You can use Web conferencing software to participate in video and audio meetings using the internet. Features of this solution include screen sharing, chat, remote control, presence information, file sharing, and recording. Sophisticated solutions offer integration with marketing automation and CRM platforms, advanced security functionality, and capability for audience interaction. Show moreThere are many benefits of Web conferencing software such as enhanced collaboration, affordable long-distance communication, and minimized travel expenses. If you are a startup or small business with a low budget, you can try one of the free software available in the market. Top vendors of web conferencing solutions include Skype, GoToMeeting, WebEx, and RingCentral. To find and use web conferencing software effectively, you can check out the top-rated apps in this category including the current topper 8x8 VoIP Phone Service.Show less
In order to prepare this ranking of best Web Conferencing Software we have evaluated 209 trending tools currently available on the market, studying their features, ease-of-use, client support, available integrations with other systems and mobile support using our unique SmartScoreTM rating system. This list has been prepared by Nestor Gilbert, our B2B expert dedicated to the Web Conferencing Software category.
8x8 VoIP Phone Service is a system that provides advanced capabilities such as web conferencing, internet faxing, and smartphone integration. It uses hosted VoIP phone services and also provides a cloud-based call center solution that’s ideal for unified communications. Other notable features include 3-way calling, automated attendant, and directory assistance.
A cloud-based collaboration software explicitly designed to improve team communication and business efficiency, Flock helps unify distributed teams and boost productivity. Suitable for businesses of all sizes, it comes with a team messaging feature designed to speed up communication and maximize team output.
This application allows you to connect with participants from all over the globe from any supported device of your choice. Going beyond the communication platform function, RingCentral Videos allows content sharing of files from your computer, Dropbox, or Google Drive. To further optimize its performance, RingCentral Videos offers add-ons for hosting webinars and large meetings, which can accommodate up to 500 participants. It also has free online meetings and screen sharing options that can host up to 100 participants.
Lifesize is a suite of highly-interoperable video conferencing and virtual meeting room solutions that enhance communication, collaboration, and productivity. Offering the world's first 4k video conferencing capabilities, the software provides seamless and crystal-clear communication that leads to better collaboration and increased productivity.
Join.me is a software product that offers instant screen sharing with powerful meeting tools and unlimited audio. The system sports a flexible pricing, user-friendly interface, and simple installation process that makes it ideal for startups and small businesses. It’s a cloud-hosted solution that’s ready to be implemented right out of the box and can integrate with industry-leading email and contact management systems. This means that it will easily adapt to and blend with your corporate software ecosystem.
Use UberConference to get your conferences going. A hassle-free platform where you can have conferences without worrying about who joined or who said what. It’s strictly a conference calling solution and does not include videos in its arsenal. However, the tradeoff for that is the high-quality audio, a massive number of participants, and easy integration with apps and social media platforms. This makes it an ideal platform for businesses that need an efficient tool for conference calls.
A full-featured web conferencing solution, Zoom becomes one of the most popular business applications for its flexibility, ease of use, and affordability. Aside from regular online meetings and training, Zoom also provides virtual conference rooms, which also double as a collaboration workspace. It also offers other communication options via ZoomPhone. Furthermore, its chat system enables cross-platform messaging and file-sharing, which further enhances communication reliability, especially for remote workers.
Cisco WebEx is a web conferencing software that aids users to hold online events and meetings, and serves as a team workspace as well. The software features flexible solutions aimed to accommodate businesses of all sizes, and offers different plans to conform to different requirements. Cisco's expertise in network connectivity plays a large part in providing platform, broadcast-quality audio, and multiple productivity tools to WebEx.
This web conferencing solution provides all the tools necessary for seamless communication and collaboration. GoToMeeting offers one-click meetings, which allows you to host or join video, call, or web meetings in an instant using any supported device. Turn your meeting space into a collaborative workspace with the help of GoToRoom that you can book directly from your GoToMeeting application. GoToMeeting also has cloud recording options for playback, as well as meeting transcriptions and slides compiled from video presentations for sharing and review.
