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Video conferencing equipment, such as web conferencing and cloud-based solutions, have become increasingly important in today’s world as remote work and collaboration become more prevalent.
The ongoing pandemic crisis has highlighted the need for secure and effective collaboration tools, and video conferencing software is one of the latest and most advanced technologies available.
A video meeting and sharing lots of important documents, files, images, etc., can be done simultaneously through a secure network.
Additionally, if you care for the environment, this entire video conferencing system effectively reduces carbon emissions to the environment by reducing travel through cars & other mass transportation.
Besides, everyone from an organization can instantly join in an emergency meeting from their home, even at 1 AM. Thus it also increases time efficiency & faster communication as none of them ever had to leave their room to join the meeting.
With video call quality becoming increasingly important in remote work, video conferencing software can ensure that meetings are productive and effective.
The meeting schedule is also made easier with the ability to schedule and join meetings from the comfort of one’s own home.
As you can see, an online meeting is not only a video chat with file sharing that became even more popular in the recent pandemic crisis but also very cost & time effective.
What is the best video conferencing software?
As I always said in almost all of my review articles, there is no such thing as “best.” Because the best is subjective, what is best for me could be the worst for you. Yet, I always showcase a range of high-quality products in my review so you can decide for yourself.
So, in this guide, I will present several of my best video conferencing apps you can use for both business & personal purposes.
So, let’s get started.
Affordable for any business – start with free 14 days.
GoToMeeting is a powerful video conferencing suite for both audio & video, as well as screen-sharing options.
The most amazing cost-effective feature is the 14-day Free trial without needing any credit/debit card info.
Nowadays, everyone needs a mobile-friendly app that anyone can use on the go. Yes, this software can run smoothly on smartphones. Moreover, it supports both Android & iOS. So you can easily invite someone with a single tap of your button.
When it comes to video conferences, screen sharing can be a handy tool to present something directly from your desktop screen to an entire team member. In addition, a split-screen feature allows a group of members to collaborate on their ideas from a distance, just like they usually do in their workshop.
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The virtual conference is made easy with powerful technology.
Besides sharing your screen in a conference, calling an audio meeting or video with high quality & low cost can be very effective in the long run. Most of the time, a group video conference is interrupted only because of low-quality audio. As a result, it drastically reduces the effectiveness of an emergency meeting and increases the time to finish it properly. With GoToMeeting, you can ensure that both audio & video quality is high & uninterrupted.
Anyone from any device, i.e., desktop, laptop, tab, smartphone, etc., can join and start communicating without limitation.
It offers both qualities of audio & video calling and robust networking security. In addition, you can implement a SAML SSO login with advanced security features to make a secure connection.
You can track your entire team member’s performance like a CRM system with diagnostic reports. You can also download a report for better collaboration.
Built-in automated provisioning system allows you to synchronize your active database with conferences; thus, it helps you keep updating your files & records without any hassle.
Seamless communication through phone & video conference.
Now, let’s talk about the pricing model. As I said before, if you want to try out their software, there is no cost for you, as you can test-run it for 14 days straight without giving any information about your debit/credit card.
If you are planning to purchase their paid plan, you have several options. As for a small business or team, you can choose their “Professional Plan” with only $10.20 per month (if annually billed, you will get a 27% discount for that). In addition, you can set up an online conference with up to 150 members.
However, an Enterprise Plan is right for you if you need more than 250+ members. Call them for a custom quote. Again, whichever plan you choose, you will get HD-quality video, unlimited meetings, and many more. Just check their Plans & Pricing.
Powerful all-in-one suite to manage business communication.
It offers an all-in-one business solution for your communication protocol. No matter what type of business you have, small to large organizations, they have everything you need to back you up.
If you want to test them before purchasing, then try their 15-day trial. It offers you a full-functionality system just like a paid plan. Apart from it, you can check out their demo version for free.
First, this software allows you to collaborate with your team worldwide through a secure internet connection. One-tap invites and calling made it simple & easy. You will get HD-quality video for the conference & high definition audio quality.
Apart from your internal team collaboration, you can set up remote customer service using this software. Tremendously helpful while in a pandemic crisis, most of us cannot visit office premises regularly. Thus, by utilizing this software, your organization can set up regular customer service that works from home.
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Remotely control an entire support team using a cloud-based platform.
Using this system, you can join in a video or audio call or even send messages to your team members for an unlimited time. No, holding you back at 40 minutes; there is no limitation.
Integration with other 3rd party software like Slack, Microsoft 365 & Google Workspace could be one of the best features. No more switching from app to app; just set it up once and work forever without interruption.
Like a CRM system, you will get an admin panel to track & manage your team member’s activities. Easily add, remove or edit members through the admin panel, even when you are on the go. In addition, you can record all calls & messages for later use.
Using a RingCentral account, you can set up your business phone system using a new or previous number. Then, you can use it on any device you want, like a phone.
