I'm looking for screen-sharing software for working in pairs. For instance, Pair Programming, but it would not be used exclusively for programming, or even by programmers. I'm looking for something that implements the following features:

  • Secure connection - I plan on using this on a LAN or VPN, so an application that does not use an external service would be best. If it does, I would like to know that anything I send will be kept secure. I work with customer data that is not public, so if I can't trust the application, I can't use it.

  • View on multiple monitors - The applications I've tested so far usually support sending multiple monitor data, but the 'client' window does not expand across all monitors, so they are stuck viewing two monitors in a single, scrolling window - even if both computers have the same monitor setup. Ideally, I would like to be able to share all of my desktops on all of their desktops. If not, then the ability to select which of my desktops to share, or even which application would be ok.

  • Easy to use - The ideal application would be as simple to use as typing in the remote computer's IP address, or an email address.

  • Microsoft Windows - Only plan to run this on Windows 7 and 8. Mac support is not needed, but Windows XP and Vista support would be appreciated.

I'm beginning to see that this is a tall order, but I would like to put this out there and see what the closest I can get is.

Applications I've tried (may not have been using to its full potential):

TightVNC - Seems secure, I can connect directly through the LAN. I can share multiple monitors, but the people connection to my server can only use one monitor at a time to view them, so they can't see the whole desktop at once, even in "full-screen" mode. It also seems to be one of the lease easiest to set up so far. It seems to be intended to run continuously and allow users to connect remotely if there is not active user. My use would be two users are expecting to connect.

Screenhero - Installed, but haven't tried it yet. Seems secure, but it does require an external service to make connections (and possibly as a pass-through for screen sharing). It supports sharing the desktop or just a window, but I'm not sure if I can select a single desktop.

Microsoft Windows Remote Assistance - Not sure how secure it is (assuming it is fairly secure). Somewhat easy to use, though passing the invitation and password is a little annoying. Does not seem to support viewing a remote desktop on multiple monitors, but if Remote Desktop Connect supports it, maybe Remote Assistance supports it too?

2 Answers 2


I use RealVNC:

  • Non-free
  • Secure connection
  • View on multiple monitors (since version 4.2)
  • Easy to use
  • Windows/Mac/Linux

Note: The "UseAllMonitors" setting is set to False by default as of version 5.1.0. To enable this feature:

  1. Open the VNC Viewer Options window
  2. If the "Basic" view is shown, switch to the Advanced mode by clicking the "Advanced..." button in the lower left
  3. Select the "Expert" tab
  4. Select the "UseAllMonitors" parameter in the Parameter list
  5. Set the value of the "Value" drop-down to "True"
  6. Click "OK" to save your changes and close the Options menu.
  • 1
    It turns out that RealVNC Viewer, which is free, is what enables viewing on multiple monitors - I.E. you can use any VNC server you want to that the RealVNC Viewer can connect to and still be able to span the viewer across multiple monitors. I tested this with TightVNC Server and RealVNC Viewer and I was able to span the viewer across my whole desktop.
    – tehDorf
    Mar 25, 2014 at 16:42

Although I haven't tested its multi-monitor support, UltraVNC claims to be capable of supporting a multi-monitor setup, provided that one installs its 'mirroring driver'.

It's secure, it supports Active Directory credentials (including the use of Security Groups), and it's free, even for commercial use.

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