Video conferencing used to be reserved just for international clients and fancy board rooms, but that’s not the case in 2020. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, video conferencing has become the norm for work, socialising and even events. But when it comes to connecting virtually, what’s the best video conferencing app or software?
In this article, we’ll show you who the big players are (you’re probably already using their platforms) and do some quick comparisons so you can choose which one is right for you.
What is video conferencing?
Video conferencing allows people in different locations to have a face-to-face meeting without needing to be in the same place at the same time. In our increasingly global world, video conferencing allows people to connect across the world and in different timezones, all with a few clicks.
The big players in video conferencing
There are a lot of different platforms and services where you can connect via video with colleagues, friends and family. Let’s take a look at the major brands paving the way and highlight a few of their key features and benefits.
Founded in 2011, Zoom has become the market leader in video conferencing. It’s free to create an account and you can host up to 100 people for 40 minutes. The paid plans give you more flexibility for attendees and longer meeting times. Zoom is great for meetings and chat, webinars and team meetings. You can even record sessions and store them on the Cloud for an additional fee.
Microsoft’s video conferencing platform, Microsoft Teams, has a lot of features that many corporate businesses love. It integrates with familiar programs like Word, PowerPoint and Excel to offer teams live collaborative editing, plus its available in 53 languages, making it a very popular global option. It has video and audio calling capabilities as well as screen sharing and recording like Zoom.
One of the longest running video conferencing apps, Skype is now owned by Microsoft and offers a variety of ways for you to connect with people around the world. One of the best things about Skype is the ability to call landline or mobile phones at really great rates, so if someone isn’t on Skype, that’s okay – you can reach them on their phone number. Plus, you can also send text messages from Skype too!
Google Meet is Google’s video conferencing software and is part of a two app replacement for the now defunct Google Hangouts (Google Chat is the other app). Anyone who has a Google account can use Google Meet for free for up to 100 people for 60 minutes. It has live captioning and the ability to screen share. It also integrates with Google and Microsoft Office apps.
Who has the best video conferencing app?
When it comes to the best video conferencing app, it’s all about figuring out what you need to use it for. Do you want to collaborate with your team, host events or just socialise occasionally with friends and family? The sky’s the limit these days but working out your top three needs for how you’d like to connect will help you narrow down your search and choose the right platform for you.
Zoom vs Skype
Zoom is the preferred option by many businesses because of its reliability and excellent video quality. Skype, on the other hand, also has many of the collaborative features plus the ability to call landline and mobile phones. You can use Skype like a regular phone or set up meetings too. If you’re part of a large enterprise level team though, Zoom may be the better option to host more people at the same time.
Zoom vs Teams
This is a hard one as both apps have very similar features. If you have a Microsoft operating system, Teams is a great option purely for how easily it will integrate with other apps and software. That being said, Zoom also has a lot of options for integrations with Microsoft Office. In this case, it may be a choice of personal or business preference as both provide an outstanding product.
Google Meet vs Zoom
Similar to above, both Google Meet and Zoom offer similar benefits, but you do have to have a Google Account to create meetings. If everything you use is Google based, then for convenience and integration it may make more sense to stick with Google. Especially since the entry level free option has a 60 minute time limit on it (compared to Zoom’s 40 minute cap).
Do you need help picking the best video conferencing software for you or your business?
Regardless of which option you decide to go with, we can help you! Give the Geeks a call on 1300 642 213 and we can provide advice on what software options to consider, then get you all set up once you’ve made your choice!