Top 10 Best Video Conferencing Apps
(2022): Compared & Reviewed
Digital media is an ever-changing world. It keeps developing each day. Just like you see different content on your Facebook timeline every minute, similarly, the technologies and opportunities in digital media keep evolving.
It never remains the same. And as communication opportunities on the Internet kept expanding day by day, we have now got many more applications to communicate.
Especially in the pandemic-stricken world, where majority of the official works are conducted virtually, we are constantly adjusting to newer technologies. The world has switched on digital media during the pandemic. The significance and opportunities of the Internet thus increased to the mass.
The biggest problem that appeared during the lockdown was to execute official tasks. We were not used to performing meetings online, sharing online data, coordinating with employees virtually, and completing projects via the Internet.
We never realized that the Internet would help the world this much during a pandemic situation. It is no longer an option; it is a necessity now. It is the network that helped the pandemic-stricken world to keep moving forward.
However, people found it much more comfortable and easier to work from home. The time was flexible, and they worked from their comfort zone. The Internet facilities also assisted employees to work efficiently.
But the problem arrived when employees were required to conduct a meeting or discuss a problem. The social media applications didn't suffice as those apps can't accommodate many people together. Also, they fail to provide a corporate environment.
The education sector also needed a solution to communicate with the students and teachers. Likewise, businesses and offices lacked a platform to virtually interact with the employees and conduct meetings.
Here is how video conferencing applications came into existence and suddenly became very crucial to our daily lives.
Video calling applications were always there. But we never prioritize them much before the pandemic. Although now, video conferences are our daily life necessity. It has been an important tool of communication since the global lockdown.
People have been using video conferencing apps for both personal and corporate uses. Starting from a college friend reunion to presenting PowerPoint slides, video conferencing apps are necessary for all.
Video conferencing apps are mostly used for official purposes. Be it the meeting with the employees or with the shareholders or customers, video conferencing apps have facilitated communication from any place at any time.
All the internal and external corporate meetings, discussions, presentations, deals finalization, are done via these applications.
Moreover, it has added a new dimension to the education sector. Online classes are regular things for students of today's time. Thanks to the video conferencing applications, the educational institutions have been successfully conducting classes, exams, and running the academic organizations in this crisis period.
We have now realized that all sorts of activities can be monitored online. Though the concept of work from home and distance learning is not new, we never thought of seeing the practice globally among the mass.
These ideas and practices have been possible only due to the development of video conferencing applications. Besides, virtual convocation, college reunion, and online mass gathering are also possible via these applications.
Top 10 best video conferencing apps
All in all, a little knowledge, awareness, and technological facilities can make your video conferencing experience excellent. But do you know the options you can choose? Have you got enough information about the video conferencing apps you may use? We are here to provide you a list of the best video conferencing apps you can work on. Also, you will get to know the pros and cons of the apps. Let's start!
It is the most widely used and preferred application worldwide. You may have already heard of this app as it is competent and suitable for large corporate meetings.
You can either install and sign up with an email and password or may use Chrome to sign up. It can be accessed on any device.
Installing or signing up to the Zoom app allows you to host and participate in virtual sessions. It is free unless you need to include more than 100 people and exceed the time limit of 40 minutes.
However, if you want to use it for free and do meetings for more than 40 minutes, you can reschedule and resume the session.
If you agree to pay, then you can accommodate 1000 people in each session. It means you can host a big conference virtually via Zoom. Also, there will be no time limit on paid packages.
If you have a weak internet connection, you may still manage to use the app. The video quality may degrade, but you can hear the audio with interrupted visuals. The option of recording the whole session is an excellent feature of Zoom.
It helps in analyzing and evaluating the session and recorded sessions can be shared with others too. You can save it and use it later if required. For the corporate world, it is a crucial feature as keeping a record is essential.
The Zoom app also allows the participants to share a screen where the whole screen or a single app can be displayed. It enables you to give presentations, provide training materials, and display content that you may have arranged for a physical session.
You can also chat with the participants during the meeting on Zoom. Besides, you can schedule a session before and send an invitation to the attendees. If you want, you can also schedule immediately and start a meeting.
