- Video Conferencing Apps are handy tools for online meetings, allowing screen sharing, and video/audio communication. Ideal for remote work and small-scale events.
- Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet are among the best free apps, each with unique features suitable for various needs.
- Make sure your equipment is functioning as intended, good lighting, minimal background noise, and familiarize yourself with app features for an effective experience.
Are you searching for a cost-effective solution for video conferencing, hosting webinars, or online events? Video conferencing apps are here to save the day. These handy apps allow you to share your screen and communicate via video and audio, making them perfect for small-scale events.
This guide will explain what video conferencing apps are and which free ones work best. We’ll also give you tips on how to use them effectively.
So, if you’re wondering about best free video conferencing apps and want to know which one is right, keep reading. We’ll make it easy to understand without using complicated words.
Table of Contents
What are video conferencing apps?
Video conferencing apps are like magic tools that let people talk to each other during remote meetings and online gatherings. It all began as fun for tech-savvy folks in the 1990s, using apps like ICQ and AIM.
But now, these apps have become super smart. They can do things like sharing your computer screen with others, attending conferences from your phone, and even connecting with other useful tools.
What are the best free video conferencing apps?
We’ve made a list of free tools to bring your remote team together and make working easier. We’ve carefully examined what each tool can do for free and who it works best for. This way, you can choose the one that suits your team best.
Zoom, a widely used platform for digital meetings, combines simplicity and efficiency. Zoom app has a simple-to-understand and user-friendly interface and is easy to set up as well. Zoom has become a go-to app when people need to attend or host video conferences. This is all due to its countless benefits.
The free version of Zoom offers straightforward functionality, perfect for quick and effective communication. You can host meetings up to 40 minutes long with up to 100 participants, making it suitable for both small and larger gatherings.
Zoom provides crystal-clear, high-definition video and audio, making it feel like everyone is in the same room. It’s known for its exceptional performance stability, maintaining quality even with fluctuating internet speeds. Screen sharing is seamless, and the app includes a variety of tools for collaboration, like whiteboards and annotation features.
Meetings can be recorded for later reference, and Zoom provides automated transcripts, which are great for keeping track of discussions and decisions. Zoom offers fun and professional virtual backgrounds and touch-up options to help users look their best on camera.
- Comes with an online whiteboard to draw and write on.
- Chat feature to message during meetings.
- Automatically creates captions for what’s being said.
- Ability to record calls.
- Share your computer screen with others.
- Split meetings into smaller groups with breakout rooms.
- Free meetings are limited to 40 minutes.
- No cloud storage for saving files with the free plan, but you can save them locally.
Skype, a well-known app for internet calls, celebrates its 20th anniversary of bringing people together. It’s great for video chats for small teams, with room for up to 50 people, including the host, at no cost. Skype is available on many devices and operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and even Xbox, making it highly accessible.
One standout feature of Skype is its cloud-based call recording. Any call member can start recording, which lets everyone know the call is being recorded. This recording can be saved and shared for up to 30 days.
Skype has been a key player in connecting hearts and minds worldwide, whether for bringing smiles across miles or enabling easy conversations. Skype uses strong encryption and security measures to protect user data and privacy.
- Offers both audio and high-definition video calls
- Ability to share your screen during calls
- Option to record calls
- Can share files directly in the app.
- Live subtitles and translation during calls for better understanding.
- Some people have concerns about security and privacy.
- Messaging functions are not very advanced.
READ MORE: How to Delete Skype Contacts? ➜
3. Google Meet
Google Meet is a handy tool for online meetings and connecting people worldwide. Part of Google Workspace, it lets you easily join video conferences and calls from a calendar event or email invite. Its mobile app lets you quickly join meetings with just a tap.
Anyone with a Google Account can set up a video meeting for free, invite up to 100 people, and talk for up to 60 minutes. Google Meet offers high-quality video calls and lets you show documents while on a call.
You can schedule meetings using the Google Calendar on your phone. Just add details like the call’s title, date, and time. The app also allows you to share your device’s screen with others in the call. There are live captions to help people who speak different languages understand the conversation better.
- Offers strong security with two-step verification and encryption
- The free version allows meetings for up to 60 minutes
- Has a simple and easy-to-use interface
- Trusted by a lot of people as Google owns it
- Call recordings are only saved to Google Drive in the paid version
- Doesn’t include phone call features
4. Cisco Webex
Cisco Webex is a well-established video conferencing app that’s part of Cisco’s larger ecosystem. It’s designed for all types of meetings, whether you’re working remotely or in person. The platform is versatile and suitable for hosting everything from small meetings to large webinars and events, both virtual and in-person.
Webex Suite offers intelligent collaboration for any work style, combining calling, meetings, messaging, and more in one place. This has led to its popularity, especially among large companies, including Fortune 500 firms that utilize Cisco’s range of tools and conference systems.
The free version of Cisco Webex includes messaging, file sharing, team creation, calling, and meeting recording. These features and real-time customer support make it a comprehensive communication solution for organizations of all sizes.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Strong features for sharing applications and using a whiteboard
- Includes cloud recording
- Offers real-time transcription
- Has breakout rooms for larger meetings
- Fun and practical Reactions feature for interactive feedback
- Real-time translation is available but at an additional cost
- Generally costs more than some other options
5. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a complete video calling tool for team collaboration, offering many features to help businesses communicate better and work more efficiently. It includes instant messaging, topic-based conversation channels, and options to share videos and files. Teams also allow real-time collaboration and video conferencing.
