Last Updated on 2nd June 2020
The recent rise in working from home has seen a major increase in the need for reliable communication – mostly in the form of video conference calls. Whether you’re having meetings with suppliers and customers, or just want to check in with friends and colleagues, video calling apps are great! But with so many options available, it can be hard knowing which is the right one for you and your organisation. Here is a comparison of some of the video conferencing apps out there.
Zoom offers a reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems. The free version of Zoom supports 40 minute meetings with up to 100 participants, and offers unlimited one-to-one meetings.
Paid subscriptions start at £11.99 per month per host. You can adjust meeting times, and select multiple hosts. Up to 1,000 users can participate in a single Zoom video call, and 49 videos can appear on the screen at once. Seeing a lot of faces on a screen is a useful feature for large conference calls.
Zoom allows for screen sharing and collaboration, and you can record meetings and generate transcripts. You can integrate it with Outlook, Gmail and iCal for scheduling, starting and joining meetings.
If you use Zoom you’ll want to consider recent security issues, that have come to light since its rapid rise in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. There are concerns over privacy risks and hacking vulnerabilities, as well as Zoombombing (where uninvited attendees break into and disrupt meetings).
GoToMeeting has a number of features that will appeal to IT managers and business owners. Their HD video and screen-sharing ensures crystal-clear text and images, even on smaller screens for high quality meetings. Whether you schedule a one-time meeting or set up an always-open meeting room, participants can join over the internet or by dialling in over a traditional conference line.
GoToMeeting offers a 14 day free trial, after which you’ll have to choose a subscription – the cheapest plan is currently £9.50 per user per month.
Like Zoom, GoToMeeting will integrate nicely with other tools such as Office 365, G Suite, Salesforce, Zoho, and Slack.
If you primarily use G Suite, Google Hangouts is a great option for you. Primarily designed to use with Google Chrome, there are also mobile apps for iOS and Android. The features you get depend on your G suite version including number of participants. For example, on G suite basic you’re limited to 100, G suite business you get 150 and for G suite enterprise you can have 250 participants.
For live streaming you can host up to 100,000 audio members and you get the ability to save all meetings and they will be uploaded to the Google drive for this you’ll need G suite enterprise.
Google Hangouts doesn’t just involve video calling – it also offers the ability to chat. You can have individual or group conversations with your Google contacts. It runs directly through your browser, rather than from a desktop app.
Skype for Business has been a favourite conference calling for users for a number of years, but it’s being phased out in favour of Microsoft Teams. At ACUTEC we absolutely love Teams, and we’d recommend it to anyone.
Teams is perfect to use if you’re already using Microsoft 365 – in fact it comes included with the majority Microsoft 365 subscription packages. Teams offers all the calling, chat and meeting functionality as the others, but it offers so much more as well.
Teams syncs to the rest of your Microsoft 365 account, giving you access to all your favourite apps. You can create and edit all your files directly through Teams – in fact this blog post was edited as a Word document in Teams!
Most of the time, we use Teams for ad hoc calls to collaborate on a document rather than just for pre-arranged calls. If you’d like to learn more about Teams, be sure to check out all our other Teams articles and training documents.
Video conferencing from home has changed the way we work in 2020. If you’d like to find out more about setting up Teams for your organisation, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01675 469020.