Widely used and popular video conferencing applications
1 | SKYPE
Advantages include Cross-platform support, accessible in web browsers, free tier.
Skype has been in the video conferencing realm since 2003. It has been a popular medium to connect families and friends who live on each side of the globe, becoming a household name in the long run.
Today, the cross-platform app now supports group video calling for up to 50 people. For business meetings and conferences that require a large number of participants, users may opt to upgrade to Skype for Business which will accommodate up to 250 participants and an additional layer of security.
Other features that users can enjoy include screen sharing, automatic blurring backgrounds, live subtitles, and the ability to record video conferences/chats.
For upgrades, the prices range from USD 69.99/year to USD 12.50/month.
2 | ZOOM MEETING
Zoom Meeting offers advantages including a user-friendly interface, HD audio & video, free tier, and can support up to 1,000 participants.
With the implementation of lockdowns and stay at home orders, Zoom Meeting has gained a surge in users—becoming one of the most widely-used video conferencing platforms today.
Aside from its high-definition video and audio features, Zoom also supports up to 1,000 participants in one video call. Moreover, meetings can be saved locally or to a cloud, along with transcripts; and collaboration tools such as shared screen and file sharing are also available. Additional tools for team administration requires an upgrade, which ranges from USD 14.99/month to USD 19.99/month per host.
However, the video conferencing platform needs further improvement in its security and privacy settings.\
3 | GOOGLE MEET
Formerly known as Google Hangouts Meet, the platform offers first-class conferencing services featuring G Suite integration, accessible and simple interface, and has competitive pricing.
Google Meet is an improved version of the standard Google hangouts, offering to accommodate a large number of users at once. The platform aims to cater specifically to businesses, making it easier to collaborate with external clients.
Other key advantages in the platform include web application available on browsers, which means users can opt not to download software; a dedicated dial-in number; a mobile application for Android and iOS users; and the ability to work with existing conference hardware such as Cisco, Lifesize, and Skype for Business (with SIP and H.323 standards). Users can also integrate other G Suite applications like Google calendar where users can plan meetings or set up call events ahead.
Prices range from the Basic package of USD 6/month to the Enterprise package of USD 25/month.
4 | GOOGLE HANGOUTS
Unlike Google Meet, Hangouts is ideal for smaller group meetings, limited up to 10 participants only.
Google Hangouts features a friendly user interface that can support chatting up to 50 people. However, video calls are only limited to up to 10 participants. The platform highlights speed and convenience and can be accessed either by logging into a web browser or downloading its mobile application available on Chrome OS, iOS, and Android.
To support especially work from home users, Google offers an extended Hangouts Meet capability to G Suite and G Suite for Education users for FREE. Enterprise-level features are also available for free until July 1, 2020.
5 | MICROSOFT TEAMS
Ideal for webinars, which can accommodate up to 10,000 participants in one call.
Microsoft Teams is a leading video conferencing software, featuring screen sharing and call recording, live captions, background blur technology, and chat functionalities. It is also fully integrated with Microsoft 365, which means calls can easily be scheduled and external guests can join through their web browsers.
Another video conferencing tool ideal for small to medium group meetings.
Facebook Messenger allows users to call up to 50 people at once. However, only six actively talking persons can be seen on-screen at a time.
7 | APPLE FACETIME
Built-in video conferencing app for iOS users.
If you and your team all use Apple products, you might want to consider conducting your meeting using the built-in FaceTime app. Group FaceTime can accommodate up to 32 participants.
FaceTime is an ideal tool for catching up with friends and family, however, not so much for formal meetings and conferences.
You and your team might want to consider trying these platforms as well.
7 | CLICK MEETING
ClickMeeting features Q & A polls, marketing tools, integrations, focus on productivity, and automated follow-ups—ideal to host webinars.
ClickMeeting has been hosting webinars offering three main features to its users, namely, customizable webinar rooms, audience interaction tools, and post-webinar tools. The platform offers everything you need for a fair price, starting at USD 25/month.
8 | GOTOMEETING
A mobile-friendly platform featuring audio and video conferencing and screen sharing, available for Android and iOS users.
Another ideal platform for web conferencing is GoToMeeting. It is a standalone application known for its mobile-friendliness. The limitation of participants depends on the subscription on its upgraded packages.
Basic tier offers all its standard features at the price of USD 14/month. It has a limitation of up to 150 participants. Meanwhile, the Business plan tier is available for USD 19/month that can accommodate up to 250 participants and additional admin tools such as drawing and mouse sharing. For a much larger video conference, the Enterprise plan tier offers to accommodate up to 3,000 participants.
9 | LIFESIZE
Lifesize is known for its high definition quality of video conferencing.
Founded in 2003, Lifesize provides high definition video conferencing endpoints, touchscreen conference room phones, and a cloud-based video collaboration platform. A global innovator of video collaboration and meeting productivity solutions, Lifesize offers three pricing tiers.
Lifesize Go is a free browser-based version that allows users to host an unlimited number of video calls, as well as screen-sharing on desktop, with up to 8 participants, no caps on meeting length, and no app downloads.
Lifesize Standard, on the other hand, is perfect for smaller team meetings. For $16.95 per host per month, the plan package offers unlimited meetings for up to 100 participants, along with Single Sign On (SSO) support, personal meeting support, as well as lone chat and support.
