Working from home and socializing through technology are a necessity these days. Whether you’re making the adjustment to remote work or social happy hours, video conferencing services are immensely helpful. That’s why we’ve gathered 7 of the best options available for organizing meetings with your coworkers or staying in touch with friends and family.
Read on to learn more about the perks and parameters of each service. We’re here to help you stay connected.
Best WFH Video Conferencing Software in 2021
Webex is a leading video conferencing service from Cisco designed to help workers stay connected amid this broad shift to telecommuting.
How Many People Can Join a Webex Call?
Webex allows 50 participants in its Starter tier, 100 participants in Plus, and up to 200 for Business level. The free version was also recently enhanced to allow up to 100 participants (up from 50).
How Much Does Webex Cost?
Webex offers a formidable free version for personal use. Starter level for small teams costs $13.50 per host per month. Plus level costs $17.95 per host per month, and Business level costs $26.95 per host per month.
How Do I Get a Webex Discount?
In addition to its upgraded free plan, Webex is offering the first month free on paid monthly plans and four months free on paid annual plans. Giving Assistant shoppers can also get an extra 30% off any new or renewed plan when shopping through our store page or with the Giving Assistant Button.
GoToMeeting is a streamlined solution for office teams to keep conferences going remotely. With three tiers of pricing/capabilities, the software offers solutions tailored to the scale of your organization. Team members can screen share seamlessly from web and mobile versions of the app.
How Many People Can Join a GoToMeeting Call?
150 participants can join a GoToMeeting call (from a phone, mobile or desktop app, or internet browser) at the Professional service tier, with the option for 5 dial out participants to join the live meeting. The Business tier accommodates 250 participants, and the Enterprise level allows up to 3,000.
How Much Does GoToMeeting Cost?
GoToMeeting offers 3 pricing tiers. Professional level costs $12 (normally $14) per organizer per month. Business level costs $16 (normally $19) per organizer per month. Companies interested in Enterprise level service may call the sales team for a quote based on webinars, room solutions, and phone equipment.
How Do I Get a GoToMeeting Discount?
One of the original video calling services, Skype remains a modern mainstay for business meetings or keeping in touch with friends.
How Many People Can Join a Skype Call?
Up to 50 people can join a shared call via Skype or dial in from a landline or cell phone. Users can also screen share during calls.
How Much Does Skype Cost?
Skype calls are free if everyone on the call uses the Skype service only. $2.99 per month grants up to 2,000 minutes of Skype calls extended via landline or cellphone within the US, with an extra 15 cents extra per additional minute. $6.99 grants users up to 2,000 minutes of phone-extended calls to all of North America, with a 35 cent surcharge per additional minute.
How Do I Get a Skype Discount?
4. Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is a streamlined video calling and conferencing service offered within Google’s G Suite of apps, available for anyone with a Google Account and in enhanced versions for paid users. The service allows simple screen sharing for enhanced co-working success.
How Many People Can Join a Google Hangouts Call?
The simple version of Hangouts supports up to 25 participants in a single call. G Suite paid Basic Hangouts Meet version supports 100 participants. Business level allows 150 participants, and Enterprise level allows 250 participants.
How Much Does Google Hangouts Cost?
The simplest version of Hangouts for Google Account holders is free. Hangouts Meet Basic is included with Google’s G Suite Basic plan, which costs $6 per user per month. The Business plan costs $12 per user per month, and the Enterprise version costs $25 per user per month.
Tip: Want to be able to see everyone on the call at once? With this free “grid view” extension for Google Hangouts, you can! Try it out. (We really like it.)
5. Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger video calling is built directly into the texting app, accessed by clicking the video camera icon in the Messenger desktop browser or mobile app screen. Facebook also now offers a version of the app designed specifically for desktop use. The overall video call service allows screen sharing between compatible devices.
How Many People Can Join a Facebook Messenger Call?
Messenger video calls accommodate up to 50 visitors, with a maximum of 6 people shown on-screen at once. During calls with more than 6 people, the main person speaking is shown on-screen to all callers.
How Much Does Facebook Messenger Cost?
Facebook Messenger is free to use with a free Facebook account.
Zoom has been gaining popularity as a video conferencing service equally suitable for remote work, educational use, and social gatherings. Host meetings and webinars, work in collaborative digital conference rooms, send files, and screen share — all with relative ease.
How Many People Can Join a Zoom Call?
The Basic version of Zoom supports up to 100 participants. Pro includes the 100-participant baseline with the option to expand to 500 or 1,000 participants. Business includes a baseline of 300 participants with the option to expand to 500 or 1000. Enterprise allows 500; Enterprise Plus supports 1,000.
How Much Does Zoom Cost?
Zoom Basic is free, and participants don’t even need to sign up for a Zoom account to access a call (they can enter the call through a direct link from the host).
Zoom Pro costs $14.99 per month per host, Zoom Business costs $19.99 per month per host (starting at 10 hosts for $199.90 per month), Zoom Enterprise costs $19.99 per month per host (starting at 100 hosts for $1,999 per month).
Tip: This easy hack will let you use Zoom without downloading the app. Just paste the following URL into your browser, but replace the word MEETINGID with the meeting ID provided to by the host. Here’s that URL: https://zoom.us/wc/MEETINGID/join
Houseparty is a new video hangout app that’s great for small groups of friends or family.
How Many People Can Join a Houseparty Call?
Houseparty allows up to 8 people to join a single “room,” but users can host multiple 8-guest parties at once and toggle between rooms.
How Much Does Houseparty Cost?
Houseparty is free for iOS, Android, Mac, and Google Chrome users. In-app game purchases are available for $0.99 each.
Shop to Give: How Your Video Conferencing Solution Can Help Nonprofits
While you figure out the best way to take your work and social life into the remote world, you can also make a difference for the nonprofit of your choice.
Cash back you save from shopping deals on some of these video conferencing services would be ideal for donating to organizations like Project HOPE. (Here are other nonprofits that directly support COVID-19 relief efforts.)
In these days of social distancing, supporting a cause you believe in is an excellent way to stay connected.
Sign up for Giving Assistant and download the Giving Assistant Button so you can seamlessly turn your online shopping into charitable giving. Every contribution means another step forward through this dire and complex time.