Screen Sharing Hardware
Screen sharing software can help with meetings, training, webinars, and other educational opportunities. It’s endlessly valuable to be able to take your digital project and project it on a screen in a meeting space or to share what you are seeing with remote access guests.
Online meeting tools used to be heavily focused on chat and video. And those components are still useful for collaboration and communication. But being able to show clients what you are working on, by connecting them to your laptop or PC display, can take any sales pitch or presentation up a notch.
This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best screen share software and other web conferencing tools. I will highlight a few of the best remote screen sharing tools and, where beneficial, explain how to screen share using that app or device.
Software Comparison Criteria
What are we looking for when we select screen sharing software for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
- Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
- Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations?
- Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible?
Software Key Features
- Interaction/Note Taking – Can presenters or viewers interact with the shared screen during presentations, for example by using a pointer device or drawing tools for notes?
- Keyboard/Mouse Control – Can another user be granted permission to the presenting user’s mouse and/or keyboard for presentation or IT help needs?
- Screen Recording – Can presentations be recorded and easily shared? Are recordings automatically downloaded or stored in a secure cloud space?
- Connectivity – Is the software stable enough to present screen sharing and other communication tools over various devices and/or internet providers?
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Google Hangouts is a communication tool designed, as the name suggests, by Google and is a product housed within the G Suite package of solutions. From inside Hangouts, screen sharing can be launched via the menu bar, which will open a new window for the feature.
Obviously, free-to-use software appeals to the Value for Cost segment of our evaluation criteria; Google Hangouts is also robust enough to satisfy most small business needs plus it’s easy to get started using.
Integrations include other Google software, like Gmail, Google Docs, and so on. Additionally, third-party services can be connected through Zapier or by using Google’s designated API.
The con of using a free video-conferencing tool is always that it will have paid-tools with a deeper expanse of features, or a more specific niche, and Google Hangouts is no exception.
Google Hangouts is free to use.
Slack is a calling and messaging service that also allows for screen sharing during meetings. With the Slack screen sharing option, users can present their screen through a Slack Call, draw on their screen to make notes, and even allow audience members to add to the drawings.
Slack scores well in the Integrations section of the evaluation criteria, as the software, plays very well with others. They have an easy plugin and connection options and are fully transparent about the range of tools that can be used with Slack.
The Slack notification system can be a bit mucky, with certain notifications “off” by default, or different notifications sending depending on the platform (mobile versus PC), or notifications not pinging when they should.
Integrations include Bonusly, Google Calendar, Workstreams, Jira Cloud, Parabol, Disco, Outlook, Gmail, OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Fuse, Workday, Geekbox, RingCentral, BlueJeans, Microsoft Teams, Ovvy, FieldSpark, Todo, OKRobot, NerdyData, Toast, Grow, Icebreakers, Jira Integrations+, Qualtrics, Trello, Zendesk, and many more. They also offer even more connection options through Zapier.
Slack starts at $6.67/user/month and offers a freemium version of the software.
The Daily.co API adds video chat to any app or site for web calls that work across devices and real-world networks. They have a prebuilt video call widget that allows up to 200 person calls with screen sharing capabilities enabled.
Daily scored well in the Usability section of the evaluation criteria because it works along a sliding scale of ease-of-use, allowing uber intuitive plug-and-play for those that just want basic services and more complex API flexibility for those who have the technical capability to do so.
Their REST API makes it easy to create and manage your video call rooms and integrate other apps, as needed, so long as you have the technical know-how to do so.
One con to note is that the chat functions found in Daily aren’t the best compared to others out there, so you may want to integrate it with Slack or Google Hangouts for the full remote communication experience.
Daily starts at $9/month and offers a freemium version of the software.
Microsoft Teams has now started to replace Skype for Business Online as Microsoft’s professional online meeting solution. They are one-in-the-same tool but with a new branding angle; it offers instant messaging, video conferencing, and screen sharing capabilities.
Skype for Business (via Microsoft Teams) is a great low-cost tool with a freemium version available for the benefit of startups and small businesses; they score favorably in the Value for Cost section of the evaluation segment.
One con is occasional stability issues of the software, be it video or audio not connecting even on a strong internet connection, or lost chat histories, delayed or disappeared notifications, and so on.
