options (for businesses) start at $14.99 per month.
However, the good news is that any private user can use Zoom for free, the core product respectively, which has it all: high-quality high-definition video conferencing, and crisp/enterprise-grade sound quality. Zoom is that good that it’s used by blue-chip corporations like Pandora, Box, GoDaddy, Slack and Uber, and it offers top-notch security, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption as well as AES 256 bits encryption, to keep you on the safe side.
The Zoom Basic option is the “freebie” of the bunch, and what’s great about it is that it comes with all the essential bells and whistles that paid users get: video-conferences with up to 100 people, for up to 40 minutes on group meetings, 1-on-1 meetings, HD video/voice quality, secure encryption, the video-recording capability of the meetings and local-storage as MP4 files, and more. The Pro level tier plans ($14.99 per month) and Zoom for Business ($20 per month) allow for more conference participants and additional goodies, such as unlimited meeting duration, dedicated phone support, cloud recording transcripts, custom emails, a vanity URL, ROI tracking and more.
- Solid screen-sharing software for video conferencing
- Great for business chats and online business appointments
- Enterprise-grade tech support and features
- Competitively priced, free account available with comprehensive features
- Easy to use, stellar performance
- None we can think of
The Best Screen-Sharing Software for Windows
If you’re looking for a freeware at its best, Mikogo is the answer to your prayers, as it offers a free account for both business and personal use, which is kind of rare nowadays. So, what is it? To make it really easy for our readers, Mikogo is dedicated and easy to use screen-sharing software, an app of sorts that offers a secure and fast solution to all of your online meetings, presentation and conferencing needs.
Mikogo’s main “selling point” (pun intended) is its high-speed capabilities in terms of desktop sharing features, including docs and apps, and live over the “interwebz” with meeting participants.
Obviously, if you want more features, there’s a business account option, but both the free and the premium Mikogo account benefit from AES encryption, i.e. all of your data will be safe. After you download the software, you’ll be able to share your screen with everyone in the world, but check this out: Mikogo comes with an HTML viewer, which means it’s 100 percent browser-based for participants, as in there are no downloads, no Flash, no nothing, as your “guests” will connect via a web browser.
In terms of features, Mikogo has a lot to offer: screen sharing with multiple guests, app selection, copy/paste/email session info, file transfer, clipboard transfer, a comprehensive meeting scheduler, chat, multi-monitor support, remote keyboard/mouse control, profile manager, session login on your website as well as usage reports, switch presenter and more. The free plan offers single user/1 participant per session and all the standard features, while the Pro plan costs $16 per month, and offers 25 participants per session, plus a number of premium features.
- Cross-platform compatibility (iPhone/iPad, Windows, Android, Mac, Web-based)
- Easy to use
- The free version is more than enough for home-users
- Cloud hosted
- Remote support features, voice and video conferencing
- None really
Screen Sharing and More
Skype is one of the most popular VoIP software in the world, and it’s currently offering chat, global calls and texting via apps or via the web-browser. Owned by Microsoft, Skype delivers instant messaging, video talk, cluster video conferencing, group chat and various collaboration functionalities, including article and image sharing, but since today’s article is about screen-sharing software, yes, you got that right: you can also share your screen using Skype. I bet you did not know that.
The screen-sharing feature allows you to do a multitude of things, ranging from recording a call for meetings, or use the “record my screen” feature to remember conversations, to screen-share a presentation and whatnot. Skype’s integrated screen-sharing feature also allows you to drag and drop files into your conversation-window, thus giving access to the respective file to everyone on the call.
The last feature is also great if you want to share photos/files via in group screen sharing, sans extra cost. Both the “record my screen” and call recording are cloud-based and totally secure on Skype’s servers, and the data is available for 30 days.
And yes, the screen sharing feature is also available on mobile, on both Android and iOS.
- Free of charge
- Works directly from Skype
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Not as feature rich/easy to use as dedicated screen-sharing software
Enterprise-Grade Screen-Sharing Software
Last but not least, we have Adobe Connect, the “ultimate” screen-sharing software, which also excels at delivering flexible and powerful video conferencing services, as well as an abundance of features and options. Since we’re talking about Adobe software, it comes as no surprise that the learning curve to harness all the features and options can be frustrating to some, and the same goes for the monthly fee (no, this is not a freebee), which starts at $50.
However, you’ll get a lot of bang for the buck asked, as Adobe Connect really shines in respect to its video chat, document and desktop sharing, not to mention its ability to work with custom apps, provided you know how to use Adobe Flash. It’s important to mention that Adobe Connect actually consists of three distinct products: Adobe Connect Meetings, Adobe Connect Webinars and Adobe Connect Learning.
The cheapest of the lot is Connect Meetings, starting at $50 per month, but don’t worry: there’s a 30-day free trial available, to help you make up your mind. As far as screen-sharing goes, Adobe Connect Meetings allows for up to 25 participants simultaneously, and as usual for enterprise-grade software, everything is highly secure in terms of encryption.
- Allows you to create/save custom layouts for virtual meeting rooms
- Tons of features/personalization options
- Highly secure, unlimited video feeds
- Features video recording/editing and dynamic participation
- Goes way beyond screen sharing
- Very expensive