12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Haven’t Heard Of Yet

Intro image   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of YetAre you constantly being asked for computer help? Or perhaps you’re the one doing the asking. Either way, seeing and controlling screens remotely can save time and confusion on both ends. Remote access programs aren’t just for helping someone or being helped with a computer problem, they can also be very beneficial in assisting in holding meetings over the computer without actually meeting in person.

We at MakeUseOf have covered article after article about remote access and screen sharing applications, but I’m going to consolidate some of the potentially less common ones that you may not have heard of. We have all likely heard of the popular programs in the game – TeamViewer and LogMeIn. But perhaps it’s time to consider some equally-solid contenders.

CrossLoop

crossloop logo   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of YetCrossLoop is both a remote access and screen sharing tool, depending on what you allow the person who is accessing your computer to do. It works for both Windows and Mac. Note that you may not need an account to use it, especially if you are sharing your screen, but that it is very helpful.

CrossLoop specializes in the one-on-one connection, while other programs might allow several to connect at one time. CrossLoop’s main focus is to be the intermediary tool to help resolve someone’s computer issues.

Features Within CrossLoop

It may seem basic, but when “setting up” CrossLoop, you’ll find that the installation and registration is all very straightforward and the interface is simple, but useful. This is very important when it comes to software which is being used to help someone with a computer problem. You certainly don’t want to have to use a screen sharing program to see what’s “wrong” with a screen sharing program.

CrossLoop Access   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

There are two tabs, Access (pictured above) and Share (pictured below).

CrossLoop Share   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Other features are unlimited sessions and time per session. It has a secure 128-bit encryption connection. There is also file transfer capabilities and remote reboot and reconnect (which seems to be a premium feature for several other programs).

Positives

A simple user interface and an Android app.

CrossLoop View   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Negatives

Not many features such as chat and no Linux support for either end.

Bottom Line

One of my favorites out of all of the ones reviewed. It was easy to use and explain to others to use. Out of 5 stars, I would give CrossLoop a 4 star rating.

Mikogo

Mikogo   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Mikogo is another application which does both remote access and screen sharing. It supports Windows, Mac and Linux and is an excellent program for working in teams.

Features

Mikogo Session   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Not only does it do the basics such as chat and file transfer, but it also allows you to decide which applications are seen by the viewers when you’re presenting. There’s a whiteboard to create drawings and text, the interface is very intuitive and there’s an option to record.

Another thing I liked are the speech bubbles (which can be easily disabled) to help remind you of what all the features can do – they’re just nice to fall back on while still learning the program. I also like that while you are using the program, you can see in a small screen in the window what is being displayed on the other person’s screen.

Positives

Lots of great helpful features and multi-person connection makes it great for teams. No time restriction.

Negatives

Code in program cannot be copied and pasted, nor can the window be resized. Also note that each time the icon for the program is clicked a new window is created. I had to manually close out each one in the system tray.

Bottom Line

Like previously stated, Mikogo is great for groups of people, but it also can be used as a one-on-one tool. Although, it may be a little overkill to use to just help someone with their computer. Out of 5 stars I would give Mikogo a 4.5 star rating.

ShowMyPC

ShowMyPC Main   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

ShowMyPC is focused on screen sharing. With a fairly simple user interface and Windows, Mac and Linux compatibility, it makes a solid choice if all you’re looking for is to share your screen.

Features

ShowMyPC Session   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

In the free version the features include the ability to take and share screenshots, Android phone support, limited chat room whiteboard, limited application sharing, file transfer (no folder transfer), schedule meetings, one-hour password length, one-hour session duration and limited participants per meeting, which varies based on network traffic.

ShowMyPC Chat   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

ShowMyPC ScreenShot   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

ShowMyPC Scheduled Meetin   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Positives

No installation – simply launch the application and run it.

Negatives

Be prepared for a popup window promoting premium services once the session is ended.