With its flexible video call feature, Teams enables you to connect and collaborate with colleagues, friends, and family. Teams can support up to 1000 participants in a meeting. Teams offers advanced security features and compliance with various standards, making it suitable for organizations with stringent data protection requirements.
Modern video conferencing tools of this app offer high-definition video and clear audio, making virtual meetings more engaging and effective. Robust security measures, including end-to-end encryption, password-protected meetings, and waiting rooms, ensure the confidentiality and integrity of communications.
- Screen sharing capability
- Customizable backgrounds for calls
- Accessible on multiple devices
- Organizing virtual events
- Owned by Microsoft
- Facilitates all-in-one communication
- Complexity due to extensive features.
- Features more suited for larger organizations
Jitsi is a versatile video communication platform that works on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS. Jitsi’s source code is publicly available, allowing anyone to inspect, modify, and distribute the software.
It provides free video conferencing services without needing account creation or software installation when using its web service. Jitsi Meet, the most well-known Jitsi tool, does not limit the number of participants in a video conference. However, performance may vary based on the server’s capacity.
One of the key benefits of Jitsi is its emphasis on privacy. It offers encrypted communications, which is great for those who prioritize the confidentiality of their conversations. Jitsi doesn’t hide the number of people in a conversation.
Known for its straightforward and easy-to-navigate interface. Screen Sharing and Collaboration Tools: Includes features like screen sharing and integrated chat.
- Ability to stream meetings on social platforms
- No need to download an app to use it
- Suitable for hosting business meetings
- Option to save meetings for offline access
- Requires significant storage space
- Meetings are limited to short durations
GoToMeeting is a versatile tool for running smooth video meetings, accessible on desktops, phones, and tablets. It offers a range of features to make your meetings more efficient and engaging. Before your meeting, you can use simple tools to start and join meetings quickly, including integrated chat for easy communication.
You’ll have a personal online meeting room with a custom link for inviting attendees. There’s also a “Call Me” feature where GoToMeeting calls your phone when a meeting starts, and participants can join via phone from over 50 countries.
During the meeting, GoToMeeting provides screen sharing, drawing tools for collaboration, and a special “Commuter Mode” for mobile users to reduce distractions and save bandwidth. You can customize your webcam background and give control to others for presentations.
After the meeting, GoToMeeting offers automatic meeting transcriptions, cloud recording, and meeting diagnostic reports to review and improve your meetings. The Smart Meeting Assistant transcribes meetings and organizes presentation slides for easy sharing.
- Integrates with tools like Slack, Outlook, Chrome, and Salesforce
- Ensures safe and secure meetings with encrypted video, audio, and shared content
- Meeting lock and participant removal for added security
- 80+ million annual online meetings
- Some features may have a learning curve
8. Zoho Meeting
Zoho Meeting is a secure and easy-to-use online platform ideal for video conferencing and webinars. It’s designed to enhance collaboration and productivity, whether you’re working remotely or in an office setting. You can easily start or join meetings from your desktop, phone, or tablet.
Zoho Meeting also offers a specialized webinar solution. You can host live video webinars, customize emails and forms for your event, interact with your audience using polls and Q&A sessions, and view comprehensive webinar data. These features are available securely, ensuring your data and privacy are well-protected.
The platform integrates smoothly with other Zoho applications and major third-party services, enhancing your overall meeting experience. Whether you’re conducting small meetings or large-scale webinars, Zoho Meeting provides a reliable, versatile, and secure solution.
- Strong security measures to safeguard and control web meetings
- Provides a high-quality experience suitable for enterprise needs
- Offers 24/7 support for any issues or queries
- Ability to broadcast video webinars effectively
- Occasional issues with the mute function, requiring re-login to resolve
- Lack of automatic transcription feature
Tips for using video conferencing apps
Here are some essential tips for using video conferencing apps effectively:
- Test your equipment: Before the meeting, check your camera, microphone, and internet connection to ensure they work properly.
- Good lighting: Position yourself in a well-lit area to avoid shadows, preferably with the light source in front of you.
- Minimize background noise: Choose a quiet location or use a headset to reduce background noise.
- Mute when not speaking: To avoid background noise, mute your microphone when you’re not talking.
- Familiarize with features: Know how to use key features like screen sharing, chat, and mute.
- Prepare your content: If presenting, have your materials ready and open before the meeting starts.
- Follow online decorum: Be respectful and attentive, and avoid multitasking during the meeting.
The best free video conferencing apps offer many options, each with unique features and benefits. Whether you’re looking for high-quality video and audio, seamless screen sharing, or secure meeting environments, there’s an app that fits your needs.
From Zoom’s user-friendly interface to Skype’s global reach, Google Meet’s integration with Google Workspace, or the advanced functionalities of Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams, these platforms have transformed how we connect and collaborate.
No, they’re a bit different. Skype focuses on making international calls and lets you call phones directly. Zoom, however, is tailored more for business meetings and conferences. It’s perfect for webinars and online learning. While Skype offers the handy feature of assigning a local phone number to your calls, making international calling easier.
Video conferencing software quickly captures your video and voice, then compresses this information and sends it over the internet. The person you’re talking to receives this data, which is then expanded back into video and audio for them to see and hear you.
Video conferencing lets you see and talk to people as if they’re with you. It often includes cool features like sharing your screen, drawing on documents, splitting into smaller groups, chatting, using emojis, and even doing quizzes. These options add more interaction than just talking over the phone.
Many free video conferencing software options can work for webinars and online events, though with some limitations. While they might not offer all the advanced features of paid versions, they typically include essential functionalities like screen sharing, audio and video conferencing, and chat capabilities.