Free video conferencing software is used by businesses, organizations and individuals as a free audio and video communication platform for remote meetings involving two groups or teams. The tool helps users carry out live conferences and meetings online. Businesses can communicate using a transmission method of their choice—audio, text or video.
Most of these free video conferencing tools come with a variety of features intended to serve specific purposes. Among these are file transfer, file sharing, chat software and electronic whiteboards. Aside from serving as a platform for digital communication, the tool also helps business managers and teams do seamless collaborative work.
In addition, a video conferencing tool is an ideal platform for employees of all levels in your organization and since it’s a virtual platform, online meetings can be done anytime and anywhere in the world.
As such, video conference software can be used in both domestic or local and international locations. It can even be a communication tool for businesses and their customers.
With its many uses and features, video conferencing software has become quite an important tool for businesses, especially companies and organizations that operate several offices in different physical locations. It’s a convenient and efficient platform communication and collaboration platform.
Best of all, there are quite a lot of options for small and medium-sized businesses looking for an affordable and even free all-in-one conferencing tool.
Video conferencing software, including the free ones, can be used two ways—as a point-to-point tool if there are only two people using the software or as a multipoint tool if there are more than two people using it. The process starts out similar to when making phone calls; the only difference is that there’s a camera, a microphone and speakers to facilitate video and audio. Participants can see each other through their monitor windows or screens.
As such, a video conferencing solution comes in different varieties and classified based on the reason or reasons businesses are using it.
This is one of the most popular and commonly used video conferencing tools. It gives the video conference call participants the feeling that they are present in the conference room where the meeting is ongoing. This is done by placing the cameras and monitors on top of a desk or conference table.
This will give the users the impression that they are physically present and seated right in the meeting venue with all the other participants. This may sound a bit far-fetched to some but present-day technology allows this set up to produce high-quality results.
This is probably the easiest type of video conferencing software. It’s also the most affordable and some providers even give it for free. Once users have downloaded and installed an app for video conferencing, they can right away conduct an online conference. The only things they will need to carry out the video conference are their desktop, microphones, a web camera, speakers and a strong and stable internet connection.
However, users who do not have desktop computers can also use it, particularly those using tablets and smartphones and other devices that come with a webcam, speakers and microphone.
Desktop video conferencing software can be used anywhere, even when one is outdoors.
Many businesses use this video conferencing tool because it delivers the kind of quality they need. Users should have their own video conferencing software, stable internet connection, multiple control units, video conferencing endpoints and high-quality video conferencing equipment.
Regardless of which of the above-mentioned software businesses you choose, what is important is they find one that has all the features they need to carry out their video conferencing goals.
For small businesses, the most popular option is usually free video conferencing software. This type of software includes many intuitive features that allow businesses to conduct better video conferencing, including:
The screen sharing feature is what users need to see not only the other participants’ screens but also their activities. Everything is shown in real-time, so all the team members can see what is happening with the others as it happens. This is ideal for those who work remotely.
This is included in the majority of video conference tools, even the standalone ones. Likewise, some VoIP systems also come with this feature.
The chat feature allows participants to communicate with each other, or with some members of the team, through a secure private channel. Only the members of the team or whoever is invited to the chat can join the conference. Users are allowed to save their conversations in chat logs, which they can use for future reference.
An electronic whiteboard is an area on the screen that participants can use to draw or type on. In addition, users can also upload or send documents and images. Everyone in the online meeting room can view and access whatever is placed on the whiteboard. This feature comes with extra functionalities like shape makers, pointers and zoom control.
This video conferencing software feature is a tool that allows participants to send files to one another. Some free video conferencing software solutions include this feature. However, users are warned as some files may lead to unwanted risks. Safety and errors can sometimes pose problems when transferring files.
Some free video conferencing software include a recording feature that gives users the option to record and then play videos and audio. Some tools even provide participants with the option to record their content ahead of time. They can also play messages for the participants automatically.
As in physical meetings, video conferences can also have moderators. They are called “hosts” who have the authority to add participants, mute them or drop them from the group. Not all video conferencing tools, however—including the free ones—come with this feature.
Some video conferencing software solutions do not allow participants to open shared files. This is what this feature is for. This is ideal for efficient collaboration. Anyone among the participants can easily and comfortably open and view shared files.
Aside from the above-mentioned, there are tools for video meetings, such as UberConference, which have features like hold music for when participants are waiting for the conference to start, video meetings in HD (high definition) and the ability to automate tasks and transcribe the online meetings via voice-to-text transmission. However, not all free video conferencing software comes with these features.
There are many reasons businesses have adopted to use video conferencing software, the foremost of which is convenience. Even when teams are in different locations and time zones, the meeting can still proceed because there’s no need for everyone to be in one room for the conference to happen.
Here are the other benefits that using this type of software can provide:
Online meetings and video chats make collaboration easier for businesses. They no longer have to rely on sending out numerous emails or making one phone call after another. Through video conferencing software, even though participants are in different locations, companies can now do face-to-face virtual meetings.
Since businesses can now collaborate more conveniently and more efficiently, errors become minimal or are completely eliminated. As such, teams become more efficient, focused and productive. They’re better able to communicate with each other, which is an essential factor for every project. As a result, it is easy for them to perform well and to finish projects faster.
Using video conferencing software can help businesses save a lot of money. First off, participants—especially those who are mobile—won’t have to travel to wherever the meeting or conference is. So, even if the employees, customers and partners participating in the meeting are in different locations, the event can still carry on. What this means is fewer costs for the company because they no longer need to worry about transportation expenses.
Additionally, remote meetings video conferencing will not require common expenses for meetings such as food and refreshments.
Virtual chat and video calls are good platforms for communication. This tool does not only allow participants to hear each other, they can also see each other. Users can then gauge each other’s commitment better and build better connections, especially with their customers and partners. phone.
Since video conferencing can be done anytime, anywhere in the most efficient manner, businesses are better able to come up with new and fresh ideas. Participants are able to share more information, more creative and innovative suggestions. As such, teams can then come up with more well-informed, well-calculated decisions. They can build stronger relationships with their customers and partners and as a result, can be more than a step ahead of the competition.
Video conferencing tools can be used not only on desktop computers or on laptops; they can also be used on smartphones, tablets and other similar devices. Apart from the basic requirements—web camera, microphone, speakers and a strong internet connection—participants also need the software. Some suppliers have mobile apps for those who want to be on video conferences even when they are on the go.
Video conferencing solves a problem that many companies have—the need to do face-to-face meetings without having to be in one place at the same time. While using Skype or FaceTime is good, these are not specifically created for business use. Paid or free video conferencing software has many features and functionalities that help companies carry out their meetings effectively and efficiently.
Small businesses have the most to benefit from using free video conferencing software. It does not only save them costs or improve efficiency and productivity; it also saves them a lot of time and effort so they’ll have more opportunities to focus on other equally important projects or activities.