If you’ve ever tried to walk your parents through fixing a computer problem over the phone, you know how hard it can be to communicate something without being there in person. Distance turns an easy demonstration into a frustrating nightmare of misunderstandings. Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, sharing data remotely is the only way to collaborate. So we have to figure out a way to do this productively.
Fortunately, screen sharing has emerged as a new technology that helps bridge the distance. By giving someone a glimpse at what you’re doing on your screen you can walk them through complex technical processes as easily as if you were there yourself. Even better, if you get access to their computer remotely you can solve the problem right away.
As remote work and other teleconferencing solutions become more common, figuring out the right screen sharing software is all the more important. This guide will help you find the best screen sharing app to solve your exact problem.
Find The Best Screen Sharing Software For Your Needs
So what are a few things to keep in mind when picking screen sharing software that’s right for you?
Ease of use: If you need to use screen sharing software to instruct someone on how to install screen sharing software then its whole purpose is defeated. The ideal screen sharing app is rather effortless and doesn’t require you to spend hours tweaking settings.
Support: Even the best screen sharing software occasionally runs into problems. With that in mind, having quick support options might help a lot and save you time in the long run.
Software integrations: Your screen sharing app should fit into the software you already use. If you depend on a certain calendar and productivity apps, for example, choosing a compatible app (e.g. Skype screen sharing or Zoom screen sharing) is crucial for preserving your workflow.
Skype screen sharing
Most of us use Skype for phone calls or video conferencing. But few people know that for years Skype screen sharing was a paid option for the platform. And by today that feature has become completely free.
The best part of using Skype is that most of us already know how. The worst part is that it’s still Skype you have to deal with. In any case, knowing that Skype screen sharing is available before you set out to explore other apps can’t hurt.
If you’re wondering where to find screen sharing on Skype, it only shows up when you’re already in a call — just look for the icon resembling two overlapping rectangles in the right-hand corner of the window.
Verdict: The default screen sharing app you already have installed.
Zoom screen sharing
When it comes to video conferencing, Zoom has taken the crown that Skype left on the table. Easy to use, stable, and free for most users, Zoom is everything Skype is not. To top things off, it also has powerful screen sharing software functionality built right in.
Need to walk someone through using an app? Zoom is a great option. However, once you start giving demonstrations to larger groups, it’s going to cost you $14.99 a month, which might be too steep for most users.
If you’re not already using Zoom as a replacement for Skype, do that now — and depending on how you want to share screen on Mac, Zoom can be a good option.
Verdict: The best video conferencing and occasional screen sharing app you need to try.
Mac to Mac screen sharing
If both computers used for a screen share session are Macs, then all you need is an iChat ID. iChat features share screen using Messages, letting one party share what they are doing while on a voice call.
iChat ID isn’t a very robust share screen on Mac solution, but if all you need to do is help someone else once in a while, the app is free and readily available.
Verdict: A simple option for Mac to Mac screen sharing.
One of the most popular screen sharing software solutions is TeamViewer. What draws people to screen sharing between devices with TeamViewer? An impressive list of features. TeamViewer is an enterprise-class software that solves lots of problems for small to medium-sized companies.
Designed around connecting to remote computers, TeamViewer is a customer support heavyweight, letting you get into customers’ computers remotely (with their permission, of course) and directly fix any issues. The app also lets you set up your home computer in such a way that you can access it remotely yourself.
All in all, TeamViewer is extremely powerful; but that makes it slightly more complicated to set up. If you’re a casual user this app might not be the answer. For those comfortable with networking options, though, this is a fantastic product.
A list of integrated applications supported by TeamViewer is one of the largest in the business and constantly growing. If you use Salesforce, Zendesk, Microsoft Intune, or any other popular customer support solution, then TeamViewer is a good choice.
Verdict: A decent screen sharing app for customer support and power users.
Those looking for intuitive cross-platform screen sharing software might stumble upon Screenleap, which definitely has a supportive fanbase for its one-click to share your screen remotely feature.
However, Mac users should take note: Screenleap’s primary development environment is Java, which is disabled on Macs by default. The company does have a separate Mac-based app, but instead of screen sharing using Screenleap on Mac, you’re better off finding a native macOS app for the ideal share screen on Mac solution.
Verdict: A better pick for non-Apple computers.
While still in beta, USE Together is screen sharing with a difference. It’s designed around the idea of letting a few people control several mouse cursors at the same time.
Want to work together on code? Open up Notepad++ and invite a friend to USE Together and collaborate like if you’re in Google Docs. Want to finalize a design? Boot Illustrator and create at the same time, on the same project.
USE Together isn’t the perfect free screen sharing software by any means, but it’s still packs a lot of potential.
Verdict: Explore further in case of frequent collaborations.
A robust screen sharing software for Mac, Screens delivers a lot of features you’ll love.
Install Screens on all your computers and you’ll be able to access files in any one of them. Forgot an important file at home? Pop onto Screens and access your computer just before your big presentation. Need to edit an image in Photoshop but your laptop doesn’t have the horsepower? Use your desktop remotely to get it done.
File transfers from computer to computer are a simple drag and drop, and you can remote access other Macs to fix problems for friends and relatives with ease.
Verdict: The best all-around screen sharing app for Mac.
Designed around simplicity and battery efficiency, Jump Desktop is a brilliant Mac to Mac screen sharing app.
A lot of thought and care has gone into making Jump Desktop intuitive. As a result, drag and drop and remote access are readily available, without having to tweak your network settings.
Verdict: Simple and beautiful screen sharing Mac solution.
Not sure which screen share software is right for you?
Best course of actions — try both Screens and Jump Desktop with a free 7-day trial on Setapp, a subscription platform with over 150 Mac apps for every productivity category out there. Now is the best time to hop on a call!