Remote Meeting Software
The popularity of the best virtual meeting platforms had been on the rise for several years now, thanks largely to the convenience and collaboration tools they’ve brought with them. But few could have predicted just how important remote meeting software would be even a few short years ago.
These days, people need the ability to communicate and collaborate with one another from literally any location. They need to be able to be just as productive in their own homes as they could be in the office. That’s why searches for “free online meeting apps” are on the rise – because if you can’t bring people together physically, bringing them together virtually can and should be able to work just as well.
One of the biggest things that all of the online meeting platforms free options have in common is that they’re so much more than just straightforward video conferencing tools. In some ways, they’re better than in-person meetings, as they allow people to cut through the fat and get rid of the world of ineffective meetings by making the process before, during, and after as straightforward as humanly possible.
In just a few quick mouse clicks, it’s possible to not only connect with all of the core members of your team but also share important files and other data with them to make sure that everyone is always on the same page regarding the type of work that has to be done. Many online meeting software free options include virtually all of the tools and processes someone would need to run any meeting effectively, all in the name of increasing workplace productivity as much as they can.
Web Conferencing Tools
If you had to make a list of some of the top web conferencing platforms available today, names like GoToMeeting, Cisco Webex, and Zoom would undoubtedly be right at the top. Software for web conferencing is important because they support virtually any platform you can think of – not only desktop and laptop computers running the Windows and Mac operating systems, but also mobile devices running iOS and Android, too. This means that the technological barrier that used to exist has finally been broken down, creating platforms that nearly anyone can take full advantage of even without years of technical experience under their belts.
Many of these platforms offer calendar integration, for example, that allow you to use your existing calendar system to make and keep track of appointments. You can also enable “Waiting Room” features to ensure that you know who is attending your meeting and specifically admit only those who you want to participate for increased security.
But the real benefit of these tools comes by way of their multi-share capabilities. When multiple people can share their screens at the same time, real-time collaboration has never been easier. Suppose you’re the type of person who is lucky enough to have a dual monitor setup at your workstation. In that case, you can even change your settings to allow one screen to show the faces of meeting guests and the other to show recently shared screens, slides, and other important content.
So from that perspective, the best virtual conference platforms offer users something more than an in-person meeting ever could. Software for web conferencing puts one person firmly in control of the meeting itself, creating a much-needed structure to everything that happens from that point on. Forget spending precious minutes trying to figure out the agenda or focusing on topics that don’t really matter as much as some people think they do. Keep everything short, sweet, and to the point by way of the best free online meeting platforms that were purpose-built with this express use in mind.
Best Free Video Conferencing
But at the same time, it’s very important to understand that not all video conferencing software free options are created equally. The chasm between the best video conferencing app and a mediocre solution is a deep one, indeed. Therefore, if you want to be sure that you’re selecting the best free video conferencing app to meet your needs, you’re going to need to keep a few very important things in mind.
Chief among these being exactly what you need your platform to do in the first place. Remember that free video conferencing software shouldn’t force you to use a dozen different tools on top of it just to make up for its own lack of functionality. The best video conferencing app free option will include everything you need under one roof, all to make sure that participants don’t need to constantly navigate away from the meeting just to remain productive.
As previously mentioned, the best video conferencing for business option will include some type of screen sharing functionality on top of its video communication tools. Human beings are visual learners – they always have been, and they always will be. Not only do people have a better time understanding what you’re talking about if your message is paired with relevant visuals, but they’ll retain more of what you’re saying for longer periods, too. Therefore, you need to be able to show people what you’re talking about by way of videos, images, presentations, and other collateral. The best free video conferencing tools make that happen by allowing everyone to see your screen simultaneously.
Another important feature to look out for when selecting free video conferencing software ultimately comes down to the voice and video quality. Even modestly priced laptop computers tend to come with high definition cameras these days built right in, so you need to look out for a solution that offers true HD video and voice capabilities. Likewise, it needs to maintain this quality while supporting a large number of different people at the same time, all to make sure that your meeting continues without interruption.
Scheduling is also an important feature to look for in a video conferencing solution, as you need to make it as easy as you can for people to participate. Any video conferencing solution you choose should give you the ability to schedule meetings with just a few quick clicks of your mouse. This includes the ability to send out invites to your scheduled meetings through other tools, like Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar. This way, even if someone isn’t actively checking their schedule within the tool itself, they’ll still know what the meeting is about and when they should be attending.
Moderator tools are also especially important to look for in a video conferencing solution, as you need to be able to keep complete control over the proceedings at all times. What if someone forgets to mute their microphone before walking away to do something else? As a moderator, you should be able to not only mute other people with a single click, but you should also be able to choose who has access to screen sharing and who doesn’t. You should be able to create private chats and breakout rooms, and more.
Finally, one of the most critical features to look for in a video conferencing tool comes by way of a strong security protocol at the heart of it all. We’ve all heard a lot about “Zoom Bombing” over the last year because when that particular platform first gained an enormous amount of popularity, its native security features left a lot to be desired. Unless you specifically went out of your way to password protect your meeting, which few people did, it was essentially accessible to any member of the public if they knew what they were looking for. Yes, that feature has since been patched, and Zoom meetings are password protected by default – but the point stands in that this is a situation you do not want to expose yourself to.
Your video conferencing solution of choice should allow you to provide attendees with passwords, give you the ability to approve join requests before someone enters the room, and more. They should also use at-rest and in-transit encryption to protect the data being transmitted to and from participants. This includes the feed of the meeting itself and any files that people are sharing while everything is going on.
All of this is to say that if you find a video conferencing platform that does not provide any information about their data and privacy protection efforts, you’ll want to keep looking.
Video Conferencing Tools
As stated, any video conferencing list will always include a few familiar names – with Zoom video conferencing, Microsoft Teams video conferencing, and Google Meet being chief among them. They’re all online video conferencing free options (although they do have paid tiers that you can take advantage of, too), and they all bring something unique to the table that is certainly worth exploring.
All of this is to say that the best video conferencing for small business options will always vary depending on the specific business. What works for one may be woefully inadequate for another, so be sure to do your research carefully before choosing any one particular video conference solution to go with.