Cheap and cheerful Webex?

Lazyweb: Is there a free alternative to Webex for doing over-the-air live demos?

Using VNC to give complete access to a desktop doesn’t qualify because of the security issues. Bonus points for cross-platform answers.


  1. David,

    Check out Elluminate vRoom, a free, 3-seat virtual room with two-way audio (VoIP), interactive whiteboard, public/private chat, app sharing, web tour/push, high-res video, and much more. You can use as many rooms as you want for as long as you like. Here’s the link:

    – Beth, Elluminate Goddess of Communication


  2. You can give just view only rights to VNC peers, so I am not sure why that would be a security issue. Also, on Linux at least, you can run your VNC presentation in a nested Xserver to prevent the peers from seeing your normal desktop etc. You can also put in a VNC bridge in the middle, to which both presenters and viewers connect, which could at least in theory improve security.


  3. At OSAF, we use a VNC bridge approach for internal meetings. Full cross-platform support was a must-have for us so the available options seemed few at the time, particularly for allowing an unlimited number of connections.

    The bridge allows use of one password for read-only access and a different password for read-write access, which is how we handle security.

    The bridge approach also helps with performance, as we have a server in colo deal with retransmitting to multiple viewers instead of having your desktop do so. (Also good for when the presenter is behind a firewall or slow uplink). We have experience hosting up to about 10 remote staff during meeting presentations, but I think the server could support quite a few more.

    VNC bridge software is not widely available; we’re using a 5+-year old package that is unmaintained. I can provide specifics if interested.


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