Share your Desktop and Control a Computer Remotely: A Guide to Using Mikogo
When someone coined the expression, “Seeing is Believing”, I wonder if they were looking ahead and foreseeing the future technological advancements that would result in the Web collaboration possibilities that are not only available for us today, but are also easy-to-use, secure, and even free. That’s the deal with Mikogo remote desktop software – a free and easy-to-use desktop sharing tool that allows you to share your screen with anyone over the Web, live and in high color quality.
So while seeing is believing in that case, it can also be helping. Desktop sharing applications fitted with remote keyboard/mouse control along with file transfer, are also great ways to provide IT support remotely without actually being in front of the troublesome computer.
Perhaps you’re the dedicated IT support person in your company or you’re the one in your group of friends/family who everyone turns to for tech assistance. While you may be very willing to assist, you don’t want to be traveling around and jumping every time someone needs help setting up their email account, installing drivers, etc. You would save a great deal of time if you could assist people remotely via desktop sharing and remote control software.
Another scenario where remote desktop software is advantageous is presentations and meetings. Consider a time when you’re going over company project files and need to make a decision with your colleagues/clients. You’ve got a lot of figures, charts, stats to take into consideration, but emailing everyone back and forth will take a long time, not to mention a nuisance to describe everything in writing. Instead, you could initiate a web presentation via desktop sharing, and present all your data live over the Web. Your presentation attendees can see everything on your screen as you talk together over the phone. The decision is made a lot faster and there is no chance of misunderstandings.
Free and Easy Desktop Sharing
While the fact that Mikogo’s remote desktop software is free may sound like the best part, you’re actually more likely to enjoy using this software because of how easy it is for anyone to use, and for all the features that come included.
To start a session, organizers on a windows PC can either install the organizer software or use the portable version from a USB stick. Mac users should download and mount the software to get started. More info available here to see how you download and start the software:
Once you have started the software, Windows users can click on the M icon in their system tray to access the Mikogo menu, while Mac users can click on the M icon in their menu bar:
If you are using Mikogo for the first time, clicking on Start Session will prompt the Settings window asking for your user details. Registering an account is free and enables several of the features that are bound to a user’s account, such as the “Scheduler”. Enter the details, click OK, and you’re session will start. This will provide you with the Session Information window, containing the session ID.
Participants looking to join your session, then go to the Mikogo homepage, click on Join Session and enter the Session ID – which will prompt a download of the participant software. Note: there are no installations for participants to join. They could also use the Windows portable version to join sessions.
And that’s it. You are now sharing screen content live over the Web with your participant(s). You can switch presenting rights between you and your participants, grant and obtain remote control, transfer files, record the screen sharing, pause the sharing, use whiteboard tools, and more. Note that there were no configurations or network changes or any complicated installations required. It basically just involves downloading and starting the software.
A couple of handy Mikogo tips:
Application Selection: this feature allows you to show or hide any open window on your computer. For example, you may wish to show the open spreadsheet on your computer, but keep your email client hidden so there is no chance they can see your inbox/emails.
Initial Viewing Direction and Remote Control: if you want to initiate a web presentation, then when you start a session you will want your participants to see your screen. But if are starting a remote IT support session, then you want to start the session by seeing the screen of the person who is joining the session and take remote control. This can be set in the Mikogo Settings.
To download and use Mikogo, check it out on the website. If you’ve tried it out already, what did you think of the software? Share your thoughts in a comment below.
About the author
Andrew Donnelly is the Online Marketing Manager for BeamYourScreen. Founded in 2004, the German-based company is now a major international provider of online collaboration solutions for thousands of companies worldwide. Andrew comes from a background of Business Administration, having studied in Australia, Denmark as well as Sweden, in conjunction with his experience in sales and marketing.
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