High Five is a video conferencing tool that offers versatile solutions for carrying out online meetings and conferences simpler and more enjoyable. It offers a combined hardware and software solution to deliver HD video and Dolby Voice® powered audio to deliver an exceptional “like you’re there” experience. Installation and setup only takes 15 minutes, and members can join simply by clicking the meeting link.
GoToWebinar is the simple, self-service webinar tool that makes it easy to host large-scale online events.
Good web conferencing tools help companies to conduct meetings with employees in different locations. This can help to reduce travel expenses and participants can join in from anywhere using a smartphone or tablet. Efficient collaboration leads to stronger teams and faster speeds in online marketing campaigns and products. This buyer’s guide provides you with useful pointers on what factors to consider as you shortlist for the best web conferencing tools for enterprises and SMBs.
We recommend you sign up for the free trial plans or demo offered by leading web conferencing software providers. This will help you to test drive the main features of each software at no cost and also do a comparison of the different platforms. To start, you can register for the free trials of 8×8 VoiP Phone Service reviews, HipChat and Zoho Meeting which have received high SmartScore rankings and user satisfaction rating in our web conferencing software reviews, and see whether some of them are the best web conferencing software tools for your company.
The different types of web conferencing software tools can be categorized based on how they are used:
Following is the list of main features of web conferencing software:
Does it Offer Mobile Support?
Today, employees are not limited to merely working in the office. They travel to other places, visit customers and vendors, have lunch with other team members, etc. The vendor should offer mobile support to enable your employees to collaborate and connect from anywhere. The web conferencing software should allow access from a laptop, desktop computer, tablet, and smartphone.
Buy a Cost-Effective ‘All-in-One’ Solution
You would be wasting money and time shopping for different solutions for web conferencing, video conferencing, teleconferencing, etc. It will turn out to be more expensive and could become a hassle if you are to use the different apps separately. Go for a vendor who offers all these services in one cost-effective package. Make sure the package contains all the features you need for effective web conferencing.
Ease of Use
Even popular web conferencing software apps can be a bit difficult to use. You may need to take multiple steps to join a meeting. Plus, the software can make it hard to perform screen-sharing with another user without giving them full control. Many services offer the same features but work differently. We recommend you sign up for the free trials of top web conferencing apps and test drive their features to understand how easy they are to use in the real world.
Most corporate communication is non-verbal and text-based, which means there are no social cues to help you understand better. For effective video conferencing, make sure the solution provides high quality video. This will enable you to view the facial emotions and hand gestures of participants in face-to-face video meetings. Top web conferencing software focus on the person who is currently speaking, which will enable you to catch social cues.
Flexible Audio Features
The software should offer flexible audio features to enable participants to join and contribute from anywhere. Normally for audio conferencing, you can dial in with a phone or utilize your computer’s audio. These options make it simple for your employees to participate from their desks or on the go. So, make sure the solution includes audio conferencing with useful options and features.
Call Recording Tools
The software should not only allow you to host conferences and make calls but also give you the option to record them. This makes it easy for managers to review conversations later on. Alternatively, those who use these web conferencing tools to stream seminars can easily archive their lectures for future use.
How do you Plan to Use the Software?
Be clear about how you plan to use the web conferencing application now and in the future. Apart from team meetings, you can use it to interview customers to ask about improvements, train employees in various off-site offices and those who work from home, host webinars to answer the questions posed by your prospects, etc. Once you are clear about your present and future requirements, you can go about the process of selecting a suitable software for your needs.
Streaming and Recording
It is standard to record web conferences to be used for different purposes. Some apps only provide proprietary recording formats, making it difficult for you to play and share the recordings. So, make sure you can record your web meetings in standard MPEG 4 audio and MP4 video formats. Opt for a cloud-based software that does not levy any charge for storage of recordings. Another important point is to ensure the web conferencing software supports video and audio streaming.
