Since we all have been stuck inside from the global pandemic, people are looking for ways to stay connected. While we could use phones, text, or email, they just don’t seem personal enough to make a real connection. There’s something about being face-to-face that makes it work better.
It’s not just a way to get social time so many of us need it. With so many people working from home, businesses need ways to host virtual meetings.
So, everyone has been scrambling to find the right software to connect, whether for business or pleasure. Here are a few of my favorite paid and free virtual meeting software for mobile.
It might seem odd to start with paid apps. Why would you go with something that costs money when you can get it for free?
We all know how free apps work. They give a limited feature set. Mobile virtual meeting software frequently limits the number of people in a meeting, how long the meeting can go, and recording options. Paid apps give provide better service for people who need more.
Go To Meeting
Go To Meeting is our top choice for paid meeting software. It’s been around for a long time, and individuals and businesses have used it for a long time. Though, Go To Meeting seems to be geared more toward businesses than for personal use.
Go To Meeting has both desktop and mobile apps to make meeting as easy as possible. It has standard features like screen sharing and recording. It also offers meeting transcripts and simple scheduling among many other features.
Go To Meeting divides their pricing by number of participants. Professional allows up to 150 users for $12 a month. Business has 250 participants for $16 a month, and they offer custom products for up to 3,000 participants.
Zoom has made a lot of news since the pandemic shut down the world. It seems like one of the most popular services to which people turned for classrooms and virtual dinner parties.
Zoom has both free and paid versions. People choose it, because it’s easy to use, even for those of us who don’t like technology. Zoom offers three levels of paid plans, Pro 100 participants, Business 300 participants, and Enterprise 500 participants.
Zoom has had some bad press lately because of some security loopholes and users didn’t protect their data. Still, it’s one of the best virtual meeting systems available.
Google Hangouts Meet
Google Hangouts is integrated into the G Suite ecosystem. If you, or your business, already use the G Suite system, you likely have access to this app. G Suite editions go for $6, $12, and $25 per user per month with up to 100 participants, 150 participants, and 250 participants respectively.
Unlike the other services, above, Google Hangouts Meet isn’t a standalone product. One can’t control everything from the Hangouts page. You have to use Google calendar to schedule a hangouts meeting. If you don’t want to buy into the whole system, hangouts isn’t a good choice.
Microsoft Teams, like Google Hangouts, is part of a suite of programs designed for a business. It comes with a suite of software including famous Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel, and Outlook.
Teams is a full-featured video conferencing system, with plans that can host between 10 and 10,000 people. Like G Suite, this conferencing system is fully integrated into Office 365, so you can’t use teams on your own.
While paid apps have the full feature set for every video conferencing solution, there are a number of free ways to stay connected with friends, family, and teams. They are a great solution for people who don’t mind the free version’s limitations.
Skype is a free video call system that has been around for ages. It started out as a way to do phone calls and video calls over the internet. Skype gives away its video calling service for video calls up to 50 people. For small groups and businesses, it’s an excellent system.
Skype does not, however, have the same video conferencing features that a business needs. It’s screen sharing and other meeting features are limited. Basically, Skype is designed to be a fancy way to make calls. If that’s all you need, Skype is a great option.
Zoom also has a free version of their service. It has most of the same features as the paid version with a few limitations. The free version limits meetings to 100 participants with up to forty minute meetings. You still get the main video conferencing perks like voice, video, and screen sharing.
FreeConferenceCall is designed from the beginning to be a free system. It has a lot of the same features that the paid services do. It offers free video conferencing for up to 1,000, screen sharing, meeting recording, whiteboards, and a mobile plan.
How can they afford to give this away? They don’t. FreeConferenceCall earns money through the goodwill of its customers. If you like the product, you can support it out of the goodness of your heart.
Cisco Webex Meetings
Cisco Webex is a trusted name in tech, so it’s not surprising that Webex is one of the better services. At the time of writing, Webex had just upgraded their free plan so it included up to 100 participants, up from 50, and unlimited meeting time, up from 40 minutes.
With features similar to Zoom and Go To Meeting, Webex is doing its best to give more features for their free account so people will go with them instead of their competitors. This one seems like the best deal of all the business-focused services with a free version.