Overall, the Zoom video conferencing app can be tagged as a reasonable and convenient app for all kinds of uses. Both corporate and personal communications can be done effortlessly via Zoom.
2. Google Meet
Google is always a trusted platform for internet users. Google Meet is a video conferencing app offered by Google. It is undoubtedly user-friendly and helpful.
This video conferencing app can be used on any device like iOS, Android, PC, or you can use on your browser on any system. Though there are a few limitations to this application, like you can use it for small meetings only.
Google Meet is free unless you add more than 100 participants and call more than 60 minutes.The time limit and participant numbers are enough for corporate usage.
You may also add up to 100,000 participants where only a few members can talk and monitor while other participants can only see the active members.
It is suitable for one-way communication like lectures, training, etc. where there are only a few moderators. The best part of Google Meet is that you can get access to other apps by Google.
You can link your Google applications with Google Meet and monitor your meetings better.
You can schedule a meeting on your Google calendar that can automatically give you a meeting link that you may share among the participants. Besides, you can also use apps like Gmail and Google Drive during a meeting without leaving the session.
A slow internet can disturb your Google Meet performance. The sharing screen option is available, but showing video may cause a bit of lag.
Google Meet is best for sessions involving a few participants. It is also compatible with lecture-driven or one-way communication sessions.
All in all, Google Meet is suitable for small meetings but is not the best option for a big conference. However, facilities like integrating with other Google applications, seeing English subtitles, etc. are unique making it a smart choice for small meeting groups.
Skype is one of the oldest and most popular video conferencing apps available in the market. It is offered by Microsoft. It is super-easy to use and provides access to facilities that can meet both personal and corporate needs.
Skype, however, is not an advanced application in today's time when many more compatible options have come up. Nevertheless, it can provide satisfactory service in some cases.
You can effortlessly set up this app without any difficulty by yourself. It is free of cost making it accessible and available for all. You can host up to 50 attendees in a single Skype session. The number is adequate for a corporate meeting.
You can also connect easily with other Skype users and see who all are using the app. The virtual whiteboarding feature is unique in Skype. It enhances the quality of communication and increases engagement.
Small classes and demonstration sessions can be conducted using the option of virtual whiteboarding. Skype can be used on all devices making it easy to use and access.
You can choose your preferred device (PC, laptop, Android, iOS) to install and use the app for virtual sessions.
Also, it offers the option of chatting during the video conference.
The video conferencing app Skype may not be a good option for big meetings. It only works best when used with 10 members. The dial-in audio conference feature is missing in Skype which makes it difficult for users to conduct a meeting where video is not required. The video quality downgrades if you have a poor internet connection.
It can be stated that Skype can give a top-notch performance for small meetings and personal purposes. It may not give satisfactory service for big corporate meetings as various options are unavailable.
The most demanding video conferencing app of the century for educational institutions is Blackboard Collaborate. It is undeniably the best app to use for educational purposes.
It is a cost-effective video conferencing app for teachers and students where various facilities have improved online learning.
It is an app that works similarly to a physical class. A participant can raise his hand virtually to talk. Caption availability makes interaction clearer. The app facilitates the sharing of files like images, PDF, videos, apps, etc.
All the learning materials can be uploaded here that can be used anytime by the participants. The moderators can break students into groups and separately conduct classes, and share materials. The chat box allows participants to chat during the session.
It is one of the apps that can give excellent audio and video quality to its users. The application is superfast but may require a good internet connection to function properly. It offers the opportunity of conducting polls.
It can be used to know the participants' opinions and feedback. The sessions can be recorded, stored, and shared too. It also offers the option of setting a timer. You may need it while conducting an examination.
The most important part is its excellent whiteboarding feature. It can be utilized for teaching. You may add, erase, and edit the content, save and disseminate it if needed.
A free trial is available but the cost of the app is a bit higher than other apps. As it is mainly used for learning and teaching purposes, it has some advanced features for the participants. Also due to its high-quality performance, the cost is a bit much.
Lastly, it can be stated that the Blackboard Collaborate is the most compatible and competent application for learners and teachers. The advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages as you get a range of facilities that no other app can offer.