Integration with Calendar
This point adds to the ease of use factor. The web conferencing software should smoothly integrate with popular calendar apps to enable you to easily send meeting invites. You should be able to schedule meetings and create calendar invites that you can share with participants. The invites should contain all essential information, including phone numbers.
Customizable Meeting Rooms and Screens
You should be able to customize the meeting room and screen, depending on the type of meeting. For instance, you might want to use full screen video, or a gallery view to show a PowerPoint presentation to participants. So, make sure the software offers different views and makes it easy for you to customize meeting rooms and screens.
The following trends have been observed in the growth of web conferencing software:
Mobile Deployment. Web conferencing solutions deployed on mobile is much easier to use and a lot cheaper. Convenience and ease of use drive more people to use web conferencing on their mobile phones, leading to greater flexibility and agility in the way people connect to online meetings.
Collaboration Options. Conferencing and collaboration have an emerging symbiotic relationship. Web conferencing solutions now deliver a wide variety of options that allows users to do more than just conferencing. You can typically find file sharing features, team messaging tools, mark-up functionalities, and other capabilities that allow end-users to work together seamlessly.
High-Quality Visuals. People now have higher expectations of video, multi-media and communication technology. So they will less likely to have the patience for buffering visuals. But thanks to technological advancements, software developers were able to deliver solutions with high definition video and audio tools.
Some of the problems that you might have to experience and address when using web conferencing tools are as follows:
Network/Bandwidth Issues. Lack of bandwidth and poor network connection is a common problem encountered during online meetings or webinars. Unless you have a stable internet connection, individuals may encounter screen sharing failures, video feed freezing, unexplained delays, and more. This can result in a poor conference experience.
Device compatibility. Employees may use different devices, such as personal computers, tablets, smartphones, and laptops in joining a web conference. Not all web conferencing solutions support a variety of devices and this could be a problem. If the tool does not integrate well with the devices being used by the team, they may end up abandoning it altogether.
Non-verbal cues. Non-verbal cues should be well-known in order to better understand the other individual’s intended information. Web conferencing limits what the participant can see or hear. This could easily result in misunderstandings.
We hope this article has given you a good grounding on the basic factors and features to look for in web conferencing software. Be clear about your needs, try out the free trials of a few good web conferencing solutions, do informed comparisons, and zero in on the right tool for your business.
Pricing details are a key consideration when you evaluate SaaS providers. Ask the vendor if they offer price safeguards and contractual flexibility. “Shelfware” has become a major concern in SaaS licensing as customers end up paying for more than they require. Plus, to get pricing predictability, customers are forced to subscribe to long-term agreements. Make sure you don’t get saddled with perpetual licensing and get locked in for a long period with a single vendor. Ask about easy exit policies that allow you to move on to another vendor if you are not happy with the services offered by the current one. Select a vendor that offers a handy standard annual termination facility as well as long-term price protection.
Another important factor to consider is whether the cloud vendor meets compliance and security requirements. Your company is accountable to employees, customers, business partners, and regulators. Therefore, you should choose a provider that has adopted a technically sound and comprehensive security system. Map your security control needs such as availability, integrity, confidentiality, privacy, and accountability to the provider’s capabilities. Ask the potential provider about the procedures and systems they use to protect your confidential data. Do they meet general as well as industry-specific compliance and security standards? Do they offer special measures to meet the unique security requirements of your particular industry? Get satisfactory answers to these queries before you make the investment.
The best web conferencing software is Flock, comprehensive business collaboration and communication platform that aims to help businesses not only in unifying decentralized teams but to improve their productivity as well. Its features such as team messaging, screen share, and robust integration are designed to work for businesses of all sizes.
More than just sending messages, your team members will be able to share links, files, and other useful information regarding their project. The system helps accelerate the communication processes between your teams which is vital if you want to maximize the output of your workforce and prevent miscommunication issues. Flock also ensures that all your conversations and sensitive files are free from the prying ears of malicious individuals thanks to its smart admin functions and rich security features.
