Web and Video Conferencing Software
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Web and Video Conferencing Software TrustMap
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What is Web Conferencing Software?Web conferencing software allows participants to conduct or attend meetings via the internet. This is also known as online meeting software or sometimes simply video conferencing itself. It enables remote meetings based on VoIP, online video, instant messaging, file sharing, and screen sharing.
Web and video conferencing tools have become fundamental to how many organizations conduct business. The software enables remote employees, customers, and partners to connect easily and often. Specific uses for web conferencing software include:
- Presentations or webinars
- Conference calls
- Video meetings with multiple participants
- Running product demos and training
- 1-on-1 meetings with remote employees
- Face-to-face customer support
- Enhanced communications
- Reduced travel costs
- Increased efficiency
Web and Video Conferencing Features & Capabilities
Audio and video quality
Other features include:
- Slideshow presentations
- Meeting scheduling and recording
- Live chatting
- Audience interaction features
- File sharing
Web and Video Conferencing Software Comparison
To compare different web and video conferencing solutions, consider these factors for each product offering:
High-Quality Audio & Video
Audio and video quality is of the utmost importance to web conferencing software. Users want to feel like they’re having authentic face-to-face conversations with other participants, and quality video is a major component of that. Beyond the quality of your webcam or microphone, the software itself can feature tools that enhance the overall quality of your experience such as noise cancellation, auto-mute for non-speaking participants, and settings adjustments for users with low bandwidth.
Screen sharing allows users to display their screen with other meeting participants. As online meetings become more collaborative, this is a must-have feature for most buyers. Screen sharing must not only be high quality, but easy to toggle on and off as well. The option of having multiple participants sharing their screen at once is also gaining steam, but not every tool on the market offers this feature. If this is important to your team, be sure to confirm that your preferred tool has this feature before subscribing.
People lead busy lives, so web conferencing software has evolved to keep up with the ever-changing ways in which employees engage with their work. Users want to be able to quickly and easily dial-in to meetings not only from their desktop computers, but from laptops, mobile phones, and tablets. Having web conference software with sophisticated mobile application features are a must for many companies. Additionally, for ease-of-use, mobile versions of web conferencing software should compliment the desktop versions and be as congruent as possible to ease implementation and access to meetings for guest users.
Ease of use is essential for online meetings to run without a hitch. Participants need to be able to easily—and quickly—join meetings whether they’re in an office or on the go. Not only that, but for hosts, setting up meetings and managing them must be a simple process as well. A well-designed user interface is key because it facilitates collaboration between participants and ensures that they are engaged. No one wants to spend several minutes figuring out where the “mute” button is or awkwardly fumbling to hang up a call.
Chat is now ubiquitous, from text messaging to private messages across social media platforms. Web conference participants also want to be able to communicate via text during online meetings. In-meeting chat features are designed not only for note-taking, but for quietly conveying information to the host and other participants without interrupting the flow of the meeting, especially during Q&A sessions. Chat features also allow participants to communicate before and after the meeting, and act as an additional means of collaboration.
The reality of online meetings is that not everyone can always participate. This is where meeting recordings come in handy. Ideally, users would have access to unlimited recording, but many web conferencing tools limit the amount of meetings than can be recorded and stored based on file size. Some vendors may limit the number of minutes in a meeting that can be recorded, or limit the available editing features. When searching for web conferencing software, buyers should be mindful of just how often they’d like to record meetings, and if they will need to make extensive edits.
Web Conferencing vs. Video Conferencing
This line between web conferencing software and video conferencing software is blurring. Web conferencing no longer refers just to calls with a single presenter. The term now includes group discussions, 1:1 meetings, and video calls. Most online meeting vendors offer both traditional web conferencing features (e.g., screen sharing, presentations to large groups, meeting moderation) and traditional video conferencing features (e.g., two-way video and audio). The meaning of "video conferencing" has also expanded so that now one can use web conferencing and video conferencing fairly interchangeably and research the same software.
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Free Web and Video Conferencing Software
Free web conferencing software (and free tiers of paid products) may have some limitations. This includes lower video/audio quality, fewer features, and restrictions on the size of meetings, for example. Paid products typically have more features and better performance and security compared to free web conferencing software. But they can be cost-prohibitive for smaller companies, especially if online meetings are only needed now and then by a few individuals.
Paid Web and Video Conferencing Software
Zoom is a unified communications platform primarily known for its use as a web conferencing tool. It features HD video and audio, collaboration tools, chat functionality, and an enterprise cloud phone system.
ConnectWise Control is a remote support, access, and meeting solution. With ConnectWise Control, users can utilize remote support and access to repair computers, provide updates, and manage machines. Users can also conduct online seminars and presentations using remote meetings.
