Covid-19 pandemic has changed everything with and around us, during this global lockdown circumstances companies ask their employees to work from home, especially IT companies that implemented the virtual remote offices and trying to keep their productivity without affecting much. In the latest bid, Twitter announced employees to keep working from home, and also allows if employees work from home, forever! And, when it is matter to work from home, teams, and employees need to keep in touch via video conferencing to interact with each other and to get guidelines, tasks, and instructions from each other.
With this opportunity, you can save money, commuting time, and helping keep a healthy work-life balance, this trend will only grow in the coming years. Considering all these changes, the best video conferencing software is vital.
Regardless of the reason you need the best video conferencing application, there are specific programs that run smoother and keep your chat safer. After extensive testing, we put together our favorite video conferencing platforms to share with you.
Video conferencing has become ubiquitous between offices to cut down on employees having to travel between sites for meetings. It’s also become popular as a marketing tool for holding webinars and other online events. The technology is about to get another boost in popularity, however, as a wave of growth is set to hit the telecommuting sector in 2020. One of the most effective ways of staying healthy in 2020 is going to be working from home, and one of the most effective tools for success in those situations is video conferencing. You’ll be looking at different hardware components from the ones you’ve deployed in your conference rooms to make broad-scale video-enabled telecommuting work, but the back-end service providers will remain similar.
Additionally, video conferencing services usually offer more than just face-to-face interactions. Best-in-class video conferencing services let users share their screens, remotely access one another’s desktops, chat via text, exchange files, communicate via digital whiteboards, and even broadcast conferences to large groups of passive viewers. Some are part of business-geared Voice-over-IP (VoIP) packages, which allows for dynamically changing voice calls to video calls and shared meetings at the touch of a button without establishing new connections.
Which is the Best Video Conferencing Software?
There aren’t a lot of options out there for someone who is seeking a free web conferencing app that includes screen sharing. However, the ones that are available do a good job of meeting the needs of most teams. With options like Google Hangouts, Apache’s Online Meeting, and TeamViewer, most companies may not have to spend any money on web conferencing.
1. Zoom Meeting
Zoom has a free plan and a paid one. The paid plan is actually cheaper than GoToMeeting. Zoom’s free plan only offers 40 minutes of conferencing. It also limits the number of call participants to three people. With an upgraded plan, businesses can have as many users as it wants, unlimited meetings, and video conferencing that include many more features. Some of the advanced features include active speaker view, dual-stream for dual screens, and full-screen views. Participants can even call in to join the conference.
The web conferencing feature also includes an MP4 recording of meetings, a personal meeting ID, application or desktop specific sharing, private and group chat, and a virtual whiteboard. Zoom also includes mouse and keyboard sharing free of charge. It is also possible to share the screen of an iPhone or iPad app. The downside to Zoom is that it only allows meetings up to 40 minutes in length. However, users can hold an unlimited number of meetings. 1 on 1 meeting is not limited to any particular time duration.
2. RingCentral Video
RingCentral Video offers a superbly integrated video, message, and telephony experience that’s unified, fast, trusted, and open. RingCentral Video is geared towards organizations and teams of all sizes. With RingCentral Video, you get HD video and HD audio conferencing, as well as a guaranteed 99.999% uptime reliability. You, your organization, and clients can use RingCentral Video without having to download anything since it works right in the web browser automatically. RingCentral Video also boats enterprise-grade security, and a wealth of integrations with the other apps you use every day like Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, Slack, and more.
Most people have heard of Skype. Skype has a free, web conferencing solution that is also worth using. Even though this feature is not widely-known, Skype does allow screen sharing. What makes this feature even better is the fact that it is free. Skype is not as flexible as other apps that do not force participants to download any software. Anyone who wants to use Skype has to sign up. Users need to create a Skype name and download the program. In order to use the conferencing features, conference participants must be added to the contact list.
Skype for business is possible. However, this feature has different applications and It requires a Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) subscription. So, Skype for business may not be a good option for smaller teams looking to upgrade their service to a paid option. Skype allows users to host video and audio conferences that can host up to 25 participants. The number is participants is higher than most other solutions. Skype can also support the desktop OS, Android, and iOS phone apps to allow on-the-go conferencing.
4. BlueJeans Meeting
BlueJeans is incredibly easy to use, adaptive, and perfect for a diverse workforce that still needs to communicate for important projects. It integrates with all kinds of platforms, including browsers, so compatibility isn’t an issue. Screen sharing and recording are supported, mobile and desktop apps can work together seamlessly, and the whole service is generally effortless. Management options are also very deep, allowing you to assign actions to people, pinpoint key discussion topics, and even replay highlights for latecomers.
