Free Online Screen Sharing For Easy Support

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You know how it goes.  You pick up the phone when it rings, and there's a desperate friend or family member on the other end who's having a problem with their PC.  So you try to talk them through the issue, and how to solve it, but you keeping finding yourself asking "What can you see on the screen now?" or "Can you see a box that says Open or Cancel"?
 
Being able to see the remote user's screen, and even take control of their mouse and keyboard remotely, would be really useful.  And while such features are actually built into recent versions of Windows, it's not always straightforward to enable or use them.  So here's a great alternative.
 
Next time you get the call, go to www.join.me in your browser and then ask your user to do the same thing.   When your friend clicks the button to join the online meeting, they will  see a 9-digit code at the top of the screen.   So long as you both enter the same code (which will mean one of you reading out the code to the other, via the phone), your 2 machines are now linked.  You can request mouse or keyboard control of the other person's computer, so you can now talk on the phone and share screens too.
 
This makes troubleshooting so much easier, and the basic service is free to use too.  All you need is a computer and a web browser.  
 
To try it out, head to www.join.me and you can get started straight away.
 

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Comments

Join.me might be OK to connect for some quick/easy minor work, but it lacks many of the features I use on team viewer.

I use Team Viewer to support family and friends across the country, including my sister in Hawaii and some in laws in Europe. Response time is pretty good on old slow systems (many have older PCs) and its a free service for non commercial use. I use team viewers ability to copy files and folders, remote print, remote reboot (and come back to the team viewer session) and remote reboot to safe mode. Team viewers chat box is very effective for sharing instructions. They provide a thinner client that installs a portable app and always start the latest version. I mean how much easier can it be for fully functional remote access to their PC? I have not tried some of the other team viewer features like access a PC from my android phone or using one of my Linux boxes, but I do have it installed.

Another good one that is free and easy for such one-off situations is Zoho Assist.

https://www.zoho.com/assist/

Very simple to set up a session. I use this with my elderly parents-in-law whenever I need assist them.

Keith R

Fortunately my computer knowledge is such that I never have to worry about receiving such phone calls. I'm acquainted with a few smart computer people who absolutely regret the day they decided to help family and friends every time there was a computer problem. Rarely are they compensated for their time and assistance. Sometimes the best way to help someone with computer issues is to force them to learn new things on their own and rely less on others.

Your unanswered prayers about file transfer s/w (might) stand a better chance if you spread a little help, gotta sow to reap. I mean, if your family can't do you wrong what good are they? Some can teach themselves from a book but there still exist a dependency on others. You learned from your smart computer acquaintances not to help family and/or friends. ha. Let me climb down off of my soapbox before I slip and fall off and everybody starts laughing.

DISCLAIMER -
I'm just kidding, really.

Sad but true!

Crosseyedlemon: Very apt screen name.

Rob or anyone,
How does this compare with Team Viewer? (not so much in features but in latency, security etc... )

Teamviewer is not made by Logmein company which some people have had bad experience with regarding their antics with Logmein free years ago which was cancelled along with constant price hikes of Logmein paid and poor support.

Teamviwer has a lot of capability and their one time session app does not leave anything installed on the remote computer once the session is over with. Teamviewer allows one to transfer files to or from the remote computer and allows one to see what is being displayed on any of the monitors physcially attached to the remote computer.

I don't use TeamViewer but it seems like it is the standard that all others are compared to.

From a user perspective, TeamViewer and JoinMe use similar architectures which implies that their desings are considered close enough to optimal.

Security is unlikely to be a major issue because both organizations are aware of its importance. Both use the AES256-SHA suite. This is the same as https/SSL, which they also use for their websites, with 256-AES session encoding and 2048-bit RSA private/public key exchange.

Both use routing servers to ensure service continuity and connections are backed up so you don't lose a session if the connection to the primary server is broken. The location of the servers you are connected to probably has the biggest impact on performance. TeamViewer has a lot more servers in more locations than JoinMe so I would expect TeamViewer to have lower latency on average.