Video conferencing tools - The most important points in brief:
Sitting in the office five days a week? Those times are over, at the latest since Corona. Even after the pandemic, many employers still offer their employees the opportunity to work from home on multiple days or even full-time. Thanks to the assistance of professional video conferencing tools, effective collaboration with colleagues is possible from home and even while traveling.
Which tool is most suitable for your company? We compare the best providers for you.
Video conferencing tools are software applications that enable audio and video calls, screen sharing, file sending and receiving, using chats, and much more over the internet. To conduct professional video conferences, the tools should have the following features:
The audio and video quality of the calls should be clear and free of disruptions to ensure effective communication. The tools should also have good bandwidth adaptation to accommodate different network conditions.
The video conferencing tools should offer an intuitive and user-friendly interface that makes it easy to start, join, and manage calls. The tools must also be compatible with various devices and operating systems, allowing for easy installation and updates.
User data must be protected, and confidential conversations ensured through encrypted connections, password protection, moderation features, and other security measures. Applicable data privacy laws must be followed, and video conferencing tool providers must provide transparency regarding their data processing.
The tools should have additional features that enhance collaboration and interaction, such as virtual backgrounds, polls, voting, whiteboards, breakout rooms, recording, transcriptions, and more. The tools should also allow integration with other applications like email, calendars, cloud storage, office programs, and more.
Adobe Connect is designed for professional use and is particularly suitable for training, webinars, and meetings. The program primarily promotes customized experiences that users can create there. This allows users to not only design custom layouts but also create permanent rooms that can be accessed repeatedly. These rooms can be furnished with items such as PowerPoint decks, PDF documents, MP4 videos, music, and more, which remain in the rooms even after the session.
Features like breakout rooms, surveys, files, web links, and the like can be set up once and reused multiple times. Room templates can also serve as templates for new rooms. A virtual backstage area enables organizers and moderators to collaborate in the background and make adjustments even during an event.
You can find more information about the additional features HERE.
Due to the relatively high costs, which depend on the desired range of features, Adobe Connect is primarily suitable for large companies. However, it is also targeted towards educational institutions and government agencies. Adobe Connect can be tested for free.
Amazon also enters the market of video conferencing tool providers. With Amazon Chime, online meetings can be conducted in HD quality. Like other platforms, Chime supports screen sharing and meeting chats. Chime can be used on desktop and mobile devices. Through the management console, users, policies, and similar aspects can be managed.
In addition to meetings and chats, business calls are also possible. Up to 100 participants can join meetings. Data transfer, whiteboards, and screen sharing are also available, as well as the recording of meetings and conversations. Amazon Chime is known for its high user-friendliness.
The basic version of the tool is free. Prices are based on usage. Payment is only required for the days when specific features are utilized. This allows for a seamless transition between the free version and the paid Pro features.
You can find information about the pricing HERE.
Webex Meetings by Cisco is a popular video conferencing tool suitable for businesses of all sizes. It offers high audio and video quality as well as effective bandwidth adaptation. It also features numerous functions such as screen sharing, chat, recording, transcription, virtual backgrounds, breakout rooms, automatic transcripts, and more.
Cisco Webex Meetings also allows integration with other Cisco products as well as third-party applications like Outlook, Google Calendar, Slack, and more. Depending on the selected package, meetings can accommodate between 100 and 1000 participants. Cloud recording of meetings is also available, with storage options ranging from 5GB to unlimited capacity for meetings.
In the free version, the meeting duration is limited to 40 minutes, although the number of meetings is not restricted. Depending on the chosen plan, features may include advanced noise cancellation, co-host permissions, a “secure lobby,” live polls, and more.
You can explore the various pricing plans HERE.
Google Meet was previously known as “Hangouts.” It is suitable for both individuals and businesses of all sizes.
Google primarily emphasizes the robust security measures of its video conferencing tool, which Google claims to use itself. Meet video conferences are encrypted during transmission, and security measures are continually updated. Individuals outside your company can only join the meeting with an invitation link or if approved by the organizer.
Google Meet offers high audio and video quality, along with effective bandwidth adaptation. Thanks to new AI enhancements, calls maintain excellent quality even in noisy environments.
Meet also features functions like screen sharing, chat, recording, transcription, virtual backgrounds, and more. It allows integration with other Google products like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, etc.
Companies can achieve live streams for up to 100,000 viewers using Meet. Video conferences can host up to 500 internal or external participants. Participating in Google Meet is simple through a web browser; no additional software is required. Phone dial-in is also possible.
In the free version, up to 100 people can participate in video conferences, but the conference duration is limited to 60 minutes.
