Due to the recent spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), more and more businesses are encouraging their staff to work from home. This can be a real challenge for small businesses, particularly those whose operations rely on face to face communication and collaboration. This is why we’ve decided to compile a list of the Top 14 video conferencing systems that can help your business to run smoothly and efficiently with minimal impact on productivity levels.
In this teleconferencing service comparison we round up 14 of the best web conferencing systems comparing pros and cons of each and looking into factors such as the price, maximum number of participants and ability to record.
Which video conferencing system is best?
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular video conferencing software available, describing each system based on the least costly package they offer.
|Starting Price (for video)||No. of participants for video||Record video (basic package)||Pros||Cons|
|Google Hangouts||Free||Up to 25||Yes||Ability to separate chats, Works on various platforms, User friendly||Video quality not as high as other products|
|Circuit||£2.95 a Month||Up to 6||No||Clarity of audio, Works on various platforms,||Layout looks cluttered|
|Zoom||Free||Up to 100||No||Reliable, High Definition, User friendly||Maximum group meeting time 40 minutes|
|Cisco Webex Meetings||Free||Up to 100||Yes||Ability to record, Good customer support||Limited recording space|
|Go To Meeting||£9.50 a Month||Up to 150||No||Connects with calendar, User friendly||Admin permission required to start conference|
|Microsoft Teams||Free||Unlimited||No||Ability to share documentation, Allows guest access||User Interface could be better organised|
|Join.me||£13 a Month||Up to 250||Yes||User friendly, Ability to record, Allows screen sharing||Subscription is costly|
|EzTalks||Free||Up to 100||Yes||Ability to record, User friendly, Works on various platforms,||Maximum group meeting time 40 minutes|
|Blue Jeans||£10.83a Month||Up to 50||No||Works on various platforms, User friendly, High Definition||Subscription is costly|
|Whereby||Free||Up to 4||Yes||Ability to record, High Definition, User friendly||No calendar integration|
|Zoho Meeting||£6.30 a Month||Up to 100||Yes||User friendly, Ability to record, Works on various platforms,||Can be confusing, Customer support could be improved|
|Lifesize||Free||Up to 25||No||Added security using pin code, Works on various platforms||Only 6 months free|
|GlobalMeet Collaboration||Free||Up to 125||Yes||Ability to record and share screen, User friendly||Customer service – sometimes difficult to contact|
|Blizz||Free||Up to 5||Yes||Good security features, Ability to record, Works on various platforms||Slight audio delay from time to time|
Google Hangouts offers a free package that allows up to 25 participants per call. This can be really useful for microbusinesses and small businesses who want to keep costs low and don’t require space for a large number of participants. Hangouts also provide the ability to record, meaning that you’re able to go back after a meeting and listen again to what was discussed.
Reviews of this video conferencing software describe the platform as being easy to use and available on a range of devices. It’s most attractive feature seems to be the ability to separate chats with the same group for different topics. However, it has been noted that the video quality is not as clear as observed in other platforms.
The least expensive option from Circuit comes in at a monthly cost of £2.95. This package allows for group calls of up to 6 participants at a time and does not allow for recording.
Users comment that the layout does often look rather cluttered, however the Circuit conferencing system is compatible with a wide variety of devices, making it suitable for work on-the-go. The software’s audio system is of good quality, proving extremely useful during important video conferences.
Zoom is one of the more widely used video conferencing software, with Free packages available that host calls of up to 100 people. Unfortunately there is no recording feature on the free version of this software, however it is known to be a very reliable option for video conferencing.
Users describe the platform as being easy to use and high in quality, particularly with regards to video definition. Although, the free version of Zoom only allows for a maximum group meeting time of 40 minutes, which may be rather restrictive for some companies.
Cisco Webex Meetings
Cisco Webex Meetings also has a Free version that allows for up to 100 participants. However, unlike Zoom it also offers a recording feature, which can come in really useful if you know that a lot of information will be given in a meeting or presentation that you would like to be able to go back to afterwards.
