5 Best Video Conferencing Software in 2021 – Both Free & Paid

Dec 9, 2020 | Tools | 0 comments

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The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way companies conduct business activities. Face-to-face interactions are now done virtually and not in offices or any other physical venues.

If you are running your business from home, you will need the best video conferencing software to communicate with your employees and clients. It will help you conduct meetings, collaborate with team members, educate yourself, and do client presentations from anywhere in the world.

With just a few clicks away, you can talk to each other in real-time and immediately take care of things that matter.

What is a video conferencing app?

A video conferencing app is a software for web conferencing that people use from anywhere in the world for live conferences. It can transmit video, audio, and text in real-time between users of the software. It supports collaboration and file sharing for two or more participants.

Your computer should have a web camera, headphone, and microphone installed to use the video conferencing platform. The more advanced software gives you the capability to real-time sharing, record meetings, and more.

Benefits of using web conferencing software

Web conferencing enables real-time collaboration between participants. You can see and hear each other over the web and perform these activities:

  • Stream videos
  • Slideshow presentations
  • Text chat
  • Share screen, file, or applications
  • Share a virtual whiteboard
  • Conduct webinars

Video conferencing offers many benefits that businesses can enjoy with or without the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. By conducting business activities through web conferencing, you can spread information to people while saving travel costs and time.

Remote work is the future. And you have to invest only in the best video conferencing software to manage your team or communicate with your clients. Though the best free video conferencing tools exist, the premium options have lots to offer growing businesses.

Best video conferencing platforms in 2021

Video conferencing tools are everywhere. But not all of them are suitable for your business. Thus, you only focus on the best video conferencing platforms and not waste time on those that can’t support your business.

To make selection easy for you, we have prepared a video conferencing comparison guide. Our list of the best video conferencing tools includes paid and free options so you can pick the right one for your business.

Let’s get started.

1. Zoom – best free video conferencing tool for small businesses

Zoom has become a household name for both personal and business use. It helps individuals connect with family and friends from all over the globe. Companies can hold virtual conferences with their teams who are working remotely from their homes using the advanced features of the platform.

Best Video Conferencing Software - Zoom

If you need to conduct video meetings with a large audience, Zoom allows a maximum of 1,000 video participants and 10,000 viewers. You can either record meetings in the cloud or find them using searchable transcripts.

Other notable features of Zoom include:

  • Built-in collaboration tools
  • Calendar integrations
  • Integrated chat
  • Mobile apps
  • Dual stream for dual screens
  • Full-screen views
  • Active speaker view
  • Private and group chat
  • Virtual whiteboard
  • Application and desktop specific sharing
  • Mouse and keyboard sharing
  • Screen sharing

Zoom has both the free version and the paid plans. The free-forever plan allows 40-minute group meetings to as many as 100 participants. The one-on-one meeting is unlimited, which is great if you’re an affiliate marketer, blogger, freelancer, or consultant who needs to talk to your client most of the time.

However, if you need to collaborate with a team, the features of the premium plan are better for you. The lowest plan costs $149.90 per year per license.

Try Zoom

 

2. Skype – best video conferencing software for one-on-one interactions

Skype has been around since 2003. And most people have already heard of or use the platform some time in their lives. Skype enables web conferencing and screen sharing for free. However, signing up and downloading the software is mandatory for you to use its features. It also requires to add the participants to the contact list to use video conferencing.

Best Video Conferencing Software - Skype

Skype was acquired by Microsoft in 2011 and has become a trusted communication tool for many businesses. Skype for business application enables hosting audio or video conferences for up to 250 participants. Other features include:

  • Instant messaging
  • Screen sharing
  • Unlimited meetings
  • Tight security
  • Integration with other Microsoft programs
  • Mobile apps

However, Microsoft has announced that Skype for business will end in 2021. So if you need a solution that supports team collaboration or multiple video conferencing, check out the other video conferencing apps on this guide instead.

The consumer version of Skype will remain operational for personal use or one-on-one interaction with co-workers and clients.

Skype is free to use. But if you make a lot of calls, you need to choose a subscription. Though free trials exist, they are only open to specific regions.

Try Skype

 

3. GoToMeeting – best video conferencing platform for remote meetings

A popular web conferencing service with a free plan option, GoToMeeting has the easiest methods of hosting audio conferences. It has screen-sharing capabilities available in both free and paid plans. Even beginners find it convenient to use GoToMeeting’s one-click solution.

