“You are on mute”. Holy 13 video conferencing solutions to use in 2021
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, most people do not head to the office, airports, or public spaces to possess an effective face-to-face meeting. Also, in line with Global Workplace Analytics, by the end of 2021, 25-30% of the workforce will be working some days of the week remotely.
As more employees work remotely, it should seem difficult to stay connected with your team. Fortunately, this can be made possible through virtual meeting platforms just by using a webcam, a microphone, and an internet connection.
Everyone from school kids to grandparents has learned the way to “unmute” themselves using video conferencing software as a tool of choice for meetings and classes.
In this article, I have selected and reviewed the best video conferencing software based on functionality, quality, pricing, and other factors. Let's figure out this video conferencing software list throughout this article.
Table of Contents
Video conferencing software tools let you:
- Schedule conference calls
- Organize online face-to-face meetings.
- Organize and manage webinars.
- Organize virtual events.
- Real-time collaboration and screen sharing with teammates.
Before I let you know my recommendations, let's see what you need to ask yourself in order to choose the one that fits best for you. After all, we do not all have the same needs, and what is the best for me maybe cannot be the best for you too.
What features do you consider to be must-haves vs. nice-to-haves?
Take the time to determine which features are essential and which are merely desirable. Screen sharing and digital annotations, for example, could be necessary, but automatic transcription may be pleasant but not necessary.
What is your financial situation?
Advanced features have a cost; therefore, you must compare your desired features against your budget. Many of the tools we are going to discuss here include limited free video conferencing offers but frequently lack more complicated features. This is when differentiating your "must-haves" and "nice-to-haves" comes into play once more.
Is it compatible with present technology?
Make a list of everything you might need for video communication, and then be sure that the solution you will select is compatible with your present hardware. Integration with other software components of your tech stack is also critical.
What level of technical knowledge is required?
The ease of use is critical. If you are a small business with outsourced IT, you are probably looking for a straightforward solution that does not necessitate a lot of backend knowledge. It is worth investigating how difficult a possible piece of software is to install and maintain.
Regardless of the solution, you are deciding on, you may need a reliable VPN to protect your privacy during the video calls.
- Microsoft Teams
- Zoho Meeting
- Cisco Webex
- Join. Me
- Google Meet
- Intermedia AnyMeeting
In this part, you can look at the 13 high-quality video conferencing tools that are currently available, both paid and free. I will provide you some of their most important features, and then you can choose based on your needs.
GoToMeeting is online software that allows you to hold face-to-face meetings while also sharing your desktop screen in real-time. You will be required to select one of the following paid plans after a 14-day free trial:
- Professional ($12 per month for up to 150 attendees)
- Business ($16 per month for up to 250 participants)
- Enterprise plan (can accommodate up to 3,000 users)
This solution can be integrated into Office 365, G Suite, Salesforce, Zoho, and Slack. Throughout the call, you can take notes in real-time, which are then stored in the conference transcript.
Because of security features like the SAML SSO login, you do not have to be concerned about your privacy or security.
- You can schedule, join, and manage all your meetings directly from your Google or Microsoft calendar with a single click.
- You can use their app (available for both Android and iOS devices) to attend or host meetings.
- Messaging, one-click meetings, and the ability to share automatic transcripts of recorded meetings make it one of the full-featured collaboration tools.
- Record and save your meeting to the cloud.
Zoom won its status in 2019 as one of the leaders in the video conferencing industry, although recent security and privacy concerns have damaged that reputation somewhat. Its conferencing software supports simple chat sessions that can be escalated into group calls, training sessions, and webinars or global meetings with up to 1,000 participants.
End-to-end encryption, role-based user security, easy-to-use screen sharing, and collaboration features are all available in Zoom sessions, which may be launched from a web browser or through specialized client apps for every desktop and mobile platform.
Integration with calendar programs like Outlook and Gmail makes it simple to sync and join meetings.
The free plan allows only unlimited 1:1 meetings but limits group sessions to 40 minutes and 100 people. Paid options start at $15 a month per host and include all the features available.
- You can use language interpreters for your meetings, conferences, and webinars.
- With Facebook Live and YouTube Live integration, you may stream your conferences on social media sites.
- Breakout Rooms feature allows you to divide your meeting into up to 50 segments.
BlueJeans was founded in 2009 and is based in California. Meetings can be held with BlueJeans video conferencing software from any device, laptop, or meeting room. They provide real-time intelligence, as well as transcripts and highlights to help you be more productive.
