As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the nation, companies are resorting to conferencing apps. Teleworking is nothing new for remote workers, but for office employees accustomed to face-to-face communication it can be a drastic change.
There are affordable conferencing apps available for homebound employees. But with the amount of conferencing apps on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best apps for your business.
These four conference apps, handpicked for their reliability, affordability, and functionality are the best in the business.
1. Google Hangouts Meet
Google Hangouts Meet, or Google Meet is an extension of Google Hangouts available to G Suite users. Geared towards enterprises, Google Meet is one of the leading video conferencing apps. Google Meet can support up to 250 participants in a conference call and 100,000 viewers in live streaming. An added plus is its integration with third-party video conferencing software like CISCO WebEx and GoToMeeting. With screen sharing, online presentations, and ability to record meetings there is no wonder why businesses are making the switch to Google Meet.
Since Google Meet is included in G Suite, G Suite users can join conferences through Google Calendar or Gmail. For those who do not have Gmail, the call is accessible via link. With that said, if you’d like to create a Google Meet call, you must be a G Suite user. If you’re not a G Suite user, don’t fret. G Suite is $6 per month for the basic plan and it includes Google apps you love (including Google Meet).
Zoom’s basic plan is free and offers members high quality video and sound along with a 40 minute limit on group meetings. The basic version also offers group collaboration, video conferencing, and web features.
Additional interactive features like virtual backgrounds, the“raise hand” option, and polling are available in the basic plan. However, recent news about Zoom’s security vulnerabilities is causing businesses to find alternatives. There are ways to make your account secure, for example creating a meeting ID passcode and making sure all participants are using “computer audio”. That way, your information is end-to-end encrypted. Fortunately, Zoom did promise users its plan to revamp security and safety concerns in the near future.
3. CISCO WebEx
Preferred by large enterprises, CISCO WebEx improved its service to compete against other cloud meeting applications. CISCO WebEx’s free version allows up to 100 people for unlimited minutes. In addition, the free plan includes unlimited number of meetings and meeting length.
It’s basic plan Starter starts at $13.50 per month per host making it slightly cheaper than Zoom’s Pro plan ($14.99 per month). The Starter package has features such as mp4 meeting recordings, integration with other applications, and whiteboard sharing options.
CISCO WebEx offers great video and audio quality. It also provides various controls such as file shares, chat with everyone or selected users, and ability to remove any participants. Though it might not have as many entertaining features as Zoom, CISCO WebEx brings reliable quality and services that are essential for your cloud meeting needs.
4. Citrix GoToMeeting
Citrix’s GoToMeeting offers a simple and easy web conference service to users. GoToMeeting offers Outlook and Google Calendar plug-ins, which enables users to create and send meeting invites. Depending on the plan, GoToMeeting can host between 150-3,000 participants. Unfortunately, more interactive features such as polling and Q&A are only supported in the GoToWebinar plan — available for an additional cost.
As social distancing and remote working is becoming the new norm, cloud conference services are constantly upgrading and adding new features to attract potential clients. For example, Google Meet recently announced its Zoom-like layout and Gmail integration update. Nonetheless, these four conferencing apps are the best conferencing apps for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.