Recording a video interview or starting a video chat is not a big deal nowadays. We have lots of apps to help us with that. It won’t matter how much far you guys live you can just connect with these apps. But what about organising a video call with more people?
Or holding a meeting with 10-12 peoples and even more, what then? Arranging these type of things can be challenging.
And this where you need video conferencing. If you want to arrange a meeting online, this is the best way to do it. And for that, you need a conference call software tool that supports more people.
But first, let me tell you what it is and how these software’s can benefit you.
What is Video Conferencing?
Video conferences are real-time video sessions between two or more people from two or more locations. Although video conferencing will support several endpoint communication such as “video call” and of course “video chat”.
It means one-to-one. Video conferencing would provide many features including face to face interactions.
There is some in-class video conferencing that will allow you to share your screen, access one another’s PC (with limitations), chat options, exchange files, communicate via digital whiteboards and even broadcast conferences to large groups of viewers.
What benefits would I get from these tools?
These tools would come in handy in the long run. If you are only looking for a one on one video calling tool, then you’re in the wrong place. These are best suited for video conferencing with more people. Now, let’s see how they would benefit you.
Cut the cost using video conferencing
In the business world, big companies tend to add their headquarters throughout the globe. The employees have to travel one way to get together to share their ideas. But the air fees, hotels and even renting meeting spaces exclusively, cost a huge deal.
And don’t forget the scheduling. You can’t expect 10-12 people to be free at the same time. These things can indeed get out of hand.
But if you just take these meetings on video conferencing, then things would be much easier. The participants would be engaged as well share their ideas, but they don’t have to travel all the way to the place.
Interact without being in person
You can quickly bring life to your meetings. Video conferencing does not mean that you can only do video call. But you can do all sorts of things to interact with other people. This way the presenter would not be just a voice but a presence also.
Other participants will be able to interact with you, share your files and even sketch ideas on the whiteboard.
Some tools will let you pass the control to another participant so that they can continue with the meeting if something comes up.
And some tools let hosts deny any access that can start a disruption.
Video Conferencing Package Pricing
With all kind of software services, pricing is a huge fact, as the other participants would join in that too. It’s better to be in a package that doesn’t cost a tremendous amount of money. Or else the purpose of group conferencing would just be vain.
There are some free services but up to a trial period. It could be useful when you don’t conference on a daily basis. Others charge quite low as per month or year.
Ease of Use and Meeting Features
After finding the perfect package, you have to consider the ease of use. Now if the tool doesn’t have a natural structure no matter how much you pay this would just bring more trouble. You have to pick one that can be used by anyone.
If the UI is confusing or scrambled, it would be frustrating during the meetings to navigate. That’s why you need to look for extra features and ease of use. And there are plenty of them available on the market.
Support and Compatibility
You need to make sure that you have support resources in case something goes wrong. The best group conferencing tools will have phone, email and chat support. Active user communities are an excellent source to have in these situations.
You’ll also need to check the compatibility with your browsers and the minimum system requirement.
In the circumstances, a free tool is a better choice. But if you can get a better deal with a lot of features then you should go for it. That’s why I’ve put together a list of 5 best group conferencing software’s so that you can check them out and choose what best suits you and your team.
Top 5 Group Conference Call Software
|1||Skype||Professional Use||*****||Download||Read Review|
|2||ooVoo||Big Group Conference||*****||Download||Read Review|
|3||Google Hangouts||Screen Sharing||****||Visit||Read Review|
|4||AnyMeeting||Small Business Chat||***||Download||Read Review|
|5||GoTo Meeting||Small Friends Chat||***||Download||Read Review|
Number #1 – Skype
Skype is the ultimate group conferencing tool. With Skype, you can voice call up to 25 peoples, and video calls up to 10 people. And the best part is that you don’t need any premium account. But if you buy their business subscription, you can start a conference up to 250 people.
That’s a massive amount of participants. The pricing starts from $2 per user monthly. Not a tremendous amount at all.
Skype recommends a video call with groups of 5 people, as it complies with their fair usage policy. The conferences are limited to 100 hours per month. You will get 10 hours of video calling per day with 4 hours per individual call.
After reaching this limit, the video will switch off, and then it will turn into an audio call
But unfortunately, this service is available for group calls for only PCs. You can’t use it on mobile devices, Linux or TVs. You can voice call with it, though.
The minimum requirement for a video call:
- Latest version of Skype
- High-speed broadband Internet connection
- Microphone and speakers
Starting a group video call on Skype
Step-1: Firstly, you need to make a group of all the participants of your team or members. Then hold the Ctrl and click the contacts from your list, you want to call.
Step-2: After that, click the Video call button.
Step-3: When you need to end the video call, click End call button to stop the broadcast.