The BlueJeans Meetings platform aims to bring video, audio and web conferencing together with the collaboration tools people use every day. It is a cloud service that connects desktops, mobile devices and room systems in one video meeting. According to the vendor, BlueJeans makes…
Webex Meetings is a video conferencing platform with built-in AI and machine learning capabilities to eliminate tasks from users’ plates. It supports team meetings, webinars, online training, real-time technical support, and conference calling.
TeamViewer provides software for both remote management and online collaborations. With TeamViewer, users have access to fully integrated online conference solutions for audio and video communication, including interactive screen sharing and remote access features.
From LogMeIn, GoToMeeting is an online meeting, desktop sharing, and video conferencing software that enables users to connect via the internet. It hosts a suite of online meeting tools, including real-time screen sharing and integrated audio.
Skype for Business was an online messaging and conferencing tool, now superseded by Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams combines video conferencing software with team collaboration tools. The communications platform allows MS Office users to conduct conference calls and share files via SharePoint, and join or initiate a group chat.
Lifesize is a web conferencing platform focused on making video conferencing systems and video conferencing apps work well together, while still being easy-to-use. Their platform incorporates web conferencing software with meeting room devices and wireless screen sharing.
Webex App brings together Calling, Meeting and Messaging modes of collaboration in order to create a seamless, engaging, inclusive and intelligent experience.Seamless collaboration across devices, locations and organizations· Use any computer, tablet, phone, browser or Cisco…
Skype (the personal edition) is a free web meeting, video conferencing, and VoIP software. The free version includes audio and video Skype-to-Skype calls, ability to call mobile phones and landlines, paid international calling, and conference calling capabilities for up to 25 people.…
Fuze is a cloud-based unified communications platform that includes IP PBX voice service, video conferencing, and collaboration tools such as content sharing and instant messaging capabilities. It also integrates with a wide range of popular CTI, CRM, and click-to-call solutions.
The classic version of Google Hangouts is a communication platform that includes messaging, voice, VoIP, and video call capabilities. It was part of Google’s G Suite offering and integrated with applications such as Gmail and Google+. Users of the classic version of Hangouts will…
Join.me from LogMeIn is an audio, video, and web conferencing tool targeted at SMBs. Its software can be used across various devices and includes features such as one-click scheduling, personal links, interactive whiteboards, and presenter swapping.
Adobe Connect is a web conferencing platform that enables users to create presentations, online training materials, and learning modules. The product is entirely Adobe Flash-based and has several add-ons for customizing its software to suit each users’ unique needs.
UberConference is a web conferencing platform with document management capability that integrates with third-party applications such as Google Drive, LinkedIn, Evernote, and Dropbox. It includes features such as screen sharing, call controls, call recording, and a mobile application.…
From PGi, GlobalMeet is a web-based video conferencing platform. It hosts a cloud PBX system and offers capabilities for incorporating team collaboration into video meetings.
Google Meet, formerly Hangouts Meet, replaces the former Google Hangouts as the company's G Suite integrated web conferencing tool, allowing users to join meetings directly from a Calendar event or email invite from a computer, phone, or conference room. G Suite's Enterprise edition…
Blackboard Collaborate is an online, collaborative learning platform well-suited for the education industry and corporate learning needs. It includes features such as screen and application sharing, web conferencing, and integration with Blackboard Learn.
Amazon Chime is a communications service from Amazon Web Services with a built-in VoIP solution. Amazon Chime can be used for online meetings, video conferencing, and business calling, and features pay-as-you-go pricing.
Highfive is an integrated hardware and cloud-based software product for room-based video conferencing, wireless projection, and web conferencing. Highfive does not require any downloads, PIN codes, or passwords to use and features unlimited meetings and minutes.
RingCentral Meetings is a web conferencing and webinar application supporting 100 active participants, screen sharing with integration with file sharing applications (e.g. Box, Dropbox, etc.), and integration with RingCentral Glip messaging.
Norwegian company appear.in offers their flagship video conferencing platform to small teams, both in a free edition hosting up to 4 guests simultaneously in a session or a paid edition that supports up to 12 simultaneous meeting guests, among other features.
From PGi, ReadyTalk is a web conferencing solution that has been discontinued. PGi's new web conferencing solution is called GlobalMeet Collaboration.
Frequently Asked Questions
A recent TrustRadius survey of 180+ web conferencing users found that these are the top 5 features to keep in mind when looking for a new web and video conferencing platform:
- Screen Sharing
- Multi-Device Support
- Easy-to-Use Interface
- Meeting Recording