The Best Video Conferencing Software for 2021

Rank

Picture

Name

Rating

Shop

1.

zoom videoconference

BEST OVERALL

Zoom

2.

GoToMeeting videoconference

RUNNER UP

GoTo Meeting

3.

Google Meet Conference

Google Meet

4.

Skype video conference

Skype

5.

Cisco Webex Conference

Webex

When the world changed in 2020, it became increasingly apparent that tools like video conferencing would become the new normal for conducting business.

With so many viable options out there, it was hard to come up with just one that suited the needs of everyone and could cater to what each business required.

What are the best video conferencing software platforms?

Among the most commonly used software for video conferencing is Skype, Go To Meeting, Google Meet, Zoom, and Webex. These platforms allow users to connect with others in a virtual meeting room with both audio and visual communications possible.

A reliable and efficient web video conferencing software platform can make or break a business, so we’ve hand-selected just a few that can meet the needs of almost any type of business.

With one of these at your disposal, you’ll be equipped for the changing landscape of communications in 2021 and ready to do business.

There’s no single approach that works for all businesses when it comes to this type of software, so we’ve compiled a video conferencing software list of the top performers worth considering.

Here, you’ll find the crème of the crop and a guaranteed package to suit your business’ communication needs.

Winner: Zoom

Zoom Conference Software
  • Automated: Yes
  • Download required: Yes
  • Smartphone friendly: Yes

Zoom became the face of video conferencing in 2020 and has continued its reputation for greatness in 2021. With the title of best video conferring software for business and personal use, you can choose a generous free account or paid plan, use either web or app hosting, and invite others to a meeting using either a unique link or personal ID.

Zoom is by far the best free video conferencing software as without paying a cent, you’ll be able to host up to 100 people in a meeting, calls are free, and have a maximum running time of 40 minutes. If you only need to do a one-on-one call, there’s no limit to how long you can chat.

Another standout of Zoom is their security, and although there’s been some controversy in the past, they continue to improve in this area. You’ll be able to password-protect meetings if needed, create a unique meeting ID for security, and give passcodes to others to gain entry. If your business deals in particularly sensitive data, having these options can deliver peace of mind.

There were some downsides though, mainly to do with basic functions that could be upgraded in the future. When you’re in a meeting, you may find it hard to hear what someone is saying unless the other members are muted, which is unlikely. If you are having trouble with hearing others, you’ll likely have to hold a separate meeting afterward to go over what you missed, which can be a drain on productivity.

Another negative had to do with their computer audio-only calls, as there were some limitations to what these customers could do. If you’re only using computer audio during a meeting you won’t be able to share your screen. This means you’re forced to join as a video member which might not be right for you, for whatever reason.

These issues aside, Zoom seems to know exactly what features its customers want and need. You’ll be able to automatically adjust your image so people can always see you clearly, add filters to make yourself look better, allow others remote control of your computer, request attendees fill out a survey before joining a meeting, and even place certain members on hold if you’d rather they’re not around for what’s going on.

Zoom offers a whole lot with their free plan, but if your business has more needs, you can upgrade to a paid plan. These range in price quite dramatically so it’s worth spending some time researching the one you need. With a paid plan, you’ll get the option for administrative control, user reports, and user management control, plus many add-ons. Zoom has solidified its place as the best video conferencing software and when you get a look at all of their features, it’s easy to see why.

Runner Up: GoToMeeting

GotoMeeting Video Conferencing Software
  • Automated: Yes
  • Download required: Yes
  • Smartphone friendly: Yes

GoToMeeting was launched by LogMeIn as a fast and easy way to host HD video conferencing. This paid software lets you host from a smartphone or web device in seconds, access crystal clear audio for you and participants, and host up to 25 HD video attendees at one time as well as unlimited audio members.

What users love about GoToMeeting was its ease of use and how simple it was to get others involved in meetings. There wasn’t anything complicated about the process and even people who’d never used video conferencing before could hop into a meeting without a drama, so it’s great for efficiency.

Another bonus of GoToMeetings was how much control the meeting host had, and if you feel a lot of time is wasted because of a lack of control, you’ll love it as well. You can get permission to access other participant’s computers, use a virtual whiteboard to brainstorm, and mute participants as needed. Use the scheduling feature to come up with a plan for future meetings, or start one with just a single click of the mouse.

However, the GoToMeeting plans are more expensive than the competition with no free and even the basic Starter Plan has limitations. You won’t get the option for a free version either like most others offer. Depending on the setup of your business, it’s likely you’ll need to upgrade to one of the more expensive plans to get access to all of their features, and if you’re trying to video call on a budget, this might not be possible.

