Unless you've lived under the rock for the past decade, you'd know that nothing comes cheap anymore. Business trips and long distance calls are far too time-consuming and expensive: nobody has the time to sit in ten-hour flights just for a three-hour meeting. It's not only costly and exhausting, it's also unproductive; you could have done more tasks with the time spent traveling. The solution? Video conferencing.
Video conferencing has truly revolutionized the way we work and interact with loved ones. It has become an important business solution. Meetings are done online. Prospective employees are interviewed through video calls and chat. We get some face time with loved ones when and wherever we want. While there's a lot of video conferencing software out there, these ten give the most bang for the buck (if it isn't already free).
Easily the most popular and well-loved for video calls and chat, Skype offers a premium upgrade for video conferencing for five people and up to a maximum of ten. However, Skype does not have the features of other softwares designed specifically for web meetings like file collaboration. If you're looking for a general-purpose web meeting service, you might want to look elsewhere.
Adobe Connect is consistent on all platforms - it performs well on Windows, Mac, Linux, IOS, BlackBerry and Android. It has file sharing, collaboration and conference archiving features. Large scale corporate meeting or webinars will benefit from its features ranging from simple text chat to full-scale meeting with up to 99 attendees. The interface is also well designed and well thought-out. However, for personal use and business startups, the $55/month subscription is a little costly.
With an easy to use interface, ooVoo allows HQ video conferences with nice desktop sharing features. It's got a very similar feel to Skype, but also allows you to send recorded messages to your contacts. The only issue with its free version is the ads that take up most of the interface. However, subscription-based plans allow you to remove those pesky ads. Overall, it's straightforward, user-friendly, and light weight.
Tokbox has full command center for video conferencing, which you can use to delegate to a meeting producer, who controls everything throughout the conference. The result is professional feel to conference, which is lacking in similar applications. You may also access additional services like conference archiving, collaboration tools, support and video chat moderation for a small fee.
Unlimited online meetings? Not a problem. WebEx is an all-around web conferencing service that is browser-based. You can record meetings, share your desktop, attach an agenda and upload files conveniently. Files are archived online and you get to choose which files you'd like to retrieve, saving space. It has a free version limited to a three-person meeting and the premium 25 version allows for up to 25 participants.
GoToMeeting is one of the best video conferencing solutions out there. It supports PC, Mac, IOS and Android platforms. Its clean control panel has areas for chat and audio controls and supports up to six video streams, all in HD. What's more, screen sharing and commenting options allow you to make annotation marks on any shared window or desktop item and not just on the whiteboard. Additional features include video conference recording and HD faces. However, it does have limited support in posting and recording meetings.
join.me is a low-cost, easy to set-up, accessible software that is best suited to simple desktop collaborations for two to five participants. You download an executable file and it provides the URL to where other participants can join the video conference. Its Premium service also allows organization of web conferences of up to 250 attendees. Although it's relatively easy to use, it does not do much for the archival record of your conference.
Microsoft Lync has HD video conferencing and comes bundled with Office 365 business subscriptions as well as mobile and web apps. You can start meetings easily and share your desktop and various contents with other attendees. On the downside, Microsoft Lync is tricky to install and prone to crashes and lags.
In its free version, anymeeting allows up to 200 participants for video conference, which is pretty neat, although you'd have to live with a slew of ads. Its premium version starts from $18 per month and has the typical videoconferencing and screen-sharing tools (ad-free). What's good with anymeeting is that it allows you to organize paid webinars: its PayPal module allows participants to purchase e-tickets for enrolment and be added to the participants list. On top of that, anymeeting allows for Twitter and Facebook integration so you could promote your webinars.
Still the best choice for small work groups, Google+ hangouts is totally easy to use - anybody with a Google+ account and a webcam can join in the video conference. With that said, it is accessible from your PC, Ipad/Iphone and Android phone. Share your screen with participants, edit documents from Google drive in real-time and broadcast your live video meeting. However, take note that text chats are not saved in the chat history of your Gmail, so you might want to log those conversations manually.
Do you know other free or premium video conferencing software that are worth recommending? Share your thoughts on the comment section below.
There are a lot of good software that are useful which are good as to save time and to work professionally. We can check more of these software from Vagueware.com and help communicate with your business partners and workers.