How to Connect a Laptop Through Wi-Fi to a Second Display

by James T Wood

You don't have to be limited to just one screen if you have two computers connected to your Wi-Fi network. A few programs exist that allow you to share screens between two computers on the same network. You need to install the server software on one system and the client software on the other system. The server computer becomes the primary monitor and the client computer becomes the secondary. Operating system support is limited; check compatibility before attempting to install.

1

Download the software to both your laptop and the computer you want to connect it to. Depending on the software you choose you may download the same software and just install it directly to both computers or you might need to download and install a client program and a server program. The MaxiVista software is compatible across both Mac and PC operating systems -- though only through Windows 7 -- with the ability to even use an iPad as a second monitor; there's a free version, but the full version costs money. ZoneScreen is free software, but only runs on Windows through Vista. (See links in Resources).

2

Install the server software the your laptop. Ensure that you select the server software option in the installation process if you're using a program with just one installation package.

3

Install the client software on the computer with the secondary display. Just like with the server software, you may need to choose in the installation process whether the computer is the client or the server.

4

Connect both computers to your Wi-Fi network. If they aren't on the same network you won't be able to use the software.

5

Run the client software on the client computer and the server software on your laptop. When prompted, connect your server to the client. You can use the client computer as a second monitor for your laptop.

Tips

  • check Information in this article is current as of October 2013.
  • check Some Intel-based laptops have wireless display technology so you can connect a wireless adapter to your TV and connect your laptop to the TV through it. Wireless display uses a different radio frequency from Wi-Fi.
  • check The Google Chromecast HDMI dongle allows users with smartphones or laptops running the Chrome browser to cast media to a TV.

About the Author

James T Wood is a teacher, blogger and author. Since 2009 he has published two books and numerous articles, both online and in print. His work experience has spanned the computer world, from sales and support to training and repair. He is also an accomplished public speaker and PowerPoint presenter.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Aidon/Digital Vision/Getty Images