Use Multiple Screens over Network

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 26, 2007
Updated • May 28, 2013

Using multiple screens on one computer is nothing unusual these days. All you need is a graphics adapter that supports two screens and an operating system that supports it. Setup is really simple and many professionals that do web design or work with image editing software use it to increase their work flow.

I came upon ZoneOS ZoneScreen at the Donation Coder blog which always has some great tips about new freeware. ZoneScreen supports multiple screens over network which means that you do not need an adapter that supports dual monitors, all you need are two devices that are connected over a network, and of course two monitors.

As you can see on the picture a notebook and a desktop computer display part of the same application. It is possible to use this on PDAs as well which makes it a great tool for system administrators for example who can carry a PDA or laptop with them that displays information.

ZoneScreen consists of two parts: kernel-mode (running with privileges of Windows kernel) driver for virtual display (which is visible to Windows just as normal video card with monitor attached to it), and user-mode (running as usual user application like Notepad) wizard which is responsible for capturing image, transmitting it over the network, and drawing it at another computer.

Machine, whose desktop is extended, called server. Server machine have display driver installed and ZoneScreen wizard running in server mode. Another machine which acts only as external display called client. Client machine have only ZoneScreen wizard running in client mode.

Both parts of ZoneScreen (driver and wizard) are completely independent and can be used separately. This mean that in case we are interested only in mirroring desktop image, we do not need to install virtual display driver, and if we are extending desktop with ZoneScreen display driver we could use any other software, for example RealVNC, for transmitting desktop image over the network (in this case we need transfer only space of virtual display).

Update: The program is compatible with all recent versions of the Windows operating system.


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  1. Danny Richmond said on March 4, 2014 at 9:08 am

    There is also another solution to extend your screens over the network, without the need for another PC (like with MaxiVista and ZoneOS) – It is called Monitors AnyWhere:

  2. Josh said on August 29, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Well I have bought maxivista and its OK but soon after buying it I got dual screens anyways so it feals like a waste now..

  3. Martin said on November 21, 2007 at 3:30 pm
  4. textguru said on November 21, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    Why the link for ZoneOs is not anymore available?

  5. S said on May 3, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Oh and it’s obvious that “Michael” is affiliated with Maxivista.

  6. S said on May 3, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    The free ZoneScreen would be fantastic if the virtual desktop’s frame rate was higher. Right now it’s limited to 41 interlaced frames per second, and the mouse cursor often stutters (not sure if this is just my setup).

  7. Michael said on February 28, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Maybe. But you always get what you are paying for. And both products compare as such. I have not regret having paid $30 for a significantley better performance.

    1. Martin said on February 28, 2007 at 10:05 am

      Are you by chance working for Maxivista ?

  8. Michael said on February 27, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    Seems to be a copy of

    1. Martin said on February 27, 2007 at 11:14 pm

      Well ZoneScreen is free, maxivista is not. A big difference for many users.

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