Your new business call system is embedded directly into a smartphone.
Regarding the pricing model, they have four paid plans available to use. Starting from the Essentials plan ($19.99 per month, only if you choose an annual plan). You will get a flat 33% discount on it. This plan is best if your team members are at most 10.
Note: all plans include unlimited calls & messaging (USA/CA).
If you need more team members to be included, choose their Standard or Premium plan, as you won’t have any limitations on it. Most of the time, even for a large organization Premium plan may be all you ever needed. Yet, if you need additional features like unlimited storage for call recordings, choose an Ultimate plan for $49.99 per month.
3. Google Meet.
The king offers you forever free service.
Isn’t it great? Google offers you a premium quality video conferencing service for entirely free. Nothing to pay at all.
It’s as simple as 1-2-3. Just click on the “new meeting,” and you are ready. Just share the link with your team members who want to join. That’s it.
Unlike other services, Google Meet has an almost 0 learning curve. If you know how to operate Facebook, then you will find Google Meet even more straightforward than that.
The best part is, apart from absolutely free service, it has no download option. So only by using the web browser can anyone create & join in video chat. Though for file sharing & other official project collaboration purposes, you must use other Google apps like Google drive.
4. Microsoft Teams.
Premium features video collaboration tool – start with the free plan.
Unlike most software, Microsoft Teams offer you up to 10,000 people to collaborate in a video conference at once. And also, there is virtually no limitation in time (up to 24h).
Its free account is not a trial; it’s free to use for life, with some limited features. However, for demonstration purposes, it is enough.
With the free forever account, you can invite up to 300 participants, just like other paid plans, with a maximum call duration of 60 minutes. Though there is no option to record a meeting, you must purchase a paid plan.
Like a CRM environment, your entire team can continuously interact with each other using a simple yet powerful messaging system. It is an intelligent way to reduce time consumption for simple communication and cut off the unnecessary formality of an email conversation. Like informal Facebook communication, your team can collaborate instantly through a secure network.
Instant messaging makes the life of your team a lot easier.
Not just messaging but calling from anywhere through a secure channel, no matter what it is, video or audio. You can quickly reach your team members from the software or integrate it with your outlook so you can call directly from it. Finally, use any other device like a smartphone to call & set up a meeting.
You can set up customer service using this phone system. With the auto-attendant feature, the software can automatically route calls to the right person based on previously selected criteria.
As for an organization’s needs, your team can collaborate by sharing files and images instantly through a secure channel and no more relying on a 3rd party service like email or social media apps.
Your team members can stay connected through this system no matter where they are. Especially useful for a pandemic crisis scenario. You can call an emergency meeting even at 1 AM, as everyone can join from home, thus no problem.
Collaborate with your team easily & organize all documents in one place.
As for their pricing model, you have several options to choose from. First of all, try their unlimited free plan with some limitations. However, it has enough features for you to test them out.
If you are satisfied with them, try their “Business Basic” plan. Starting from only $2.5 per month per user (annual subscription). It is one of the cheapest plans compared to all other software. Most of the basic needs can fill up with this plan.
However, consider choosing a “Business Standard” or E3 plan if you need more features. Best suited for large organization needs. Yet, cheaper than other software.
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5. Zoom Meeting.
One of the popular video conferencing software – free forever plan.
You have probably already heard many times over about the Zoom meeting. The reason is it’s a prevalent and free software for everyone from business to personal users.
Check their free forever plan apart from their regular paid plans. There is no limitation in time; it is not a time trial. Thus you can test it out as long as you like. You can host up to 100 participants & group meetings are limited to 40 minutes. However, a one-on-one meeting is unlimited.
You can use Zoom meetings from nearly any device you want, from a desktop, laptop, tablet, or even your handheld smartphone. In addition, it can smartly synchronize your Google calendar, thus very helpful to maintain many schedules from one platform.
It provides you a high definition audio quality with HD quality video; hence distance calling & video meetings can take place even from home, 100% uninterrupted.
Powerful admin panel for tracking & managing meetings.
What about security? Zoom meeting offers you a military-grade security line for all types of communication, from messages to calls or even video meetings. In addition, it has a password protection system. Thus, every participant may have to enter a secure password before joining a discussion.
You will get a powerful administration panel to control all the features it has, from tracking each participant’s activities, call recordings, history checking & so forth.
One of the most valuable features is a cloud-based platform to record and store all the data in secure cloud storage.
Integration with other 3rd parties software like Google calendar, Microsoft 365 office, Gmail, and outlook can make your life easier. No need to switch software anymore; use Zoom meetings and control everything from here.
Make your life easier with intelligent integration with popular services.
Apart from their free forever plan, you have several paid options. For instance, if you have a small business with few team members, Pro Plan should be acceptable, with only $14.99 per month per license.
For medium-level organization Business Plan should be great for $19.99 per month per license. Some advanced features are unlocked from this plan. And finally, for the large enterprise, you should look for the Zoom United Business Plan. It will cost you $30 per month per license.
