Co-browsing vs Screen Sharing: Technology
At its core, co-browsing technology is a visual engagement tool that facilitates real-time, one-on-one collaboration sessions by leveraging functionalities like screen sharing, live chat, document sharing, videoconferencing, video chat, and voice chat.
Although it’s important to understand, not all co-browsing tech is cut from the same cloth. For instance, one approach to co-browsing technology is to use middleware.
Middleware renders “sanitized” code on a user’s local machine. While this has slight speed advantages over other approaches to collaborative technology, it comes with significant risks. The security of middleware co-browser all teeters on the assumption that the exchanged code is “decontaminated”.
Great in principle.
The problem being, if the software’s middleware doesn’t pick up on malicious content, a potentially harmful program may run locally on the user’s machine and could expose sensitive data, facilitate identity theft, and even render a computer completely inoperable.
On the flip side, a remote browser, like that used by RemoteHQ, doesn’t share the same risks that middleware collaborative software has. This is because a remote browser is run on a remote server, meaning the collaborative session is ephemeral.
That way, if a malicious program was incidentally run or a collaborative session concludes, all traces of a browsing session will cease to exist - completely eliminating the risk of infection to either participant’s device.
Another very important distinction to make between some co-browsing tools is whether they support WebRTC. Whereas those that don’t support WebRTC require the installation of a third-party program, a co-browsing solution that supports WebRTC will run straight from your web browser - no downloads or installs of any desktop applications or plugins required.
Screen sharing Technology
While useful for some applications, like displaying presentations, providing basic customer support, conducting videoconferences, and hosting online tutorials, screen sharing is a one-way stret - one user controlling the session while the other passively observing.
- Visual guidance. Screen sharing software is a quick and convenient way to share visually based information with others.
- Problem solving. Screen sharing is an effective way to get acquainted with the customer’s issue, helping to resolve problems quickly.
- Customer engagement. Screen sharing facilitates easy and effective communication between both customer and customer service agent.
- Collaboration. Compared to co-browsing software, the capabilities of screen sharing software can feel limited to a user, particularly for collaborative applications.
- Data security. Screen sharing shares the view of one user’s entire screen, browser, and device. This has the potential to expose private information or sensitive data.
- Third-party software. Often, to use screen sharing tools, users are required to download third-party desktop apps.
Co-browsing vs Screen Sharing: Industry