Being a Microsoft product means that Skype is designed to easily integrate with other MS software, in particular other offerings from Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams (which includes Skype for Business) starts at $5/user/month and has a freemium version of the software.
Ryver was launched in 2014 as a platform for teams to communicate, manage tasks, and automate business processes. Features include video conferencing, forums, teams, chat software, news streaming, task management, and a 256-bit RSA encryption.
Ryver integrates with 1000’s of other apps using existing plugins or APIs/webhooks, and they inform users of their options up front. Thus, they scored very well in the Integrations section of the evaluation criteria section.
Integrations include Google Sheets and Google Forms, Gmail, a Chrome Plugin, Slack, Twitter, Asana, Dropbox, Bot Kit and Hubot, and many more through Zapier.
Ryver starts at $49/month and has a free 14-day trial. Something great about this software is that their plan at $99/month includes unlimited users, so for large businesses looking to cut costs on their collaboration tools this is a solid choice.
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Hardware Comparison Criteria
As you will see, we have a list of recommended screen-sharing hardware below, as well. The evaluation criteria for that is slightly different, obviously, so I’ve done a brief outline of what I am looking for here:
- Usability: Is the hardware easy to assemble, connect, and use? Does the company offer good training and customer service support?
- Privacy Assurance: Does the tool offer ways to select what is presented on the screen, protecting potentially sensitive information on personal devices?
- Features & Functionality:
- Annotation – Does the tool allow for presenters to mark-up or draw on the presentation screen somehow?
- Collaboration – Does the tool offer ways for a group to work on or mark up a shared screen/page? Is it easy to take and share ideas, questions, and comments?
- Chat/Communication – Are there messaging/communication functions built-in for presenters and audience members to better interact?
- Recording Tools – Is there a way for the device/tool to record audio and video during the presentation and easily store/share the collected data?
- Integrations and Accessories: Does the tool work with all operating systems, all devices, and have the capacity for added accessories? Does it work with third-party software?
- Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case?
Overviews of the Screen Share Hardware
6. Barco Clickshare – With this wireless presentation system, users can share what’s on their laptop or mobile device onto presentation screen.
Barco ClickShare lets you plug the button component into your laptop and click to start your immersive meeting without the need to start an application. Through this, you can access screen mirroring and ClickShare perfectly works with AirPlay, Google Cast, and Miracast.
Some noteworthy features of the Barco CS device include one-click sharing for anyone connected as well as a set of advanced interactivity features to boost your meeting collaboration: touch back support, annotation, blackboarding and moderation.
The Barco CS scored favorably in the Security section of the evaluation criteria, as it offers advanced options like the ability to establish different security points at multiple predefined levels; yet, the tools’ API keeps integration into the network clean and easy.
Barco ClickShare starts at $750.
7. Crestron – Enables wireless presentation of HD content using laptops, tablets, and smartphones and is compatible with Windows and Mac.
The Crestron lets users present wirelessly using laptops and mobile devices, projecting HD content using laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The tool can display up to four presentation sources at once in Quad View and is compatible with Windows, OS X, Apple iOS, and Android.
Unique key features include a customizable welcome screen with clear instructions for presenters, choice of connection methods (installed app, web browser, USB thumb drive), and its ease of deployment across many rooms at once.
This tool scored well in the Features – Collaboration section of the evaluation criteria, as it lets up to 32 users connect at once, switching from one device to the next for seamless collaboration with any Wi-Fi enabled device.
Crestron starts at $1065.
8. Kramer – A wireless collaboration and presentation solution for any laptop or mobile device – share files, chat, and display up to 4 screens.
The Kramer ConnectPro is a wireless presentation and collaboration hub with high quality video streaming that supports full HD 1080p/60. This screen sharing hardware supports Windows laptops and MAC, as well as iOS and Android mobile operating systems.
Noteworthy features include multilingual support for the device, wireless connection for up to 254 devices utilizing any compatible external wireless network, and collaboration tools like a whiteboard, messaging/chat tools, and easy file sharing.
