Technological advancement has enhanced the means of video conferencing such that it has become more attainable, as well as affordable. Video conferencing software has played an important role, especially with the current pandemic and global situation, by managing to serve the modern organizational structure.
With video conferencing, many businesses have managed to continue operating, thus enabling employees to work under lockdown. Using various conferencing solutions, businesses conduct meetings and general communications, as well as update the workforce.
Moreover, with the inclined burden concerning the travel carbon costs to the workplace, it’s ideal for companies to focus on video conferencing when hosting face-to-face meetings instead of engaging in wasteful business costs.
With everything that’s going on, the internet has seen an increase in the demand for video conferencing software. Even though video conferencing programs were already on their way to the top, the whole process became accelerated by the unfortunate worldwide spread of coronavirus, which forced many nations to go into lockdown in an attempt to control the spread.
With the global shutdown put into play, many businesses, as well as individuals had no other choice but to rely on video conferencing to stay connected with workmates, friends, and family. Video conferencing tools have helped thousands of businesses grow since they do not demand physical encounters.
This means that even small budget businesses without the means of traveling across the world to present their ideas, products, or services, can simply chat with someone who is a thousand miles apart.
Here are the criteria we used when handpicking these best free video conferencing programs for you:
- Stability – it’s the ability to handle face-to-face meetings while keeping the connection intact
- Features – these can be marketing tools or additional options to make the whole experience a convenient one
- Compatibility & Accessibility – platforms compatible with the program such as iOS, Mac, Windows, and Android are important, considering you will be dealing with various type of people
Using this PC tips and tricks article that discusses the best free video conferencing applications, you can get a valuable guideline to help you select the most suitable tool.
5 Best Free Video Conferencing Applications
1. Zoom Meetings
Zoom is the perfect tool that provides a complete video conferencing suite. Offering 40 minutes video conference and supporting up to 100 participants, Zoom is one of the most attractive free options. Using a free account, a video conference with 3 or more participants is limited to 40 minutes. Users have the liberty to upgrade their accounts to lift the restrictions.
However, if you prefer to keep your meetings short and sweet, then the free plan is all you need, especially if you are to consider that there are no restrictions on the number of meetings you can host. This means, you can simply continue your previous 40 minutes call by making another one, which means you will be taking tea breaks every 40 minutes.
With Zoom, participants can join the meeting using the web, apps, browser extensions, as well as iPhone, Android, Mac, and Windows devices. On a free account, video and audio recordings are available to the user. Moreover, users can also share screens with other participants.
✔ Up to 100 participants per 40 minutes call
✔ Screen sharing
✔ Video and audio recording
✔ Supports multiple devices
2. Google Meet
Google Meet is the revamped version of Google Hangouts Meet. As part of the G Suite, the newly branded software aims to offer more than just a conference video experience as it delivers first-class service.
The program is business-oriented and accommodates small to large enterprise setups. The software uses a fast interface to enable fast connection as well as flawless video sessions.
Google Meet comes as a much-improved version of the common Google Hangouts. The tool makes it simple to keep in touch with external customers. For starters, it offers a web application experience that doesn’t require any software downloads. On top of that, it assigns the user with a dial-in number to ensure that the quality of the line is maintained, preventing drop-outs.
When it comes to compatibility, this is where Google Meet excels. The program is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store. Users can use it in conjunction with conferencing hardware that already exists. Google Meet also comes with the advantage of giving the user access to Google’s ecosystem packed with various productivity-enhancing tools such as Google Calendar.
✔ Free account allows up to 100 participants per 1-hour long meeting
✔ Unlimited number of meetings
✔ Native mobile apps
✔ Adjustable layouts
✔ Smooth integration with other Google products
3. Cisco Webex Meetings
The Cisco brand comes with higher expectations; it comes as no surprise that Webex Meetings doesn’t disappoint. Although the software also offers various paid packages, the free one should suffice, especially for the most basic user.
Riding on the free version, users can host HD conference video meetings with up to 100 participants. The program is also laminated with incredible features such as video sharing, as well as private chat rooms.
During the registration process, the user is designated with a unique URL that can be utilized to monitor meetings, conduct video conference scheduling, or access recorded videos and audios. Upon launching a video conference meeting, you have the option to select a web-based platform on the app. A dedicated Webex Meeting app is widely considered the best when it comes to delivering a smooth experience.
✔ The free version comes with 1GB of cloud storage
✔ Hold countless meetings with no restriction in length
✔ Record MP4 video meetings
✔ AES 256-bit encryption technology
Unlike other software mentioned in this list that offers a paid version, Jitsi is 100% free. This open-source software allows up to 75 video conference participants. There are two approaches to using Jitsi, the hosted version at meet.jit.si, or the personally hosted version that requires you to download the program to your system.
On both hosted and self-hosted, dial-in audio is supported. There is also screen sharing and the software offers iPhone and Android apps.
✔ Stream to YouTube
✔ Record Jitsi conference
✔ No premium tiers, which means no limitations
✔ Has an online guide to Mac installation
Skype is a household name that is literally on almost everyone’s computer. The brand name also serves as a key factor that pulls in the majority. You might already know one or two things about Microsoft’s video chat tool. The tool does more than just keeping friends and family members in touch as it also supports up to 50 participants to host a video conference.
Moreover, the software can also be used on the browser; which is a great feature as it enables users to get in touch with clients without having to install the app.
Skype is feature-rich, with options for screen sharing, as well as a background auto-blur tool. Users can also record chats, and enjoy smooth integration to other Microsoft products.
✔ Subtitling of live conversations
✔ No need to download the app when used in a web browser
✔ Supports cross-platform
✔ Up to 50 video conferencing participants
Now, finding the best video conferencing software is a bit tricky, especially if you throw in the magic “free” word into the pipelines. To get truly free software tested for video conferencing is a struggle as most developers tend to lure people by presenting something for free, only to change the tune later demanding payment to access some of the essential features.
So, to help you with that and make matters a bit light for you, we have compiled a list above of the best free video conferencing to consider in 2020. However, among this list, the right one for you depends on the sort of meetings you plan to hold.
For instance, you need to consider the number of attendees per meeting, the collaboration level, as well as the length of your video convention.
Therefore, you should keep your needs close to you and make them your guideline while looking for the one that best suits your needs.