Best Video Conferencing Software - GoToMeeting

You can start meetings using the browser or app version using a long list of features that meet the needs of business environments. Hosting of unlimited meetings is allowed and secured with end-to-end encryption.

All paid plans come with the following features:

  • HD video
  • Screen sharing
  • Web audio
  • Dial-in conference line
  • Unlimited meetings
  • No meeting time limits
  • Business messaging
  • Personal meeting room
  • Meeting Lock
  • Mobile apps
  • Commuter mode
  • Voice commands with Siri
  • 24/7 customer care
  • Single sign-on
  • Admin center
  • Active directory connector
  • Meeting diagnostic reports
  • Downloadable admin reports

Add-ons are available like a toll-free number and advanced webinar features. GoToMeeting integrates with Slack Meeting, Salesforce, and more.

However, the free option is limited. It only allows audio conferencing to as many as three conference call participants. The lowest plan is currently priced at $12 per organizer monthly and billed annually. You can test out the features of GoToMeeting firsthand by signing up for the 14-day free trial.

Try GoToMeeting

 

4. Cisco Webex – best virtual meeting platform for highly secured conferences

If you are looking for the most secure software for web conferencing, Webex by Cisco is what you need. One of the pioneers in web conferencing, it is designed for businesses with high security concerns. It has Transport Layer Security (TLS), encryption, single sign-on, firewall compatibility, secure scheduling options, and third-party accreditations.

Best Video Conferencing Software - Cisco Webex

Webex is exceptional as a web conferencing system for remote support, webinars, and online training. Depending on your plan, you can also add advanced functionalities when using the platform.

One of the best video conferencing tools with a free version, you can start using the Webex with limited features. You can always opt for additional features, storage, and support anytime you want. Price starts at $13.50 per month.

Webex’s advanced features depend on your plan. All plans have the following features:

  • HD video
  • Screen sharing
  • Unlimited meetings
  • Plan-based cloud recording and storage
  • Phone support

The free version allows only two participants to use the software. The paid plans can accommodate as many as 1,000 participants at the same time.

Try Cisco Webex

 

5. Microsoft Teams – best video conferencing app for large companies

Owned by the industry leader in the world of technology, Microsoft Teams lets you host a conference for 10,000 participants at once. It is an all-in-one solution for chat, audio, video, and team collaboration. Microsoft Teams supports the needs of small-to-medium enterprises and large organizations.

Best Video Conferencing Software - Microsoft Teams

Microsoft currently offers the two best video conferencing platforms that support multiple participants, Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. However, with the announced retirement of Skype for business in 2021, Microsoft Teams will be the sole video conferencing solution available for businesses.

Microsoft Teams is a powerful tool for seamless collaboration and efficiency. It has an interactive infrastructure and integrates with other Microsoft applications. You can directly launch video conferences from your chat with Microsoft Teams.

You have the option to start using Microsoft Teams for free or get Teams as part of Microsoft 365. Pricing starts at $5 per user per month with the choice for add-ons.

Microsoft Teams has the right plan for everyone. If you need to talk about projects with a client, the free plan can give you the capabilities you need for web conferencing. While an eCommerce or digital agency owner managing a team would find the paid plan features more suitable for collaboration and remote work set up.

To get firsthand information on Microsoft Teams, sign up for free on their website.

Try Microsoft Teams

 

Summary

Video conferencing tools have lots to offer businesses. Before you start hunting for software for web conferencing, you should define first its purpose for your business. Do you need it for online learning, webinars, or international meetings? Or as a means to collaborate with your team who are working remotely?

Although we have only the best video conferencing tools on our list, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. You can use this video conferencing comparison guide to find the best video conferencing software. Just bear in mind that the platform that offers the features that your business needs at a great price is the right one for you.

Free options are available. But the premium plans always have the best features. Don’t commit to a paid plan without trying out the tool first. Take advantage of free trials to experience firsthand how the video conferencing software works.

To avoid using the wrong tools in your business, browse our blog for other business tools and ideas for making money online. Still undecided on what online business to start? Our 4 Hour Agency course can help you keep earning money regardless of the pandemic. Check it out!

About Jeff Tay

About Jeff Tay

Jeff Tay is the founder of Freedomholic, a blog about making money online in order to achieve financial, time, and location freedom. He has more than 80,000 followers on social media, runs a digital marketing agency and trains people on how to start, grow, and scale a 6-figure agency.

The 4-Hour Agency

How I Started, Grew & Scaled a 6-Figure Agency

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