Technology

Free Online Meeting and Video Calling Apps

Most of the people including students, working professionals, business people etc. search about the features of online video calling apps on internet. But there are hardly any comprehensive comparisons available. Here is the brief comparison between some of the most commonly used video calling apps which lets you to stay connected with each other.

 
In the global pandemic situation, while people are fighting against the COVID-19, there is one more issue for people regarding how to see and communicate to the people living far? Because of the ongoing situation, people all over the world are maintaining social distance while they are still connected through internet. I miss my beloved ones, my lectures, my faculties and college, and of course the restaurants (Actually it’s more about food…) and believe you guys must be missing your beloved ones too…!! Also, it’s very difficult for business organizations with people living in remote areas to do their jobs and students are facing issue regarding their study.

 

We are lucky that we live in 21st century, where we don’t need to write the letters to communicate and to see each other…!! Thanks to variety of social media platforms available to us. We now don’t need to wait until the situation gets back to normal due to one of the amazing technologies of video calling. Video calling apps gives us a warm feeling to see our beloved ones living in different parts of world and communicate as if they are with us here.

 
Let’s have a look at the features offered by most known companies. You can choose any one to fulfill your needs.

Google Meet Vs. Microsoft Teams Vs. Cisco Webex Vs. Microsoft Skype

 

# Feature Google MeetGoogle Meet Microsoft Teams
MS Teams

Cisco  WebexCisco WebEx

Microsoft Skype
MS Skype
1.

Who can Access?

To initiate meetings, one should have a G Suite paid account. Google has recently made it available for free for everyone. Anyone with a Microsoft account can initiate the meeting. Anyone with a Cisco’s Webex account can the initiate meeting. Anyone with a Skype account can initiate the meeting.
2.

Free Trial/Service Period

14 days free trial for G-suit users. Anyone with a Cisco’s Webex account can the initiate meeting. Anyone with a Skype account can initiate the meeting.
3.

Pricing and Plans (per Month)

G Suite Basic: $ 6 /user
G Suite Business: $ 12/user
G Suite Enterprise: $ 25 /user
Microsoft Teams pricing plan as part of Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions.
Business Essentials Plan: $5.00 /user
Business Premium Plan: $ 12.50/user
E3 Plan: $20.00/user
Starter:$13.50/user
Plus:$17.95/user
Business:$26.95/user
Enterprise:Flexible subscriptions plans
Standalone Online Plan 1: $2.00 /use
Business: $5.50/user
4.

Number of Participants

Up to 100 people with G suit accounts
G suit Business:150
G suit Enterprise:250
(BONUS:30th September 2020, all G suit customers can make use of limit of 250 persons)
Up to 50 participants in free versions Up to 100 participants in free versions Up to 50 participants in free versions
5.

Screen Sharing

Available but only one person can share screen at a time. Available and admin can configure screen sharing to let users share a screen. Available Available
6.

Whiteboard System (Draw your ideas)

There is no built-in whiteboard feature but you can use other tools like Google’s Chrome Canvas and Google-Jamboard with it. Available Available Not Available
7.

Grid View

Available You can’t see everyone Available Available
8.

Recordings

The recordings is automatically saved to google drive. (BONUS: The google meet recording functionality is free for all G suit customers until September 30, 2020) The Recording happens in the cloud and is saved to Microsoft stream. Recording is currently available from the desktop app. If you start a meeting from web app then you can’t record it. It stores either on your computer or on the webex site. Videos are stored for 30 days
9.

Supported Operating System

Windows, mac, Ubuntu and Android & iOS. Windows, mac, Ubuntu. Windows, mac, Ubuntu 14.x and 12.x, Android & ios. Windows, mac, Linux, Android & iOS.
10.

Noise Block

Available Available Available Not Available. You can easily hear all background noises
11.

Chat Tool

Available Available Available Available
12.

Time Limit

None. Google will start enforcing time limit restrictions from September 30. None 24 hours 10 hours per day
13.

Other Features

It allows live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers. 2 GB/User and 10 GB of shared (Team) storage in free version and paid version has plan starting at 1TB per user.

 

Pros and Cons

 

Google Meet

  • Pros: Biggest advantage is the additional programs that come with it. Business having G suit account can save money because they don’t have to spend for separate video conferencing service.
  • Cons:No waiting room for participants who join early.Does not have polling feature.

 

Microsoft Teams

  • Pros: Less dependency on emails. Third party applications integrations is quick.
  • Cons: No waiting room for participants who join early. Less flexibility in moving a channel.

 

Cisco Webex

  • Pros: No need to type long meeting passcode, just join a meeting with the “call me” feature. It has powerful admin interface
  • Cons: Call quality is not good in low-bandwidth network. Multiple rooms can’t be used at once.

 

Microsoft Skype

  • Pros: Smaller teams can work conveniently with skype free version. Skype is incorporated with office 365 and provides access to Microsoft word Excel and PPT.
  • Cons: Users can’t know who (other than involved in the conversation) has access to the contents of their call or messages. It sometimes has glitches with multi-party calling.

 
A feature common to all these apps is that, you can join meetings on any of these without having to sign up an account. So, you can join the meetings, if you have invitation from the host.

 
Hope you would find your answers regarding which app to choose. There are many other apps like GoToMeeting, Google duo, etc. which can also help you. I find video calling apps interesting because I can save the real ( ugly and funny…!!) faces of my friends. So, try these apps to experience their features. There may be many more features for you to uncover. Let’s make our goal of 2020 to be in touch with each other and to be healthy.

The post Free Online Meeting and Video Calling Apps appeared first on Techno Dossier.

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