It is another easy-to-go application to host almost all kinds of meetings and virtual sessions. It provides an excellent user experience to the participants as you will get standard video and audio quality.
It allows you to host virtual interactive sessions as well as webinars where thousands of participants can view. It is commonly used for corporate purposes and to host webinars.
You can set up a meeting date and time whenever you want as well as connect users directly without any schedule. This makes scheduling flexible and easy.
It has a great feature of customizing the meeting link. It means you can add your company name in the link and send invitations where they can see your company name. It is crucial for enhancing brand value and recognition.
Besides, the common amenities like recording the virtual session, dial-in numbers, live chatting, and sharing your screen are available in GoToMeeting video-conferencing application.
These facilities improve the interaction and engagement providing a standard user experience. It also allows you to check your audio level before going online. Moreover, you can link other scheduling apps with the GoToMeeting app.
You can set up a meeting date and time whenever you want as well as connect users directly without any schedule. This makes scheduling flexible and easy.
However, accessing all these facilities can be difficult as you may find it hard to monitor. The features complicate the usage of the app. You can start using it for free, but a paid subscription to accommodate 150 participants requires $12 per month as per Professional plan.
To host more than 250 participants, you will have to opt for the Business package which is priced at $16 per month. The rate goes up as you increase the number of participants.
This app is perfect for the webinar, and other official uses. If you want to enhance your brand value virtually, you may increase your brand credibility by customizing the link.
The exclusive features can surely make your video conferencing experience extraordinarily good only if you can afford the price and regulate it properly.
If you are looking for an app that will be super comfortable to use, then Slack is your cup of tea.
It is not really for formal or official uses, rather it is an app that allows friends and families to connect from across the globe at any moment.
Small meetings can be incorporated using the app but you may not get the professional facilities you require to conduct an official session.
Slack is mostly used and known for informal communication purposes. It allows only 15 people to join the meeting. It is a greater number than the most social media applications (WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.) allow.
Thus, you may opt for Slack to communicate with your relatives, friends, and colleagues.You can either go for an audio call or opt for a video call using the app.
However, if you want to have a video chat, you will have to use a desktop as it can't be done using mobile phones. You can open the app and click on the phone icon and start a call. Also, you can message your colleagues to join the chat via Slack.
If you plan to watch a movie together or need to show something to the participants, a screen sharing option will let you do that. You can comment there but there is no dedicated whiteboarding option in this application.
It works best with a few participants, and the call may drop, the video quality may deteriorate anytime if more people participate in the session. The standard packages are $8 per month and come with great customer support and unlimited chat storage.
Overall, Slack is an app for personal use and small business activities. Informal communication goes better with Slack more than corporate communication. However, you may choose it depending on your demands.
7. Cisco Webex
The next app is Cisco Webex which is another splendid video conferencing application for personal and official uses. You can use it for free, accommodating 100 participants per session. The Starter pack of $13.50 offers you cloud storage of 5GB.
This is a value for money application offering several facilities.
You can share a screen, disseminate unlimited files with the participants, chat during the session, use the whiteboard, and get good audio quality.
The app is suitable for training, teaching, and presentation purposes as it has an excellent whiteboarding option.
The whiteboard in Cisco Webex is undeniably the best. It has features like sketching tools, geometric shapes, and text tools that can give you the same presentation experience as the physical sessions. This feature makes it unique from other video conferencing applications.
However, for live chatting, you would require to get access to the Webex Team apps. The app is also ill-famed for its usability issues. This may not be the top option for video conferencing but is pretty reasonable for both corporate and personal purposes.
However, it is quite a convenient and flexible app to use for official and individual uses.
The next option for you is the video conferencing app Whereby. The customer review is quite good though it is not a popular application.The facilities offered are wonderful and can be helpful for corporate uses as well.
Using the app doesn't require any registration for app downloading. You can get access to the app using your browser, and the participant can do the same to join the meeting. The app is just one click away.
The screen sharing feature allows you to collaborate with your participants where you may display your presentation.This feature is necessary and helpful for all sorts of meetings.
You can use the same link over and over again. It helps to remember it and you won't need to create a link repeatedly. The app gives room for up to 50 people which is adequate for a small meeting.
