9 Best Video Conferencing Software Tools Reviewed
2 years ago
For many, physical travel is no longer necessary to communicate with clients and colleagues. We live in a world where you can easily share your ideas and collaborate on projects from the comfort of your own home or office! That's why finding video conferencing software that fits your team's needs is so important.
In this post, we will take a look at what to look for when choosing the best video conferencing software for you and your team.
To do this, we have created a list of the top video conferencing software options, in order to compare and contrast their various features. Let's get started!
There are several video conferencing software options out there, so which one is right for your team? We'll break down these different applications, you can decide which is best for you.
Skype is by far the most popular communication software. It allows you to make free video and voice calls whenever you are connected to the internet. It has been available for over a decade; it still continues to be a leader in the industry. Skype offers a long list of features that help users connect with others in many different ways, such as video calls, calls on mobile, messaging, screen sharing or online meetings via Skype Meetings.
- It's free to use with no need to create an account
- It's available on many different devices (i.e. Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android)
- It has a large user base (more people can connect with you) Skype has no quality controls and can easily be hacked
- Poor customer support
- they were voted one of the worst companies to deal with in 2013 due to their lack of response time and phone operators who do not have knowledge of the software or your account.
Google Hangouts (Meet) is a free application that provides video, voice, and text chat all in one place. You can share documents and bring them to life with your friends (now up to seven people) through the application's Hangouts Meet feature. It's like a video call, but without the complications of managing two applications at once. It has been designed exclusively for teams since its inception and has continued to provide good features and service updates each year.
- Free with Google Apps for Work, a suite of apps perfect for business use
- It's very organized and designed to make your life easier when you work in a team (You can also personalize your profile) Google Hangouts can get clunky and confusing if you are using it on a mobile device
Adobe Connect is one of the leading video conferencing software applications. Although it's not free, it does come with many features that are worth paying for.
Adobe Connect offers a free version called Adobe Connect Meeting that can be used for up to 25 participants. It comes with video conferencing, online meetings, webinars, and whiteboarding. The best part is the screen-sharing feature which allows you to share your screen during discussions.
- Easy to set up and manage
- Free version great for small meetings
- Good customer service
- Expensive for larger organizations (costs more than $500 per month)
Microsoft Lync is a great video conferencing software option for bigger organizations. It operates across all platforms and devices, which allows users to communicate at any time, from anywhere in the world. It also offers some great integrations with other popular Office apps.
Lync offers a free version and paid version (called Lync Premium). The free version can be used by up to 300 participants and has many of the same features as the paid version.
The paid version offers additional features such as larger file sharing, out-of-office support, voice and video mail, and an ad-free experience.
- Easy to use and set up
- A free version is great for smaller companies that only have a few employees Large organizations are required to pay on a per-user basis
5. Cisco Spark
Cisco Spark is a powerful application that allows you to communicate with your colleagues in many different ways.
It's a great video conferencing software option for big companies with large teams. It was designed to provide an experience to meet the needs of your team, not just one individual employee.
Cisco Spark is a free application, but you will need a Cisco WebEx Meetings to account in order to use it. This can be done in less than three minutes and is very user-friendly.
- Excellent integration with other Cisco software (like WebEx Meetings, Jabber)
- Free to use for up to 10 participants
- Lack of cloud storage can be a problem if you need to transfer and store large files
LogMeIn Ignition is a great option for any business that needs video conferencing software and a webinar platform. It's an all-in-one communication solution that allows users to host webinars, join them, and attend meetings via video or audio (or even both).
- Send and receive your files in real-time, even if you are offline
- Free for up to five users
- Lots of integrations (Easily integrates with other cloud storage platforms)
Zoom is a professional video conferencing software application for business users. It is designed to be simple to use and has many great features. The best part is the ability to add any existing webcam, audio device or integration with your current software applications (such as Skype).
Zoom offers a free version with up to 40 participants. If you want more than 40 participants, then you will need to pay $16.99 per month for Zoom Rooms (the premium version).
- Excellent user support (even on weekends)
- Free version can be used for larger organizations (up to 300 participants) Large companies are asked to pay based on the number of users they have, instead of by the number of meetings they have
Cisco WebEx Meetings is another great video conferencing software application. It allows users to host meetings, join them and even attend them. Users can also record and store their meetings to listen back to at a later time.
It can be used in large organizations with up to 75 people.
- Has a whiteboard feature
- Free for up to 25 users for the first year (after which you will need to pay) Low price per user and per month if you need fewer than 25 users
The web browser is not included in the price if you have a few employees, so make sure that your office computers are all running Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer
iMeet is a video conferencing service for businesses that are offered by Cisco. It allows users to create and share content, as well as have live chats with anyone around the world. This service is also part of Cisco WebEx.
A great platform to share your screen or presentations during video calls
It lacks some basic features that are offered in other video conferencing software (i.e. there is no easy way to mute your microphone)
Now that we have taken a look at the different types of video conferencing software available, it's time to decide which one is best for you and your team.
To help you make a decision, let's look at some key tips for choosing a video conferencing software solution.
Tips for choosing your video conferencing software solution
1. Understand your team needs
The most important step is to understand the needs of your team and what sort of work they do. This will determine which features you need to look for in a video conferencing software application. If your team works together all day, every day, then a built-in chat program might be the best option for you.
2. Ask yourself what you want from this software
It's important to understand what features you want in an application and how they fit into the overall plan of your business. Do you need custom branding for this application? Do you need to collaborate with a specific team? Are you going to use prerecorded videos for training purposes? Consider all of these things when deciding on a video conferencing software solution.
3. Ask if the software is cloud-based
The configuration, implementation, administration, and maintenance of a video conferencing solution can be time-consuming. It is often better to have one robust software package that you can run through YouTube tutorials or vendor support sites for installation and setup. This also reduces travel expenses since you won't need to bring your hardware to users' offices.
4. Understand the hardware
Video conferencing software is not limited to a computer or a smartphone. You can also pair video conferencing software with smartwatches and smartphones for group meetings or to share content. The best video conferencing software will allow you to use whatever device your team prefers, without the need for additional hardware.
5. Don't be afraid to look for alternatives
Not every video conferencing software application is right for your team (even if it sounds great).
If you don't like what a certain application has to offer, you should look for alternatives that may be better suited for your company.
It doesn't matter if a video conferencing software is new or old – it only matters if it's going to help your team collaborate better (and more efficiently).
Now that we have taken a look at all the leading options in video conferencing software, it's time for you to decide which solution is best for your business.