1. Zoom
  2. Google Hangouts
  3. Lifesize
  4. Skype
  5. Ring Central Meetings
  6. Cisco Webex
  7. GoToMeeting
  8. Flock
  9. Zoho Cliq
  10. Free Conference

As global trends move towards an increasingly digital world, it’s no surprise that more and more companies are foregoing in-person meetings and moving to virtual ones.

Gone are the days where meetings were only held in boardrooms around a large table. These days, we have effective means of digital communication that allow all kinds of businesses to hold meetings using only an internet connection and simple software.

If you’re looking to join the growing movement of hosting online meetings, workshops, or seminars, then the first thing you need to do is invest in a reliable video conferencing software.

Before we get into the software, its important to know that there are standard rules that video conferences require, to make sure to check them out if you are thinking of using such software.

video recording with a camera and display of the area

While there are plenty of video conferencing tools on the market that claims to help you facilitate your digital meetings, not all of them are up to par when it comes to available features, pricing, and even your online security. 

I’ve compiled a list of the best video conferencing software available to you so that you don’t need to waste your time searching for the best ones. Read on to learn more about video conferencing software and our most recommended products on the market.

What is video conferencing software?

First things first, if you’re not yet familiar with video conferencing software, it’s important to get acquainted.

Video conferencing software can be used to conduct any type of video meeting online with an internet connection. The participants in a meeting can hail from anywhere in the world, so if you have business partners, employees, or clients in other cities or countries, this can be an effective way to get everyone together at the same time while also saving money on travel costs. Some video conferencing software also allows you to share files, share screens, or remotely control someone else’s computer.

What do I need to use video conferencing software?

While it may seem complicated to get video conferencing software up and running for everyone involved in your small business, it doesn’t need to be. However, there are a few key things you will need to get started before you’re able to have a successful digital meeting:

  • A laptop or desktop computer
  • A strong internet connection
  • A webcam
  • Headphones
  • Microphone
A laptop or desktop computer, internet connection, a webcam, headphones and a microphone

Many of these things already come integrated into laptops, however, if you’re using a desktop computer, you might need to add a few things to get properly set up.

What should I look for in the best video conferencing software?

The features you’ll need in video conferencing software will really depend on your business’s needs. You might only require basic video conferencing if all you want to do is hold virtual meetings. However, if you want more robust features for a more interactive meeting, you’ll want some other features such as file-sharing or screen sharing.

A few other things to keep in mind when shopping for the best video conferencing software is the number of people you’ll want on one call. Some software may have a limit, so make sure the one you choose is right for the number of people you’ll have in your meetings.

Security is another important feature, especially if you’ll be sharing important files in your video conference. Make sure the software you choose has guaranteed security measures in place to ensure the safety of your digital data.

Lastly, the video conferencing software should be simple to set up and use. You definitely don’t want to be that person who calls a meeting only to be unable to figure out how to turn your volume or camera on when the meeting begins. 

How can you use video conferencing software for your small business?

It may seem obvious that you can use video conferencing software for meetings, but as a small business, there are also plenty of other ways in which you can use this tool. Its main use will obviously depend on what kind of business you have, but don’t disregard it as a one-use software. There are many things you can do with video conferencing software, such as:

  • Hold business meetings
  • Conduct employee training
  • Hold a webinar
  • Host an online class or workshop
  • Conduct video interviews
  • Host a digital “event”

This list is not exhaustive, the sky’s the limit when it comes to video conferencing software. It’s also used for personal purposes, like getting the family together in one place, regardless of where everyone is located physically.

The Best Video Conferencing Software for Small Businesses

There are a few aspects I looked at in each product, such as different plans, number of users, customer support, and different features. The video conferencing software on this list are all great options for your small business, so read on to decide which one is best for you.

DISCLAIMER: The plans and prices reflected in this article were accurate at the time of writing, however, please note that they can vary based on location and special promotions. All prices mentioned are in USD.

1. Zoom

Zoom is one of the more popular video conferencing software out there, and with good reason. With this program, you can conference with up to 1,000 people and view up to 49 screens at once. You can also host up to 10,000 viewers simultaneously. 

Zoom integrates with popular calendars like Outlook, Gmail, or iCal so you can instantly create meetings, send out an invitation, and join all from your inbox. 

Zoom works great for running meetings, group classes, workshops, webinars, and more.