Another downside is how sensitive it can be to a poor internet connection, so if you’re someone who regularly experiences dropouts or slow speeds, it’s probably not ideal. While you can’t always guarantee you’re going to be in the best area for connectivity, or that other devices won’t be chewing up your bandwidth, it seems like you need to have a pretty steady connection not to experience lag and glitches with GoToMeeting, so keep this in mind.

There are lots of extras available with this software, including boosting audience engagement with chats and polls, one-click meetings, drawing tools, desktop sharing, cloud-based access, and video recording and transcriptions after every meeting. Whatever you could do in a face-to-face meeting is made possible with this software, and even more.

GoToMeeting offers a 14 day trial for businesses wanting to see what they’re all about, and unfortunately, there’s no free plan going forward. However, if you value ease of use and simplicity in your business communications, you’ll be happy to pay for all of the features that make them possible with GoToMeeting by LogMeIn.

Alternative: Google Meet

Google Meet Video Conferencing Software
  • Automated: Yes
  • Download required: Yes
  • Smartphone friendly: Yes

Google Meet, formerly Google Hangouts, is the best choice for businesses looking for a completely free and simple way to stay in touch. Within the free conferencing software platform, you’ll be able to host up to 100 national attendees, get audio and video chat options, and you can upgrade to the paid version for virtual meeting assistant, transcription, and more.

This is the best video conferencing software for small business owners as it doesn’t cost a thing to use their free plan which still has loads of features. When you compare it to the other products on the market, it does a whole lot for nothing, and you’ll never have to upgrade to a paid version if you don’t need it. For those with minimal needs for video chat that still require a high standard of software, Google Meets ticks all of the boxes.

Another great thing about Google Meet is that it integrates with the rest of the Google Workspace platform, so you get more than just video conferencing, but an entire business system. If you already use Workspace then it’s a no-brainer to get onto Meet, otherwise, you should seriously consider taking a look at what it offers, processing programs, cloud access, productivity tools, and opportunities for collaboration.

On the downside, it’s hard to gauge exactly what’s on offer when you upgrade to one of the premium plans with Google, and finding this information is tricky. You’ll also find some options are limited even when you’re on their highest-level plan, so restrictions like only 250 participants to a meeting could be a dealbreaker for your business.

Another negative worth noting is that the features are somewhat lacking when you stack them up against the others on our list. Google has figured out a way to simplify video conferencing which can be great if you’re into that, but for businesses looking for feature-rich software, you won’t find it here.

The Google Meet platform allows you to share screens with others, cancel out background noise for more effective communication, and use real-time captions that can help others read what’s going on even if they can’t listen. If you’re after simple and efficient, it’s what Google does well, and many people will find more than enough from their free plan.

To get Google Meet, you’ll need to have the entire Workspace setup, but these vary in price and plan. The Essentials plan is affordable and gives you more freedom with how you call, and the Enterprise is the highest tier with everything Google has to offer. Not only do you get the video conferencing suite but the rest of their Workspace programs, so it’s a worthy investment for a business trying to cut costs.

Alternative: Skype

Skype video conferencing software
  • Automated: Yes
  • Download required: Yes
  • Smartphone friendly: Yes

Skype was the video chat that started it all, and it’s still considered one of the best video conferencing software for business and individual needs. Skype for Business is an affordable way to get talking, and it offers screen sharing, virtual whiteboards, recording capabilities, and more.

The good thing about Skype is because it’s owned by Microsoft, it integrates seamlessly with the rest of their programs. Considering most businesses use Microsoft Office this will be a huge bonus and will make the overall process of sharing, editing, and collaborating a lot easier.

Another benefit of using Skype for Business is the price, but you get this great value without losing any of the features. It’s an affordable option and still has lots to offer when you compare it to the rest. You’ll get to test the waters with a 30 day trial and purchasing it will also give you access to the Microsoft Office suite, as discussed earlier, so it’s even better value for money than a standalone video conferencing software.

Connectivity issues have always plagued Skype and it doesn’t seem they’ve gotten a handle on them yet. Users sometimes experience freezing which can be frustrating when you’re on an important call. You’ll want to make sure the network you use at work is already reliable and consistent, otherwise, you might not be able to handle these connectivity issues with Skype.

Another con to think about is how long Skype for Business will last, as Microsoft has plans to replace it with their Microsoft Teams program by the end of 2021. If you want to stick to the Microsoft brand, it’s better to join Teams and see what they have to offer, or you’ll have to make the inevitable switch anyway and learn a whole new system all over again.

