Screen sharing tools are great when you need to show someone else what’s happening on your own computer. You connect, do whatever you like, and your contact can follow every step.
If the remote user wants to make use of the other computer, however, it’s often more difficult. There’s still only one mouse cursor, so you’ll need to negotiate who can use it at any one time – not exactly convenient.
Screenhero takes screen sharing a step forward by giving each user their own mouse cursor. There’s no fighting for control, no waiting for one person to finish before it’s “your turn”, instead you both work on the system at the same time.
Setting this up is very straightforward. Create an account by providing your name, email address and a password, then enter the email address of whoever you want to contact. If they’re an existing Screenhero user, and online, they’ll be invited right away; if not, they’ll get an email explaining what’s happening, with a link to download the software.
Once the remote user is connected, a window opens showing their contact’s screen. They get their own mouse cursor (with their name underneath to avoid confusion), and can immediately begin to control the system. There’s even optional support for using system keyboard shortcuts, like Ctrl-Tab on a Mac.
Built-in text and voice chat tools make it easy to discuss whatever it is you’re trying to do.
Connections are encrypted via an SSL-based peer-to-peer TLS scheme, ensuring your data stays private.
What you don’t get is the ability to transfer files from one system to the other. This is screen sharing only.
There’s also not quite enough control over how your system is shared. The “two mouse cursor” idea is Screenhero’s big plus, but you might occasionally want to turn it off, so your contact can “look, but not touch”. Unfortunately there’s no way to do this. Screen sharing may be paused with a click, but you can’t enable it and prevent the other user browsing your system.
Despite this, Screenhero is an excellent screen sharing tool for many purposes, fast, easy-to-use and reliable. It’s going to be a commercial product eventually, but is entirely free while in beta, so if you’re interested then go download a copy right now.
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