It just so happened in 2020 that many were forced, unwittingly, to switch to a remote work format. But no one canceled planning meetings and meetings, right? And here the best video conferencing programs will come to the rescue, which we’ll talk about right now.
Telecom relatively long ago made it possible to conduct video conferences with many participants. And many companies are already actively using this meeting format, when its participants can be at their workplaces, at home, or even thousands of kilometers from the office. But, apparently, a “tectonic” push in the development and popularization of videoconferencing occurred in 2020. As they say, every cloud has a silver lining — the coronavirus pandemic has literally forced hundreds of millions of people around the house to go into quarantine and work from home. With the help of the best video conferencing software, of course. In the meantime, the prophecies of Alvin Toffler from The Third Wave about the transition to remote work in many sectors of the economy are coming true, let’s see what software is suitable for it.
Top 10 rating according to KP
A video conferencing service whose popularity and capitalization has grown tenfold since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The secret of the success of this particular program is not only in the functionality, but also in the fact that the creators realized in time what potential video conferencing has in the current conditions.
For example, for schools in Japan, China, Italy, and the US, Zoom gives you unlimited minutes of temporary video chats on any account. A huge plus of this particular video conferencing program is the advanced ability to conduct webinars and presentations. However, there are quite reasonable claims against Zoom. Concerns are raised about confidentiality — the software has been repeatedly complained that data can leak somewhere “to the side”. Another bug (or feature) can be considered the ability to install a looped video in the chat, which employees who are too lazy to sit in front of the computer did not fail to take advantage of.
Pros and cons
Almost the most fashionable video conferencing platform for 2022, even with a free account you can do a lot
Data protection can be a let down
Zoom Google Play App Store
2. Skype for Business
The good old Skype, known to almost every Internet user for many years. Under the prefix “for business” lies an extended version, which has several fundamental differences. The maximum number of conference participants is 250. It is possible to make phone calls and share the screen. Of course, as a Microsoft product, modern Skype has full integration with Windows, and this operating system remains dominant in the corporate and business segment. The disadvantages of this service, perhaps, are also known to everyone — constant freezes and a confusing indication of the status of the interlocutors.
Pros and cons
Widespread and almost everyone knows about it, deep integration with Windows
Over the years, the stability of work has not improved, but even worsened
Skype Google Play App Store
Discord was originally created as a free VoIP and video conferencing messenger for gamers. Now this service has become much more popular, even among the business audience. The great thing about Discord is that it’s free. The program (and there is also a full-fledged web version) with a low load on device resources provides high sound quality, thanks to the use of the Opus audio codec. As the developers assure, the application is reliably protected from DDoS attacks, which adds confidence that the video conference will be held without problems.
A lot of extra functionality that gamers need, but other users will only confuse
Discord Google Play App Store
four. Google Hangouts
A service from Google that has lost popularity in recent years, but is still very suitable for the role of a video conferencing program. Especially if you have an Android smartphone or tablet, this software is preinstalled out of the box. Of course, Hangouts does not impress with its capabilities, so here the maximum number of participants in a video conference is limited to ten. The quality of video communication, to the shame of the “corporation of kindness”, is lame on both legs — often the delay can reach several seconds, and the picture often tends to break up into “squares”. But it’s free, it has all the basic functions for conferences and excellent integration with other Google services, especially Docs.
Pros and cons
“Out of the box” in every Android smartphone, a simple and intuitive interface
Video call stability is low, only up to 10 participants, Google may suddenly close its not the most popular service
Hangouts Google Play App Store
Software from the list of the best video conferencing software, capable of holding conferences in 4K format. Do not rush to say that this is redundant. Most modern smartphones have front cameras capable of delivering such resolution, and “webcams” are not rare. But the “bottleneck” will be the connection speed, for such high-quality streaming video you need a wide communication channel, mobile communications, even 4G, this is unlikely to pull. However, TrueConf is not only interested in 4K.
Depending on the version, up to 1,000 participants can connect to one conference (at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, “a thousand” became free for all government organizations, private companies and educational institutions in Russia). The program has the ability to make calls to landline phones, and also “out of the box” can record a video conference.
