The use of video conferencing platforms quickly escalated as the coronavirus lockdown has moved many in-person activities online. From running online classes to business meetings, these platforms have become more than just a tool to fill the void within us and help us adjust to the new normal. Video conferencing is also a far more personal and effective form of communication than emails or text messages to make sure employees stay connected and in the loop.

We have analyzed some of the market-leading video conferencing services and selected the best for you to compare and consider in today’s article. Keep reading to find the right one for your needs.

What Features to Look on an idle Video Conferencing App

When it comes to which video conferencing app to pick, no one app fits all. It all depends on the needs and requirements of your organization. But, we can walk you through the features that are essential to run a frictionless meeting.

So, here’s a glance at the key features to look for in a video conferencing app to run your meetings without a hiccup:

  • HD Video
  • Screen Sharing
  • VoIP
  • Meeting
  • Chat Features
  • Recording
  • Security (encryption, securely joining a meeting)

Our Top 5 Pick for Video Conferencing Apps

Looking at factors such as ease of use, time limitations, security, and how many participants each meeting can hold, we researched and handpicked the following 5 video conferencing software solutions to assist you in picking the right one.

  1. Google Meet
  2. Microsoft Teams
  3. Zoom
  4. Slack
  5. Skype

Bonus: Facebook Messenger (Messenger Rooms)

We will cover the pros, cons, and whatever else you may need to know about these apps before making the final choice. Let’s get started!

Google Meet

Top 5 video conferencing app

Google’s Hangout Meets rebranded as Google Meet, is a product of G Suite subscription. Up until now, only paying Google customers had the permission to create a meeting on Google Meet, but now it is available for free for anyone with a Google account. Of course, with some limitations, including no call-in by phone support. For G Suite users, Meet supports up to 250 participants in a meeting that scales down to 100 for free users. None of these limitations is a deal-breaker for free users and is still an amazing alternative for small to medium-sized organizations.

Some of the features in the free version edge out the offerings from other services. No wonder we ranked it on top of the list. Let’s have a look at some of them:

  • Real-time captions
  • Enhanced screen sharing options
  • Support for recording meetings
  • More layout choices
  • Join meetings on the go
  • HD video feature

Microsoft Teams

Top 5 video conferencing app

Microsoft Teams is a central hub that helps your team stay organized and have conversations all in one place. If your organization uses Office 365, you already have access to Microsoft Teams. If not, don’t worry, it has a free version as well. Both paid and free versions, let you have guest access, group online, and audio-video calls as well as unlimited chats and search. Users can host 1080p calls with the ability to share screens and record calls with up to 250 people.

Some of the top features of Microsoft Teams include:

  • Full integration with Office 365
  • Get everyday work done quickly and easily with slash (/) commands
  • Best cybersecurity standards
  • Cloud recording with automatic transcripts
  • Supports 1:1 calling, group audio & video calls, channel meetings, and screen sharing

Zoom

Top 5 video conferencing app

Zoom is a cloud-based video communicating software that has become extremely popular in light of the coronavirus crisis. From online classes to business meetings, Zoom has made its way to the heart of users for its ease of use. The free version supports up to 100 participants with a time limitation of 40 minutes, while the paid one supports meetings with up to 1000 participants with no such time limitations.

However, one of the biggest drawbacks of Zoom is its privacy and security risks. Zoombombing, for example, has taken advantage of Zoom's system, and various organizations including Google, have banned the use of Zoom on all employees’ laptops. Although security has been a point of disagreement, Zoom is still on our list as they claimed they are making important changes to their security system.

Some of the top features of Zoom include:

  • Join from anywhere with any device
  • HD video and audio calls
  • Premium version support meetings with up to 1000 participants
  • Built-in support for recording meetings

Slack

Top 5 video conferencing app

When it comes to team communication, Slack has become a go-to platform for a lot of companies. With instant messages, voice & video calls, file sharing, and comments, your team can communicate and collaborate online as easily as in person. You can start a video conference easily on a channel with the right people by just pressing the call button. It’s also worth noting that Slack does not allow audio or video calls with people outside of your Slack workspace, and the number of participants is limited to 15. This comes handy for internal communications and small team meetings. However, Slack has third-party app integration like Zoom, Skype, etc. to run large remote meetings without any friction.

Some of the top features of Slack include:

  • Screen sharing present
  • Screen sharing draw
  • Media traffic encryption with SRTP using a DTLS-SRTP key exchange
  • Third-party app integration

Skype

Top 5 video conferencing app

In case you thought Skype was dying, it’s still around. Skype has launched Skype Meet Now with which you can easily create a meeting by just visiting here. You can use it on the web browser to set up a video conference for up to 50 people for free. However, the paid version has so much more to offer, including support for up to 250 participants in a meeting. Asides video conferencing, Skype also supports instant messaging, file sharing, and screen sharing.

Some of the top features of Skype include:

  • Group video calls, collaboration tools, screen sharing.
  • Meeting recording, real-time chats, file sharing, video messaging
  • No sign-up, no downloads, no time limit in the free version
  • Blur background, react emojis
  • Enhanced security

5 Benefits of Online Video Conferencing

Video conferencing can do much more than bringing people face to face virtually. Here are some of the top benefits of online video conferencing.

Ensures effective communication

Text messages or emails cannot always accurately convey tone, emotions, or the right intention behind the messages. And all too often, relationships between colleagues and clients go sour due to the miscommunication. Video conferencing can keep miscommunication at bay and help maintain a healthy workplace.

It saves cost & time

While the conference room continues to be the main hub for most business meetings, video conferencing makes it easy for anyone to connect right from their web browsers anywhere, saving people time and money for commuting. If your company is globally connected or built of remote employees, investing in the right video conference service is a must to save resources and time.

An improved teamwork

Catching up and sharing ideas with team members over coffee breaks might be irreplaceable. But setting up a virtual coffee break or a quick brainstorming session online is the next best thing you can do to support and motivate your team.

Record meetings or knowledge session

Video conferencing will let you record meetings or knowledge sessions that can be used later to catch up with employees who missed the meeting. You can always go back and play them if you think you have missed out on any vital information. Even better, you can use the recorded training or knowledge sessions to train your new employees to make sure no one falls behind.

Helps you maintain work-life balance

One of the biggest challenges for remote workers is to combat the feeling of isolation. But, it’s not all dull and gloomy, people are still hosting social gatherings through video conferences to feel connected, and keep the spirit up. Did you know a search for #ZoomWedding on Instagram turns up over 100 photos of couples who tied the knot during the pandemic? Crazy, but it works!  What’s more? If you are a performer or a speaker, you can easily host an online event website with video conferencing tools to catch up with your fans. Visit here to learn how to do so. 

You can also read this article for more pro tips on how to get the perfect work-life balance while working remotely. 

Wrapping up

In this time of uncertainty, with the need for social distancing and remote working, video conferencing is the closest alternative to a face-to-face meeting. Clearly, there is no obvious winner when it comes to which app to use. But we hope this guide was a complete rundown on what you need to know before choosing the right video conference app for your business. Did we miss anything? Let us know your feedback in the comment section. This time shall pass too. Till then, stay safe.