Do you want to share your Windows screen with friends or colleagues so they can fix technical issues? Maybe you want to access your Windows desktop from your tablet to watch a movie in bed?
It is easier than ever to share your desktop as there are many free tools for remote access. Here are the best remote screen sharing tools for Windows.
With the 2020 corona virus, Zoom became known in homes and businesses around the world. Friends used it to keep in touch, companies used it to keep their employees up to date, and schools used it to offer education without class time.
One of the main functions of Zoom is support for screen sharing and remote access. When you run the Windows desktop app, attendees can take control of the other screens for support or guidance (this is just one of many cool features on the Zoom platform
10 fun things to do with zoom
To take control of someone else's screen in zoom, go to View Options> Request Remote Control> Request and wait for the other person to accept.
Zoom can be downloaded free of charge and up to 100 meeting participants can be used. You don't even have to create an account with Zoom to participate. Simply enter the meeting code when prompted.
For more information on zoom, see our comparison between zoom and houseparty and our list of the best zoom alternatives
5 free zoom alternatives for video conferencing and online meetings
Download: Zoom (free)
TeamViewer is possibly the best known of all available third party tools. It is over 10 years old and has a loyal user base.
It doesn't just specialize in screen sharing and remote access. With the software, users can also transfer files between connected PCs, conduct web conferences, and conduct online presentations.
By default, you must enter a PIN code to connect to another user's computer. However, if you regularly connect to the same group of computers, you can create a group in your account and allow one-click access.
Unlike some of its competitors, the software also enables group sessions. In a group session, you can easily transfer control of a computer between users rather than allowing a one-way session.
TeamViewer not only works under Windows, but is also one of the best screen sharing apps for Android and iPhone
The 5 best apps for screen sharing on Android and iPhone
Download: TeamViewer (free)
3. Chrome Remote Desktop
Chrome Remote Desktop has one major disadvantage: the Chrome browser must be installed on both computers. If you are using an alternative browser, you should look elsewhere.
However, if you use Chrome and are looking for an easy-to-set-up, no-frills remote access tool, you will struggle to find a better option. Google has targeted the software at home users who need to share computer screens for quick troubleshooting or file access. The advanced features of some other options are missing from this list.
Install the extension from the Chrome Web Store, connect the two PCs with the automatically generated access code and you are ready to use in seconds. You can permanently connect two computers together if you need regular access.
Alternatively, you can go remotedesktop.google.com and connect using the web app. The extension has slightly more functions, e.g. For example, an expanded list of supported keyboard shortcuts.
Download: Chrome Remote Desktop (free)
4. Microsoft Remote Desktop
Microsoft Remote Desktop is the native Windows solution for screen sharing. It uses the appropriate RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) technology.
Although Microsoft has integrated it into the operating system, it is not the easiest (or best) option for screen sharing on Windows. The biggest problem is that RDP servers are only available on Windows Professional and higher. You cannot connect to someone who is running the home version of the operating system.
Beginners may find the app difficult to set up. If you want to connect to computers outside your home network, you need to know the IP address of the person you want to connect to and configure their routers to accept incoming remote desktop connections.
Ultimately, it is important to understand that Microsoft Remote Desktop is designed for office use and not for home use. If you want to troubleshoot a family member's PC, look elsewhere.
Download: Microsoft Remote Desktop (free)
The development team behind AeroAdmin was clearly inspired by TeamViewer. The functionality of the app and the screen display are strikingly similar.
In contrast to TeamViewer, no installation is required. All you have to do is run the 2MB EXE file and follow the on-screen instructions. This means that you can keep a copy on your USB stick and immediately grant remote access to all the computers you are sitting in front of. You can connect using your computer's IP address or by releasing the automatically generated passcode.
You can also configure the app to run before a user logs in. Therefore, you can use this tool to access your computer unattended. AeroAdmin works on MacOS and Linux via Wine.
Download: AeroAdmin (free)
6. Lite Manager
Lite Manager is an undervalued program that offers many of the same features as some of the expensive paid tools.
Of course, the basics like file transfer and text chat are covered – but here are some of the coolest advanced features:
- RDP integration
- Screen recorder
- Remote installation of screen sharing software
- Network mapping
- IP filtering
- Registration editor
- Cascade connections
- 30 connected computers
A paid version is available ($ 10 per license), but is not required for most.
Download: Lite Manager (download)
AnyDesk can run either as a portable program or as a desktop app. Connecting the two apps is easy. The client only needs the host's AnyDesk address or an alias.
You can also set up unattended access. This is ideal if you want to access your files remotely without someone physically using your other computer.
Other features include an adjustable slider that balances connection quality with connection speed, clipboard synchronization, remote session recording, and cross-computer keyboard shortcuts.
Download: AnyDesk (free)
8. Remote utilities
Remote Utilities is another remote desktop sharing app for Windows. A one-time license costs $ 29.
The app has advantages and disadvantages. For example, it can bypass firewalls and NAT devices while supporting connection to many computers. On the other hand, only Windows computers are supported.
There are mobile apps for the service, but they can only act as viewers and their ratings are mixed.
Download: Remote Utilities ($ 29)
With Mikogo, you can share your desktop and remotely access another user's PC.
It has a live chat window and supports file transfers. There's also a cool feature that prevents certain apps from sharing their content. It prevents you from accidentally showing confidential information to all participants.
Download: Mikogo ($ 11 per month)
ShowMyPC focuses on screen sharing. With a relatively simple user interface and Windows, Mac, and Linux compatibility, it's a good choice if you just want to share your screen.
There is a free and a paid version. The free version of the app can be downloaded from the website. You don't have to create an account to use it, and you don't even have to install it on your computer – the app is portable.
Download: ShowMyPC (free)
MingleView is a Windows-based free screen sharing software without a premium package upgrade.
The app lacks some of the competition's large development budget, but it's still one of the first free desktop sharing apps that allows unlimited attendees and unlimited meeting hosting.
If you don't want to download the desktop app, you can view (but not control) someone else's screen through the web app.
Download: MingleView (free)
ScreenLeap is a fully web-based tool that enables screen sharing and remote screen access.
The app is not packed with features, but the existing ones are easy and straightforward to use. Perhaps most importantly, you can share your entire screen or just a single window.
Download: ScreenLeap (free)
SkyFex is an online remote access service. This means that no download is required – it is completely browser-based. This also means that SkyFex is available on all platforms, making it a good choice for those looking for a simple tool to help customers or even just friends.
The app secures all communication with 256-bit SSL encryption and proprietary protection methods and works via firewalls, proxies and NAT.
You can use the app free of charge for 30 minutes.
Download: SkyFex (free)
Other useful apps for screen sharing
Some chat apps let you share your screen with other users. For example, did you know that you can share your screen using Skype?
How to share your screen on Skype for Windows and Mobile
You can also share your screen with Google Hangouts, Discord, Facetime, and more. If you are already using such an app, you may not need to download any of the separate software described in this article.
A warning when using the RAS software
First, hackers often use this type of app to defraud in technical support. Someone will call your house and encourage you to install the app of your choice. Once you do this, you have full access to everything on your computer. So make sure that you only grant access to people you know and who you implicitly trust.
Second, it is hackable if you log in to the app with an account. TeamViewer was the victim of such a hack in mid-2016
TeamViewer Hack: Everything you need to know
. Thousands of users reported that hackers had broken into their machines, and some even claimed they had lost money from their bank accounts.
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