Best Web Conferencing Software
Scrutinizing the web for best web conferencing software to have a smooth conferencing experience? Access the list of top web conferencing tools with genuine reviews assembled by the research team of GoodFirms to assist you in selecting the best platform. These web conferencing systems cut-short your travel expenses by eliminating the need for being physically present for the meetings. In fact, the ease of connecting globally on audiovisual conference improves team collaboration with flexible support. Needless to say, productivity increases and so does customer relations. So, if you are in need of best web conferencing software that allows attending meetings on desktop and mobile on the go, just explore the list of the platforms below:
List of Best Web Conferencing Tools | Best Web Conferencing Software
- What is Web Conferencing?
- How Does Web Conferencing Work?
- Why is Web Conferencing important for businesses today?
- What is a Web Conference Software?
- Why must businesses invest in Web Conferencing Software?
- Types of Web Conferencing Software?
- Features of Web Conferencing Software?
- Advantages of Web Conferencing Software?
- What are the features to consider before purchasing a Web Conferencing software?
- What is the average price of Web Conferencing Software?
- How to Choose the right Web Conferencing Software for your Business?
- Why consider GoodFirms' list of top Web Conferencing Software?
Web conferencing is the process by which employees within organizations (or independent users) connect with one another in real-time using technological platforms and software that operate over the internet. Some software also uses audio-only content over the phone networks.
The software thus enables communication, collaboration, and completion tasks or projects efficiently. Individual users and employees use it on a one-to-one basis as well, when necessary.
Collectively, web conferencing solutions consist of a bouquet of digital communication facets such as video conferencing, screen sharing, VoIP calls, as well as document sharing, chat services, etc., to name a few.
Conferencing over the internet facilitates remote working. Employees use web conferencing to conduct a variety of duties such as business meetings, online training, presentations, troubleshooting problems with customers and employees, as well as online sales.
Web conferencing can be conducted by two methods - Through independent Software as a Service (SaaS) applications purchased and downloaded onto user desktops, or through internet hosting services which have the server space to conduct these meetings, conducted via web browsers.
Besides the hardware tools and software used by users to communicate, web conferencing requires hosts to check what time all the attendees are free and schedule the meetings or sessions accordingly. Post scheduling, the user is automatically assigned a virtual room or environment, wherein users can remotely enter using predefined login credentials, once they have permission to attend the meeting.
Once into the conference, users usually contain a raft of features such as screen presentations, and whiteboards (to note down important points), question and answer sessions on chat, and even passing control of important features among the attendees, if required.
Remote collaboration is highly valued in economies and industries around the globe. Using web conferencing systems, users can come together from different time-zones to help crystallize business strategies, efficiently.
Functions such as HR, IT support, and even finance can come together on a global platform to contribute solutions on a business level, all while functioning remotely. This increases the productivity and perspective of all departments from different regions. Support services for different functions may be provided online, as well.
Web Conferencing is handy for businesses when split-time decision making is required while considering a number of departments’ view-points within the firm.
It also helps businesses preserve budgets. Web conferencing tools help streamline business operations so that resource-starved companies can save on budgets, office space, and even on man-power, when expensive solutions such as travel could be deemed necessary. A sale, for example, can be closed without relocation by the personnel involved.
Web conferencing software is a digital tool that helps individuals communicate and collaborate over the internet. Web conferencing services are used by organizations and individuals to conduct meetings, publish podcasts, make presentations, host webinars, and so on.
These web conferencing platforms allow multi-casting of data - which includes text, pictures, video, and other formats - over separate geographic locations. The ambition is to ensure remote employees achieve optimum productivity working with teams, despite being situated remotely.
Web conferencing tools are downloadable onto devices as standalone applications, or are available as web-hosted internet connectivity applications. Technology has enabled web-telephony (VoIP), and regular mobile networks to host multiple users in audio-only meetings termed web conferences.
Web conferencing software consists of a suite of productivity tools that can enhance business continuity. Web Conferencing hardware necessities - like microphones and cameras - are usually built into most devices today, making the tool platform-independent. Skype, Zoom, and even Google Hangouts are popular Web conferencing solutions.