The Kramer VIA Connect Pro scored well in the Features – Recording section of the evaluation criteria segment, as it offers easy recording of the main display (video & audio) as well as audio from the mic input for meeting room dialog. Recordings can be saved locally to VIA’s hard drive, saved to a USB device, or pushed to VIA Site Management (VSM).
Kramer starts at $995.
9. Apple TV – Use your iPhone or Siri as a remote for sharing photos, presentations, website, device screens, and more.
The latest Apple TV model offers 4K High Dynamic Range (Dolby Vision and HDR10) for high picture quality and a 10X Fusion chip for fast graphics and performance. Users can access voice controls through the Siri system and download popular apps like Netflix from the store.
One of the most formidable features of this tool is the expansive library on third-party applications that can be found and connected through the Apple App Store. Virtually any additionally need you have can be met with these various add-ons.
Apple TV scored well in our evaluation category for Usability, as the company is not only known for excellent customer service but triahere is myriad training and resources online if you are looking for help or troubleshooting.
Apple TV starts at $179.
10. Chromecast – Offers a screen mirroring features in order to view photos, files, videos, presentations and more on the big screen.
The Chromecast lets you screen share what’s on your device, be it a work presentation or a media-oriented streaming service like Netflix, YouTube, or Disney+. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Android phones or tablets, Mac or Windows laptops and Chromebooks.
A few exemplary features includes a voice-activated Google home for hands-free streaming control, a robust list of accessory options (from ethernet cables to camera and speaker attachments), and over 1000 3-party apps with which to connect.
Chromecast scores highly in the Value for Cost section of the evaluation criteria, as it is not only moderately priced but hugely feature-rich and ideal for both professional and personal use. The ChromeCast Ultra can be purchased at a slightly higher price if you need a bit more oomph.
Chromecast starts at $69.
11. Airtame – Airtame allows screen sharing from any device with the ability for IT administrators to manage every screen with preferred access.
Airtame allows for wireless presentations from any device, digital signage for all screens, and all-in-one cloud management. Access screen sharing and digital signage for schedules, relevant news, and messaging for meetings or day-to-day instruction and updates.
Some noteworthy features include a RAM of 4 x 512Mb (64-bit Data Bus) for speedier load times and wider support for web content, a flexible accessory stock for reach and connectivity bonuses, and a state-of-the-art wifi processing chip.
If you check out Airtame’s website, you’ll see why they excelled in the Usability section of the evaluation criteria. They have a resource-rich ecosystem, with every documentation, you could need, from comparisons to other popular tools to webinar/tutorial content.
Airtame starts at $399.
The Best Best Screen-Sharing Software And Streaming Hardware Summary Chart
|Free||Check out Google Hangouts|
|From $6.67/user/month||Check out Slack|
|From $9/month||Check out Daily|
|From $5/user/month||Check out Skype for Business|
14 days free trial
|From $49/month||Check out Ryver|
- Adobe Connect
Best screen sharing software for recording meetings and webinars
Best screen sharing software for interactive meetings (whiteboards, pointers, etc)
Best free screen sharing software to get started
Best screen sharing software with no download required for viewers
Best online screen sharing software (no download required)
- Troop Messenger
Best screen sharing software for NGOs and nonprofits
Screen Sharing Software FAQ
If you have some questions about screen sharing software, start here with this handy FAQ.
Is there a screen sharing software you don’t have to download?
If you are looking for a screen sharing tool that does not require any downloads, you can use: Join.me, Mikogo, and/or Google Hangouts.
Which screen sharing software works with iPad?
TeamViewer is a free screen sharing software that works with Apple iOS on iPad and iPhone.
What’s the best free screen sharing software?
There are many free screen sharing tools that you can choose from, including TeamViewer, Skype, Join.me, and Google Hangouts.
Not looking for screen sharing software? Check out our other lists of top PM tools:
- The need for screen sharing pairs well with the need for remote communication. Try one of these 10 Best Communication Tools.
- If screen sharing isn’t for you, you might need some other form of digital collaboration to connect your teams: 10 Online Collaboration Tools To Boost Your Project’s Efficiency.
What Do You Think About These Screen Share Programs?
Have you tried out any screen share software listed above? Do you prefer screen sharing sites or desktop software – and why? Let us know in the comments below.
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