While you are making a video call, Skype would automatically detect the quality of video call your system is capable of doing. In case you have any problem with the group call, you should see the troubleshooting guide.
Number #2 – ooVoo
ooVoo offers the most participants on the free version. This software provides video calling up to 12 peoples. It is a great deal. And the quality of the video is quite persistent. Of course, you need a stable internet connection for that.
If you want extra features like remove the ads, sync between desktop and mobile or have cloud video storage you can try out their premium version. It costs about $29.99 a year. Not much, if you use it on a regular basis.
It’s been around for some time now and poses a severe threat to Skype. Though, both of them are different.
ooVoo was designed to win the hearts of the young ones. And it continues new ways to be more appealing. The service is cloud-based and has high-quality video and audio calling.
It has different features such as screen sharing, call recording, offline video messaging, and direct uploading to YouTube, the ability to take and share snapshots of a live conversation.
You will also get a WebRTC-compatible software development kit that will let you use its tech to embed video calling on your websites.
Starting a group video call in ooVoo
Step-1: Firstly, you need to register an account or connect with Facebook.
Step-2: Then you need to select users from the list that you want to launch in the video chat.
Step-3: Click the video call button to start the call or just double click on the selected contacts.
Number #3 – Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts has the easiest and unique UI on the list. You can group conference up to 10 peoples. The best part is that it’s web-based. So, no need for any additional installations.
All you need is a google account to start. You can join the conversation with your computer, smartphone, and even tablet.
It’s the most popular one nowadays. As people trust Google for its high-quality security maintenance, Google Hangouts became favourite in no time.
Starting a group video call in Google Hangouts
Step-1: Firstly, you need to log in to Google Plus or Gmail.
Step-2: You need to get the Hangouts plugin if you have Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. In Chrome it’s automatically enabled.
Step-3: Open Hangouts at hangouts.google.com.
Step-4: Once you open it, it will ask for permission to access your microphone and camera. Allow it.
Step-5: Next you need to type in the name or email address of the persons you want to add in the group call.
Step-6: After that, click the Video icon.
With the right equipment, you can even send and receive 720p HD videos.
You will also be able to share the screen with all video conference members, add new members, edit documents from Google Drive and even play games.
Number #4 – AnyMeeting
AnyMeeting will let you group video conference with max six peoples. The video quality will automatically resize according to the available space.
It won’t matter what devices they are using; the software will support any model. That’s a great feature of this app.
On the other hand, AnyMeeting Pro will allow you to use the online portal to schedule meetings in advance or even start whenever you want. The UI of the software is well structured. And it’s straightforward to use.
You can share your screen or use PowerPoints to show your presentation. It’s a browser-based group conferencing that would make things easier than ever.
But AnyMeeting Pro has some lacking. It doesn’t have any interactive features such as a whiteboard, annotation tools, and transfer mouse and keyboard control. However, you can create a survey or tests during the call and get results without delay.
Starting a group video call in AnyMeeting
Step-1: First of all, you need to go to their website and sign up.
Step-2: Then you need to download the app and install it.
Step-3: After that, you need to pick up contacts that you want to add to the group.
Step-4: Next you need to click the webcam button on the upper panel to start the conference call.
During a call, you can share slides, play YouTube videos, run a poll, and take notes that you can further send to all participants.
Number #5 – GoToMeeting
GoToMeeting is the last one on the list. It’s the most popular chat tool supporting up to 100 people. However, it only supports six peoples for video conferencing. So, even if you choose a premium plan with 25 peoples, just six people can share their cams.
It’s a huge drawback, but there aren’t any suitable alternatives for its other features. It has screen sharing and powerful commenting options, video conference recording (for further usages like uploading to YouTube or a website), and support for all the device models and so on.
Even so, this tool can be a great one if you have a small team or small group of friends to chat along.
Starting a group video call in GoToMeeting
Step-1: First of all, you need to go to their website and sign up.
Step-2: Then you need to download the app and install it or install it from the Windows app store.
Step-3: After that, you need to schedule meetings and add contacts or enter a meeting ID and join the conversation.
Step-4: If you scheduled the meeting you can start it at any time with the participants and switch on and off your webcam. All you need to do is to click start meeting.
Take your Meetings to a Whole another Level
All of these software tools are the best of the best at what they are designed to do. These five best group conference call software tools have a variety of features. If it’s just a family call, then you can only use any one of them.
But if you want to invest in them for business purposes then you should defiantly try them out and choose the best one. But I would recommend you to try out ooVoo and Google Hangouts. Skype has become somewhat obsolete and is causing errors in individual devices.
But the choice is yours. Just try these tools and choose the best one.
Hasib is a born geek and loves tweaking his computer and gadgets for effectiveness and productivity. At WindowsChimp, he specializes in writing Tutorial guides and discovering new hacks to share.