Furthermore, it has a series of useful conferencing features including a 1:1 messaging that’s available anytime. You’re also free to create group channels that are useful when tackling projects that require a team effort. It features screen share, real-time updates, and video conference that you can start anytime. Flock can seamlessly integrate with popular third-party solutions as well such as Asana, Jira, Trello, and more. It’s also available through any device including Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Web conferencing software brings a lot of advantages to the table. Some of them are the following:
App and Desktop Sharing. Some web conferencing solutions allow end-users to utilize PowerPoint and Spreadsheets to present their information and ideas. This makes it easier for your viewers or other team members to understand your message. It also helps ensure that every participant is on the same page even if they are miles apart from each other.
Remote meetings. This is probably the most popular reason for using web conferencing tools. You can communicate with your team members deployed in different locations without leaving your office or the comfort of your own place.
Reduced travel. The ability to hold meetings online reduces the need to go to the office, hence reducing travel costs. You can also avoid travel-related problems such as traffic jams, airport delays, and flight cancellations to name a few.
Better customer relations. Web conferencing software can be used to provide better support to your clients. You can provide interactive online presentations or share helpful videos and the likes.
Remote employee training made easy. Web conferencing solutions are also proven beneficial when it comes to orienting and training new employees located in different geographies.
It eliminates geographic boundaries. Your team or audience doesn’t have to come to a single location for a meeting. Web conference solutions allow you to hold meetings anywhere in the world and accept the audience from around the globe.
Each web conferencing software has its own way of standing out from the rest by adding some nifty features that are both useful and appealing to users such as whiteboarding. However, there are also staple features that are typically included for the product to be competitive. Here are some of them.
High-quality audio/video. This is the one thing that every web conferencing software must get right. The failure or success of the entire conversation depends on how clear the participants can hear each other.
Screen sharing. By allowing users to share their screen or at least a portion of it to others, information can be easily and more conveniently conveyed.
Mobile support. Not all participants are sitting in front of their laptops or computers when attending web conferences. That’s why it’s important for software to be available for mobile use as well.
Instant messaging. The capability to send text-only messages complemented by images, emoji, and the likes are handy in many ways. One of which is that it keeps a record of the discussion.
Shared presentation. Sometimes, the agenda of a web conference is to watch someone give his/her presentation. This feature will ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Privacy features. This might include private chats and 1-on-1 meetings.
Quick join, quick invite, simple installation, and one-click video conference hosting are some of the features present in easy-to-use web conferencing software. These tools don’t require you to navigate through all the technical aspects of online conferences.
Join.me. It’s equipped with a user-friendly and intuitive interface that simplifies how it operates. This removes any expensive training requirements to use the system. Setting up a conference is pretty easy as well — generate a personalized URL and invite users through automated email notifications.
Skype. Part of its ease-of-use is owed to how popular the system is, therefore many people are already familiar with it. Even for newcomers, however, it’s still easy to use with its intuitive interface and compatibility with other apps like MS Office tools.
Google Hangouts. Most employees are familiar with Google Suite and social networks. Google Hangouts is reminiscent of both which makes it easier and more comfortable to use. And being a product of Google, it can easily integrate with leading business systems like Zendesk and Slack.
Web conferencing software isn’t typically the cheapest solution out there. However, several vendors are willing to provide a free plan to showcase their products which you can take advantage of.
Zoom. Perhaps one of the most well-known in this category partly because of its free offerings. You can hold both personal and group meetings with up to a hundred participants. The free plan also provides access to some of the system’s collaboration and security features.
Flock. This all-in-one communication platform offers a free plan ideal for small players. The free package includes limited admin controls and storage that can hold up to 10GB of data. It also features a search tool for up to 10,000 messages.
RingCentral Video. This product has a pretty generous free package for less web conference-demanding businesses. Without paying anything, you are treated with unlimited 1:1 sessions, desktop and app sharing, as well as group meetings which can last for 40 minutes and can hold up to 100 attendees.
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