Deskhop allows remote tech help via Facebook

RealVNC has launched Deskhop, a free remote desktop service that lets users share their screens with Facebook friends.

The software isn’t designed for heavy-duty remote administration duties; it’s more aimed at the “technical wizard” being pestered for IT help over the phone by friends and family.

Although RealVNC describes Deskhop as a Facebook app, this isn’t strictly accurate. Although both users do need to install Deskhop as a Facebook app to get started, they also need to download the standalone software – which takes up around 750KB – to actually conduct screen-sharing sessions securely.


Enabling Deskhop as a Facebook app will bring up a list of contacts, with the option of either sharing your screen or controlling theirs. After choosing a contact, Deskhop will prompt you to download and install its remote desktop software.

The programme will then display a holding screen until the contact accepts your screen-sharing request. Once they’ve accepted, Deskhop allows remote administration; it uses 128-bit AES encryption to keep communications secure.

Either user can disconnect from the session at any time, after which Deskhop automatically uninstalls itself from your PC. According to RealVNC, it won’t be possible to re-establish a connection without both users’ permission, or for anyone else to tap into the session. However, ending the session won’t automatically disable the Facebook app, which will still have access to your Facebook contacts list, location and email address unless removed manually.

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