Now that Skype 2.8 is out of beta with screen sharing, I'm interested to hear what people have tried and/or prefer for screen sharing between Windows and Mac OS X.

Options I'm aware of include:

My main use for this is doing remote tech support for my extended family. I'm on a mac and most of them are on Windows. I've tried Mac to Mac using Adobe's product and iChat and iChat is much faster.

What do you like? What do you recommend against?

  • I'm going to have to try LogMeIn. The issue I have with VNC is that it requires opening ports -- is that still true? If I'm doing tech support for various family members in different parts of the US, I can't rely on the router being properly configured. – Doug Harris Jul 24 '09 at 22:21
  • Yes, VNC does require opening ports, unless you use it on port 80. LogMeIn is probably easiest, and the free version may work well enough for you. – jtbandes Jul 24 '09 at 23:06

I've been using LogMeIn. I've only used it between Windows machines, but it seems to work quite well. They have a Mac version available.

  • LogMeIn is really fast compared to VNC or iRAPP. – Joseph Nov 5 '09 at 8:42
  • I've been using their free join.me service a lot in the past few months. It requires virtually no setup and is quite responsive. – Doug Harris Jul 1 '11 at 22:10

Just plain VNC will work between pretty much any platform, so long as you have a client and server. Mac OS X has built-in VNC capabilities accessible through the Sharing preferences, and a built-in VNC client located at /System/Library/CoreServices/Screen Sharing.app. For Windows, UltraVNC is a fairly good server/client program. As JP mentioned, you can also use RDP when controlling a Windows computer, and there's an official Mac RDP client available.

Another great cross-platform product (with free and other paid versions, though for Mac only the free version exists) is LogMeIn. They also have an iPhone client, which is great for traveling without a laptop.

  • The built-in VNC capability on the mac is VNC server side. As stated in the question, I'm on a mac and need to see remote Windows screens. – Doug Harris Jul 24 '09 at 22:22
  • No, read what I wrote: there's a client at /System/Library/CoreServices/Screen Sharing.app. – jtbandes Jul 24 '09 at 23:05

I don't know whether it's the "fastest", but I use TeamViewer for both Mac-to-Mac and Mac-to-Win screen sharing and it works well and with a little tweaking (quality all the way down), it's let me help people on extremely poor connections (say, GPRS dongles).


Personally, I like doing it with RDP if I'm going Mac to Windows. But, also gotomypc is (surprisingly) very good too.


I've used Timbuktu for Mac-Mac and Mac-PC, and it's very fast. It doesn't feel like an OS X application though (it looks very 'classic') and it's not really cheap. It does a lot more than just screen sharing mind you!

I use RDP to get from Mac to PC frequently (I use a Mac myself and my company server is Win2k3), and as others have said, VNC works fine. There is a Mac VNC product called Chicken Of The VNC which you might find faster/leaner than the built-in one.

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