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Clear communication is essential in the workplace, but it’s even more important when working from home. In order to be productive, you need to be able to effectively communicate with the rest of your team. But with so many video conferencing software options available, it can be tricky to know which one is right for you.
In this blog, we’ll break down the best video conferencing software for working from home to help you find the perfect platform for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a full-featured program or a simple video calling app, we’ve got you covered.
Founded by a former Cisco and WebEx engineer in 2011, Zoom has expanded rapidly with dedicated Zoom meeting spaces called “Zoom Rooms” popping up all around the world. For voice and video calls, users are given a custom meeting URL, which means guests can join online without having to create an account or download a new program. Zoom also features desktop and mobile apps for instant messaging between contacts.
With a free Zoom Basic account, users can host unlimited one-on-one meetings or group meetings with up to 100 participants—however, group meetings are capped at 40 minutes. For unlimited meetings, Zoom also offers Pro, Business and Enterprise plans with additional features.
Founded in 2003, Skype has been the go-to conference call software for work-from-home professionals for over a decade. With more than 300 million estimated active monthly users, Skype is one of the most popular professional solutions for voice and video calling.
Skype offers crystal-clear audio and HD video calls for up to 50 people, with useful features like call recording and smart messaging, which lets you send messages to users with direct notifications. You can even call landlines and mobile phones directly using Skype Credits, making Skype a solid choice for international calls.
You may have heard of UberConference back in 2014 when they gained viral attention for their hold music—a witty tune called "I'm On Hold" by Alex Cornell about waiting on hold for a conference call to start. In addition to having awesome hold music, UberConference also has a ton of useful features for online meetings.
Unlike some videoconferencing software, UberConference does not offer a desktop app, which means there’s no chat option outside of conference calls. Instead, users are given a custom URL and guests are required to sign in using a PIN number. With the free plan, users can host calls with up to 10 participants with a max call time of 45 minutes. With a business plan, users can create a custom call-in number that does not require a PIN, and are able to make international calls with up to 100 participants.
UberConference also offers free recording for audio and HD video calls, making it an excellent choice for interviews, seminars, training sessions and more.
Not to be confused with Google Hangouts, which is only available for consumers, Google Meet is a premium video conferencing software for small businesses. Previously only available as part of G Suite, Google’s paid software bundle for businesses, Google recently developed a free version of Google Meet that supports up to 250 participants with a max call time of 60 minutes.
Google Meet also offers a number of useful features including real-time captioning, advanced screen sharing options and built-in recording functionality. However, it does require that users use a Google account to join.
Google Meet Features
Originally launched in 2009, WhatsApp was purchased by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014, in what was the largest acquisition of a venture-backed company in history at the time—so that should tell you something about how popular WhatsApp is.
With options for desktop and mobile apps as well as a web-based platform, WhatsApp makes it easy to stay connected wherever you go. Effortlessly send instant messages, make voice calls or even set up videoconferences with up to four people from any device.
And for those who run customer-based businesses, WhatsApp also offers WhatsApp Business, a free-to-download app that lets you interact with customers using tools to automate, sort and quickly respond to messages. Best of all, WhatsApp Business offers end-to-end encryption to keep your information safe.
Formerly known as Appear.In, Whereby is a browser-based conference call software designed for freelance professionals and small business owners. Ideal for video conferencing, Whereby offers an array of flexible online meeting tools like one-click scheduling and custom branding options.
Accessible via web and mobile apps, Whereby provides users with a custom URL for hosting conference calls with up to four people at a time for free. Pro and Business plans offer more meeting rooms, more participants and recording options.
Jitsi Meet is a fully encrypted open-source video conferencing app with more than 10 million monthly users. There are no artificial restrictions on the number of users or call duration, so you can chat with as many people as you’d like for as long as you want.
Jitsi Meet works directly in your browser, so there’s no need to download an app to use the software. Each meeting room can be password protected to keep your meetings private. Best of all, Jitsi Meet is 100% free and you don't even need an account to use it.
For companies who routinely host large calls, you can increase your bandwidth by turning an unused computer into a dedicated Jitsi server.
Jitsi Meet Features
For even more tips on how to improve your conference calls, check out our blog on How to Make Professional Sounding Conference Calls From Home.