They have additional add-ons for individual needs; for example, if you need more than 500+ participants, you may purchase their “Large meeting” add-on for an extra $50 per month.
Intelligent, easy to use & beautifully designed – start with a 30-day free run.
Though I have written a review about ClickMeeting before, that one is for “Best Webinar Software.” The good news is they have both webinar platforms and business or personal meeting features available.
First, you can start using their service for free for 30 days straight without paying a single dime. You won’t have to show your debit/credit card information. In addition, though, the free version allows you to host up to 25 attendees in a webinar & a maximum of 5 cameras for a single online meeting.
However, they allow you to have up to 1,000 attendees in a webinar with four presenters at a time. And in an online meeting, up to 25 participants can attend. It is problematic as other video conferencing software allows you to have up to 1,000 participants, while in ClickMeeting, you are stuck at 25.
High-quality video meeting comes with dozens of intelligent layouts.
If you are happy with 25 limited participants for a single online meeting, then from here, ClickMeeting offers you something more significant than other software. For instance, their meeting room layout customization system is fantastic. Easy to use & with an almost 0 learning curve. You will get high-quality HD video and high-definition audio in your online meeting.
Easily switch back from different sessions if you use this software for meetings, webinars, online classes, etc. But, of course, it’s always best to use one software for several of your tasks; in that case, it will be easy for you to maintain consistency.
In your online meeting, you will have access to collaborate with your team members or classmates with lots of options, i.e., whiteboard to teach others, screen sharing to make them understand something quickly, and moderated live chat system for lengthy meetings.
A hosted meeting can be controlled by the admin 100% securely with a password system. With one click, you can add or revoke any participant. In addition, historical records allow you to go back to find a meaningful conversation.
You will have complete control over your hosted online meeting.
Their pricing model is quite similar to other companies around, except for 25 people limitation in a single online meeting.
If you are satisfied with their free plan, try their Live paid plan if you have a small team. However, before you purchase their service, please note that you will get a 20% flat discount only if you choose the annual subscription option.
Also, if you want to use their service only for an online meeting, choose their Live plan, as other plans allow you almost the same features. However, if you want to use their webinar platform, choose different paid plans, as you will need more attendees.
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7. Zoho Meeting.
One of the cheapest & well-known brands – it starts with a 14-days trial run.
Zoho is one of the most popular brands offering virtual meeting platforms, email marketing, CRM, form builder, booking software, etc. Staying with them will cover almost all types of business needs.
Want to test them out before purchasing one of their paid plans? No credit/debit card is needed; just signup and start using it for 14 days straight for free.
Before we begin, security is an essential element that you will always need for a business meeting. And Zoho meeting offers you just that with their robust encryption technology; every bit of information is safe & completely fail-safe with 256-bit military-grade encryption.
Apart from that, they offer several security options like a lock meeting function to prevent unauthorized access from outside and organization-level video settings with entry & exit notifications.
Working from a distance won’t impact you anymore – stay home & be safe.
No matter where your team members are now residing, they can instantly join the meeting using their devices, i.e., desktop, laptops, tablets, or even smartphones. The only thing they need is an internet connection.
With high-quality HD video & high-definition audio, your meeting will be completely uninterrupted. Besides, every conversation & discussion can be downloaded for later use & can be stored online. You can replay those or share them with others for better understanding.
Sharing screen options are beneficial for team collaboration, especially when working on a complex project. However, sometimes everyone can’t meet regularly. In that case, your entire team can sit for a meeting at 1 AM from their own home & share their thoughts as usual.
Video collaboration makes the complex task easy.
Zoho meeting is one of the cheapest services of all other brands. You can start with a Meeting-10 plan for only $2.5 per month per host. It allows you to host up to 10 participants. Best for a small team meeting.
However, if you need more people to join in your meeting, consider choosing Meeting 25 or 50, or even 100, as it allows up to 100 participants based on plans.
Finally, remember that you will get an automatic discount on all annual subscriptions.
Video conferencing software is one of the best tools for managing distance meetings & team collaboration. Unfortunately, in the recent pandemic crisis, its popularity is rising at an alarming rate. However, experts believe this rising trend will stay intact even in the post-pandemic world. So, let’s say it is the beginning of the technology era.
Just like physical brick & mortar stores are converting themselves to an eCommerce platform to keep up with the digital trend. The same goes for all other activities in our social life. People are focusing on more digital assets than physical ones.
In my opinion, why not? Because of the eCommerce shop, you can now purchase directly from your home. Social media apps let you connect to hundreds of people at once. Online virtual meetings allow you to collaborate with your team members even if you currently stay in Antarctica; it doesn’t matter.
So, as you can see, people tend to move forward with digital technology more than ever. It’s becoming popular & easy to get access for everyone. So, if you are not using it right now, you will have to from tomorrow. Otherwise soon you will fail in competition.