Bottom Line

ShowMyPC is certainly not my favorite. Its website isn’t the easiest to navigate around and it took me a while to find the “free” link – you can tell it’s not heavily promoted. That said, the interface of the program isn’t all that bad and makes it fairly easy to use and understand. Out of 5 stars I would give ShowMyPC a 3.5 star rating.

MingleView

MingleView Homepage   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

MingleView is a Windows based screen sharing program which is completely free and has no premium package upgrade. This means you won’t be bothered by popups when ending the session. It also has no installation process and can simply be downloaded and ran by clicking “Share” and then allowing it to download to your computer.

MingleView Features   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Feature-wise MingleView stands out quite nicely. As you can see in the list above, it allows unlimited participants and meeting hosting. Plus, you don’t need to register or sign up like many of the services here.

MingleView Main   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

It claims to have the highest screen quality offered. The user interface is simple – a little too simple actually – and it is easy to figure out what to do, with only a few buttons. The peer to peer connection is secure and built over SSL. In addition, there’s no port forwarding or special firewall configuration that is required.

Positives

MingleView is fast, easy to use and any platform can view another desktop through the web-based platform.

Negatives

The downloadable file is Windows only.

Bottom Line

MingleView isn’t a bad alternative to some of the others, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best. I know some may say it’s not about interface, it’s about the features. But in my mind, the interface is a feature and MingleView just doesn’t seem to offer a very intuitive or clean-looking interface.

That said, the fact that it has the features that it has and is free is impressive and is certainly the one to go with if you are planning to host a large viewing party, just make sure you have Windows. Out of 5 stars I would give MingleView a 3 star rating.

Live Look

ShowScreen LiveLook Homepage   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Live Look is similar to MingleView in that it is a screen sharing app, but it is completely web-based – no download needed. This is great for people who need to show what their screen looks like, but can’t or don’t want to download a program (for one reason or another). Live Look however, does charge to use the service, but gives you a $5 credit when you sign up. It seems to charge by the minute.

Features

Like previously stated, Live Look is web-based, therefore being accessible from all platforms. The interface of both the website and the sharing window are very clean and easy to use. To view a screen you do not need to create an account.

ShowScreen LiveLook View Screen   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

However, to share a screen, you will need an account – which is what you’ll need to make sure you have enough credits in to get through the screen sharing session.

ShowScreen LiveLook Share Screen   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Positives

Live Look is available from all platforms and is very straightforward to use. Also, it’s my understanding that you should be able to give the access code to several people so they can all view your screen, although Live Look doesn’t give a certain limit, nor do they say this directly.

Negatives

Live Look isn’t completely free! Only up to $5, which if you’re in a long screen sharing session, can go fast. There also aren’t many features.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for something extremely simple and only need to use it for a short time, Live Look is for you. If you’re wanting to use it as a tool to help many of your clients or friends and have access to several other features, you may want to look elsewhere. Out of 5 stars I would give Live Look a 2.5 star rating.

ScreenLeap

ScreenLeap Homepage   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

ScreenLeap is completely web-based too and also only does screen sharing. However, I would have to say that out of all the web-based interfaces, ScreenLeap looks and works the nicest. It’s also easy to use – simply click the big large button that says “Share your screen now” and you’re good to go.

Features

Although, there aren’t many real features with ScreenLeap, its simplicity and excellent functionality should not be disregarded. But the main feature that it has is its ability to share the session several ways. There’s a link to copy and paste into any form of communication from IM to email to Facebook message. Or there is a code which you can copy or read off to the people you’re connecting with. You can also type in the email address or phone number that you wish to send the code to.

ScreenLeap   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Positive

Very simple and straightforward. There are many ways to share the session invite depending on the person’s comfort level with different forms of technology. You also have the option to share different windows or the entire screen.

Also, no account or registration is needed, at all.

Negative

There really isn’t much negative with ScreenLeap when you consider that it isn’t a mainstream application, but a simple website. Although it’s, low featured, you can’t compare it to the Mikogo’s of the group.

