June 27, 2014
Just like with home construction, you need your video conferencing to embrace the trifecta—it needs to be fast, high quality and affordable. However, unlike home construction, you can actually get all three of these necessities instead of just having to rely on one. There are seemingly endless video conferencing tools available, and many of them are free or low cost. How can you decide which is best for your business?
The good news is that since there’s so much competition, you’re in the perfect position to make the most of this technology. While Skype is still beloved by many (and it’s free) it doesn’t necessarily scream professional or it simply might not be the best move for your business. Consider one of these other options to turn your office into a global, virtual community.
What You Need
No matter which service you choose, you need a high-quality webcam and microphone —not even the best video conferencing technology can make up for it if you drop the ball. Do your research and choose a model that’s built to last and designed for professional use.
Ready to see which video conferencing technology is the right fit for you?
This is a totally free conferencing tool that lets six people join, and even support mail via video. With a P2P server dedicated solely for ooVoo, you can enjoy the best in quality, an unbeatable price (of course) and the speed on a dedicated server can’t be beat. However, some people say the sheer name denotes a lack of professionalism, especially if you video conference with people in other countries who aren’t familiar with it.
This used to be GnomeMeeting, but it’s grown up and embraced a Linux native application that’s aimed to please. Since it’s open source, it’s free. Plus, it has the ability to support many codecs and comes with a variety of features. It can support H.323 as well as SIP and can even make remote calls to Smartphones. It’s the choice du jour for those on the go.
Another free offering, this is teleconferencing with a maximum of 10 people. It works with Linux, Mac or Windows and you can even add up to 500 people if you pay for an upgrade. You’ll also get more advanced features, but the upgrade options are still a very reasonable price. For businesses with growth expected, it’s the smart choice.
This freebie lets you have six people on the video call and you can use just about any browser. There’s zero need to download, which makes this a great choice for those who are wary of downloads or who video call with people using niche browsers. Simple and to the point, it’s what many businesses want.
Yet another free option, it gets embedded into your browser just like Tokbox and also doesn’t require a download. However, the real gem of this technology is the top-notch video mailing capabilities. For those who need to communicate in both video and written communication, it’s the clear winner.
Test, play and try out different options to see what’s the most natural fit for you.
I am a professional blogger, writer, researcher and successful investor who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources. A graduate of Iowa State University, I’m now a full-time freelance writer, business consultant and independent real estate investor. Currently, I write for Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, TheNextWeb.com and BiggerPockets.com. I have previously contributed to the HuffingtonPost.com, and Business.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, I’m also active in real estate investing and spend weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization. When I’m not saving the world with my keyboard, I can be found rock climbing.