Does Screen Sharing on a Computer Use WiFi?
Screen sharing offers a way to see how users interact with their devices in real-time. However, as this technology involves capturing and transmitting data, you may wonder if it needs WiFi to work.
Screen sharing on a computer uses WiFi. However, it’s also possible to screen share between desktop computers or other devices connected to the same local area network (LAN). Aside from a network connection, you’ll also need third-party software to screen share between two devices.
This article will suggest several ways you can screen share to another computer if the host device doesn’t have Wi-Fi or cannot access the internet. It will also highlight various third-party software you can use to make the most of screen-sharing technology.
Can Screen Sharing on a Computer Work Without WiFi?
Screen sharing involves capturing what is happening on the host computer’s screen and sharing this information with other devices. Essentially, it involves the transfer of data between two devices.
There are several instances where screen sharing without WiFi proves to be useful:
- You’re a manager who wants to show your new hires how to complete a specific operation.
- You’re a business owner who’s concerned about the drop in productivity and want to know your staff’s online activities during work hours.
- You’re a concerned parent as you don’t know what your children are up to when they use their devices to access the internet. Given how vast the internet is, you want to ensure your kids don’t visit illegal sites or click on malicious links that can put their computers at significant risk.
Screen sharing on computers can work even without WiFi access. The easiest way is to use a remote screen monitoring software like Wolfeye, which allows you to view another person’s live PC screen online. This software works using an internet connection, which doesn’t necessarily require WiFi.
Video communication tools like Google Meet or Zoom also allow you to screen share with other users on the same call. For example, when you want to show your presentation to everyone during a meeting, you use the software’s screen share feature.
However, your computer and everyone attending the meeting need internet access for this feature to work properly. If the connection isn’t strong or drops, the screen sharing will lag, pause, or stop.
Looking at how these software work, you may assume that screen sharing will need WiFi for a seamless and smooth experience. However, there are countless ways to screen share even without WiFi connectivity. And if you don’t have an internet connection, you can use a different software to screen share between computers connected to the same LAN.
How To Make Screen Sharing Work Without WiFi?
The following steps will cover how to screen share on any computer without WiFi. This guide assumes that there are only two devices involved in screen sharing.
1. Connect the Devices to the Same Local Area Network (LAN)
One way to screen share without WiFi is by connecting both devices to the same LAN. This connection type allows the two devices to send and receive information. If one or both of the devices are disconnected from the LAN, it may not be possible to screen share.
There are many ways to connect two devices to the same LAN. The most straightforward way is by connecting them to the same router using two Ethernet cables.
Use one Ethernet cable to connect the host computer to the router. Using a second Ethernet cable, connect the router to the device that needs to see what the host computer is sharing.
Connecting two devices to the same router using an Ethernet cable ensures that both are using the same network.
Alternatively, you can also have a setup where one computer is connected to the router via an Ethernet cable while the other device uses WiFi.
Note: Not all screen-sharing software requires a LAN connection. Some software allow you to screen share between two devices on different networks.
2. Download Screen-Sharing Software and Follow the Setup Instructions
After connecting both devices to the same LAN, you’ll need to download and set up screen-sharing software. You can use the following recommended tools with screen sharing as a built-in feature.
Google Chrome is a safe bet if you’re not keen on trying out new software. Screen sharing using this widely-known browser doesn’t require a LAN connection, making it possible to screen share remotely. However, Chrome Remote Desktop requires an internet connection on both devices to work.
Screen sharing using Google Chrome has the following requirements:
- Both the host device and the viewing computer must have the latest Google Chrome version.
- Both devices need to be logged in to the same account.
- The host computer must have the Chrome Remote Desktop browser plugin.
By following all the setup instructions, you’ll be able to view what is happening in the host device in real-time. Do remember that there may be a slight delay in what you see.
ScreenTask is open-source software that you can use for screen sharing without WiFi. You’ll need to install this tool only on the host device. Once you start the service, it acts as a server. The software will provide an internet protocol (IP) address. Copy this address and share it with the viewing device.
On the viewing device, open any browser and paste the IP address. You must enter a username and password depending on how you’ve set up ScreenTask on the host computer.
Like Google Chrome, ScreenTask doesn’t require a LAN connection if both devices are connected to the internet. However, without an internet connection, the two devices must be on the same network.
For Miracast to work, both devices must be on the same network. This software can also be used only on devices with native support. Most Windows-based desktops and laptops will have this feature out of the box.
You must be running the latest version of Windows 10 or 11 to use Miracast. Why? This allows you to connect both devices to the same network. It also eliminates the need to use Wi-Fi Direct.
Miracast also requires you to install Wireless Display, an optional feature in Windows Update. You’ll need to enable wireless projection in Settings.
After the initial setup, you should be able to connect the host device to the viewing computer using Window’s Connect To A Wireless Display feature. Make sure you change the projection setting to duplicate, as this behaves the same way as screen sharing.
Can Screen Sharing Work Without the Internet?
Screen sharing can work without the internet as long as both devices are connected to the same network. With the right software, you can screen share without WiFi or a data connection.
One way to connect computers for screen sharing without WiFi or the internet is to use Ethernet. For example, Miracast allows screen sharing between two devices connected to the same enterprise network via Ethernet.
Is Screen Sharing Without the Internet a Good Practice?
If you don’t have internet access, screen sharing via Ethernet and Miracast can come in handy. However, you shouldn’t rely on this method as it has many more downsides than upsides. Here are some of the issues plaguing screen sharing without the internet.