Bottom Line

You might be thinking right now, that ScreenLeap blows MingleView and Live Look out of the water, and you’re right. It does. It’s simple, it’s quick and it’s useful at what it does. I highly recommend it for simply sharing your screen and would give it a 4.5 out of 5 star rating.

SkyFex

SkyFex is an online remote access service. That means it too doesn’t require a download since it’s entirely browser-based. This also means that it’s accessible on all platforms, making it a nice choice for those who are looking for a easy tool to use to help clients or even just friends.

That said, SkyFex has a great commercial presence as it allows companies to customize the interface with their logo, color style and custom links, as well as being able to display a link to remote sessions right on the company’s website. This builds customer loyalty and just looks more professional – of course this isn’t free though.

Features

Aside for the non-free customization features, the web application itself is quite nice. First though, let’s start with the appearance of the account from the “Expert’s” point of view. The page is clean and simple. There is the option to add additional computers to be associated with the account. There are also several ways to connect with the client, either by ID, sending the link directly to the client or by email invitation.

SkyFlex Start Session   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

While the session is running you have access to several tools such as system information, remote control, sending files, remote reboot, sharing your desktop, chat, and full screen mode. It’s also neat that when your right click, a message bubble will show where you are pointing to.

SkyFex Session with tools   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Positives

SkyFex has some great features within its free model. From remote control to seeing system info, you are surely to be satisfied with it.

Negatives

I didn’t think I would have said this at first, but there are some negatives with SkyFex. For one, you are only given a 30 minute window of time per session. To my knowledge though, you can start a new session with that same user after that and there shouldn’t be any issues.

Also, I found it puzzling that it required a browser plugin to be installed on the client’s end when the link was clicked. This might throw some users off if they aren’t aware of what a plugin is and even though it states that it’s adware/spyware free, they might still be a little suspicious. I know the person whom I tested this with was caught off guard by it, as many websites may claim to be malware free, but that doesn’t mean they are. Hopefully they trust your better judgment.

Bottom Line

Overall, SkyFex seems like an excellent tool. It has all the features you need, and hopefully it doesn’t take you more than 30 minutes to solve the issue, but it’s not a problem if it does (because we all know that rarely happens). One great advantage that SkyFex has over a local program is that you can access this anywhere simply by signing in. There’s no need to spend time downloading and installing a program if you are at a public computer trying to help someone. I give SkyFex a 4.5 out of 5 star rating.

Yugma SE For Skype

Yugma banner   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Yugma SE For Skype is a screen sharing and conferencing application. It is especially great for teams and business professionals who want to have a meeting, but don’t have the time or luxury to do it in person. And because Skype is so common for most people to have, why not integrate with it and make everyone’s job easier?

Yugma Session   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Features

The Skype integration allows you as the presenter to import the contacts, allowing you to easily invite people right from the list.

Yugma Invite Skype Contacts   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

There is a vast amount of features from being able to switch presenters, have a telephone conference via Skype, schedule meetings and use annotation and whiteboard tools. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg so check out the list below for the rest of the features.

Yugma Features   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

It is important to note that Yugma SE For Skype only works for Windows and Mac, although Linux users can still participate in the meeting, they just can’t host it with the downloaded program.

Yugma View Screen   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Lastly, an amazing feature is that you can have up to 20 participants in one meeting at a time.

Yugma Host or Join Meeting   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

Positives

Well so far, I’ve listed all the positives of Yugma, so there really isn’t much more to share. It is a solid program with an easy to use interface that is not only intuitive, but productive as well and that is very important in a professional setting. The entire website as a whole is easy to navigate.

Negatives

Unfortunately, there are some. And not being fully compatible with Linux is the biggest one. The other negative is that the meeting has a time limit of 30 minutes and that is when the program is started. So hopefully everyone joins fairly quickly to get things taken care of.

