Video conferencing platforms make communication among coworkers and individuals easy without worrying about proximity. Thus, it can keep you connected while physically apart.
Whether we are working remotely, staying in touch with family and friends, or attending virtual events, video conferencing has made it possible to stay connected even when we cannot be together in person.
Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of video conferencing platforms, as individuals and businesses turned to them to stay connected during a time of social distancing.
However, video conferencing platforms have been around for many years, and their popularity has been growing steadily even before the pandemic. But this article will focus on the 16 online video conferencing platforms (free and paid) that keep us connected while apart.
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What Are Video Conferencing Platforms?
Video conferencing platforms are software, technologies, and applications that enable people to have voice and video communications. They can be utilized for various activities, including remote work, virtual education, virtual healthcare, and maintaining relationships with loved ones.
Furthermore, video conferencing platforms typically work by transmitting and receiving audio and visual data over the Internet. So, users can connect to a video conference using different devices like desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Numerous services, including screen sharing, chat, and recording, are available on these platforms. They also provide various levels of security and scalability to accommodate the requirements of various users and organizations.
Additionally, platforms for video conferencing have grown in popularity recently, particularly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though people are physically separated, they have made it possible for them to remain connected and productive.
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Pros And Cons of Using Video Conferencing Platforms
Although video conferencing platforms are a powerful tool that can be used to improve communication, collaboration, and productivity in various settings, it has its pros and cons.
|Promote sustainability||Technical difficulties|
|Stay connected with people all over the world||Meeting fatigue|
|Support diversity and inclusion||Distractions|
|Reduce travel costs||Security concerns|
|Improve accessibility||Social isolation|
|Increase productivity||Lack of personal interaction|
|Make learning more effective||Accessibility issues|
|Improve collaboration||Privacy concerns|
|Increase engagement||Environmental impact|
|Enhance communication||Equity concerns|
16 Video Conferencing Platforms Keeping Us Connected While Apart
Here, we’ll elaborate more on the free and paid top online video conferencing platforms you should know about.
1. Google Meet
Google Meet, the company’s video conferencing solution primarily intended for usage by businesses and corporations, is part of Google’s extensive lineup of connectivity products. Using a dial-in number or link, Google Meet enables users to attend events and meetings from their phones without the need for any additional software. Hence, it’s one of the free online video conferencing platforms.
2. Webex Meetings
Free high-capacity online video conferencing platforms with room for up to 100 participants are available through Cisco’s Webex Meetings. Webex Meetings makes video conferencing simple and provides various services for free. However, Cisco also gives users the option to upgrade to a subscription tier to take advantage of features like increased attendance capacity and extended meeting times.
With its free tiers and accessibility, Zoom is one of the most popular online video conferencing software platforms available, drawing users seeking an easier and more economical option. Further, Zoom allows users to organize big meetings with up to 1,000 attendees, which also provides extra tools and capabilities including video transcription, text chatting, and video recording.
In addition to giving pay-as-you-go and monthly subscription payment choices, Skype provides video conferencing alternatives for business use and personal communication. Although the firm also provides a corporate platform upgrade that can accommodate up to 250 participants, Skype’s personal communication option can only allow video conversations for up to 50 individuals.
5. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is also among the top online video conferencing platforms. It provides for a wide spectrum of individual and business users, supporting everything from one-on-one calls to webinars with 10,000 participants. The platform includes all the features of the Microsoft 365 Suite, enabling users to participate in calls from almost anywhere without downloading an external app.
With a range of tiered price choices for individuals, small enterprises, and major corporations, Lifesize provides its clients with a cloud-based platform for video and audio conferencing for little to no cost. Thus, it’s one of the video conferencing platforms with free and paid versions. Lifesize users benefit from the capacity to host for up to 24 hours. Thus, this makes it simpler to organize brainstorming sessions, corporate meetings, large livestreams, and other events.
