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Co-Browsing vs. Screen Sharing: Understanding the Differences and Choosing the Right Tool

Stress is an undeniable reality for 87% of employees in call centers. How do you alleviate that stress, especially when agents struggle to understand what a caller is doing on your company's website or experience frustrating back-and-forth email chains? The answer could lie in the technological marvels of co-browsing vs screen sharing.

While both tools offer unique ways to engage in digital interaction, they cater to different needs and scenarios. But how do you determine which tool is right for you, especially when dealing with streaming code or the need for view-only screen sharing? In this article, we'll unravel the differences, benefits, and considerations for both, helping you make an informed decision.

What are Co-Browsing and Screen Sharing?

The confusion between co-browsing and screen sharing often arises, but these two tools have specific features that set them apart.

Co-browsing, or collaborative browsing, is a web-based interaction that allows agents to view the exact part of a webpage that a visitor is looking at. This doesn't require any downloads or installation from the user's end.

It's a tool designed for support teams and sales that lets agents guide users through a website in real time. Co-browsing online is swift and allows the agent to see what the customer is discussing in less than two seconds.

Screen sharing, on the other hand, gives a more comprehensive view. This tool lets one person share their entire screen or specific applications with another user.

Unlike co-browsing, screen sharing often requires software installation and can expose all open windows and desktop icons. It's commonly used in various settings like:

  • Presentations
  • Collaborative work
  • Troubleshooting

Co-browsing vs Screen sharing: Comparison and Contrasts

While both co-browsing and screen sharing offer unique ways to engage with others, they have distinct differences. Here are some of the key ones:

Purpose and Usage

Co-browsing is usually specific to customer support or sales, focusing on website navigation. Screen sharing is more versatile and can be used in various professional scenarios.


Co-browsing only shares the browser view, protecting user privacy. Screen sharing can reveal all open windows and may involve a risk of exposing sensitive information.

Ease of Use

Co-browsing offers the convenience of being web-based, requiring no additional software. Screen sharing typically needs installation which makes it a bit more complicated for some users.


Both tools allow interactive browsing and collaboration. Co-browsing is often quicker and more specialized for support roles, whereas screen-sharing offers a broader range of collaborative functions.

Technology Requirements

Screen sharing might need more robust hardware or an internet connection. Co-browsing, on the other hand, is generally lighter and faster.

Benefits and Use Cases

Understanding co-browsing and screen sharing is only the first step. Knowing how these tools can benefit your organization is vital. Let's look at some typical use cases and benefits of these technologies.

Co Browsing Online for Sales and Support

Co-browsing online can be a game-changer for sales and support teams. It allows agents to guide customers through complex web pages. This means quicker resolutions, happier customers, and more successful sales.

It's like having a salesperson or support agent right there with the customer, without being physically present.

Desktop Sharing in Technical Assistance

Desktop sharing is broader and can help in various ways. It is commonly used by tech support teams to solve problems on a customer's computer.

The support team can see the issue directly and fix it remotely. It can be used in training sessions as well, helping new employees learn the ropes fast.

Interactive Browsing for Collaboration

Both co-browsing and screen sharing can create interactive browsing experiences. For example, a design team can collaborate on a project in real time. Co-browsing might be used for quick discussions, while screen sharing might be used for more extensive collaboration sessions.

Security and Compliance Features

Handling sensitive data and maintaining privacy are concerns for any organization. Co-browsing and screen sharing come with features that address these issues.

Regulations and Audit Logs

Some businesses need to comply with certain regulations. Tools that log co-browsing actions in an audit log help in this area. This ensures that all actions are recorded and can be reviewed if needed.

It's a layer of transparency that builds trust.

View Only Screen Sharing

For more security, view-only screen sharing can be used. This means the person viewing the screen cannot control anything. They can only watch.

It's a feature that can be essential in certain environments like financial or medical industries.

Disabled Data Storage

Co-browsing often works without storing any data. This is critical for using these tools in secure environments. Without any data being stored, the risks of breaches or misuse are minimized.

How Does Co-Browsing Work: A Detailed Guide

Co-browsing, or collaborative browsing, has become a popular tool for many businesses. It's a way to provide real-time support and guidance to customers or team members. So, how does co-browsing work, and what makes it so effective?

Starting a Co-Browsing Session

Co-browsing starts with a simple click from a website visitor who wants to share their browser screen with a support agent. This can be initiated through a button or link on the website, and there's no need to download any software.

Streaming Code and Real-Time Interaction

What sets co-browsing apart is its use of streaming code. This allows the agent to view the same webpage that the customer is looking at without accessing the entire computer or other open tabs. They can see in real-time what the customer is doing on the webpage, and guide them accordingly.

Privacy and Security

Co-browsing provides an option for only sharing the browser view, maintaining user privacy. This is done by streaming code from the webpage to the support agent's screen, and not the entire desktop. It makes sure that sensitive information outside the browser isn't exposed.

Features like Co-Scrolling and Sticky Notes

Co-browsing comes with features that enhance the experience. Agents can scroll for the customer, and even add sticky notes to highlight important information on the webpage. These features make the interaction more engaging and helpful.

Multi-Device Support

The beauty of co-browsing is that it can be done from any device. Whether the customer is on a mobile, tablet, or desktop, the experience remains the same. The streaming code ensures that the agent can provide support, regardless of the platform.

Making the Right Choice: Co-Browsing or Screen Sharing

In an era where efficiency and seamless digital interaction are paramount, understanding the subtle differences between co-browsing and screen sharing can make or break your customer service experience.

Channel.me offers a web-based screen-sharing solution designed specifically for sales & support teams, with features like audit logs, co-scrolling, and secure view-only mode. Our software bridges the gap between agents and customers to reduce stress and increase satisfaction.

Ready to take the leap into a better way of communication? Start your free demo with Channel.me today!

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