Join Me – Should WebEx be worried?

Anyone who knows me will be aware of my passion for high-quality free software – and today I have a real cracker!

This week I was training a friend who lives on the other side of the country on how to use his new software.  I’m too cheap to pay for a WebEx account and so the search was on for a suitable alternative.  Fortunately I quickly stumbled across Join Mea screen sharing tool that promised “ridiculously simple” screen sharing and, for once, they were not kidding!

Installation was a snap.  Download a tiny 4mb file, click install and that’s it!

Sharing the screen was simple too.  Start the software, send an email with the link provided and wait for the software to tell you that people have joined.  No complicated setup, no ads, and nothing for the viewer to install as everything runs in their browser.  During sharing you can see how many people are watching, chat with people, start an internet conference call, share control of your desktop with someone and even pause things if you need to get offline for a minute.  If your viewers are on an iPad that’s no problem either!  They have an app and it works beautifully.

During my session I had some problems with my wireless network and it even handled that with aplomb, providing a nice helpful message on the screen to let me know that no-one could see what I was doing.

So what’s the down side?  Honestly…not much.

The “Basic” (read free) version has a few limitations.  You can only share your entire screen so you had better shut down your email, instant messenger and any browsers connected to ‘interesting‘ websites before you start sharing.  The Pro version provides the option to limit screen areas,  schedule sessions instead of sending out the invitation just before the session and present to more than 250 people.  None of that was a problem for me.

For me the system worked flawlessly with almost no lag and, compared to the complicated and confusing LiveMeeting and WebEx sessions I have used before this was beautifully simple.  It has therefore earned a well deserved spot on my famous Free Software page.

If I were the WebEx CEO I would buy this company out before companies start deserting them on a large-scale.  But if you are looking for a screen sharing tool that is free and “ridiculously easy” then your search is over.

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14 Comments

Filed under Education, Free Software, Linux, Technology, Windows

14 responses to “Join Me – Should WebEx be worried?

  1. I wouldn’t say that I disagree exactly, but having used that, TeamViewer and Google Hangout, I prefer the latter two (which depends on the purpose). Tried them?

    • Thanks for the comment. I have not tried TeamViewer (but will add it to my list of things to check out one day).
      I have tried Google Hangout, and I like it, but that requires everyone to sign up for a Google account before they can do anything. What I really liked about this was that it was pure simplicity. No sign up and no software to install for the other person.

  2. Hi Barry,
    Just wanted to throw the Mikogo hat in the ring as another easy solution for screen sharing for online meetings and remote support. Have you tried it? We offer a free version but there are more features in the business versions. Also we have a cool feature – the HTML Viewer – which allows the other person to join without any downloads, ActiveX, Java or Flash, and it works on PC/Mac/Linux/iOS/Android. More info on our website http://www.mikogo.com – hope you get a chance to take it for a spin!
    Thanks!
    Andrew Donnelly
    The Mikogo Team

  3. Thanks Barry! Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions.
    Best,
    Andrew

  4. Alicia

    I use join.me all of the time. Interestingly, I was having an issue with my computer and started a Join.me with the IT person. He could not believe it was free and fast! I absolutely love this tool!

  5. Hey. I have used join.me and it is very good. Additionally, one can even deploy on premise web conferencing appliances from RHUB in order to have good quality web conferencing experience.

  6. Hi barry, RHUB provides web conferencing and remote support appliances. You can have more infornmation at http://www.rhubcom.com

  7. Hi Barry, Join.me is an hosted service. RHUB is only one time payment and you don’t need to pay on monthly basis. Plus it works from behind your company’s firewall, hence total security.

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