Video conferencing services are great for organizing and attending work-related meetings or gatherings. They’re also great for communicating with family and friends in different locations around the world, and you can enroll as part of an online course.
Whatever your reason for video conferencing, there are numerous applications to suit your needs. This article describes some of the best video conferencing applications for Windows and the factors to consider before choosing one.
What are video conferencing applications?
Video conferencing applications allow you to host or participate in real-time online audio or video conferences using an Internet connection. Video conferencing typically takes one of two forms; Point-to-point conferencing and multipoint conferencing.
In point-to-point conferencing, only two parties are involved in live communication; It’s basically a one-on-one conversation over the internet. In multipoint conferences, several people from different locations participate.
Also, you should note that these applications are packed with built-in features to help you get the most out of your virtual communications, and as such they can do more than just stream audio and video in real-time.
What features do good video conferencing apps have?
The most important feature of any video conferencing application is the ability to start and join high-quality meetings. Note, however, that quality is not limited to an application’s audio and video capabilities, but also to its overall performance.
The best video conferencing applications must also come with tools that increase your productivity. These tools include call recording, screen sharing, and a chat option to encourage collaboration between call participants.
Ideally, the application should also be able to record your meetings for future reference. Recorded content should also be able to be shared with attendees and others who are unable to attend at the time of the meeting. Additionally, you should be able to add calls to your calendar and easily join meetings.
In addition, the protection of your data is of the utmost importance. Therefore, good video conferencing applications must guarantee your privacy and the security of the personal information you disclose on the service.
To learn more about ensuring your security, you should read our guide to all the ways you can protect your privacy on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms.
The best video conferencing applications for Windows 10
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time to dive into the best video conferencing apps for Windows 10.
This is the most popular choice for PC video conferencing today, and its usage has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Zoom includes various features that make it ideal for business and social use, and you can customize the application to suit your needs.
For an in-depth explanation of the best features, check out our guide to using the best features in Zoom.
Zoom operates a freemium model. You can use the basic features for free but need a paid subscription to access the advanced features. These subscription packages are available for only $14.99 per month.
The free version is ideal if you only want to attend one-on-one online meetings as you can set up and join an unlimited number of meetings. In addition, you can host meetings with up to 100 participants.
You can also share all or part of your screen with other participants, and even record a meeting for future reference.
However, note that one of the biggest limitations of this free model is that you can only join meetings for a maximum of 40 minutes. Also, recorded calls are only saved on your local PC.
Still, Zoom remains the most popular video conferencing application. It’s both effective and reasonably affordable, so you might want to consider using it for your video conferencing needs.
Download: Zoom (free version available, subscription plans start at $14.99/month)
2. Google Meet
Google Meet is an easy-to-use video conferencing application for your PC. It is ideal for meetings, social gatherings and online courses.
Note that Google Meet does not require you to download the application to your PC. However, usage is limited to 100 participants and lasts 60 minutes unless you subscribe to a paid plan.
This is part of the Google Workspace package, which starts at just $7.99 per month. If you subscribe to the premium package, you get access to additional features including the freedom to host unlimited group calls and record a Google Meet.
Another attractive feature of Google Meet is its integration with other Google applications. This helps you seamlessly transfer information and documents between Google services provided you have an active Google account.
As a result, you can share the link to a meeting with participants via their email address, and even find and share files from Google Drive during a call. Scheduling future meetings is also hassle-free as it syncs with Google Calendar.
In addition, Meet gives you access to features like live captions, which provide real-time subtitles for audible content. Additionally, it facilitates screen sharing and an in-call chat box to help participants communicate better during the call.
Download: Google Meet (Free version available, subscription plans start at $7.99/month)
3. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is much more than a video conferencing application. It’s even been called a “hub for teamwork” by Microsoft.
You can also describe it as a remote working tool that allows you to communicate and collaborate with team members in real time. This makes it the ideal choice for medium-sized companies and large corporations.
To start a meeting in Teams, you need a Microsoft account. Attendees can also join meetings without an account. Like Google Meet, you get up to 60 minutes of free calling time for a single meeting.
You can also add up to 100 participants to a meeting at the same time. However, you need a Microsoft 365 subscription for unlimited access to premium features.
Microsoft Teams has one of the best video conferencing qualities on the market and is also integrated with the rest of Microsoft 365. These features make Teams a solid choice for corporate use, as your office likely already has a subscription.
Download: Microsoft Teams (free version available, subscription plans start at $4/month)
4th Jitsi meeting
Jitsi Meet is an open source video conferencing software tailored to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses as it can support up to 75 participants at the same time.
You should note that Jitsi does not hide any features behind a subscription paywall and it is completely free. With end-to-end encryption, you can start and hold meetings as long as you want without being interrupted.
With Jitsi you can remotely control the desktops of other participants. Additionally, it supports integration with Slack, Microsoft, and Google. You also don’t need to create an account to use this software.
A major limitation of Jitsi is that while it can support up to 75 participants, we recommend adding a maximum of 35 participants to a single meeting, as more can degrade video quality and introduce lag. You should also note that technical knowledge is required to get the most out of the web app.
Download: Jitsi Meet Progressive Web App (Free)
5. Cisco WebEx
Developed by Cisco, WebEx is a video conferencing application that allows you to start and join meetings with a simple login. Not only is it great for business meetings; You can use it for team collaboration, training, product demonstrations, webinars and much more.
So if you’re looking for a way to host a live event or stream a presentation anytime, anywhere, Cisco WebEx could be for you.
It also comes with popular features like in-call messaging, file sharing, screen sharing, and HD video quality to enhance your experience.
Like Zoom, WebEx operates a freemium model that allows you to have up to 100 participants on a call.
In addition, you can also use it for up to 50 minutes. You can purchase a monthly subscription for as little as $25 to access more features.
Downloads: Webex (Free version available, subscription plans start at $25/month)
Video conferencing in the modern age
Video conferencing has never been more popular than it is today. This is because you need to be able to collaborate with others in real-time or even hang out with your loved ones. As the world moves further towards digitization, video conferencing will only become more relevant.
Therefore, when choosing a video conferencing application, remember to consider your individual needs and budget, and then choose the one that best suits them.