“Hello, can you hear me?” “I can hear you, can you hear me?” “ Yes, yes I hear-”
The new normal with teams now working remotely is hanging out in video conferencing tools a lot. We compiled the four most used tools we’ve tried using and share their advantages and disadvantages to help you explore which ones would be best for you.
1. Google Meet
Time limit: None
- Regular = 100
- G Suite Business = 150
- G Suite Enterprise and Enterprise for Education = 250
- Integration with other Google services like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Hangouts Chat, and more. For example, meetings can be booked in advance through Google Calendar which can generate a link to the future Google Meet call and the invites go out to your participants via Gmail.
- For G Suite users given access by the admin, meetings can be recorded and automatically stored in Google Drive.
- Has a 'live caption' option which converts speech to text/subtitles.
- Doesn’t allow 2-way screen sharing. Only one participant can share their screen at a time.
- Can display up to only 16 participants in a grid at once.
You can try Google Meet here: https://meet.google.com/
- Free accounts = 40-minutes
- Paid accounts = 24 hours
User Limit: 100
- Has a virtual background feature that allows you to display an image or video as your background during a meeting.
- The size of the participants that video webinars in Zoom can cater to is scalable ranging from 100 to 10, 000 view-only attendees, and 100 interactive video participants.
- Features like cloud and local recording, Zoom meetings and Rooms, and integrated scheduling.
- Issues that surfaced about Zoom on lack of security, non-encrypted communication, cloud vulnerabilities, and possibility of hacking.
- You do not have to install the Zoom desktop application to join calls, but features in the web app version are limited like you cannot appear on video and the user interface is not very friendly.
You can try Zoom here: https://zoom.us/
- 4 hours/individual video call
- 10 hours/ day
- 100 hours/month
User Limit: 50
- Skype to Skype communication is free which includes, messaging, voice, and video calling. There is also a subscription if you want to call from Skype to mobiles and landlines.
- Has a live subtitle option which can come in handy if your speakers aren’t loud enough.
- Can record calls.
- Has a “blur background” feature that helps erase the clutter in your office or home.
- The user limit of 50 makes it good for small businesses and classes only.
You can try Skype here: https://www.skype.com/en/
Time Limit: Unlimited
- Standard = 50
- Pro = 75
- Enterprise = 100
- User interface is friendly.
- Additional call features like Facebook live integration, “Annotation”, “Whiteboard”, “Breakout Session”, and meeting highlights, all (except FB live) of which are available via the desktop app.
- Can record calls.
- Paid tool, with 7-day free trial.
- Has a heavy interface which takes quite a bit of time to install/ load.
You can try BlueJeans here: https://www.bluejeans.com/
We hope this helps. If there are other tools you have found helpful that are not in this list, do share them to us! We also wrote a blog on practical tips to stay productive while working from home. You can read it here.