Bottom Line

Yugma SE For Skype is a great addition to Skype and since most people already have the program, it makes coordinating with them a breeze. However, they do not need to have Skype open to participate in the meeting, but simply need to add their Skype email to the Email ID field. I give Yugma SE For Skype a 4 out of 5 star rating.

Others Worth Mentioning

VYEW

Vyew logo   12 Excellent, Free Screen Sharing & Remote Access Tools You Havent Heard Of Yet

VYEW is an online collaboration tool which not only features screenshots and screen sharing, but so many other features like VOIP, webcam, teleconferencing, custom branding, and more, most of which are free.

TightVNC & UltraVNC

There is a lot on MakeUseOf about Virtual Network Computing (VNC) and I’m going to contribute even more to it. TightVNC and UltraVNC, both of which have been mentioned on MakeUseOf are excellent free options for remote access via VNC. Both of these programs allow you to log into a computer, including yours at home while you’re away, and completely control the desktop.

What About Linux?

It seems like several programs don’t completely work with Linux (although UltraVNC does), so I’ve provided a few links from past MakeUseOf articles on this topic:

Conclusion

There are certainly pros and cons of each service, but I feel that overall ScreenLeap, SkyFlex, Mikogo and CrossLoop are the best and shouldn’t be ignored. What are your favorites in the list?

Image Credit: Remote Access Intro Image via Shutterstock

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42 Comments -

1 votes

Vinh

I have tried a few of these alternatives, but I’ve always found TeamViewer to be the easiest to use, especially for the client thanks to the dedicated client version of the software: TeamViewer QuickSupport.

0 votes

Max

I agree. I love teamviewer, I’ve got installed on all my PCs and my parents’ PCs. It makes it so much easier to help them with issues.

0 votes

Marcus

Everyone knows TV but rare person knows a free clone to it which is called remote desktop software Ammyy Admin http://www.ammyy.com/en/index.html

A bit strange this must-have app is not in the list. Hope you’ll like it!

0 votes

Fabrice Soopramanien

Nice !! :P !!

0 votes

aubs

surprised you didnt mention the free JOIN.ME

great tool easy to use.

0 votes

DB

wow, Aaron, you were reading my mind. I was just looking for a simple tool I can use with my parents to share my screen with them from 2000k miles away. Thank you!

0 votes

Andrew Niklas

What about quickscreenshare.com

super simple web based screen sharing and thing need is java which pretty much everyone has

0 votes

Rajaa Chowdhury

Am surprised that no one has mentioned SOLUTO which is specifically been built for the purpose of remote support. It is free upto 5 PC support. More details at https://www.soluto.com/

0 votes

Harish Jonnalagadda

Yeah me too. I installed Soluto forst thing once I learned about it.

0 votes

Ahmed Khalil

Mikogo,screenleap are the greatest i hear about, thanks for this rich artical.

0 votes

Ahmed Khalil

i want to suggest one thing it should be avaliable in the artical.
i want to give us option allow us to save the artical as favourit so we can go back to review the most interesting artical for us .
as it is difficalt to remember the artical name after some time and also it is hard to search back in all old one

0 votes

Samarth Gupta

Teamviewer missing?? :-o
I’ve found teamviewer the best solution for screen sharing and remote access.

0 votes

Harish Jonnalagadda

Me too.

0 votes

Kelly Buchanan

Jump is a good alternative as well.

0 votes

Darren Reynolds

I use Teamviewer. Easy to use and free for non commercial use which is great when you get that phone call from a friend or family member :)

0 votes

Dimal Chandrasiri

doesn’t teamviewer come in to this list?

0 votes

AP

Nice article but disappointed to find out TeamViewer is not in your list.

0 votes

James Franklin

“12 Excellent free screen sharing and remote access tools YOU HAVEN’T HEARD OF” I’m pretty sure most of us have heard of Team viewer. Hence the reason it isn’t on this list.

0 votes

Nethu Alahakoon

I guess Team Viewer should come to the list too.