5. ezTalks Meetings
ezTalks Meetings is definitely one of the best free web video conferencing services available right now. ezTalks Meetings not only provides free HD web video conferencing but also provides powerful online whiteboard collaboration tools, so that team members can all see the notes and sketches of their colleagues on the online whiteboard. ezTalks Meetings can also support up to 100 people on one web conference!
6. Cisco Webex
Hosted, owned, and developed by networking giant Cisco, Webex is high on many of the lists that rank the best web conference software. It’s one of the first conference solutions, but Cisco created a product that pretty effective. Like most other web conferencing systems; there is a free version of Webex. Webex’s free version limits the number of conference participants to three. Users can share their screens. Anyone who uses Cisco Spark will appreciate the fact that the platform can be integrated with Webex.
Webex is an ideal choice for large enterprises and small businesses that are concerned with security. If there is anything Cisco knows, it’s security. Spark has an insane level of encryption. It’s important to note that Webex’s best features are limited by the app’s paywall.
Pexip is definitely one of the best web conference solutions available right now. What’s great about Pexip is that they allow you to host the web conferences yourself on-premise, or you can choose to host them on a cloud service like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, or Amazon Web Services. The Pexip service is scalable and customizable and allows businesses to integrate traditional video systems.
GoToMeeting is one of a few highly popular web conferencing services that people recognize by name. Even when using the free plan, this platform provides one of the easiest methods to host conference calls. GoToMeeting also has screen sharing capabilities. The one-click meeting solution makes it easy for beginners to figure out the software. Anyone who uses GoToMeeting can also start meetings using the app. Meetings can also be initiated using Microsoft Office programs, chat links, and email.
Anyone using GoToMeeting’s free option is limited to only audio conferencing. Video conferencing is limited to paid plans. However, the web audio conferencing comes with the option for VoIP voice chat. Teams can configure their conference calls to whatever meets their needs. The only other problem with GoToMeeting is the fact that the free plan limits the number of people who can join a conference. This platform only allows three conference call participants. While this may seem limiting and possibly problematic for larger enterprises, it’s ideal for smaller ones. Anyone seeking a quick web conferencing solution for a small team should consider this web conferencing software.
9. Apache OpenMeetings
OpenMeetings has minimal design and UI. It’s also not one of the best-looking solutions, but it’s a free web conferencing solution. OpenMeetings solution has video conferencing, whiteboard capabilities, instant messaging, and collaborative document editing. This solution has everything that most of its competitors have. Because this app is an open-source app, it’s possible for teams to get a developer to customize the platform to suit the needs of the user.
Screen sharing and the ability to record the session’s audio are a few of OpenMeetings’ features. To make matters even better, users don’t have to devote their entire screen to video conferencing. It’s possible to select only a portion of the screen. Collaboration is effortless. People can create more than one whiteboard, if necessary, to discuss and edit files. Also, there is a chat feature built into the whiteboard. Again, the UI is not great, but the UX is solid and has drag and drop features.
This conference software was developed by the team that created the LogMeIn suite of tools for collaboration. join.me is easy to use, even for beginners, and its one-click functionality seems to be the motivation behind the tools. Join.Me expands the one-click functionality beyond basic interoffice communications. It adds a layer that extends conferences to prospects, clients, and customers.
The free plan is limited to conferencing and screen sharing. The free trial of the advanced plans includes free audio conferencing that comes with its own dedicated conference call number in the U.S.and more than 40 other countries. There is also video conferencing. The one-click scheduling can be integrated with Google Calendar and Outlook to maintain and organize your invitations. Another feature is the creation of a permanent meeting location. This lets clients save the address to stay in contact with the business. The online whiteboard feature provides an extra level of collaboration, screen sharing, and presentation.
11. Google Meet
Google Meet is a video communication service developed by Google. It is one of two apps that constitute the new version of Google Hangouts, the other being Google Chat. Google will begin to retire the classic version of Hangouts in October 2019.
Initially, a commercial service, in April 2020 Google started rolling it to free users as well, causing speculation about whether the consumer version of Google Meet would accelerate the deprecation of Google Hangouts.
12. Intermedia’s AnyMeeting
Intermedia’s AnyMeeting option is similar to BlueJeans in some ways: The interface is simple and easy to quickly learn for newcomers, the mobile and desktop apps work with each other smoothly, and there is plenty of annotation, screen-sharing, and notes options. You also get integration with Outlook, Gmail, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other apps, which makes the services ideal for a freelancing team or others who may be using a variety of different tools (but still need to talk to each other).
The above-mentioned video conferencing apps are the best available options to stay connected with your colleagues on a professional basis. The apps work well and provide a lot of features in the free version. You should try these free video conferencing software yourself and pick the one suitable for you. Users can also go for the premium version of the apps as per their requirements.