Prerequisites

You and each one of your staff members must have your own Zoom account. You can add your staff members as users under your premium Zoom account, as long as they have their own login credentials. Consider upgrading to the Zoom business plan, if you would like to enable single sign-on for your entire company. You are restricted from sharing a single Zoom login between staff members. 

If you and your staff already have Zoom accounts, you may skip directly to Connecting your Zoom account below.

If you’re using Zoom for the first time, Sign In to Zoom and create an account. It only takes a few minutes.

Follow any on-screen prompts and Zoom will install in a matter of minutes. With help installing Zoom to your computer or device refer to Zoom’s installation guide

Connecting your Zoom account (Single Staff)

Zoom_Integration.gif

Connecting to Zoom from your vCita account is easy.

1. Start by going to your Settings > Integrations page, locate Zoom, and click Connect.

Zoom Vcita sign-in page

2. You’ll be prompted to log in to your Zoom account, by entering your Zoom username and password:

Zoom Vcita sign-in page

3. You’ll be prompted to allow vCita to access your Zoom account. To approve and continue, just click Authorize:

Zoom Vcita sign-in page

And that’s it! Your vCita account is now connected to Zoom! To create online sessions or events using Zoom, skip ahead to Using Zoom.

Connecting your Zoom account (Multi Staff)

Every staff member offering services over Zoom must have their own login credentials.

To connect your individual Zoom account:

  1. Navigate to Settings and edit your advanced staff settings under Settings > Staff (just Settings for non-admins).
  2. In the Integrations tab, click Connect under Zoom.
  3. Log in with your personal Zoom credentials.
Zoom Vcita sign-in page

4. You’ll be prompted to allow vCita to access your Zoom account. To approve and continue, just click Authorize:

Zoom Vcita

And that’s it! Your vCita account is now connected to Zoom! To create online sessions or events using Zoom, refer to the section right below.

Using Zoom for Online Appointments and Events

Now that you’re connected to Zoom, it’s time to enable your services with Zoom.

Zoom Vcita

1. From Settings > My Services, click on the service you want to offer online using Zoom.

2. Under the service, Location Setting select Online > ZoomImportant: If you select Zoom but you, or one of the staff members offering the service is not connected to Zoom, you will be prompted to do so. Please note that if you do not, no meeting link will be generated.

3. Once you’ve selected Zoom for your online service location, the system will automatically and seamlessly generate a unique meeting URL for each individual appointment or event. Note: Do not worry, the URL will not be public. It will only display to invitees or registered clients of each appointment or event.

4. The new Zoom meeting URL will appear in the booking details, booking email & SMS notifications under your clients’ Client Portal account, so everyone is always on the same page about the meeting location.

Here’s how your unique meeting URL will appear from your Appointment/Event page:

Zoom Vcita

Here’s what your client will be able to see through their Client Portal account:

Zoom Vcita

Disconnecting your Zoom account

If you wish to disconnect your Zoom account from vCita, simply go to the Settings > Integrations page, locate Zoom,  and click Disconnect.

zoom vCita

If you wish to connect to a different Zoom account to vCita, disconnect from your existing Zoom account in order to then connect with your new account.


To disconnect from vCita in your Zoom account

  1. Login to your Zoom account and navigate to the Zoom Marketplace.
  2. Search for vCita and click the app or navigate to your installed apps via Manage > Installed Apps.
  3. Click Uninstall next to vCita.

To confirm, click Uninstall when prompted. 
Still, have questions? Contact us

Related articles

There are also integrated sharing tools, so participants can share screens, chat in a group, share files, and co-annotate. Some of their more unique features include a polling tool, a hand-raising tool that you can use if your audience is on mute and someone wants to ask a question, as well as a unique Attention Indicator that monitors engagement. 

Zoom claims to have end-to-end encryption for your security, however, it has recently received some criticism over user privacy concerns.

There is a free plan that can be used for up to 100 participants for meetings of up to 40 minutes, and unlimited one-on-one meetings. The paid plans give you options for more participants, longer meetings, cloud recording, more admin powers, custom branding, and more.

Maximum participants?1,000 with Enterprise Plan
Free trial?Free Basic Plan for up to 100 participants
Mobile friendly?Yes, iOS and Android app
Starting price?Pro Plan starts at $14.99/month

2. Google Hangouts

desktop mac with google hangouts

If you already use Google products like Gmail or Google Calendar, then adding Google Hangouts will be a breeze.

Effortlessly create a new meeting by setting up a calendar event and sharing the link with relevant participants. You don’t need to worry if the participants have the right software installed as long as they have the link to your Hangout.

