*Updated on April 1, 2020
During this period of time where remote working has become the new normal, video conferencing applications have become extremely important to stay connected. Video conferencing tools help businesses hold face to face meetings with people all over the world. With so many web conferencing options available, you may have a hard time deciding which one is the best for your organization. We have taken a look at a few of the most commonly used video conferencing apps for small businesses to see how they compare. Take a look below to see which platform we recommend.
Most people are familiar with Google Hangouts and over 1 billion people have a Gmail account worldwide. Google Hangouts is free to Gmail users, but you have to set up your hangout through your Gmail account. This means you either have to create a new email specifically for hosting a Google Hangout or share your personal email with business contacts.
Once you have created your Gmail account, you will be able to start a video call. You can invite anyone to your Google Hangout whether they have a Gmail account or not. The platform only lets you video chat with up to 10 people for free, but you can also instant message across multiple devices.
WebEx starts at $13.50 per host per month and goes up to the business plan at $26.95 per host per month. The business plan allows for up to 200 participants. Other features include screen sharing, the ability to join from any video system, and cloud recording and storage.
One of their best features is the ability to create a permanent, private meeting room link. WebEx does not integrate with other apps or other video conferencing platforms, but if you have the budget this platform is not a bad choice.
GoToMeeting provides many great features, but be prepared to pay for them. Their Professional package is $14 month per organizer for 150 participants, and the Business plan is $19 a month per organizer for up to 250 participants.
The Business plan includes audio, video, screen sharing, unlimited meetings with no time limits, and many great collaborative tools.
GoToMeeting is currently having a sale on their individual plans and you can try it for free for two weeks.
Skype and Microsoft Teams
Skype has several different plans to choose from and many people are already familiar with it. Their free plan is perfect for video chatting with friends and family or small businesses.
Skype’s largest plan is Skype for Business, which has now become Microsoft Teams. Teams is included with your Office365 Businesses Premium or Business Essentials subscription. It allows teams of 10 or as many as 10,000, to meet in one place on multiple types of devices. Microsoft Teams isn’t just for video conferencing. It also easily allows you to share files and instant messages with individuals or a group. It also allows you to host audio, video, and web conferences with anyone outside your organization or even hold live events.
Microsoft Teams is our pick for easy, internal communication at your fingertips.
The Zoom platform has packages ranging from free for individual users, to Enterprise level applications. They also have solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.
With the Basic free package, you can have up to 100 participants, and unlimited meetings. However, group meetings are limited to no more than 40 minutes. The Pro and Business packages ($14.99 – $19.99 a month per host) are great for small to medium-sized businesses. Hosting starts at 100 participants and can be increased if you need more. You can also record meetings and manage users. The meeting duration limit is 24 hours with this plan. Their most robust plan is the Enterprise package that starts at just $19.99 a month per host and includes 500 participants.
Zoom is one of the more user-friendly platforms. It allows for easy one-touch joining and group collaboration. One of the best advantages is the quality of video and sound.
The only real disadvantage we could find with this platform was that the free package limited the time of group meetings. When you compare the cost of the other platforms, Zoom gives you the most features and best quality for your buck.
When comparing the video conferencing apps for small businesses, you have to decide what features are important to you and your business. How often will you be making video conference calls and how many participants? If you want a user-friendly platform with great features at a low cost, we recommend Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
The opinions contained in this post are our own. We did not receive any compensation for recommending any of these products.