It so happened in 2020 that many were forced, without wishing it, to switch to a remote format of work. But no one cancelled the meetings, right? And that’s where the best software for video conferencing comes to the rescue, and we’ll talk about it right now
Many companies are already actively using this format of meetings, when its participants can be at their workplaces, at home or even thousands of kilometers away from the office. But, apparently, the “tectonic” push in the development and popularization of video conferencing occurred in 2020. As the saying goes, there is no silver lining – the coronavirus pandemic has literally forced hundreds of millions of people around the house to go into quarantine and work from home. With the help and best video conferencing software, of course. Well, while Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave prophecies about the shift to remote working in many industries are coming true, let’s see what software will do for it.
Top 8 ranking according to The Consumer Website
A video conferencing service that has grown in popularity and capitalization dozens of times since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The secret of this particular program’s success is not only in its functionality, but also in the fact that its creators realized in time what potential video conferencing has in the current environment. For example, for schools in Japan, China, Italy and the United States, Zoom gives unlimited minutes in temporary video chats on any accounts.
A huge plus of this particular program for video conferencing is the advanced ability to hold webinars and presentations. However, there are quite reasonable claims to Zoom. Fears are caused by confidentiality – the software has repeatedly complained that the data can leak somewhere “on the side”. One more bug (or feature) can be considered as an opportunity to set a looped video in the chat, which workers, who are lazy to sit in front of the computer, did not fail to take advantage of.
- Almost the trendiest video conferencing platform for 2021
- Even with a free account you can do a lot
- Data protection can be tricky
Skype for Business
Good old Skype, known to almost every Internet user for many years. Under the prefix “for business” there is an extended version, which has several fundamental differences. The maximum number of conference participants is 250. There is the ability to make phone calls and display the screen. Of course, as a Microsoft product, modern Skype has full integration with Windows, and this operating system remains dominant in the corporate and business segment. The disadvantages of this service are probably also known to everyone – the constant hang-ups and the confusing indication of the status of the interlocutors.
- It is common and almost everyone knows about it.
- Deep integration with Windows
- Stability has not improved over the years, it has even worsened
Discord was once created as a free messenger with VoIP and video conferencing support for gamers. Now this service has become much more popular, even among the business audience. A huge advantage of Discord is its free-of-charge nature. The program (and because there is also a full-fledged web version) at a low load on the resources of the device provides high quality audio, through the use of audio codec Opus. As the developers assure, the application is reliably protected from DDoS attacks, which adds to the confidence that the video conference will go without problems.
- Free platform
- Quality sound transmission
- A lot of unnecessary functionality that gamers need, but other users will only get confused
This service from Google has lost its popularity in recent years, but is still very suitable for the role of a video conferencing program. Especially if you have an Android smartphone or tablet – this software is pre-installed “out of the box”. Of course, Hangouts doesn’t impress with its capabilities, for example, the maximum number of participants in a video conference is limited to ten. The quality of the video call here is lame on both legs – often the delay can reach a few seconds, and the picture often tends to break up into “squares. But for free, there are all the basic functions for conferencing and excellent integration with other Google services, especially with Documents.
- In every Android smartphone
- Simple and clear interface
- Stability of video communication is low
- Only up to 10 participants
- Google may suddenly close its not-so-popular service
Quite a popular service in the world, which is geared for international video conferences. For example, there is simultaneous support for 16 languages, and 5000 participants can join the conference by individual request. There is also a recording of the video conference, and quick uploading to YouTube. The developers say that there are data servers all over the world, so there should be no problems with the connection. The advantage and “Achilles’ heel” of MyOwnConference is that the service has no mobile applications – you can work with it only by going to the project web-page.
- Up to 5000 participants in one conference
- No mobile app: only web interface available
One of the most advanced and functional video conferencing applications that is very popular with corporate clients around the world. You cannot use the program for free, there is only testing with a limited time. Features depend on the tariff plan – the maximum version gives up to 500 participants and picture quality up to 4K. You can have an unlimited number of conferences at the same time. You can join it by phone, there is also a demonstration/connection to the desktop.
- Developed technical support application
- No free version
- Outdated interface
A well-established and very popular video conferencing service. It has a free version, with which you can video link up with three participants, sharing files and showing your desktop at the same time. The basic plan will already allow you to connect 10 people, and the maximum plan is 100. There is even a function of working on a single document. As usual, there are some disadvantages – the program itself does not know how to record video conferences.
- Well-known and time-tested software
- Working together on documents
- Can’t write conferences in video
An online platform that has no apps, but which also supports mobile devices. It is based on WebRTC technology. The free version allows two people to join the conference, while the premium version offers up to 250 participants. Recording the conference is also the prerogative of the paid accounts. Although the maximum picture quality here is declared as FullHD, but it is quite stable (of course, taking into account high-quality Internet channel). There are even drawing tools, which can enrich the presentation during the video conference.
- Runs fast
- No mobile app
- Not cheap – a monthly premium subscription costs $25
How to choose a video conferencing program
Tools for remote work are experiencing unprecedented growth in 2021, and in the future they may become almost the main software in many business areas. The Head of Infrastructure Management of an IT-company, who is often confronted with video conferencing software due to his duty, will share his practical advice with us.
Is 4K so important?
The extremely popular resolution is technically supported by some of the best video conferencing software. And everything seems to be ready for it – smartphone cameras, at least for sure. But UHD resolution in streaming video is still more of a marketing story. Let me explain – even if the program server can handle such a load, what about the clients’ communication channel? You can’t, especially if you’re “in the field” from a smartphone. No, you can cheat and interpolate, that is stretch the picture to the notorious 4K. But there will still be no normal clarity, so don’t chase these numbers.
Previously everything was simpler – simple video communication was enough. Now we need more features that are as important as picture and sound. And access to the desktop, and synchronization with contacts, and joint presentations – will not be superfluous. So, pay attention to such features and, in particular, to the way they are implemented.
An expert in household appliances and electronics. I prepare and publish reviews, ratings and instructions for choosing the best models and brands. Higher education – IT engineer.