You’ll enjoy the same reliable security you get from other Google products, as all audio and video are completely secure in Google Hangouts.

Since this is a Google product, there aren’t as many features like integrated file sharing, however, you can easily supplement this by sharing files via Gmail or Google Hangouts Chat.

Google Hangouts is part of the full G Suite, which gives you access to other great business apps. There is a free 14-day trial, but afterward, you’ll have to select a paid plan to continue.

Maximum participants?250 participants with Enterprise Plan
Free trial?14-day free G Suite trial
Mobile friendly?Yes, iOS and Android app
Starting price?Basic Plan starts at $6.00/month

3. Lifesize

lifesize

This video conferencing software is popular amongst businesses for its 4K audio and video, making it great for meetings of all sizes.

Lifesize integrates well with the business tools you already use, like Outlook, Cisco, Slack, Microsoft, and more. 

Some of the great features you’ll find on Lifesize is the ability to share screens during meetings, record video conferences, set up virtual meeting rooms that can be monitored by an administrator, and more.

Lifesize encrypts the signal and any media you share on its platform, making it a secure experience for your business.

There are a few different plans depending on the size and needs of your business, but you can start with a 6-month free trial and host calls of up to 25 people. Other plans come with more advanced features, like a greater number of participants, premium customer support, cloud recording and storage, and unlimited US audio calling.

Maximum participants?1,000 participants with Enterprise Plan
Free trial?6-month free plan
Mobile friendly?Yes, iOS and Android app
Starting price?Standard Plan starts at $16.95/month

4. Skype

Skype has become a household name for video calling for both businesses and personal use.

Though you can download and use a Skype program on your computer, you no longer need this to conduct meetings. You can simply send participants a link and they can join in on a video conference. 

Skype is particularly helpful if your business involves international travel, as you can easily use it to make phone calls to landlines and mobile phones. You can also get a local phone number in a different region so that you can answer local calls and send SMS messages.

Other features you might find helpful are screen sharing, live subtitles, and call recording. Skype uses end-to-end encryption to make sure your calls stay private.

The pricing for Skype differs from its competition since it’s part of the Microsoft Office apps. There’s a free plan that allows you to video chat with up to 50 people for free. If you want other features like a phone number or an international calling plan, you’ll need an Office 365 Business subscription.

Maximum participants?Up to 250 participants with a Business Plan
Free trial?Free plan for up to 50 participants
Mobile friendly?Yes, iOS and Android app
Starting price?Online Plan 2 starts at $5.50/month per user

5. RingCentral Meetings

RingCentral is a powerful and well-recognized tool for VoIP, so you can rest assured that you’re getting quality and value with their video conferencing software.

RingCentral Meetings is ideal if you need a powerful video conferencing tool that offers you professional features. With this software, you’ll get HD video, screen sharing, team messaging, and free conferencing capabilities for up to 100 participants. 

There are also extra add-ons such as RingCentral Webinar, which allows you to host up to 10,000 participants and 500 hosts, or RingCentral Rooms, which gives you greater IT options for easier setup and implementations.

You can use RingCentral Meetings for free for 40-minute calls of maximum 100 participants, or upgrade for more features like 24/7 customer support, desktop and application sharing, and advanced collaboration tools.

Maximum participants?Up to 100 participants
Free trial?Free plan available for up to 100 participants
Mobile friendly?Yes, iOS and Android app
Starting price?Essentials Plan starts at $14.99/month per user

6. Cisco Webex

This easy-to-use software will have you video conferencing in no time.

Cisco Webex integrates with the business tools you already use, like Gmail and Google Drive, Outlook, Salesforce, Github, and Office365. 

Create a meeting in your email inbox, share it with your participants, and they can attend through their computer or phone. Cisco Webex also allows you to seamlessly switch between devices while you’re in a meeting. If a meeting runs long, switch from your laptop to your phone to continue on-the-go.

This software is great for employee training as the screen will adapt based on files you share, for example, it will open a video link you share with your audience or slides from PowerPoint.

Cisco Webex has an events calendar that allows you to create a digital event for up to 3,000 participants. During your event, you can use features like screen sharing, polls, Q&A, and a chatbox.

If you only need minimal features, you can use the Free Plan for video calls of up to 100 people. Paid plans come with cloud storage space, more integrations, more call participants, 24/7 customer support, and more.

