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I work for a software development company that wants to have some work from home options. We need a tool to allow online collaboration. we don't care about video chat, but we would like to have both voice chat and screen share, preferable with the ability to share 3 or more screens at once.

Many of our developers are developing on linux platforms, so lync and other windows only tools are flat out. Ideally a tool would work on both platforms. We are not looking to host a server ourselves, but are willing to pay a cloud provider for a good service if no free ones exist.

Can anyone recommend a good tool to use?

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TeamViewer seems perfect for your company! The software company I work for also uses it. I guess as soon as you're using it in a company you have to buy a license, though it's generally free for private use.

Compatibility

It is not only available for Windows but also for Mac, Linux and even all kinds of Mobiles (no experience with that).

Session types

You can set to only share your screen but can also let someone (or everyone, if in a meeting) take control of your computer. It also lets you reverse the connection live so you become the one viewing a screen and the viewer becomes the broadcaster or vice versa.

Multiple screens

I can confirm, that TeamViewer neatly works with two screens. Since the menu says "Show all screens" I suppose it also works fine with three or more screens.

Personal experience

We use this very often in our company. I also once participated in a meeting, where all developers viewed the screen of the instructor. I have not once had problems with the software. In the beginning you just have to get used to the menu options and figure out how you can set it up perfectly for your best personal experience.

I have not used the voice sharing option yet, but as the rest works well, I think also voice sharing will.

We used another software when I joined the company but TeamViewer is by far the best I know!

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  • thank you. The other tool my company was considering was google Hangouts, which apparently can be set up for sharing. I personally am apprehensive about that, My one brief experience of google hangouts wasn't impressive, but everyone else likes it so maybe I got an unfairly bad first impression. Have you worked with google hangouts to speak to which you prefer? – dsollen Apr 22 '15 at 12:30
  • Unfortunately, I have not worked with google hangouts. Actually, I didn't even know hangouts was capable of doing such a thing. I thought it was just another crappy chat (for Google+ users only). I now found out, that you can't let someone take control of your screen with hangouts. If you don't need it, it may just be the right one. This site recommends Adobe Connect. I didn't know that one either, you may want to look into it. – Alex Apr 22 '15 at 12:56
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Google hangouts works pretty well. It can handle voice, video and text communication on any device with a web browser, and there's the hangouts app for mobiles which provides a better experience than the browser.

On the desktop you can share a view of your computer screen, kind of like screen casting your desktop (they call it Screenshare). That feature works a little better on Windows than Linux, on Windows I think you can share a single open window, or the entire desktop, while the last time I use it on Linux, it grabbed the entire desktop.

Hangouts also allows remote control of a users computer - I've used this numerous times for tech support cases, and it works well, but I think it might require an extra plugin or chrome extension.

See here and the getting started page for more information.

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