Businesses should consider investing in video conferencing software for the following reasons -
- Ease of use - Web conferencing tools are designed to be lightweight in storage and have a relatively simple user flow through the web conferencing app. In other words, most tools are just plug-and-play.
- Budgetary considerations - A halt to frequent travel for personnel, and a reduction in office space lease expenses are visible impacts of web conferencing software, thanks to the efficiency of web conferencing systems.
- Marketing Impact - Organizations can conduct Webinars, Podcasts, Learning Modules, interactive Question and Answer sessions to connect with a variety of audiences over the internet and market selective products and services to them.
- Employer Connect - Human Resources can connect with a majority of employees, all at one go. This helps them conduct employer branding activities seamlessly, while also moving several functions such as onboarding and offboarding to the virtual world.
- Competitive intelligence - With tools such as surveys and polls available to gauge user sentiments, organizations can use marketing activities to understand and implement much-needed features into the software. This allows companies to stay ahead of their competition.
- Innovative features - Much needed features to improve productivity and ease of usage are constantly introduced into web conferencing systems. This provides a massive boost for organizations.
Video conferencing systems can be classified into two different categories.
First, Software as a Service (SaaS) web conferencing apps are available for download from the Google Play Store, the Apple App Store, and the Microsoft store. Once downloaded, these applications require user sign-ups or log-ins. Once in, users can schedule meetings, or virtual calls with attendees from the same organization or distinct individuals.
The applications run on their own set of internet communication protocols to set up a secure, unified session management and easily manageable gateways. Examples of services include Skype.
Second, if dedicated applications do not fit organization needs, then organizations use web-based applications to host meetings. Hosts of meetings can log-in to the website and assign a specific time for attendees to join the call.
A fixed phone number and a numeric password, provided on prompt, will route the users to the virtual meeting room. This is usually an example of VoIP conference calls. Usually, information about the meeting is sent to the users via email or personal message. An example is freeconferencecall.com.
The features of video conferencing platforms are as follows -
- User Management - Only users with appropriate credentials can schedule meetings and/or join them. Log-ins required on dedicated user accounts, and codes generated to verify user identity before entering meetings on web conferencing systems.
- Chat and File Sharing - Most web conferencing systems have a dedicated chat counter, where users can share important information in writing. Document attachment and sharing features are also in-built to allow a multi-purpose perspective to the web conferencing tool.
- Screen Sharing - Web conference solution users can project the screen of their computer to all those attending the meeting and conduct presentations/demonstrations in the click of a finger.
- Recording - Users can record a call for reference purposes through the web conferencing services.
- Reporting - Information regarding meetings - attendees in the meeting, chats sent, documents shared, etc - should be available for the user to reference.
- Muting - Managers/Employees making important decisions should be able to mute others for the duration of the web conference for minimal disturbance. Similarly, users must also be able to mute themselves.
- Whiteboards - The web conferencing platform must have these components as part of chats to ensure
Some of the advantages of Web Conferencing Software are as follows -
- Secure and Reliable
- Real-time, clear and audible meetings on good internet quality
- Easy to install and use
- Minimal charges per user
- Effective Interdepartmental communication
- Budgetary savings from discontinuity in non-essential activities such as travel
- Valuable Business Intelligence
- Rapid Document Sharing
- Increase in work communication efficiency
- Additional features make conferences more engaging and participatory.
- Foster real-time collaboration
Some features are considered important for web conferencing software, while others are avoidable. The most important features a firm must consider before purchase of web conferencing tools are as follows -
- Interface - The web conferencing platform must be easy to install, and simple to use. Scheduling calls, accepting calls, and functionalities within calls, must be fluid and easy to navigate through.
- Reporting - User reports are considered important to improve the quality of conference calls. Besides, reports must also share data from other activities such as polls, surveys, etc.
- User Management - Only designated users, with valid log-ins or PINs, must be able to access calls, and use the full features of the platform on company accounts.
