The most popular program for online meetings currently is Zoom. People are now using it more than ever because of the lockdowns and social distancing measures.
But Zoom is not the only program or service that you can use if you need to have an online meeting. Many other options are not that expensive, but also there are free ones.
Here are our free picks:
Everybody knows about Skype, and probably everyone has it on its laptop or a computer, because it’s available on Mac, iOS, Windows and Android. It can support up to 50 users on one video call, and to use it; you need to have a Microsoft account.
This app is primarily focused on gaming, but you can easily use it for other purposes. Users can use chat rooms with video and voice calls, but the downfall is that the video calls can only support up to nine users. The good thing is that it has a lot of great features that other apps don’t have. It’s available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux, and you can use it on almost every web browser, or you can download the app.
WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger
These two apps are separate, but they are both owned by Facebook, and practically they are very similar. Assumptions are that they are going to merge in the future, as well with the DMs from Instagram. Currently, they both have group video and voice calls, but they are very basic. They are perfect for quick calls, but for a professional group meeting, you should find something else. Messenger is available on Web, Android, and iOS, and WhatsApp is available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
FaceTime is very popular among people who just want to stay in touch, but it’s also perfect for group meetings since it supports up to 32 people in one group call. But there is a downside for this app; it’s only available for iOS, which means you need to have an iPhone, iPad, or a Mac to use it.
Here are our paid picks:
If you know how to use Zoom, you should know how to use Zoho Meetings. You can host end-to-end encrypted video meetings, conference calls, and even webinars. People that are going to attend those don’t need to sign up or also have the app downloaded, because they can easily access the meetings via a link. But there are desktop and mobile apps available. There are many features that you can use while holding a presentation, and you can record it.
Zencastr is a web-based podcasting service, and you can’t have video calls, but you can have conference calls. Those that want to pay 20$ a month will get an exclusive live editing dashboard and some post-production tools and features. The host needs to have an account, and other participants don’t, they can join via a link.
Both free and paid:
Google Hangouts (Enterprise)
This service is also available as a free version, which is completely good, but the Enterprise version is better. The free version can support up to 150 users, but everyone needs to use their personal Google account. It’s available on Web, Android, and iOS, but it doesn’t have any presentation options, nor the opportunity to record calls.
But the Enterprise version is excellent for corporative use, it can be used for simple text, voice, and video chats, and you can record meetings. Up to 250 users can connect per one call, and you get many presentation options and features.