The fun feature of the app is you can customize and use various backgrounds and logos in your meeting room.It helps you to increase your brand recognition and value.
The recording option is available in the app Whereby. The recording can be stored and shared among the participants. Besides, you can chat with the members anytime you want.
As the app can be used from any device you prefer, the availability of the app increases. Another interesting point is that you can send live reactions during the meeting.
This makes the virtual session more fascinating and engaging. A free trial is available. The starting price is $14.99 per user/ per month if billed monthly. And if billed yearly, then the price drops to $11.99 per user/ per month.
Overall, the Whereby app is a preferred app for professional use. The unique features of adding background and sending live reactions make the app more demanding. Despite the few loopholes, Whereby is a suitable application.
On the 9th number comes the application BlueJeans that has a user-friendly interface. The app provides high quality and standard service to the users. The app ensures the security and privacy of the meetings.
BlueJeans is also commendable due to its outstanding audio quality that would give you a real-life audio experience.
The app is also favorable for using the highly interactive and featured whiteboarding tool. The tool offers a wide range of options that can make the lecture or session more productive and engaging.
The app also facilitates a screen sharing option that allows you to show images, texts, videos, and other files. It enhances the communication between the host and the attendees.
In this app, you get the option of recording the virtual session and store it in the cloud. If needed, you can download it and disseminate it too. These features are necessary to keep track.
You can get access to the app using any device you want. Also, you can either install the app or use your browser to use it. In the case of joining a session, you can simply enter the ID and passcode to join the meeting. The video and audio quality are reasonable, and the customer service is responsive too.
It gives a free trial for a month, and then you would need to buy a package. The starting package is $9.99 per month.
Overall, BlueJeans seems to be a considerably beneficial video-conferencing application. The app has basic facilities and can provide good performance. The minor drawbacks can be resolved if a good internet connection is available and payment is given.
10. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a platform where collaborations, team meetings, video chats, document sharing and all related activities take place.This tool acts as a collaborative workspace within the bounds of Office 365.
Overall, this tool is useful for a virtual business set-up. Microsoft Teams was launched in 2017 to rival the collaboration platform Slack.
When the pandemic hit the globe, Microsoft Teams saw a surge in the active users to 75 million on a daily basis. This proves that this platform has served as a leading tool for virtual meetings and collaborations.
With work from home coming into play, Microsoft Teams earned the spotlight in one of the best video conferencing apps categories.
Importance and merits of video conferencing apps
In today's time, video conferencing apps are essential and important. It is not only important during this pandemic, but can be helpful at any time. The virtual meeting and online offices are pretty convenient and fun because of the video conferencing apps. These applications have made life easier, indeed. Let us see how video conferencing apps can be beneficial for individuals and companies:
- Cost-effective- Most video conferencing applications are available for free. You can use them as long as you want without any cost. However, if you want to enjoy advanced features like adding more than 100 people, conducting meetings for long, etc., you may require to pay an amount that is reasonable.
- Multi-functionality- Video conferencing apps are not only for doing meetings. You can conduct training programs, share screens to display presentations, give examinations (turning on the camera), chat during the meeting, share links on the chat box, etc. Such features make the apps more purposeful, by increasing engagement and active participation.
- Recording- Video conferencing apps allow you to record the meeting. You can share the recording with the participants. Also, you can easily store the record, analyze it, and utilize it further.
- Flexibility- You can be super comfortable while attending a virtual meeting. There are options to mute the microphone and turn off the camera. You can turn them on and off according to your wish.
- Accommodate more participants- Think of organizing a conference physically where 1000 people are going to participate. The first task is to find a place to accommodate such a huge number of people. Video conferencing apps allow you to host as many people as you want without any difficulties.
- Timing- You can schedule a meeting and notify the participants anytime you want. Also, you can have a meeting with your colleagues at any hour of the day. The timing flexibility is only possible virtually via video conferencing apps.
- Time-saving- Calculate the time you need to get ready and go to the office. Then, estimate the time you require to set up the conference hall and get ready for the presentation. And then coming back to your house requires extra time. Virtual meetings facilitate time saving by eliminating some of these tasks. Other works like making a presentation, taking notes, etc. can be done at any time.
