It’s no secret that we’re advocates of making the switch to video interviewing software. Technology has forever changed the way that we conduct business. In fact, one study showed that 40% of companies are now using video interviews to screen candidates.
For businesses who were already working from home before COVID-19, tools like Slack or the many Slack alternatives were a must for team collaboration.
For businesses communicating during the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak or working remotely for the first time, these free video conferencing tools prove to be essential for keeping a small enterprise in business.
In this article, we’re going to give you the complete rundown on everything you need to know about free video conferencing software, show you some of the top picks for your business, and enlighten you on how to reap the benefits of this advancement in communication.
When it comes to video conferencing software, Zoom is one of the most popular options out there. Currently, 50% of Fortune 500 companies have at least one Zoom account.
There’s a 40-minute limit on group meetings if you’re subscribed to the free plan so you should take note of that if you’ll be using the software for longer online meetings. Multiple attendees can share their screens at the same time, making it easy to collaborate remotely.
If the time limit is putting you off, then we should mention that face-to-face meetings aren’t restricted by the 40-minute cap. You only have to be concerned about runtime when hosting group conference calls or webinars.
2. Cisco Webex Meetings
Cisco Webex Meetings is one of the top video conferencing solutions due to the expansiveness of its free plan. While it does share the 40-minute time limit of Zoom, you get 1 GB of cloud storage and the ability to add as many as 50 participants in a single meeting.
The active speaker view makes it easy to keep track of who’s talking in a given moment. Another handy feature is the real-time polling that you can use to make team decisions during meetings.
Calendar integrations also make it easy to schedule tasks whenever a new aspect of the project is discussed. All meetings and recordings are fully encrypted to ensure that no one eavesdrops. Did we mention that it also supports HD video and screen sharing?
With over a million users — and a projected million-user increase in the next five years — Skype is still one of the largest video conferencing solutions. Free users can host group video calls with up to 25 participants.
You’ll need to get Skype for Business if you want to try the 250-attendee conferences — though it’s worth noting that the aforementioned service will be retiring in 2021. A key selling-point for Skype is its real-time translation capabilities.
The voice translator supports 10 languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, and Russian) while the text translator supports over 60 languages. This makes multilingual conferences easier than ever before.
3. Google Hangouts Meet
First of all, you’ll need to have an existing G Suite subscription if you want to use Google Hangouts Meet.
That’s not too big of an issue though as the cheapest plan will only run you $6/month. That’s cheaper than any premium video conferencing software and you get all the other perks of G Suite as a bonus. It also offers unlimited meetings via audio conferencing, optimized for Chrome, but available in any major web browser.
In addition to HD video and screen sharing, Google Hangouts Meet also lets you share documents with any number of participants in the meeting. This is even easier to do if you use Drive, Docs, and Sheets since they’re all integrated into G Suite and your Google Calendar.