Videoconferencing is more and more present, whether for conversations with friends or business meetings. It is therefore important to choose the best tools. We have selected for you the most interesting software according to your needs.
With increasing rates of Internet fixed and mobile 4G and soon 5G , it is becoming increasingly common to use the videoconference . But while some are content with the solutions offered by consumer communication tools such as Facebook Messenger or Apple Facetime, there are many software with broader or more professional features. Futura has created a panel of the best solutions on the market, whatever the profile and the need of the user.
Here are Best Video Conferencing Softwares
Video Conferencing: Skype
You can not talk about videoconferencing without mentioning Skype , the best-known software in the field. Launched in 2003, bought in 2011 by Microsoft , it has expanded its features and compatible platforms. If Skype started on Windows only, allowing two speakers to communicate via their webcam and their microphone, the latest versions have added some very interesting features. For example, it is possible for users to share their screen, and thus to allow the presentation of PowerPoint files or demonstrations of software uses. This is all the more convenient as Skype allows group chats of up to 10 people.
Another interesting option is the ability to record ongoing conversations, convenient for business and personal communications, since Skype is often used in a home environment, for example used by grandparents to see their grandchildren grow up.
The advantage of Skype is that it is not limited to computer- to-computer or mobile-to-mobile communication ; indeed, Skype offers two solutions to connect to the conventional telephone network. With Skype-to-Phone, you can call phone numbers, geographic and mobile, anywhere in the world, for a fee, but at a cost that is well below the normal cost of calls, especially when calling from abroad. And conversely, with the Skype Number, the user can temporarily buy a conventional phone number, French or not, which will be redirected to the Skype software without the caller knowing that it is a Skype number. An ideal solution for people who travel many who need to remain reachable even when they are abroad.
The strength of Skype is to be a multiplatform product. The software is available on computer (Windows, Mac and Linux ), on mobile ( Android , iOS and Windows 10 mobile ), on Xbox One and even on Amazon Alexa .
Video Conferencing: Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is certainly not the best-known product of Mountain View, yet it does not lack appeal. Hangouts is the instant discussion of Gmail , the most popular e-mail service on the planet. Who has a Gmail account has a Hangouts account. Here is the first strength of this product.
Google Hangouts groups three products under the same name for three distinct needs. Google Hangouts is the instant chat service found in the Gmail interface. It’s more than that, and you just have to go to the Hangouts site to find out. In a simple and responsive interface , we find all Gmail contacts, an instant messaging chat system, and a videoconferencing system with a user or a group of interlocutors. Nothing to install on computer, it will download the mobile application for use on Android or iOS. Google Hangouts has features similar to Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger, again an invitation will have to be sent to the user before being able to communicate in writing or by video.
But if Google Hangouts is part of this list, it is that it differs from these two other candidates by unique features. The first is Google Hangouts Phone, formerly Google Dialer . With this tool, the user can, like Skype-to-phone, call physical phone numbers around the world, and at a lower cost. The cost is even zero for calls to the United States and Canada in most cases. The feature called Google Voice also allows you to get a virtual number connected to a physical number(American) and therefore receive calls to its number in +1. Google Voice also has an impressive feature since voice messages are automatically transcribed into text and sent by email, or notification in the application, very convenient to work or meeting when you can not listen his message, we can always read it.
Finally, the least known Hangouts version, which should be of interest to more than one manager, business manager, or association manager, is Hangouts Meet, part of Google’s G Suite by Google Cloud. professionals. G Suite is a set of often free services for individuals that are improved and made available to companies, with a subscription. Among the services of G Suite, there is a reworked Gmail that will replace the native messaging service of the company, and greatly simplify its administration. Similarly, Hangouts Meet is a boosted version of Hangouts that allows you to launch video chat invitations with a simple calendar entry (Google Calendar) that will automatically send an email (Gmail so),hypertext link that will trigger videoconferencing without any software to install on PC ( on iOS or Android, the installation of an application remains necessary). Google pushed the integration of its services far enough, and even opened them to others since using SIP and H.323 standards, Meet videoconferences can be reached by Skype for Business users.
Video Conferencing: Zoom
For the professional world, Zoom is a turnkey set for collaborative work. Thus, Zoom has a very advanced videoconferencing solution, which makes it possible to communicate as a duo, as a group or even as a conference room. Better yet, it is possible to initiate or join a discussion directly from a hyperlink. If the user browses with Chrome or Firefox, an extension will install. However, it will be necessary to have the app installed if it is on mobile . Finally, in the case where the user has neither smartphone nor tablet, or computer, phone numbers are available to join meetings through a unique code; in the case of a Premium subscription, the numbers are free and it is even possible to call. In addition, it is possible to record video conferences in the cloud and view them later.
Another strength of Zoom is its ability to create “webinars”. Mix of web and seminar, they represent the current trend in corporate communication, both internally and externally. This is a one-way videoconferencing, with participants communicating to the facilitator through a chat room, often used in question and answer sessions at the end of the webinar. Other features offered by Zoom include, among others, advanced screen sharing optionsand also the Zoom Desktop application that centralizes all communication, with a system of channels very close to Slack. Zoom Voice replaces the company’s phone system by completely switching it to VoIP , including voice mailboxes.
Zoom is therefore a professional software intended mainly for companies, and its cost suffers because the amount of the subscription varies from 15 to 20 dollars per month per user, with specific rates for schools. But there is a free version, if we agree to some sacrifices, such as the length group videoconferences limited to 40 minutes or the backup of videos only on the presenter’s computer and not on the cloud. This free plan, however, remains a very good opportunity for individuals, small businesses or associations.