In addition to video conferencing software, 8×8 provides companies all over the world with voice calling, contact center services, chatbot technology, and various other cloud communications products. Also, organizations in the healthcare, education, finance, retail, and other industries have used the company’s solutions in several use cases.
8. GoTo Meeting
With the advantage of allowing users to attend meetings from any device, GoTo Meeting provides all the basic capabilities of a video conferencing platform. Again, GoTo Meeting offers a mobile video conferencing service that doesn’t skimp on functionality, enabling up to 150 people to participate at the lowest subscription tier. It also has an app compatible with both iOS and Android.
RingCentral is also among the online video conferencing platforms that deserve to be on our list. To make arranging meetings with external apps easier, RingCentral offers video conferencing software that enables customers to link third-party apps like Slack and Google Suite. Furthermore, it provides various solutions for companies, small businesses, and other industries. Additionally, it provides HD video streaming and real-time file sharing to make collaboration simple.
The Dialpad-owned video conferencing platform, UberConference, offers services for video streaming, screen sharing, AI transcription, and various other business communications requirements. Additionally, UberConference is designed to serve businesses of all sizes and across all industries, including WeWork, Asana, Stripe, and HubSpot.
GlobalMeet, a PGi-owned and -operated enterprise-grade video conferencing technology, offers services like webcasting, event curation, and organizing virtual events to assist in improving business efficiency. And GlobalMeet users have rapid access to the meetings they wish to attend, making it among the top online video conferencing platforms. Then, event organizers can rely on round-the-clock in-meeting tech support to ensure their plans run smoothly.
The primary focus of TeamViewer is remote connectivity, and it provides different tech-based collaborative resources, from video communications to designing AR experiences. Again, the software facilitates safe access to digital information as well as file sharing, remote printing, and video conferencing.
Circuit by Unify provides users with a single app to exchange files, search for content, and conduct discussions with employees and coworkers. Therefore, it assists businesses in centralizing their cross-enterprise communications and collaboration. Content storage, contextual search, and a natural conversation feed are a few of Circuit’s many features that help users communicate more quickly and effectively.
14. Adobe Connect
Another top software that made it to our list of online video conferencing platforms is Adobe Connect. Adobe Connect connects users of all types with instant video conferencing capabilities, making it possible to conduct webinars and business meetings and teach classes remotely. It falls under the communications technology division of its parent firm, Adobe. Also, Adobe Connect’s design focuses on accessibility and gives hosts advanced control options so they can better run their meetings.
Starting at $9.99 per month for the most basic tier, BlueJeans by Verizon provides secure video conferencing solutions on a modest subscription basis. However, it has upgrades to higher tiers and more features are also available. Some of the greatest names in the tech industry, like Facebook, Red Hat, National Geographic, and others, have incorporated BlueJeans collaborative solutions into their everyday operations.
16. Zoho Meeting
Sales, marketing, customer support, and other business aspects are all catered to by the Zoho software suite. The company includes Zoho Meeting among its products for teams wishing to streamline communication and video conferencing. This tool provides customer assistance to address any concerns, has superior security features, and connects with the rest of the Zoho suite. So, it deserves a spot on our top online video conferencing platforms list.
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Tips For Using Video Conferencing Platforms Effectively
Below are some helpful tips for using video conferencing technology effectively:
- Pick a well-lit and quiet spot for the call.
- Use headphones or a headset to reduce background noise.
- Select a reliable platform with good security features.
- Mute yourself when you’re not speaking.
- Balance video conferencing with other forms of social interaction and communication.
- Test-run your equipment before the call and ensure you have a stable internet connection.
- Take breaks during long meetings.
- Be mindful of your body language and facial expressions.
- Understand the privacy and security implications of using video conferencing platforms.
Video conferencing platforms have become essential for keeping us connected while apart. They offer several benefits, like reducing travel costs, increasing productivity, and improving collaboration. However, it is essential to understand that video conferencing has potential drawbacks. These include technical difficulties, lack of personal interaction, and distractions.
- investopedia.com – Video Conferencing: How It Works, How to Use It, Top Platforms