The browser-based experience is likewise straightforward to use. This means that you do not need to install any software in order to use BlueJeans. Integration with third-party apps and calendar tools like Slack increases collaboration, content sharing, whiteboarding, meeting transcription, and call recording.
For secure video conferencing, the cloud-based platform also includes firewall/NAT traversal and encryption.
After a free trial, BlueJeans requires one of three available subscriptions, which can be invoiced monthly or annually at a 20% discount:
- Standard plan ($12.49 per host/month - up to 50 attendees and 5 hours of meeting recordings)
- Pro plan (up to 75 guests and includes 25 hours of cloud recordings per host for $17.49 per host/month)
- Enterprise plan (up to 200 guests and unlimited cloud recordings and a variety of enterprise-focused features)
- Monitor your BlueJeans environment by monitoring network status, real-time information, and user-focused ROI.
- Hold interactive conferences by sharing any content or link while hosting or attending the conference.
- BlueJeans' dashboard offers insights into meeting performance, network conditions, and user-focused ROI.
Microsoft Teams is a feature of Microsoft 365 rather than a product. Anyone with a personal email address can sign up for the free version of Microsoft Teams (which supports up to 300 meeting participants and includes guest access, one-on-one and group video and audio calls, shared files, screen sharing, and document collaboration via online Office web apps).
Teams begin to deliver on its full potential as a video conferencing solution in a business that uses Microsoft 365 Business or Enterprise. Administrators in that environment have access to a comprehensive set of management, security, and compliance tools.
It enables you to communicate with conference attendees even after the meeting has ended. You can also modify your background or upload your own to make an impression on your client.
Another useful feature is the "raise your hand." It allows you to respectfully interrupt a meeting if you need to say something. You can also get the participant list from Microsoft Teams in order to follow up with your colleagues.
- Make your team virtually sit in the same shared background to give the impression that everyone is in the same room.
- It allows you to co-author files in real-time with your peers.
- Choose from over 600 apps to help teams stay connected, productive, and engaged.
Zoho Meeting is a web platform that allows you to hold online meetings from anywhere utilizing audio, video, remote control, and screen sharing in real-time.
It provides webinar, training, and online meeting capabilities, with options starting at $10 per host per month. This video conferencing system has a price tag that includes support for up to 100 participants as well as storage for 10 recorded meetings.
You can save your meetings to the cloud or download them to your computer. Not only that, but it allows you to share the meeting with all colleagues who were unable to attend.
It also allows you to control the screens of other participants, which might be useful for troubleshooting technical issues. In addition, Zoho Meeting adheres to all widely recognized security and privacy standards. They also encrypt voice, screen sharing, and video to ensure the security of your data.
- Use your phone to join meetings if your internet connection is down.
- Set up confidential meetings and invite only the people you want to attend. You are also notified when someone wants to join your conference.
- To convey essential messages or links, use the chat option available in all meeting sessions.
Cisco WebEx is a web-based video conferencing solution that allows you to attend meetings from any computer or mobile device with up to 1000 participants.
Furthermore, it gives you the option of connecting the audio via VoIP or dial-in number. Aside from sharing your screen, you may also share a whiteboard to visually brainstorm and interact. It has encryption, TLS 1.2 support, meeting locking, and other features to assure complete data privacy.
Integration with Outlook, Office 365, and Google calendars, also makes it easier to host, join, and organize meetings.
- During the conference, the voice-activated digital assistant takes notes on all the key points, records all the facts in real-time, and sends out post-meeting summary emails.
- It makes it very easy to extract personal profiles of participants
- It offers personalized video layouts to assist you in optimizing your video conference screen.
Join.me is a web conferencing application that allows one-on-one virtual meetings. It allows you to generate and share personalized video conferencing links based on the subject or your branding requirements.
You may also change your background with custom images or your organization's logo. If you want to share your screen, simply click the "broadcast" button to begin sharing your screen.
With its iOS and Android apps, you may also attend conferences or meetings on the road. Its mobile whiteboard for iPhone and iPad allows you to collaborate from any location.
- You can delegate the presenter position and the ability to share the screen to anyone in the video conference.
- Allow your entire team to highlight, mark up, and use laser pointers to highlight the meeting's contents.
- Collaborate using natural sketching, icons, and unlimited canvas, lines, forms, display modes, and more on the interactive whiteboard.
Google Meet is a video-communication service that comes as part of Google's G Suite. Encryption, built-in protection, and a slew of anti-abuse features organizing safe conferences easier.
Furthermore, it is best suited for small organizations because it only supports a maximum of 250 guests in a single meeting. You can, however, join the conference directly from your browser by using Google Meet.
