Video conferencing has been around from the time people started working remotely. It has been designed for remote global workplaces, employees who work-from-home, and for people to connect with their friends and family. Now, we can add another reason to the list of video conferencing. Any guesses? Of course – the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this phase, where self-quarantine is the way to deal with the coronavirus, schools, colleges, and offices are trying to implement remote work philosophy as much as possible. It is proved to be the only way to halve the spread of coronavirus, which has already killed thousands of people worldwide in just a few months.

So, when a business should keep running, and there is no alternative in sight than letting employees work in home offices, video conferencing sounded as a vital option for all of us.

Here is a list of some ready-to-install and most popular video conferencing applications for working professionals across the globe.

Skype

It is a popular VoIP app that most of the users would have heard by now. It is suitable for video conferencing for small teams up to 50 people, free of charge. It can be used for sending SMS messages, place voice calls, chat, share videos and photos, or even share the screen during business presentations.

The new version of Skype also facilitates group calls, translation for conversion, and adding checkmarks to emoticons.

Supports: iOS, Android, Windows

Zoom Meetings

Zoom is a full video conferencing suite aimed at enterprise-level users. Those users who have a free account can host video conferences for up to 100 participants; however, the conference of more than three people is limited to only 40 minutes. There is also an option to upgrade to a paid plan to remove the restrictions. This option allows you to host any number of meetings; you can always host a new call whenever you want.

The application allows participants to join via dedicated apps, browser extensions, and even mobile devices irrespective of iPhone and Android devices. More options available with these video conferencing apps are audio & video recording and screen sharing with other conference participants.

Supports:  iOS, Android, Windows

Free Conference

The easy to use application is helping a lot of business owners and professionals connect. It provides free audio conferencing for up to 1,000 participants and up to 5 video participants for an unlimited duration.

The application also takes a software-free approach to video calling, where users can connect with nothing more than a browser. All you need to do is tap on the invite link from email or tap on the freeconferencecall.com icon and enter the meeting credentials to get into the application.

No wonder it has a mobile app for iPhone and Android users, which is available for free. But unfortunately, you cannot record the calls in that case and would require upgrading it to the premium version.

Supports: iOS, Android, Windows

GoToMeeting

Being one of the most popular desktop apps, it has a record of helping people with accessible and reliable meetings anywhere on the planet. Screen sharing, conference calling, video conferencing, and mobile conferencing are some of its common features.

It is one go-to application for all types of businesses, where you can instantly host or join a meeting from a desk or any remote location. GoToMeeting provides an option to organize a webinar, which binds employees and upper management via an event or an activity.

Above all, it is easy to jump into the meeting without having to sign up. It has the dashboard where you can see all the upcoming meetings and join them with a tap. You will also get alerts when the meeting is about to start and notification to join a chat room with other attendees.

Supports: iOS, Android

Microsoft Teams

For the workplaces preferring Office 365, it is very likely for them to use Microsoft Teams for internal communication purposes. It has a user-friendly interface enabling people to share files, make conversations, and exchange pictures as well as videos too. It is also easily accessible from mobile devices.

It largely supports the education industry by creating collaborative classrooms, connecting professional communities, and communicates with students in one place. Thus, it allows face-to-face communication with HD audio and video calling from wherever you are. With an option of free availability, you can get started with it anytime, anywhere. And if business administration and extra support are needed, opt for paid plans (recommended for medium and large scale enterprises).

Therefore, the app requires a paid commercial subscription to Office 365 or a free or trial subscription of Microsoft Teams.

Supports: iOS, Android, Windows

Google Hangouts

The app isn’t as popular for casual chatting and get-togethers as it used to be, but now Hangouts meet for business is still seen and observed in most corporate environments. Those who have a Google account have access to Google Hangouts too.

The free users of Gmail are allowed up to 10 participants to chat in a video call. In response to coronavirus, Google has relaxed some restrictions for all G Suite and G Suite tier for education customers, regardless of the tier. Now, customers can hold video conferences with up to 250 participants altogether. The platforms allow recording and saving meeting videos directly to Google Drive.

Supports: iOS, Android, Windows

Bottom Line

Considering the pandemic, some companies have introduced extra features and services for customers who are working from their home offices such as G Suite for education customers, Microsoft offering a free 6-month trial, and Zoom has eliminated the time limits from the video calls.

Video conferencing apps are a way to keep companies running while communicating in any size and form. With an array of apps available across, select the one that seems the most viable in terms of features, price plans, and communication needs.

Despite the relief of video conferencing in these tough times today, we still hope to get back to our regular offices and co-working spaces, making better collaborations and relaxed meetings, just like before.