Skype still has lots going for it, with features including calls with up to 250 participants, many versions to suit whatever business setup you have, screen sharing, call recording, and more. They have one of the biggest customer support teams including a virtual agent, online community, and direct contact, so if you ever need help, you’ve got it. The app can be downloaded on your phone, on a computer, or using a web based agent, giving you more opportunities to make a call.

Skype for Business has a lot to offer but as it’s short-lived, it might not be on your radar. With both free and paid options available and the chance to integrate with the popular Microsoft Office suite, there’s a lot to choose from, and you’ll get so much more than just a video conferencing program to help your business prosper.

Alternative: Webex

webex conference software
  • Automated: Yes
  • Download required: Yes
  • Smartphone friendly: Yes

Webex Meetings is a downloadable video conferencing software owned by Cisco Systems and their plans range from free to enterprise, depending on business requirements and how much you’re willing to spend each month. Some of the features that Webex offers users on their paid monthly plans are cloud based and desktop recording, smartphone compatibility and mobile screen sharing, up to 200 participants per meeting, and the chance to hold meetings up to 24 hours long.

Webex has a great free option for businesses that don’t need detailed video conferencing software or hold regular virtual meetings. Within their free plan, you’ll be able to add up to 100 participants to a call, hold meetings up to 50 minutes in length, and utilize mobile and desktop screen sharing, as well as many other features that the software offers in its premium versions.

Another great thing about Webex is the quality of their audio and video, so if your business requires clarity like this during online meetings, you’ll be impressed with what they offer. This HD level quality comes from the advanced codecs that Webex uses, and you’ll notice an obvious difference when you make the switch from another software.

On the downside, Webex video conferencing software uses a lot of bandwidth to acquire this quality, so make sure you’ve got it to spare. If you have more than one person joining the conference from a single office, this will be more obvious, so consider the participants of your conferences and what their networks are capable of.

Customers also noted that the interface needed some work, to make it easier to do this like find meeting links and add others to the group. You’ll have to be prepared to spend more time learning the system and getting all of this right before you jump into a meeting, so it’s got a bit of a steep learning curve. The ‘Call Me’ feature appears to be another issue for users and requires manual effort to use, which is another update that Cisco could make.

These issues aside, Webex is a feature-rich conferencing software, no matter the size of your business. Within the platform, you’ll get the ability to add another host, use full-screen video with different layout options, and save recordings of meetings. To increase audience engagement, there are additional features like polling, chats, and raise of hands for audience input, as well as the chance to form breakout groups after a meeting.

Webex delivers a lot of different options depending on the size and requirements of your business. There are four plans available, including the Free, Starter, Business, and Enterprise plan, that can be customized to suit exactly what you need. If you want a reliable software brand, loads of features, and the chance for lots of engagement with meeting participants, Cisco System’s Webex Meetings has plenty to offer.

Video Conferencing Software FAQs

A video conferencing software review means nothing if you don’t understand the purpose of these platforms, it’s a good idea to learn more so you can make the right choice.

We’ve answered a few FAQs that newcomers to this type of software have so you’ll get a basic understanding of their capabilities and what a reliable video conferencing platform can offer your business.

What Is Video Conferencing Software?

about video conferencing software

A video conferencing software platform allows users to have online communications with others remotely, including video and audio chat, seminar hosting, recording, and screen sharing features.

These tools are used by businesses and individuals to enable communication with other parties around the world by acting as a virtual meeting room and a central place to bring everyone together.

Why Use Video Conferencing Software?

Having a dedicated software platform for video conferencing gives your business a reliable, efficient, and easy-to-use place to communicate with clients, customers, and stakeholders.

If you’re not able to meet in person but require more than just a phone call, this type of software allows you to have video communications, screen sharing, and recording capabilities.

Is Zoom The Best Video Conferencing?

bossiness requirements video conference

Zoom is one of the most commonly used video conferencing platforms due to its high-quality audio and video, instant sharing, and an array of other features available in their plans.

However, depending on the needs of your business, you might find that one of the other popular video conferencing software options is better suited.

Does Google Have Free Video Conferencing?

The Google Meet tool allows people to connect through video conferencing for up to 60 minutes free of charge. To set up a video meeting, you’ll need a Google Account, and you can invite up to 100 people to join, with some stipulations.

Google Meet’s paid features include live streaming and the ability for international numbers to join, which may be a better fit for some businesses.

The Perfect Platform for Online Communication

Getting ahead in business means keeping up with the times, and with video conferencing becoming the staple that it is for many companies, it’s important to stay connected.

With our recommendations about the best video conferencing software, you’ll know the perfect fit for your business when you see it, and have a way to ensure you’re always connected.


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