- Platform Independence - The software must be easily accessible on all platforms, be it mobile, desktop, or even tablets. Similarly, the software must be compatible with operating systems such as Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS, to name a few.
- Presentation and Screen Sharing - Conference participants must be allowed to share screens of their computers for presentation purposes. This enhances attendee participation on the call.
- Muting - Several times, background noises from caller environments disrupt the call quality. Audiences must be provided to mute themselves until they need to speak, or the host must be able to mute everyone who isn’t speaking.
- Language Support - The platform must support a variety of linguistic capabilities from multiple dialects.
- On-Demand web-casting - Organizations can use the web-casting feature to conduct important learning and development lessons along with Webinars, to employees as well as outsiders who may be interested in specific topics.
- Real-Time Chat - Chatting interfaces are provided so that users may share important information between each other, and the group when necessary.
- Video Conferencing - Besides audio, video conferences are important for users to share face-time with each other, make presentations and seminars, as well as create a platform of trust while working remotely.
- Recording and Playback - The web conferencing software must have a recording tool to store video/meeting details for later use. It should also come with playback capability to ensure the recorded video/audio has been captured to the best possible extent in terms of quality and length of content.
The price of a video conferencing service depends on the number of users that an organization intends to distribute access to.
A list of the Free and Open Source Web Conferencing Software has been published by GoodFirms, for those firms interested. The software mentioned in the list have a rich set of functionalities, which are already in effect at organizations around the world.
UberConference, Proficonf, and Zoom are popular software tools that employ a freemium model of pricing. They have a base free version, which allows users to make free calls for a predetermined time-limit. The call is halted if the user exceeds this limit. Premium versions of these software ranges between $12 and $25 per user per month.
Video conferencing tools such as Zoho Showtime and Bluejeans are charged on a per-user basis for all their solution sets. The range varies between $9 (Starter), $16 (Business Standard), and $30 (Enterprise) per user per month.
Web Video is a platform that offers a one-time purchase rate. Plans begin at $3995 without using their hosting service, and $4995 for an all-inclusive lifetime purchase. ElectroMeet is a video conferencing platform that licenses its product on a yearly plan for a specified limit of users.
The Silver and Gold licenses, each accommodating up to 120 users, are priced at $4000 and $9000 annually.
You can choose the right web conferencing software for your organization by considering a few important factors.
- Users/Hosts - The organization will need to estimate the percentage of the workforce who will have access to specific versions, and types, of the web conferencing systems.
- Software type - Web conferencing software are available as standalone applications or can be accessed over a web browser on the internet. Some solutions offer video telephony conferencing, while others are limited to VoIP. Softwares have a mixture of both functionalities. An organization’s purchase decision must depend on the type of software it wishes to employ.
- Budget - Once the users have been estimated, an approximate budget may be allocated to the purchase of video conferencing solutions. The budget will depend on the plan(s) of various web conferencing software the organization wishes to deploy, and its per-user rate. Budgets are also calculated on whether an organization will purchase a Software as a Service (Saas) provider, like Zoom, or if they choose a web-hosting VoIP conference call provider, like freeconferencecall.com.
- Features - Most organizations prefer a rich feature set within the web conferencing apps that boost productivity. Whiteboards, screen sharing and chat functionality, etc., are essentials within web conferencing software today. Unlimited virtual conference rooms, a software capability on the web conferencing service vendor side is also considered a must-have addition, to prevent limited call capabilities.
- Security - Data security will also be a top-most priority for most organizations in the purchase window. User chats, via video or text, must be encrypted.
- Trials/Demo versions - organizations must be allowed to test/trial run their software choices before investing in the web conferencing software.
Goodfirms’ exhaustive and concise list of web conferencing software will enhance the understanding of prospective buyers, who can then contrast, compare, and select their choice.
The Buyer’s Guide offers a clear presentation of the features, advantages, and costs associated with web conferencing platforms. Be it Free and Open-source web conferencing software, or freemium and premium versions, GoodFirms has you covered with information on the same.
Not just considering free video conferencing software? Goodfirms’ software directory enlists information on various kinds of multi-disciplinary software.