There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing the best online meeting software for your company. The size of your team, file storage and security are all points to consider when selecting a platform.
We looked into the four most popular virtual meeting apps: Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Hangouts/Meet. Find important information below to help you choose the right one for you and your team.
Skype specializes in video chats and voice calls. It also has messaging, texting, video, audio and image capabilities with end-to-end encryption, meaning you don’t have to worry about your information being hacked. Skype is available in 2 varieties: Skype and Skype for Business.
Skype for Business pricing starts as low as $5/user/month. However, Skype is owned by Microsoft, who will be discontinuing support in July 2021. The Teams platform will replace Skype.
Teams is the hub for teamwork in Office 365. It’s a multifunction collaboration tool where coworkers can chat, video conference and store files. If you work in the education field, Teams for Education allows admins and teachers to set up specific Teams channels for classes, professional learning communities and staff members.
Security is of utmost importance to Teams, with an organization-wide 2-factor authentication and encryption of all data. If you have Microsoft 365, Teams is already included in your existing suite of tools. The price is in the license you pay for Office 365.
Zoom is a web conferencing service that, at its most basic level, is free and allows you to host up to 100 participants. There are three additional tiers: Pro, Business and Enterprise. Each tier adds more features. Pro starts at $14.99/user/month and goes up to $19.99.
Zoom is easy to use and offers audio and video chats, screen sharing, instant messaging, and the ability to record meetings. However, it doesn’t employ any encryption or security features.
Google Hangouts/Google Meet
Hangouts is targeted towards individual users and is not as fully loaded as other Google services. Starting in June 2020, users must have a Gmail and Google+ account to use Hangouts. It is free for non-profits, educators and home users. Business users start as low as $6/user/month.
Meet is an upgraded version of Hangouts designed for business use. It can support up to 250 participants and 100,000 live stream viewers. It's easy to set up a Meet, create multiple rooms and invite participants through email. Meet is integrated with both Gmail and Outlook so once someone accepts the virtual invite, the event is automatically put on their calendar. Meet pricing ranges from $6/user/month to $25/user/month.
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