You can find the pricing models for businesses HERE.
GoToMeeting is a highly popular platform for high-definition video conferencing. Depending on the pricing model, meetings can accommodate between 150 and 250 participants. The number of meetings and their duration is unlimited.
Of course, GoToMeeting offers features such as meeting chats, personal meeting rooms, group rooms, hand raising, screen sharing, custom backgrounds, and in more expensive plans, unlimited recordings, transcriptions, Smart Assistant, drawing tools, co-organizers, and the like.
Collaborative document work is also possible, with the moderator being able to grant this capability individually to each user. The mobile app also supports Siri voice commands. Additionally, there’s the option to integrate with other providers like Slack, Google Calendar, and more.
Phone dial-in is also available. You can find a more detailed overview of features and pricing HERE. GoToMeeting is also available in a free trial version.
Microsoft Teams is part of Office 365. As the name suggests, this tool is primarily designed for teamwork. It serves as a platform for meetings, chatting, calling, and collaboration. Documents, photos, videos, chat history, and meeting notes are accessible at any time within Teams. Additional apps can be integrated into the software, including most Office applications.
Up to 300 participants can join a video call, and online events can accommodate up to 10,000 participants. Meetings can be recorded and shared afterward. Chats can be used before, during, and after conferences. Live subtitles can be enabled during a video conference.
Teams offers virtual backgrounds, where you can choose from templates or upload your own favorite images. Of course, the background can also be softly blurred. Other common features are available as well, such as raising your hand, participant lists, and screen sharing.
Teams can collaborate in real-time on Office apps within the tool. Data is encrypted for security during storage and transmission.
Microsoft Teams is also available in a free version. In this version, video conferences are limited to 100 participants, and the meeting duration is capped at 60 minutes. Recordings of meetings are not available.
For pricing of the paid versions, you can refer to THIS link.
Skype is also part of Microsoft. It primarily targets individuals and small businesses. Accordingly, it resembles more of a personal messenger like WhatsApp or social media platforms, including features like Super Emoticons. Nevertheless, the tool is also suitable for small businesses.
Skype offers high video quality and effective bandwidth adaptation, similar to nearly every video conferencing tool nowadays. It also includes features like screen sharing, chat, recording, virtual backgrounds (users can even meet in virtual cafes), raising hands, and more.
Files can be easily dragged and dropped into the conversation window to share with other participants. Thanks to Skype Translator, real-time translations of chats, video, and voice calls are possible. Skype video or audio calls are free for up to 50 participants.
Even though Skype is part of Microsoft, it can be used on all browsers. Users who haven’t installed Skype can join via a browser using an invitation link.
With Skype, it’s also possible to make calls to mobile and landline numbers or send SMS messages from anywhere using Skype Credit.
You can find all the features of Skype HERE.
Zoom is one of the most well-known and popular video conferencing tools for individuals and businesses. It offers numerous features such as screen sharing, chat, recording, transcription, virtual backgrounds, breakout rooms, and more. It also allows integration with other applications like Outlook, Google Calendar, Slack, and others.
In the free version, up to 100 participants per meeting are possible, with a maximum duration of 40 minutes. There’s a team chat feature, and whiteboards are available in the basic mode. In the basic mode, you can edit up to three boards.
Depending on the paid plan (Pro, Business, Business Plus, and Enterprise), the participant limit can increase to up to 1000, and meetings could potentially last up to 30 hours. Meetings can be synchronized with your calendar, recorded, and the screens of multiple participants can be shared. Polls can be conducted within video conferences, and virtual backgrounds are also available.
In the Enterprise version, rooms and webinars are also possible. Whiteboards are unlimited here and come with advanced features. Zoom is also available as a mobile app.
You can find the exact prices and features of Zoom HERE.
Unfortunately, when it comes to data security, Zoom is less recommended compared to other providers. Just recently in March 2023, new and highly critical security vulnerabilities were reported. While these have since been addressed, businesses dealing with highly sensitive data might want to consider choosing a different provider, as Zoom has a history of encountering such security vulnerabilities repeatedly.
To identify the most fitting tool for your company, consider asking yourself the following questions:
Based on these inquiries, you can compare different video conferencing tools and choose the one that aligns best with your requirements.
Video conferencing offers an effective way to connect with people from various locations and time zones, exchange information, discuss projects, and collaborate. It enables you to allow your employees to work from home and broaden the scope of potential candidates for positions within your company to the entire world. Why miss out on great talents just because they don’t reside in close proximity to your company? Additionally, many business trips can be avoided through the use of video conferencing tools. Connect with your partner company in China, India, Australia, or any other place on the planet with a simple video call.