The right telecommunication tools have always been important for productivity, but they’ve become even more essential now that more companies have been adapting to a work-from-home set-up amidst the ongoing global situation.
One tool that is consistently being relied on by corporations, startups, and freelancers alike are video conferencing apps and software. Whether it’s for a board meeting, team presentations, or even remote interviews, every business needs reliable video conferencing software for real-time communication. But with so many options on the market, how do you determine which one is the most ideal?
Below, we highlight the top video conferencing software available, and what they’re best used for.
Best used for: Small team meetings
Price: Free, upgradable to Pro for $13.99/month
With over 200 million daily active users, Zoom remains the most popular video conferencing solution to date. This is widely due to its feature-rich free plan. For no price at all, Zoom allows its users to host 40-minute calls of up to 100 participants at a time, and an unlimited number of one-on-one meetings. The Pro plan extends calls’ duration to 24 hours, and also gives you 1GB of cloud storage to record your meetings with. On top of this, they also offer Business and Enterprise plans with additional features. But for small teams, the free and Pro versions are more than enough.
Cisco Webex Meetings
Best used for: Conferences
If you’re hosting big meetings, company-wide announcements, or global conferences, then you won’t find a more reliable software than Cisco. Cisco Webex Meetings is included in HP’s best telecommuting tools for businesses, outlining how this straightforward and stable platform allows for up to 1,000 video participants at a time and works in 45 countries. Plus, meeting attendees won’t just be passive listeners either. With a real-time chat function, electronic hand-raising, and two-way audio/video playback, every participant can ask questions and provide their input.
Best used for: Webinars
Price: Starts at $30/month
ClickMeeting is an excellent webinar hosting software that lets you choose how you engage with your audience. It boasts several features such as Q&A polling, screen sharing, chat-to-text translations, multiuser subaccounts, and more. ClickMeeting can also auto-stream your events on social media, auto-publish recorded conferences to Dropbox and auto-send thank you emails to your participants. For its base price, ClickMeeting lets you host webinars with two presenters and 25 people. The number of attendees can go as high as 1000 for their more expensive subscriptions.
Best used for: Sensitive meetings
Price: Starts at $12.49/month
BlueJeans has all the usual perks of your typical video conferencing software, from screen sharing to whiteboard. However, AV Magazine reports that its biggest selling point is its security features. Every call is encrypted. Admins can also require participants to connect using encryption-enabled channels, add a passcode, and enforce user protocols to keep their conversation even more secure. The standard plan comes with unlimited meetings for 50 participants.
VideoCallMeet for Chrome
Best used for: Contacting clients
Unlike most of the items on this list, VideoCallMeet comes as a Chrome extension instead of your usual software. As such, it’s completely free—provided that you’re using Chrome as your main browser. It’s ideal for calling clients and suppliers, as they won’t have to download a separate app to talk to you. This is especially useful when you need to address issues that can’t be resolved via email. VideoCallMeet can support up to nine attendees at once.
Best used for: Collaborations
Price: Free, but the Pro plan ($20/month) is recommended
More than just a video conferencing tool, Join.me is an excellent collaboration tool as well. It allows its hosts to give other attendees limited access to their computer’s hardware, making it possible to collaborate in-call. On top of this, it has an annotation feature that lets you draw directly on a shared screen. It has four plans: Free, Lite, Pro, and Business. It’s heavily recommended that you get the Pro plan to avail Join.me’s unlimited conferencing feature and get a 50 participant cap.
There is no video conference software that can truly be called “the best.” It all depends on how big your business is, what you will be using the software for, and your company’s budget. Do your research before making a decision.