You can also participate in events by using a Calendar event, an email invitation, or directly from Gmail. You can also invite people to the meeting by creating and sharing a unique URL, phone number, and meeting pin.
- Google Meet allows any participant to enable real-time captioning.
- It has several screen layouts available. Its tiled style allows you to observe up to 16 people at the same time.
- It removes background noise and other unpleasant sounds to generate crystal clear audio.
RingCentral is a cloud-based platform that lets you chat, hold video meetings, and make phone calls at the same place. As a result, it is far more powerful than a standard video conferencing software platform.
It allows you to host HD video conferences with up to 100 people from around the world at the same time. Furthermore, you may hold meetings on mobile devices or desktop computers and share your screen with others with a single click.
In addition to video conferencing, it enables you to organize audio conferences with up to 1,000 participants from anywhere in the world. With RingCentral's drag-and-drop functionality, you can share your work, pin essential documents, and share files directly from apps like Google Drive.
Its built-in team-management skills help you assign work, update stakeholders, and move your projects forward. Another useful tool is detailed analytics. It tracks parameters such as the quality-of-service report, the meeting dashboard, the number of missed calls, the number of refused calls, and the average response time.
RingCentral can also be integrated with hundreds of apps, including Google Drive, Box, and calendar tools like G Suite and Office 365.
- With one-click meetings, RingCentral allows you to connect with a global team remotely. A video meeting can also be started directly from a message thread.
- It also allows you to hold webinars and offers conference add-ons such as large meeting rooms.
- Files can be shared from local storage or directly from Dropbox and Google Drive.
If your company has a subscription workspace that leverages Slack's collaboration features, you already have access to a few limited video-calling alternatives that may be sufficient for basic meetings and team collaboration needs. Just keep in mind that video calls are only available on desktop platforms (Mac, Windows, and Linux); the iOS and Android apps only support audio calls.
The Slack app is required for the full range of screen-sharing functionality, including the ability to broadcast presentations and draw on a shared screen. You can view a teammate's screen using Google Chrome (the only supported browser), but you can't start a screen share.
- Advanced search modifiers
- Using shared channels across workspaces
- Streamlining your sidebar
By the time the company was acquired by Intermedia in 2017, its video conferencing software had grown to more than 1 million users. AnyMeeting is accessible as part of Intermedia Unite, a platform that combines video conferencing, chat, and screen sharing into a single service based on the cloud.
The video conferencing software capabilities are generally the same across all plans, with the flexibility to create unique conference URLs, schedule recurring meetings, and interface with productivity apps such as Google, Microsoft, Slack, and others.
Standard features include HIPAA compliance and end-to-end encryption.
- Integration with Outlook, Teams, Slack, etc.
- The ability to change the background of video calls
- End-to-end encrypted communications.
- Meetings can be organized promptly, even from a mobile device.
ClickMeeting is a video conferencing solution and web conferencing software that allows you to connect with up to 20,000 people at the same time. Large virtual events can be held with your personalized brandings, such as colors, logs, and other user-facing components.
To avoid confusion, you can also allow other users to log in to ClickMeeting using their credentials. It also allows you to generate highly personalized invites to make a stronger impression on your consumers or clients. In addition, if your audience arrives early for the meeting, they can wait in the waiting area and go through the agenda.
- It allows you to simultaneously stream your feed on Facebook and YouTube to broaden your audience.
- For greater effect, combine the presentation's material with your voice.
- Gather audience opinions, feedback, and insights to make data-driven decisions.
Lifesize offers a variety of collaboration options, such as 4K video conferencing, cloud conferencing, digital whiteboards, and so on. It enables you to organize large-scale conferences with 500 attendees and share content in 4K resolution over the cloud.
Furthermore, you can broadcast your events to up to 10,000 users at the same time. You can also utilize it as a plug-and-play solution with Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Cisco, Polycom, and other systems.
It also provides unlimited audio calling in 60 countries for both guests and users, in addition to video conferencing.
- You may share your 4K resolution screen with all users.
- From a centralized and web-based dashboard, manage your account data, users, room systems, and meetings.
- To ensure secure communication, all video conference conversations and recordings are encrypted by default.
After a year of empty offices, most organizations have recognized that work from home and online meetings can be quite productive, and they are likely to expect far more from these technologies than the minimum feature set that might have sufficed in pre-pandemic times.
The criteria we used to narrow down the list of video conferencing tools in this guide are the same criteria we recommend you consider when looking for one of these services. Consider this list as a starting point for organizing your search on how to choose the one that fits best for you.