Maximum participants?Up to 200 participants with a Business Plan
Free trial?Free plan for up to 100 participants
Mobile friendly?Yes, iOS and Android app
Starting price?Starter Plan starts at $13.50/month

7. GoToMeeting 

GoToMeeting is a great option for simple to use video conferencing software. GoToMeeting makes it easy to start or join a meeting in one click.

There are some great features here if you need a video conferencing tool with international capabilities as you’ll be able to use multi-national toll-free numbers. 

Some other features include personal meeting rooms, unlimited recording, screen sharing, drawing tools, a virtual whiteboard, and meeting transcriptions. Customers have also praised their great customer support, so you know you’ll be in good hands.

As for security, you can use a PIN system for your meetings, meaning participants need to have a secure PIN in order to log in to your video call. 

There is a free version of GoToMeeting that lets you video conference with up to 3 participants for 40-minute maximum calls. Paid plans come with a great participant allowance, cloud recording, more integrations, an admin center, and more.

Maximum participants?Up to 3,000 participants with Enterprise Plan
Free trial?Free plan for up to 3 participants
Mobile friendly?Yes, iOS and Android app
Starting price?Professional Plan starts at $12.00/month

8. Flock

Flock works more like a communication and collaboration hub for your team, so if you don’t have any other programs in place for this yet, then this is a great option to consider.

This tool allows you to connect with colleagues in a one on one chat, share all kinds of documents, and conduct video chats. Flock is a great tool to increase your team’s productivity and bring them together.

Like other video conferencing tools, Flock lets you share screens on video chats, send files, and start a video call from a chat or group channel. The service is secure, too, so you don’t need to worry about the privacy of your data.

You can use Flock for free, but you’ll only get one-on-one video calls. There are plenty of other great features you get with a paid plan, but unfortunately, Flock doesn’t specify how many participants you can have in a group chat with their plans.

Maximum participants?Unknown
Free trial?Free plan but only for 1:1 video calls
Mobile friendly?Yes, iOS and Android app
Starting price?Pro Plan starts at $4.50/month per user

9. Zoho Cliq

Zoho Cliq is one of the many business tools offered by Zoho. Like Flock, it also works as a team collaboration tool where users can easily communicate with each other.

You can direct message another user, share files, and start an audio or video call from a chat or a channel. Once on a video call, you can also share screens, scribble down ideas on a whiteboard, have a group chat in the same window. Zoho Cliq keeps your files and call secure with data-encryption and secret chat features.

The PrimeTime feature allows you to broadcast company news or announcements in real-time to all users, while only giving a talking platform to 2 participants to ensure the call isn’t overcrowded.

Zoho Cliq boasts an impressive Free Plan that gives you video conferencing for up to 100 participants, 100GB of storage, searchable messages, screen sharing features, and more. If you need more features like custom call domains, more channels, or company branding, you can select the Unlimited Plan.

Maximum participants?100
Free trial?Free plan available for up to 100 participants
Mobile friendly?Yes, iOS and Android app
Starting price?Unlimited Plan starts at $0.90/month per user

10. Free Conference

Free Conference is exactly what it sounds like: a phone and video conferencing software with tons of free features.

You’ll be able to start video calls that include screen sharing and dial-in integration. International participants can also dial-in, though you’ll need a paid plan for that. 

Other features include video conference recording, a chat feature with conference participants, and a unique video conferencing URL for your meeting, all for free.

With the free plan, you’ll be able to have a phone conference call with up to 100 participants, and a video call with up to 5. If you need to be able to have a video call with more people, you can upgrade to a paid plan.

Maximum participants?100 on a video conference with the Pro Plan
Free trial?Free plan available for up to 5 participants for video chat
Mobile friendly?Yes, iOS and Android app
Starting price?Standard Plan starts at $9.99/month

So, Which Video Conferencing Software Should You Choose for Your Small Business?

The answer really depends on your small business’s needs and how you intend to use video conferencing software.

Any of the video conferencing products on this list will be a great addition to your day-to-day business tools. While there are plenty of free plans you can use with the video conferencing tools I covered, it’s also worth considering a paid plan for more advanced features that may be helpful to your business. 

Here are a few recommendations based on specific business needs:

  • If you’re looking for a simple, free, and powerful video conferencing program, go with RingCentral. 
  • If you want to host online classes, workshops, or events with many participants, go with Zoom or Lifesize.
  • If you’re looking for a video conferencing platform that’s also a communications tool, try out Flock.
  • If your small business is already using multiple Google apps, then consider using Google Hangouts.
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