If you need to work from home or another remote location, video conferencing can help you talk with other people face-to-face, although it is via a screen. With the development of the internet, there are plenty of free video conferencing apps you can use to achieve this.
1) Google Hangouts
You can choose Google Hangouts as long as you have a Google account. For free Gmail and G Suite Basic customers, the app allows for up to 10 people to chat in a video call. But due to the coronavirus crisis, some restrictions have been relaxed for all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers, regardless of tier. Customers can hold video conferences with 250 participants at the most through to July 1, 2020.
The app also supports simultaneous voice chat and allows participants to join a conference via email or a shareable link. All G Suite customers are able to stream video to up to 100,000 viewers within a domain, and record and save meetings directly to Google Drive.
Google Hangouts support most web browsers, or via the Google Hangouts apps for iPhone and Android.
2) Google Meet
Google Meet was created for enterprise customers and is an upgraded version of Google Hangouts. The app is designed around scheduled video meetings among team members. It has similar features to Zoom, including calendar syncing, conference room booking, and a more polished user interface.
Skype is a popular VoIP app worldwide. It’s suitable for video conferencing for small teams of up to 50 people (including the host), for free. But each participant will need to sign up and download Skype in some capacity, whether it’s an app for desktop or mobile.
Via Skype, any member of the call can trigger a useful cloud-based call recording. The app also allows users to save and share the recording for up to 30 days.
4) CISCO Webex Meetings
Webex is CISCO’s web conferencing solution, and for those looking for a barebones video conferencing solution, it comes with a free option.
Via Webex, you can host up to 100 participants in a single call without time limit. It also has no limits on the number of calls you can place, and offers you 1 GB of cloud storage with your free account. During conferences, it supports screen sharing, video recording, and file sharing.
Via Webex, people in as many as 52 countries can use a standard telephone to join any conference. Participants who want to use their webcams can choose websites, dedicated desktop apps, or mobile apps for iPhone and Android (complete with their own screen sharing features).
5) Zoom Meetings
Zoom is a full video conferencing suite for users in enterprises. It offers its users a free option. If you have a free account, you can host video conferences for up to 100 participants, but there are some restrictions, including a limit of 40 minutes for conferences of 3 members or more. As the number of meetings you can host has no limit, just host a new call once you’ve hit the limit. But if you want to remove these restrictions, you can upgrade to a paid plan.
Participants can join a conference via the web, dedicated apps, browser extensions, and mobile devices using iPhone and Android apps.
GoToMeeting is featured with instant meetings or meeting scheduling, meeting transcription services, and in-app meeting messaging between participants.
The minimum price to use GoToMeeting is $14/month for groups of up to 10 meeting participants, and is $29/month for larger groups of 150 participants.
FreeConference is a premium service with a decent free option that might be useful in some instances. For video conferencing, the app only supports up to 5 participants on the free tier.
But FreeConference supports up to 1000 audio participants to call in via telephone. It also takes a software-free approach to video calling, and allows most users to connect with just a browser.
FreeConference also offers mobile apps for iPhone and Android, which are open to free users. But you can only record your call after you upgrade to a premium package.
With a fantastic feature set, Jitsi is completely free and open. You can either use the hosted version of Jitsi at meet.jit.si, or download and host your own video conferencing solution for total flexibility.
The service has an unlimited number of participants. It supports phone-in audio participants in both the hosted and self-hosted versions. It also supports screen sharing and you can also download mobile apps for iPhone and Android.
If you intend to record your Jitsi conference, just stream to YouTube and then pass the link around (private or unlisted) or simply download the file for safekeeping.
BigBlueButton was created specifically for education and online learning. It features whiteboard capability for meeting productivity.
It is a free open source tool and has many add-ons and integrations through third-party developers that allow for customized web conferencing experiences.
BlueJeans is a web conferencing app with various features. It integrates with collaboration tools. With a simple and modern approach, Bluejeans uses a system of meetings, rooms and events to enable video meetings anywhere.
The app does not require any software with the ability to launch meetings from a browser. Using the app, you can view all video conference activity easily in your organization. The price starts at $16.65/month/host for enterprise teams.
Slack has integrated video conferencing features. It is a quite popular collaboration tool used in organizations worldwide. If your organization is not using Slack, probably it doesn’t make much sense to adopt it for video conferencing.
Video conferencing is like an addition to the functionality of Slack and can be a great tool for integrating hybrid teams. For free account offerings, Slack offers one-on-one video chat, but for larger meetings, it is necessary to have the customized enterprise pricing.
Appear.in is ideal for small organizations to connect team members in a simple method. It features a fast service due to its streamlined nature. It has anonymous features, which might not be important to enterprises, but are noteworthy nonetheless. Appear.in starts free, but teams who have up to 150 users have to pay $99.99/month.