For small and midsize companies, Lifesize Plus provides more features but at a minimum of 15 hosts for $14.95 per host per month. This allows users to enjoy the following tools: up to 300 participants, Microsoft integrations, real-time meeting insights, phone, and email support, as well as 1-hour cloud recording per host.
Lastly, Lifesize Enterprise for $12.95 per month with a minimum of 50 hosts allows live streaming feature with up to 1,000 viewer events. This also offers unlimited US audio calling, branding and customization, premium support, and unlimited video recording.
10 | CYBERLINK U MEETING
An entirely web-based, requiring users not to download any additional software.
CyberLink is a Taiwanese multimedia software company founded in 1996, and U Meeting is the company’s video conferencing solution. The platform offers four pricing options, including Basic, Pro 50, Pro 100, and Enterprise Features.
- Basic plan – free, which includes up to 25 participants and 30 minutes per meeting;
- Pro 50 plan – $29.99 per host per month, which includes up to 50 participants, 24 hours per meeting, admin tools, and PerfectCam, a computer-generated makeup in an attempt to ‘create a truly professional look’;
- Pro 100 plan – price starts at $49.99 per user per month. This plan includes all ‘Pro 50’ features plus up to 100 participants;
- Enterprise Features plan – includes all the other tiers offerings plus meeting analysis, premium customer support, and end-to-end encryption. Users need to contact sales for a quote.
However, it does not offer video recording or the ability to dial into meetings using VoIP systems.
11 | BIGBLUEBUTTON
BigBlueButton is packed with features perfect for online learning webinars.
During sessions, a host can share screen, audio, video, and presentations; and at the same time collaborate with students using a whiteboard, shared notes, polls, and chat.
BigBlueButton is arguably the best open-source video conferencing software solution for online learning. On the downside, this platform is a bit difficult to set up. But nevertheless, it can be downloaded for free with all of its premium features.
12 | BLUEJEANS MEETING
30-day free trial with Dolby voice support and futuristic video conferencing tool.
BlueJeans offers three pricing tiers with a 30-day free trial.
- Me tier – for $14.99 per month per user (when paid annually), users can enjoy the following features: up to 50 attendees, connect from any devices, and all meetings include dial-in numbers. Also supports free phone audio in over 40 countries;
- My Team plan – for $19.99 per month per host (when paid annually), users can have all the lower tier has to offer plus 10 hours of cloud meeting recordings, command center dashboard, and up to 75 participants;
- My Company plan – this package includes all the features of the other plans, plus connection H.323//SIP room systems, room system calendar support, and up to 150 participants. Users need to contact BlueJeans directly in order to get a quote.
13 | RINGCENTRAL VIDEO
Boasts its integration feature with Slack, G Suite, and Microsoft 365.
RingCentral is prominent for its industry-standard features, including video call scheduling and recording, screen sharing and annotation, and in-built chat functionalities.
With its integration feature, users can schedule and begin calls directly from these 3rd party platforms—Slack, G Suite, and Microsoft 365. Another key feature of the platform is its analytics dashboard. It enables administrators to monitor the usage of the service, as well as pinpoint performance issues, ISP, network, and endpoint.
14 | WHEREBY
Whereby is a collaboration tool for professionals with video meetings in a web browser, requiring guests not to download any softwares and login credentials.Some of its features include Screen Sharing, join a meeting you were Invited to, notifications, meeting controls, and room management. The platform offers three tier plans which users can choose from: Business ($ 59.99 / month), Pro ($ 9.99 / month), and Free.
15 | FREE CONFERENCE
No desktop software necessary, international dial-in available, and a maximum of five participants.
FreeConference is a web-based video conference platform that can be accessible in any web browsers. Participants can interact through text or video chats, as well as screen and file sharing. However, its maximum number of participants is only limited to five, which means it cannot accommodate medium to large team meetings.
16 | 8X8 VIDEO MEETINGS
A free tier software with comprehensive features, custom browser extensions, and screen-sharing.
8×8 Video Meetings is free software that allows its users to easily share screen, chat with other participants, record meetings, or create a live stream, all without a paid subscription. Users can also schedule meetings and invite participants using Google Calendar and Office 365 plugins and add custom browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Moreover, users have to subscribe for $9.99/month to unlock a speech-to-text feature.
It is highly important to note, however, that the security of the platform lacks further elaboration.
17 | CISCO WEBEX MEETING
Some of the platform’s advantages include 1GB cloud storage, can invite up to 100 participants, and screen sharing
Cisco WebEx Meetings allows its users to hold HD video meetings with up to 100 participants in its free version. It also provides a screen sharing tool and lets users create private chat rooms.
Upon signing up, users are given a personal URL that can be used to manage all their meetings, as well as schedule video conferences, and access the recordings. In hosting a meeting, users can choose to use either the Webex Meetings app or the website version of the platform. It is also available on iOS and Android.
The free version includes 1GB of cloud storage, unlimited meetings of unlimited length, and the ability to make MP4 recordings of them. Security is catered for by TLS 1.2 and AES 256-bit encryption, and backed by Cisco’s networking know-how means performance is impressive.