A guide to desktop sharing software

Desktop sharing software is a great way of collaborating with others, on your own computer. This can be over the internet (cloud connection) or on the same network (direct connection). Find out more below, in our guide to desktop sharing software.
guide desktop sharing software RealVNC

What is desktop sharing software?

Desktop sharing software allows users to access and control another computer, used mostly for remote access and remote collaboration. The software gives users full control of the other computer’s desktop, including the ability to run programs, make modifications, as well as view, edit and transfer files.

Remote desktop sharing is a very easy way to see another computer’s screen and interact as if you were in front of it. You do need to make sure, though, that you use a secure solution for your remote desktop sharing needs.

Also, as you’ll give access to your machine, make sure that you know who actually gets that permission. Screen sharing (another name for this sort of software) is great when used for the right purposes. When not, this sort of product can be utilized for nefarious purposes. In such cases, the consequences can be dire.

Apart from screen sharing itself, there are other uses for this type of software, as well. These can include file transfer, remote printing, chat or even screen recording features.

The applicability of remote access software is endless. It can be used in construction, to control production remotely. Or it could help in the medical field, to provide instant support to potentially life-saving devices. Or you can even utilize it to fix issues arising with solar panels.

Of course, the most obvious use of screen sharing is in an IT department. It allows technicians to see a user’s screen in real-time and fix issues remotely. Not only does this make everyone’s lives easier. It also saves costs, avoiding unnecessary callouts.

RealVNC desktop sharing software can do all this and much more. But don’t take our word for it. Get a free trial below!

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Is it safe to use desktop sharing software?

That is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? After all, using remote desktop screen sharing is like getting the keys to someone’s house. Or handing them over, as the situation may require it.

As good a friend as that person might be, you still don’t want them around your bank statements, do you? This is why you’ll want to make sure that if someone has access, it’s with a very good reason.

So what can you do to make sure that you’re using remote desktop access securely?

First of all, make sure that the vendor of the software is truly a digital trust leader. Check that their security credentials are not just words. A comprehensive white-box audit from a trusted independent provider is a must.

Also, make sure that connections are encrypted and that the data is only accessible to you and the person you give access.

MFA (Multifactor authentication) is also non-negotiable. This means that, even if someone were to get hold of your password, they’d need another piece of information to log in. A piece of information that, you guessed it, only you could give.

Even if you trust the remote desktop sharing solution, make sure that you don’t leave any passwords or credentials exposed. A good password manager (also protected by MFA) is also a good weapon to have in your arsenal.

The advantages vs disadvantages of remote desktops

In this next section, we’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons of software for desktop sharing.


Software for desktop sharing is very useful in many instances. Here are some of its advantages:

  • Collaboration – you can collaborate easily with colleagues all over the world, using a computer as if you were in front of it,
  • Productivity – instant easy access to a lot of machines, some across the globe, increases productivity. Employees can work from anywhere, even when travelling. There are no restrictions regarding locations or deadlines,
  • Security – using software for desktop sharing that favours security, data can be easily kept away from prying eyes.


A secure solution used correctly doesn’t pose many disadvantages. However, as with anything that accesses sensitive data, there are some:

  • Speed: quality software for desktop sharing will provide a very close experience to being in front of the respective machine. However, you still rely on the speed of your internet connection.

How to screen share on different platforms

The problem with working in today’s world is that so many things happen on so many different platforms. You might have a Windows laptop at home. At the same time, you could be working on a Mac. But when you’re on the go, all you have with you is a smartphone, running Android or iPhone OS.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could access the Mac when you get a great idea, but you’re waiting at the barber? Or see the shopping list that your wife has saved on the desktop of the home PC when you’re at work?

Desktop sharing software makes these tasks (and so many more) much easier. Collaboration becomes a breeze, no matter what platform you’re on. Want your colleague running Linux and the other colleague, who’s a Mac fan, to collaborate on your project? With the right multiplatform desktop sharing software, they can do so easily. Not only at the same time, but also while sitting in front of their machines.

RealVNC screen sharing functionality

VNC Connect is RealVNC’s screen sharing software. It’s a multiplatform solution, built by a company that puts security at the heart of everything it does.

Not only is it secure (as certified by a recent white-box security audit), but it’s also very easy to use.

You don’t need to take our word for it, though. Get a free trial of RealVNC desktop sharing software and see for yourself!

Start a FREE trial

Bogdan Bele

Bogdan Bele

A journalist by formation and experience, and a content writer by trade. I’ve been writing content, both online and offline, for more than 15 years. My focus has always been technology, but I’ve also ventured into fields as diverse as music, football or news. I am RealVNC’s in-house Digital Content Editor, so a lot of what you’re reading on this blog is written by me. I also edit a lot of our content output. When I’m not writing, editing or reading, you’ll probably find me at a concert or watching a Chelsea FC game.

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