Pros and cons
Confa in 4K is cool, up to 1000 video conference participants
Somewhat outdated and confusing interface
TrueConf Google Play App Store
A fairly popular service in the world, which is tailored for international video conferencing. For example, there is simultaneous support for 16 languages, and upon individual request, 5,000 participants can join the conference. There is also a video conference recording, and a quick upload to YouTube. The developers say that the data servers are scattered all over the world, so there should be no problems with the connection. The advantage and “Achilles’ heel” of MyOwnConference is that the service does not have mobile applications — you can work with it only by going to the project’s web page.
Pros and cons
Multilingual, up to 5000 participants in one conference
No mobile application: you can work only through the web interface
One of the most advanced and functional video conferencing applications, which is very popular with corporate clients around the world. You won’t be able to use the program for free, there is only testing with a limited time.
Opportunities depend on the tariff plan — the maximum version gives up to 500 participants and picture quality up to 4K. An unlimited number of conferences can be held at the same time. You can also join it using your phone, there is also a demonstration / connection to the desktop.
Pros and cons
Advanced application support, 4K
No free version, outdated interface
Mind Google Play App Store
A well-deserved and very popular video conferencing service in English-speaking countries. It has a free version that lets up to three people video call, sharing files and showing their desktop along the way. The basic tariff plan will already allow you to connect 10 people, and the maximum one — 100. There is even a function to work on one document. As usual, there were some shortcomings — the Samar program does not know how to record video conferences, and for some reason the developers did not provide support for the Russian language.
Pros and cons
Well-known and time-tested software, collaborative work on documents
Does not know how to write conferences in video, there is no support for the Russian language
GoToMeeting Google Play App Store
Domestic development, which is loved by companies and government agencies of Russia. The program can hold video conferences for up to 1000 participants, and there should be no problems with connecting serious equipment. There is a standard set of features for this kind of applications: desktop sharing, file sharing and integration with business applications. A high level of protection of the communication channel is also promised, along with support for 4K images.
However, this program has enough disadvantages — from a hopelessly outdated interface to constant lags and communication delays. And yet, mobile applications can work a little strange.
Pros and cons
Popular in Russia, can do a lot
Numerous shortcomings in the work, there may be gaps and lags during the conference
video most Google Play App Store
An online platform that does not have applications, but which also supports mobile devices. It is based on WebRTC technology. In the free version, two people can connect to the conference, while the premium version offers up to 250 participants. Conference recording is also the prerogative of paid accounts. Although the maximum picture quality here is declared at the FullHD level, it is quite stable (of course, taking into account the high-quality Internet channel). There are even drawing tools here, which can enrich the presentation during a video conference.
Pros and cons
A well-known model on the market, it works smartly
No mobile apps, not cheap — a monthly premium subscription will cost $25
How to choose a video conferencing software
Remote work tools survive in 2022year unprecedented growth, and in the future, may become almost the main software in many areas of business. Share practical tips with us Head of Infrastructure Department of an IT company Sergey Ereminwhich, on duty, often encounters video conferencing programs.
If you want quality, pay. But it is not exactly
Probably, the main problem of all video conferencing programs is the stability of the picture and sound during these. Free and shareware software, like the Google service (Hangouts — ed. note), likes to constantly tear it, which can simply break the event. Therefore, if you, roughly speaking, conduct commercial activities using the program, then do not save money, otherwise it will come out sideways. However, from experience we can say that there is such software that it will fail in the paid version and “put” broadcasts.
Is 4K really that important?
The ultra trendy resolution is technically supported by some of the best video conferencing software. And it seems that everything is ready for him — the cameras of smartphones, in any case, for sure. But UHD resolution in streaming video is still more of a marketing story. Let me explain — even if the program server can cope with such a load, then what about the client communication channel? But no way, especially if you are “in the fields” from a smartphone. No, you can cheat and interpolate, that is, stretch the picture to the notorious 4K. But there will still be no normal clarity, so do not chase these numbers.
Previously, everything was simpler — a simple video link was enough. Now we need additional features that are on the same level as picture and sound in importance. And access to the desktop, and synchronization with contacts, and joint presentations will not be superfluous. So, pay attention to such opportunities and, in particular, to how it is implemented.
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