The desktop sharing, as the name suggests, describe the methodology that allows two or more users to share desktop screen with each other.This is done using special remote access software, that allows you to control two or more computers with one keyboard and mouse. This can be seen as the video chat, except the screen is shared in the place of the user’s face.
Nowadays, this technology is being used for a wide number of applications in different fields of work. However, its major application can be seen in the offices where the team members from different parts of the world have to work together over a same project, including discussions, presentations and other office tasks.
Gain Remote Access to Another Computer
Lets first learn about the key features of computer share software , which help to remotely access another computer over the internet.
The screen sharing is the fundamental feature of desktop sharing concept. In this, two or more users share their entire desktop screen with each other. In other words, every user connected on the network is able to see the desktop screens of other users on its own desktop screen. This feature is much like video conferencing, instead the whole screen is desktop screen is shared rather than just small part of screen. There are various desktop sharing utilities that are designed specifically for the purpose of screen sharing only.
This feature helps to gain remote access to another computer ,the user gets the power to login to the desktop of other users via network. It means that user can also login to remote computers, physically present in any part of world. Once logged in, the user can perform any desktop operation on accessed system just like a normal user.
VPN has a different feature.In VPN, the file is shared over limited number of computers connected over the Virtual Private Network by using a shared folder. It means that only the content of the shared folder is accessible by other users on VPN. On the other hand, the remote access allows the users to access the entire system of other user having same remote access software, including whole hard disk, controls and even the configurations, instead of mere a folder.
Instant messaging, popularly known as chatting, is a common feature and is prominently observed in day to day life. In this, the user can send messages which reach its targeted user over the network instantly, giving the effect of instant popping up of message to other user. The message content can be text, image, hyperlink and/ or small media files as well. This concept is well utilized by modern email services like Gmail and Yahoo Mail in the form of Gtalk (now hangout) and Yahoo Messenger, respectively.
The video conferencing is a feature using which user can chat with more than one user and see their faces at the same time over the network. This feature can be seen as instant messaging over multiple users at the same time, the only difference being the content of message which is audio and video in this case. The video conferencing allows multiple users to share presentations, conduct group discussions, official meetings, sketch plans, work on the same project together and much more. This is a fantastic feature of desktop sharing software which is well utilized for multiple purposes. Most of the free remote access software tools do not provide this facility in the non commercial version of software.
File transfer over the remote desktop software involves instant transfer of file from one user to another over the network. However, the delay in the file transfer depends upon many factors like size of file, speed of network connection, bandwidth and so on. Most of the tools do not allow file transfer in the trial or shareware version as it is kept as the premium feature for paid or subscribed version. The major benefit of file transfer is for work distribution to different team members regarding same project.
To remotely access another computer over the internet using these software, there are certain requirements that must be fulfilled. Although, these requirements might seems so obvious, absence of any of these will halt the working of entire remote access or desktop sharing software. Let’s have a quick glance on various requirements.
- Same desktop sharing software must be installed on the host and the remote desktop.
- Both desktops must be powered on.
- Both desktops must be connected to the internet, or other specific network supported by desktop sharing software being used.
- Speed of internet must be good enough to transfer the data in real time as the desktop screen is shown in the form of videos on the screen of other users.
- The user must have the ID and Password allotted by the host PC to start login session for remote access.
The remote access software works in sessions. A copy of desktop sharing software runs in background of the host PC. Another copy of same software can be installed on the system from where the host is to be remotely accessed. Whenever the software is run, it generates ID and Password which must be entered from remote PC to login to the host PC.
Once done, the host copy pops up the message and logs out. At the same time, it starts session with the remote computer giving access to remote PC. As the remote user logs out, the session expires. Next time, it would need new ID and password to login to the remote computer. However, many desktop sharing tools allow the ID and password to be same until changed by administrator.
There are various paid and free remote desktop software that are programmed to share desktop screen of one user with other users. Also, these software tools allow access to the controls of desktop, apart from just sharing the screen in Read-Only mode.
Let’s have a look on –How to gain remote access to another computer?
#11 Best Tools to Remotely Access Another Computer
The Glance is based upon the pure desktop sharing concept as it does not allow the remote access to the users. User can subscribe it on the monthly basis, after getting satisfactory results from the free trial version. Common feature of Glance includes screen sharing, instant messaging, control sharing and video chatting. It runs without any installation. Fortunately, the Glance is designed to support Windows operating system and Mac. Also, it supports the Android operating system, which means that it can be used via modern android mobile devices like the Android Smartphone and tablet PCs.
Unlike many others, BeAnywhere is the free desktop sharing free remote desktop software that can share the PC screen, allow remote access to the computer and even offer instant messaging. Apart from these features, BeAnywhere also gives access to the shared control as well which makes it easy for the users to control the shared desktop of other users. But, it lacks the feature of video conferencing. However, it is popular due to its cross platform compatibility as it supports multiple operating systems including Windows, Java, Mac and Android.
The IBM Lotus Sametime is designed with professional quality outlook and performance. Unlike other desktop sharing tools, IBM Lotus Sametime includes all the major features of a proper desktop sharing cum remote access tool like screen sharing, control sharing and instant messaging. Apart from this, it also allows users to perform video conferencing with more than two users at a time. The software is also designed to transfer files (including large size files) over the network. Due to all such commercial grade features, the IBM Lotus Sametime is available at the annual subscription of $338.00. Although, it has all business class remote desktop sharing features, the compatibility of the IBM Lotus Sametime is limited to Windows and Mac operating system.
