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Screen Sharing Definition & Meaning

Also known as desktop sharing, screen sharing is the practice of sharing the content of your computer screen with another device or multiple devices. It allows the second user to see everything the screen-sharing user is seeing, including everything the screen-sharing user is doing. Screen sharing can also be limited to an application to avoid sharing everything on the sharer's desktop.

As an increasing amount of business is now done over the internet, screen sharing has become critical for things such as:

  • Quick collaboration between coworkers
  • Client presentations
  • Technical support for those looking to solve a computer issue.

Screen sharing is useful for online training because trainers are able to show trainees the exact process through demonstration. With the increase of employees working remotely, many businesses use video conferencing tools with screen sharing features included to keep everyone on the same page.

How screen sharing works

Screen sharing works by breaking down information depicted on a computer's screen into encoded packets of information. The information is then sent across the internet to another device. The receiving device rebuilds the image received from the other screen. Advancements in screen sharing software can both compress the data to minimize bandwidth requirements and also monitor activity on the screen. The software will only transmit information when a change or movement occurs.

Screen sharing software

Screen sharing is an included feature in different types of applications, such as web conferencing or collaboration software. There are applications that offer screen sharing as their main functionality. Vendors offering screen sharing as the primary function include:

  • TeamViewer
  • Dead Simple Screen Sharing
  • Screenleap

Video conferencing vendors offering screen sharing as a feature include:

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