0 votes

Duane Arsenault

I’ve used Crossloop with many of my friends and family and have had great success with it. Seems like a lot of supporters of Teamviewer…may have to check that out!

0 votes

Qasim

Hi Duane, Team viewer is the best … it gives you so much control for other computer, that if you maximize the control screen you will feel like it is your own screen.

0 votes

Hzz

I fav is still Team Viewer.. Been using for years. Its awesome.

0 votes

Sam Kar

Out of the one’s that you have listed I have heard about Crossloop & MingleView, While I have used VNC.

My favorite is still TeamViewer in free, and Radmin in paid. But I would definitely give a shot to some of these.

0 votes

Andrew Donnelly, Mikogo Desktop Sharing

Hi Aaron!

Thanks for trying out Mikogo and including us in your write up. And thanks for the 4.5 stars! Very nice to see that.
We’re also working on a VOIP feature for Mikogo which is soon to be released in a beta version – exciting!

Best,
Andrew Donnelly
The Mikogo Team

0 votes

Shivank

Hi,

One great tool is for screen sharing / remote access is Chrome Remote Desktop. Its still in beta, but very easy and friendly to use.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/chrome-remote-desktop-bet/gbchcmhmhahfdphkhkmpfmihenigjmpp?utm_source=chrome-ntp-icon

And its from Google!

0 votes

Alex Perkins

I use Radmin

0 votes

Ardie

AMMYY anyone?

0 votes

John

I’ve used a couple of them, but like you discuss there is always limiting factors for free software. I decided to purchase somethign about a year ago when I started doing remote support as a part-time gig. I went with ScreenConnect, not free but was only $275 http://www.screenconnect.com/

0 votes

salvador hernandez

I really like Team Viewer seems to work good and smooth with lots of features in the free version. I’ve also used Google Chrome Desktop.

0 votes

Chun Tat David Chu

I have good experience using join.me for screen sharing.
https://join.me/

0 votes

Norman Conley

It’s great to know there is so many options; I have needed help many times, but didn’t know where to turn. Thanks.

0 votes

Brian

I’m a logmein free user but open to change. Have any other logmein users found any of these alternatives more useful?

0 votes

Harish Jonnalagadda

TeamViewer. I was using LogMeIn before.

0 votes

Harish Jonnalagadda

Thanks so much! Will check these out

0 votes

ady

teamviewer is also a very good app for remote desktop

0 votes

Loenja Selter

great resource, will try these later

0 votes

Richard Steven Hack

UltraVNC doesn’t have a Linux version and its encryption module doesn’t work with ordinary Linux VNC versions (one MUST use encryption when using VNC or your connection can be sniffed.)

However, SSVNC is a modified version of TightVNC which DOES run on Linux and DOES support UltraVNC encryption.

I’ve used UltraVNC in the past over a VPN such as Hamachi to do client support (until Hamachi went payware for commercial use, which eliminated it from consideration). One of the advantages of UltraVNC is its Repeater module, which allows you to remotely connect to one remote desktop and then “pivot” to any other remote desktop on the LAN. You install the Repeater on one box and you can connect to any box on the LAN which is running the standard UltraVNC server. Very cool.

0 votes

Jack Giebel

I have used many of these services, but still always fall back to teamviewer. It just works, and works well. From my android to my desktop, my desktop to a client, teamviewer never fails.

0 votes

Nohl Lyons

We’ve used Mikogo a number of times. It’s fairly easy for novices to use. :)

0 votes

John

Which of these, if any, allow you to pass the sound from the presenter’s PC to the viewers? I was trying to watch in on a video session using join.me, but they don’t pass the sound thru, and trying to watch a video feed of the presenter’s Skype video call made the quality on my end choppy and degraded their performance as well (even though they are running a Core i5 with 8GB RAM)…

So, any with sound passthru that are free?

0 votes

Anonymous

Great insight…:)

0 votes

Aliasgar Babat

Another option for remotely accessing computers is deploying on premise remote support appliance such as RHUB or Bomgar appliances.