If you want to work personally with your friend and need desktop screen sharing, JoinMe can be the best option. There are various reasons why it serves as one of the best non commercial desktop sharing tools. First of all, it is free of cost, but for personal (non commercial) use only. If you want to upgrade to the commercial version, it is available in Pro and Enterprise packs with monthly or annual subscription. Secondly, it supports variety of features like screen sharing, instant messaging and video conferencing. Furthermore, it allows users to transfer files over the network.
However, using the free non commercial version, users can take advantage of a pro feature, which is the control sharing. In this, users get access to work on the shared desktop of others. Talking about the compatibility of the tool, JoinMe supports Windows, Mac, Android and Apple devices (iPhone and iPod only). It means that JoinMe app can be downloaded on the Smartphone as well. On the whole– it is good tool to access home computer remotely.
Just like JoinMe, the Nefsis is also known for its non commercial desktop sharing features. User can utilize Nefsis to access home computer remotely, text chatting and video chatting. However, it also gives user the power to share desktop controls for remote access. In other words, user can login to the remote desktop using Nefsis. The file transfer along with desktop sharing is fantastic feature of Nefsis which makes it one of the best remote access tools for commercial as well as non commercial use. Above all, it is available for free trial before user can buy its professional version on the subscription basis.
Nefsis provide online services and dedicated server version with different price plan and live telephone support to its clients. However, there is one drawback of Nefsis. It supports only Windows and Linux operating system, thus, restricting its use on android and iOS devices along with Mac operating system.
The LogMeIn is also a prominent desktop sharing tool that has been widely ued by the people all over the world. This tool is commonly used by the students for academic and personal use. Thus, it has been equipped with limited desktop sharing features. Using LogMeIn, users can share desktop screen, access the desktop remotely and chat in text format. It also allows users to send file over the network. However, it is not designed to support desktop control sharing and video conferencing. Another major disadvantage of using this tool is the limited number of user.
Once the trial period goes off, the user need to subscribe on annual basis to get the connections for limited number of users for desktop sharing. The positive side of LogMeIn is cost effective plans that fits in budget of a common man. Moreover, it is compatible with Windows and Mac operating system. It works well with Smartphone and tablet PC as well.
The Mikogo is a fantastic desktop sharing tool which is designed for versatile purposes. Hence, there are multiple packages depending upon the need of users. The basic plan of Mikogo allows only 3 users to share their desktop screens at a time. The professional plan includes 25 users per session to share their desktop screen. However, the software is available in enterprise and team package as well which allow unlimited hosts and multiple channels. The Mikogo is known for top quality desktop screen sharing, instant messaging and file transfer. But, it does not give access to desktop controls to users. Mikogo runs over wide range of operating system with cross platform compatibility. It supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.
Techinline is a desktop sharing utility which is preferred by many users all across the globe. Interestingly, it works only on windows operating system, which means it is finely optimized as per the Windows OS. Techinline is designed for remote access features which also allow users to have instant messaging, desktop screen sharing and control sharing.
Techinline’s software is not fit for video conferencing as it is not based upon large enterprise profile. Still, it offers important feature of file sharing which makes it perfect for small commercial use, where users want to gain remote access to another computer. The cost of the software is based on the monthly subscription.
Skype is world famous video conferencing software which has also integrated the features of desktop sharing. It offers users to share desktop screens and remote access to the PC over network. Apart from this, all features of Skype premium are available like video conferencing, instant messaging and even the file transfer facility. But, it does not give power of control sharing to users. Still, it is popularly used worldwide due to quality services and brand recognition along with cross platform compatibility with Windows, Mac and Linux. However, it does not support the android and iOS devices yet.
Teamviewer is a lightweight and portable desktop sharing tool which designed for commercial as well as non commercial uses. It is fully featured tool that support remote access to the desktop, desktop screen sharing, remote login and chatting. Also, it supports the professional features including control sharing, file transfer and video conferencing. The most interesting thing about Teamviewer is its price. It is absolutely free for non commercial use. However, the commercial plans are on the subscription basis.
The buyer can also buy the complete pack in onetime payment too. This makes Teamviewer one of the best remote access software preferred by wide group of people all across the world. Furthermore, the cross platform compatibility of the Teamviewer over Window, Mac and Linux makes it highly popular. It also supports the android and iOS mobile operating system which is a major supporting feature that people want in their remote access software.
The Webex is similar to the Teamviewer as it is lightweight and has easy to use interface. The Webex provide major features like remote access, desktop sharing, file transfer and pro features like video conferencing. Moreover, it provides the control sharing feature which is often seen in professional desktop sharing software.
One of the most prominent features of Webex is its price. It is available based upon the subscription on minute basis. The basic plan of Webex cost about 45 cents per minute per user which make it suitable for those who need cost effective desktop sharing tool for lesser time. In addition, it is compatible with windows, Linux, Mac, UNIX and Solaris operating system. Apart from this, it also works fine with modern android device and Apple iOS devices as well. Thus, it has wide range of compatibility.
All of the above 11 desktop sharing tools are some of the best utilities to remotely access computer over internet. User can choose any one of them depending upon their need, purpose and type of work. There are free versions like JoinMe and the paid software tools like IBM Lotus Sametime.
By now you have had a rich experience of How to control two computers with one keyboard and mouse?
Before you choose any one of these ,remote desktop sharing tools, just check the features and analyze if the desktop sharing utility you prefer will provide enough features for your task to be done efficiently. If not, move to the next one. If yes, just download/ buy your preferred desktop sharing software tool.
Hope you learnt – How to control two computers with one keyboard and mouse? Make sure you pay for the preferred plan of your favorite desktop sharing software only.