The Technology Behind Desktop Sharing

Many IT administrators are familiar with the concept of a remote desktop. Being able to access a client’s desktop directly without actually being at the customer’s site has saved countless hours of needless physical commuting. The technologies used for desktop sharing is much the same as a remote desktop connection and with similar benefits. Almost all of the concepts between the two technologies are the same, and since it is initially easier to explain remote desktop than it is to explain the technologies used in desktop sharing, we’ll start this off by going over how remote desktops work.

Understanding the Origins of Desktop Sharing

The first step in starting a remote desktop connection, is obtaining the client’s permission. By default, all desktops are locked down tightly so that no malicious user can access anything. In order to let someone see your desktop remotely, a virtual network console must be set up on the client’s computer. In all Unix-based systems, the software required to do this is already installed. On a Unix computer, all the client needs to do is manage the remote desktop settings on the computer, and it will be set up to allow someone to remotely view and use the desktop. On Windows and Mac computers, it is usually necessary to install additional software before the client will be able to let someone use their computer as a remote desktop.

Once the client computer is set up and ready for remote desktop viewing, all the other end needs is some sort of software that will connect to the client’s machine, and after a password is entered, the client’s desktop can be used by the IT expert on the other end.

desktop sharing technologyDesktop sharing is not much different and has a similar history of development and use. When comparing desktop sharing, the main way desktop sharing differs from a remote desktop environment, is that desktop sharing allows more than one user to modify the shared desktop. In fact, usually several people have access to it at the same time. This can be extremely beneficial if part of a presentation involves showing program content in its native desktop environment. All of the users watching as part of the online meeting can see exactly how their program or website product interacts with that specific desktop environment.

Desktop Sharing Technology and Security

The security issues involved with desktop sharing have been reduced dramatically over recent years, and the programs used for this purpose have steadily become more refined and secure. Many programmers use desktop sharing to show their customers exactly what progress is being made in contracted works, and many offices are using desktop sharing merely to give live presentations over the Web.