- No barrier- You can host a meeting with people from around the globe. This means you can include more people and grow your territory. For businesses and organizations, these apps provide a great opportunity to effectively connect globally.
- Increased productivity- As people attend meetings from their comfort zones, and as global people can come together, the productivity rate can substantially increase. More frequent connectivity enhances the efficacy of the staff and inspires them to be more active.
- Accessible- The apps are very easy to use. Also, you may either use your mobile phone or a laptop to use the apps. It is super convenient for new technology users. An Internet connection would suffice. The apps are easily accessible making them available for all.
- Professional- The set-up of the apps is professional that gives a corporate look. You can see the faces of others, use the features (chatting or raising hand) to maintain decorum, talk to each other just like you would do face to face, and maintain the corporate environment. These apps are designed for professional uses making them the best option for corporate communication.
- Personal uses- You may connect to your friends and families, attend a virtual wedding, family ceremonies using these applications. You can communicate with a larger number of people than you could do in social media apps.
Demerits of video conferencing apps
Undeniably, video conferencing apps are blessings to us. They are remarkably useful and easy to use, especially in the corporate world. But is it only about the benefits? No. Though the merits outweigh the demerits of the video conferencing apps, we must glance once at the demerits too.
- Needs an active internet connection- You need to have a reliable and speedy internet connection to use the video conferencing apps. Having a good internet connection can be a problem for many people living in remote areas or who can't afford an internet connection.
- Lesser attention- Many participants fail to focus on virtual meetings. Getting habituated with the virtual meeting is a big task. People often lose focus, feel drowsy and boring, and get distracted easily during virtual sessions. This rarely happens in physical meetings.
- Technological ignorance- Numerous people find it difficult to learn the intricate features of video conferencing applications. People may need training to effectively use the apps and adjust to them. Technological inexperience is a huge problem in such apps.
- Lack of non-verbal communication- During physical meetings, people get to observe the body language of others. This assists in better understanding and interaction. In the case of virtual sessions, people don't get the scope to see the body gestures of others. This may result in poor understanding and communication.
- Not healthy- Sitting for hours at a video conference isn't healthy for the human body. It can cause obesity, harm eyes, give rise to anxiety, cause boredom, disrupt concentration, and cause both physical and mental difficulties.
Things to consider before choosing a video conferencing application
The factors you may like to consider while choosing the correct option are-
- The price of the app is the primary factor you need to check. You must decide on a budget and then opt for the correct option. The app needs to be cost-effective and profitable. If you spend more than you should have, you may regret it because there are plenty of options available.
- Then comes the frequency of using the apps. If you need an app for heavy use, select the fastest and best-performing app. For minimal usage, select one with a reasonable speed and support. Decide the app that can take the load.
- Now, you should consider the collaborative options of the apps. Decide how much you need to interact and connect. Check on the options and decide.
- Check on the audio and video quality. These are two mandatory factors that you need to check before selecting the right app.
- You may like to check the number of participants the apps allow. Decide the number of participants and select the suitable option for you.
- You may also like to consider the recording and storage options. Check out the features and find the right one.
- Some may need a file sharing option. You can find a lot of options for that too.
If you have gone thoroughly through the list, you must have selected and decided the suitable application for yourself or your organization. While the whole world is shifting online, it is very necessary to opt for a video conferencing app for both personal and official purposes. Also, it is essential to know your requirements and select the app accordingly.
All in all, choose the right video conferencing app wisely. Do try out the free trial sessions and tick mark the criteria you are looking for. Match the requirements and finalize. Also, do learn the setup and technological features to get a better user experience.
Don't jump to a conclusion before learning about the apps. Check out the list above. Select the one you like. Go to the official website of that particular app and check out again. Try to be assured before you select one.
As video conferencing apps are a daily life tool for us, we must select the app that can benefit us the most. We must consider all the facilities and then decide the right option. Now, what are you waiting for? Follow the instructions, check out the criteria you need, and go for it. Remember that a lot of options are available. So, don't worry and start conferencing virtually!