You Need To Be Physically Connected To Both Devices
Without WiFi or an internet connection, you’ll need to connect the host computer and the viewing device via Ethernet. This connection type allows content to be shared from the host to the viewer. However, as Ethernet cables provide physical connection, this connection type restricts freedom of movement as you must ensure this wire is connected to both computers at all times.
If you plan to monitor your staff or children, you can expect them to always be on their “best behavior” when you’re next to them, which reduces the need to use screen sharing to capture unwanted behavior. They become aware that they must adhere to the rules and expectations set forth by you.
You Can’t Screen Share Remotely
Given how hybrid work models have become the norm (i.e., a few days of work from home and the rest at the office), remote screen sharing through the internet has become the standard way to monitor employee activity.
When your employees are working away from the office, you’ll need remote monitoring software to know if the hours they clocked in were focused on completing the tasks for the day. Similarly, if you’re away from home, you won’t be able to keep track of your children’s online activities if your monitoring software requires LAN connection work.
How To Make Screen Sharing Discreet?
While the software and technology I’ve mentioned above are free and easy to set up and use, they have one significant downside — the user being monitored will always know that someone’s seeing what’s on their screen.
The screen-sharing software sends a notification informing the user about screen-sharing. What if you’re using screen sharing to monitor your employees without them knowing?
When employees know that you have eyes on their devices, they’ll likely change their behavior to make it look like they’re always working or following the rules. Once you stop the screen share, they’ll know it is “safe” to use their device however they like. For instance, they can watch videos on social media instead of working, and you’ll be none the wiser.
Similarly, as a parent who wants to protect your child from dangers and strangers on the internet, the above tools won’t cut it. Your kid can pretend to be using the device as you’ve instructed. They may visit harmful or dangerous websites when they know you’re not digitally supervising them or when the screen-sharing software is no longer connected.
One solution is to use discreet remote monitoring software like Wolfeye.
How Does Wolfeye Keep Screen Sharing Discreet?
You may wonder how Wolfeye differs from screen-sharing tools like Miracast, Chrome Remote Desktop, and ScreenTask. Below are Wolfeye’s essential features that prevent the software from getting detected by the user.
It Doesn’t Notify the User
Chrome Remote Desktop, Screen Task, and technologies like Miracast have clear indicators letting the user know their screen is being monitored. Wolfeye, in contrast, runs quietly in the background of your operating system.
Whenever the monitored user logs into their computer, Wolfeye starts running in the background. Even if the user is tech savvy, they won’t see this tool pop up in Windows Task Manager. If they were to look up installed apps, the software still wouldn’t be visible.
Have you tried taking a screenshot or screen recording on any device? The moment you do so, you’ll see an immediate notification.
Wolfeye can be set up to take screenshots and screen recordings at random intervals without sending a notification. This allows you to get an accurate view of what’s happening on your target user’s screen without them knowing.
Additionally, Wolfeye automatically creates a list of websites visited by the user. This feature gives you greater control and insight into what your children or employees are accessing on the internet.
It Works Even if Devices Aren’t On the Same Network
Wolfeye makes it possible to monitor employees remotely. All you need to do is install the software on the devices you wish to monitor. Once you set it up, you don’t have to worry about the user’s location.
Whether using a mobile hotspot or virtual private network (VPN) to access the internet, you’ll be able to see what they do on their device. Wolfeye generates a link and sends it to your registered email address.
You can use any device — such as a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone — to open the link and view the activities of the host device.
You don’t always need WiFi to screen share on different devices. Tools like Chrome Remote Desktop, ScreenTask, and Miracast allow you to screen share using Ethernet.
However, as these software options notify users that their devices are being monitored, you may not get an accurate representation of their online activities. Discreet remote monitoring software like Wolfeye helps overcome this problem, allowing you to track user activity in the background.
- GoTo Support: How much bandwidth is used during a session?
- GeeksforGeeks: How to Share Your Computer WiFi Screen over Your Local Network or WiFi?
- GeeksforGeeks: Different Ways to Connect One Computer to Another Computer
- Apple: How to Screen Share without Network
- TeamViewer: Screen Sharing between Devices with TeamViewer
- Jump Desktop: General: How do I connect to a PC without an internet connection?
- HowStuffWorks: How Desktop Sharing Works
- Techopedia: Screen Sharing
- Reddit: Data usage of screen sharing?
- HighSpeedInternet: How much data does Zoom use?
- Microsoft: Using Remote Desktop, without the Internet
- Microsoft: Remote Desktop in Field – no WiFi, No Hardwire
- Microsoft: Why does Remote Desktop need a internet connection to work?
- Microsoft: Windows remote desktop client and server screen at the same time
- Zapier: The best screen-sharing software in 2022
- TeamViewer: Use TeamViewer in LAN
- TeamViewer: Access without internet
- AnyViewer: Four Proven Methods to Remote Access Without Internet
- ComputerRescueIT: When Working Remotely. Who can see my files and what I am doing on the screen?
- Quora: How can I access another device using my WiFi router?
- Lifewire: How to Connect Two Home Computers Through a Network
- Norton: Remote computer access: What is it and what are the risks?
- CodeItBro: 5 Best Free LAN Screen Sharing Software for Windows
- YouTube: Free | Extend Your Screen Over Network (Lan or Wi-Fi)
- YouTube: How To Use Your Laptop As A Second Monitor Wirelessly | Use A Laptop As A Monitor | Windows 10
- YouTube: How to Extend/Screen Mirror Windows Laptop to Another Laptop
- How-To Geek: 5 Free Remote Access Tools for Connecting to a PC or Mac
- Windows: Screen mirroring and projecting to your PC
- Windows: Miracast over infrastructure
- Laptopmag: Screen mirroring in Windows 10: How to turn your PC into a wireless display