- The online video conferencing market is flooded with software, but there are some standout options.
- The best platform for your unique business needs may not necessarily be the most popular one, so it’s worth taking the time to research and review all of the options.
- Many companies offer at least a one week trial, so we suggest narrowing down your top picks and then trying the software out before committing to a longer contract.
“You better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin’.” Maybe Bob Dylan wasn’t exactly referencing the growing prevalence of video conferencing platforms when he released the song back in 1964, but he hit the nail right on the head. Remote work is as popular as it has ever been, and it’s here to stay. With that comes the need for a reliable way to keep teams communicating and on the same page. Enter video conferencing platforms.
To adapt to the changing times, every company needs a competent video conferencing platform that fits their needs. But what features they need and price they’re willing and able to pay differs. To help you decide what option is best for you and your company, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 online video conferencing software options of 2021.
Strongest Asset: User Familiarity
Zoom has taken over as the most popular video conferencing platform. Most people will be at least vaguely familiar with the platform and if not, its user interface can be learned quite quickly.
Pros: Zoom is a familiar platform for most people. Its free version can host a meeting of up to 100 participants for as long as 40 minutes. The “Share Screen” option comes with a slew of annotation tools.
Cons: If you want to host more than 100 people, you’ll need to upgrade to the Business plan at $200/month with the minimum 10 license purchase. Zoom’s recording storage is light unless you buy the top tier Enterprise plan.
Strongest Asset: Google App Integration
Google Meet is a very accessible and widely known platform that can be used from your web browser or via their app on your iOS or Android device. This software is the revamped and rebranded version of Google Hangouts.
Pros: Google Meet is a very easy-to-use, free video conferencing platform. No download required if you are using a desktop. The integration with all other Google apps makes it very easy to sync all of your business activities across their services.
Cons: There is no option to annotate while sharing your screen. Compared to some of the other video conferencing platform, you may notice that Meet is a bit light on the features and video conference customizability.
Strongest Asset: All-Encompassing Centralized Workspace
Microsoft Teams is the video conferencing and workspace solution from tech giant Microsoft. If your business is already using Microsoft 365, Teams will be available to you at no extra cost.
Pros: Teams is much more than just a video conferencing platform. It allows you to organize people into teams and conduct chats and file sharing with them through channels. Team members can collaboratively work on Microsoft Office files and engage in group chats before, after, and during a meeting.
Cons: Teams’ integration of all business aspects can make it confusing to navigate, especially if all you need is a video conferencing platform. The size of Teams can create lag and loading issues.
Strongest Asset: Superior Audio Quality
BlueJeans is Verizon’s video conferencing platform catered for businesses and other medium and large organizations.
Pros: Dolby audio enhancement and noise cancellation technology make for top notch audio quality. The Smart Meeting feature allows participants to mark highlights in the meeting to create an easily reviewed or shared highlight package. Breakout Sessions make it easy to split participants into smaller group sessions temporarily.
Cons: There is no free version of the software. Additionally, all of the extra features can be difficult to navigate at first.
Strongest Asset: Best Free Option
RingCentral is an American company that specializes in cloud-based business communications. They were founded in 1999 and have offices all over the globe.
Pros: RingCentral boasts HD audio & video calling. Their free option can host up to 100 participants for as long as 24 hours. No download is required and you can store meeting recordings in the cloud for up to 7 days.
Cons: The mobile app for RingCentral can experience connectivity issues and limited functionality. To gain full functionality, participants need to download the software.
Strongest Asset: No Meeting Time Limits
GoToMeeting was launched in 2004 by LogMeIn. GoTo also offers phone options, webinar services, and training platforms.
Pros: There are no time limits on GoToMeeting. Plans can include unlimited recordings, transcription, note taking, keyboard and mouse sharing, as well as GoToMeeting’s Smart Assistant. All plans also include HD Video.
Cons: There is no free plan, and the first tier of the paid plans does not give you access to many of the great features on offer. To get the most out of GoToMeeting you’ll have to subscribe to their Business plan.
Webex by Cisco
Strongest Asset: Security
Webex is the video conferencing platform provided by American tech giant Cisco. This platform is a favourite among large businesses.
Pros: All paid plans include the free plan options as well as closed captioning, recording transcriptions, cloud recording storage, streaming ability through Facebook Live, and their file transfer feature. The free plan includes chat, note taking, polling, interactive whiteboarding, and breakout sessions.
Cons: Video meetings consume a large amount of bandwidth. Using Webex from your phone can create connectivity issues. Webex caters to large organizations, which may or may not be a plus depending on your business’ size.
Strongest Asset: Interoperability With Other Digital Tools
Pexip is the product of a merger in 2019 between the video infrastructure company Pexip, and the cloud-based video service provider Videxio.
Pros: Pexip is very secure and highly customizable based on your business’ needs. The platform can be outfitted to match your business’ colors and logo schemes. Pexip is also very integrable with other digital tools and platforms. It is one of the best all round video conferencing platforms available.
Cons: The customer support of Pexip can be a little slow to respond. Expect this to improve with more people using the software.
Strongest Asset: Inexpensive Option for Small Businesses
Zoho Meeting is the video conferencing tool from the company that offers you the software to run your entire business. If you are already using Zoho, it makes sense to give Zoho Meeting a try.
Pros: Zoho Meeting is an inexpensive video conferencing platform that offers users basic video calling features. The software is very well integrated with Zoho’s library of business software and is sufficient for small business conferencing needs.
Cons: Zoho Meeting is a bit light on the features side of things. There is no support hotline you can reach out to if you run into issues while using the platform. They cap their meeting attendees at 100 people for the highest priced plan, although it’s only $10/month.
Strongest Asset: Reliability and Customer Service
StarLeaf was established in 2008 and is headquartered in Watford, England. It’s known for “taking the friction out of business collaboration” and is a great option for messaging and meetings.
Pros: StarLeaf makes it very easy to share your screen, files, images, or documents with other participants. StarLeaf boasts 99.999% uptime guarantee, more than any video conferencing platform in the industry. StarLeaf’s customer service is very accessible and helpful.
Cons: The cost of StarLeaf can be a little bit more than their competitors. People may be unfamiliar with StarLeaf and this can create some delays and confusion for the first time users.
Start a Free Trial (Or Two)
Whether you prefer the familiarity of Zoom, the security of Webex, or the customizability of Pexip, you are bound to find a video conferencing platform that suits your business’ needs. Many of these platforms offer free trials so consider taking a handful of products out for a test drive before you commit your business and all of its employees to one of these platforms.
With the changing times, you’ll want to find the perfect video conferencing platform for your business. We hope that one of these platforms will propel your business to the next level in this ever-changing digital landscape.