Reviews do however mention that there is a limited amount of recording space available on this software, which could be problematic. On the other hand, users also say that Cisco Webex Meetings is extremely handy for working from home and the customer support team are extremely helpful.
Go To Meeting
Go To Meeting is another useful platform for hosting and attending meetings or conferences online, with packages that range from £9.50 a month. On this version, you can call up to 150 participants at a time, however the software does not allow you to record calls.
Some useful features include Go To Meeting’s ability to connect with your calendar, helping you to stay organised and on track with events. It’s also really user friendly, making it ideal for any business. Although there are some limitations to this video conferencing software, such as the high cost and the inability to start a meeting without admin permission.
Microsoft Teams is another great collaborative platform for chat, video and voice calling features. A range of packages are available starting with a free version which allows you to chat with an unlimited number of participants.
This video conference system is ideal for large organisations, as it allows for an unlimited number of participants, the ability to share documentation and guest access. However, reviewers have noted that the Microsoft Teams interface could be a little more user friendly, which would improve overall experience with the software.
This web-based collaboration software is perfect for online meetings as it allows for up to 250 participants and allows for screen sharing and recording. However, it comes with a rather hefty price tag, with prices starting from £13 a month.
The system has been described as being user-friendly, with easy to navigate features, settings and a good range of functionality. However, it is one of the most expensive products in this comparison, and doesn’t allow for as many participants as other platforms.
EzTalks have a range of packages starting from their free version which enables you to meet with up to 100 participants. This teleconferencing software also allows you to record calls, even on the free version.
Users comment that the EzTalks software is easy to use, and compatible on a wide variety of devices, making it convenient for those who work away, on the move or at home. However, users have also commented on limitations of meeting times, as the free version only allows you to participate in meetings up to 40 minutes in length.
Blue Jeans is another useful video conferencing software for working from home, or different locations to colleagues. It allows you to have meetings with up to 50 participants, however does not allow for recording. The cost of a Blue Jeans subscription starts at £10.83 a month, however you can meet for as long as you want unlike EzTalks.
Although subscription is costly, Blue Jeans is compatible with various devices, user friendly and boasts high definition video and audio web conferencing.
Whereby has a free version where you can hold online meetings with up to 4 participants. This software allows for recording which is extremely useful during important meetings or at times where note-taking isn’t practical.
Users of Whereby comment on its user-friendly interface and high quality visual and audio. One negative observation is that the system does not offer calendar integration features, which are found in other video conferencing systems.
The pricing of Zoho Meeting starts at £6.30 a month and allows for up to 100 users to join a call at once, making it ideal for smaller firms and organisations. Recording is available on Zoho meeting’s standard package for up to 10 recordings.
Reviews of the platform commend its compatibility with other devices, the recording feature and ease of use. However, some users have had issues accessing customer support.
Lifesize offers a free version of their online video conferencing system which enables you to engage with up to 25 participants which can be useful for small companies.
Reviews of the system comment on both pros and cons, describing the software as highly secure (given that you need a code to access certain chats) and compatible with a wide range of mobile and desktop devices. On the other hand, the free version of Lifesize can only be used for up to 6 months, meaning that after that point you’d have to start paying for a subscription which could be an issue for some users.
GlobalMeet has a free version available for use, which allows users to host online meetings and conferences with up to 125 participants. This video conferencing software also gives you the ability to record meetings, which many users find helpful.
The system is user friendly and also allows for screen sharing, which can be extremely useful when collaborating with co-workers, clients and others. However, users of GlobalMeet Collaboration have said that it can sometimes be difficult to contact customer support, which may prove problematic if you run into any issues or require assistance when using the platform.
Blizz has a free version which allows up to 5 participants to engage in chat, video and audio calls online. When using Blizz, you also have the ability to record calls at any time, which is another useful feature.
Reviews of this software mention good security features, as well as excellent compatibility with an array of devices. Some users have however observed a slight audio delay from time to time when using Blizz.
We hope this comparison of video conferencing systems has helped you to decide on which online conference system is best for you. We wish you the best of luck working from home and hope that these systems come in useful for you and your business.