The Corona pandemic has temporarily taken over the world and most people have vacated their offices to their home until the situation calms down. This way, people are contributing to stopping the virus from spreading and actually saving lives.
A big number of people have been temporarily laid off or even lost their jobs, but for many, the new everyday situation is working from a home office. Luckily, the advances in technology have provided us with accessible and affordable tools to help us have meetings, workshops, and even classes online.
We have taken the liberty to do some research and compare three of the top tools available on the internet today.
Zoom Meetings is a video conferencing tool that you can use both on your phone and computer. Getting started is simple and fast and Zoom gives you a wide range of scalable features.
Not only does the program give you HD-quality video and audio, but you can be up to 1000 participants at the same time and have up to 49 videos on the same screen. If you have a big meeting, it’s best to set it up on a big screen.
You can store meetings, either locally or in the cloud, along with transcripts containing searchable text. Zoom also offers a built-in collaboration feature that allows participants to share screens and work together to create their own notes.
In addition to all this, there is a chat feature that gives you the option of file sharing, searchable history, and an archive of up to ten years. Meetings can also be extended to one-to-one conversations. Meetings can be automatically scheduled from Gmail, Outlook, and iCal.
A great thing about Zoom is that it offers a feature-packed free solution that can hold up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes. For the paid version, the prices start at approx. 15 USD per month and increases to 20 USD for the more specialized solutions for companies and groups.
Google Hangouts Meet
Google Hangouts Meet is a part of the G Suite software platform and its goal is to deliver a first-class conference solution. Primarily it’s designed for the needs of businesses and can handle a high number of users at the same time.
The Meet version is an enhanced version of the well-known Google Hangouts with the purpose of making it easier to work with external customers. This is primarily done via a web-based program, so you don’t need to download any software.
You also get a number to call for each conversation, which ensures that even colleges on the go can join the hangout, that the quality is consistently good throughout the conversation and that no one gets lost along the way.
Google Hangouts Meet offers their own app to mobile users that you can download from AppStore and Google Play Store, but it also works with existing conferencing hardware. All that is required is that the machines comply with the SIP and H.323 standards for Skype for Business users.
Another advantage by being included in the G Suite platform is that the program is easy to operate from other platforms, for example, Google Calendar which you can use to both schedule meetings and provide information about them.
There are no high monthly costs with Google Hangouts Meet, unlike many other tools, which of course is a great advantage. It’s simply a serious video conferencing platform for businesses that requires no major costs in advance of hardware, making it easily accessible even for smaller businesses.
GoToMeeting is LogMeln’s standalone online conferencing service that offers voice and video conferencing capabilities and screen sharing. When it comes to mobile-friendliness, GoToMeetings really stands out and is the absolute best tool out there.
You can easily set up and start a conference from your smartphone or tablet, which many of the market leaders are still struggling with. You can also maximize the quality of audio and video in “settings.”
The mobile app has its own editions for Android and iOS, which both have received positive reviews from users. They manage to balance quality with mobile availability, which makes them stand out from other providers.
When it comes to the price, you get almost all of the standard features with the cheapest version of the tool, which costs around 12 USD with an annual subscription. This subscription has a very generous limit of 150 participants, which is more than adequate for most businesses.
The business solution is approx. 20 USD per month, or 18 USD if you choose an annual subscription. With this solution, you can be a maximum of 250 participants, you get more administrative functions and you get drawing tools and mouse sharing. The most expensive solution is the Enterprise solutions, which increases the number of participants to 3000.