The coronavirus pandemic brought a lot of challenges to our way of life. It has changed the way in which people engage with one another in neighborhood, on street and at work place.
It is not a surprise that users of video call apps skyrocketed in the heat of the pandemic and it is not showing any sign of reducing either.
In this article, we will be discussing about the best video apps that you can rely upon as companies, businesses and individuals continue to see a reason to carry out their activities from home.
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What Is Video Conferencing?
Video conferencing is a form of telecommunication in which two or more people connect visual without necessary been in the same location. It is a technology that enable users to interact and see one another even not in same place.
Video conferencing is good for businesses that are not in the same city or country because, brings about convenience, saves time and eliminate travel issue. They can be used for meetings, webinars, job interviews, and the likes.
Types of Video Conferencing
There are different types of video conferencing which you can select from, they include:
Telepresence Video Conferencing:
These are series of screens or monitors used to make users feel like they’re joining the meeting in-person.
Desktop Video Conferencing:
This is commonly seen on computer and laptop in which all the conferencing hardware and software is embedded in the the system.
Room-Based Video Conferencing:
This is two-in-one type of the video conferencing. Video conferencing technology is built-in to a room, which can allow both virtual and physical conferencing.
The Benefits of Video Conferencing
The importance of video calling to business is many, but we shall discuss few:
- Saves Time and Expenses: Traveling for businesses is not always easy, but with video conferencing, the issues that associated with traveling for meetings is being eliminated, there by saving you time and expenses.
- Improves Communication: When you have a meeting through video conferencing, your attendees will grab the information and understand it more effectively than they would if you held the meeting via audio.
- Connects Teams: Another benefits of video conferencing to business is that it brings together various individuals working for an organization no matter the location.
- Increase productivity: The main purpose of having a united team is to have an improved productivity. Video conferencing tends to make attendees more focus and alerted on the directive given in a discussion which thereby increases the productivity margin of the organization.
- Gives Sustained Competitive Advantage: Adequate usage of video conferencing tends to increase team unity, productivity and collaboration. With this in place, you are more likely to have a good and sustainable competitive advantage amidst your business counterparts.
Materials Needed for Video Conferencing
The materials needed for video conferencing can be grouped into 5, they include:
Screen: This include; laptop, desktop monitor, television screen
Microphones and cameras: This include; built-in microphones and webcams, USB microphones and webcams
Speakers: It include; built-in computer speaker, external speaker, VoIP (voice over IP) conferencing phone
Internet Facility: It may be WiFi or Internet
Software: The materials in this category are; video conferencing tools and apps
How Video Conferencing Works
There are two phases involves in video conferencing;
In the compression phase, the audiovisual signals are digitized with a software and hardware. The signals will now be compressed and sent out through network which will be received by the other computer.
In the transfer phase, as soon as the network reaches the other computer, the data will be decomposed and converted to analog audiovisuals and the receiver will be able to hear and see the data sent.
What are Video Conferencing Apps?
Video conferencing apps are phone or desktop enabled apps that allows users (it could be between families, friends, businesses, groups or/and organizations) to connect to other users through video.
They function using WiFi or internet connection. It boom came in the heat of coronavirus pandemic which has changed the way business routine is being carried out. Users can now easily carry out work activities from home, thereby reducing the effect of Covid-19.
How to Choose the Best Video Conferencing App
Simplicity: Video conferencing app should be easy to navigate and user friendly. You don’t need to be looking for a manual to use it.
Reliability: You will not want to hold meeting with clients or your team on a platform that can not have your back. It is necessary you know the number of individual or businesses who rely on the particular app you will be using, so you will be saved from any sort of embarrassment.
Cost: Before this time, video conferencing is more complex and costly, but these days, all what you need is to download and install the app. Many of the app charges users for some features, but it is relatively cheap compare to early 20s.
Participants: Numbers of people that can be in a meeting needs to be consider while choosing a video conferencing. The number of individuals that you will be interacting with should be your priority.
The Best Free Five Video Conferencing App for Business
Zoom is the most commonly used video conferencing. It recorded a great boom in 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown. Zoom used for holding meetings as well as keeping in touch with ones friends and family who are not within reach.
Simplicity: It is user friendly and its features are one of the best. The audiovisual facilities of zoom is of high quality. It can function on any device such as desktop, laptop, iOS phone, Android phone, Windows etc.
Reliability: Zoom has millions of users who have attested to its reliability. It is the 5th most downloaded app of 2020.
Cost: This video conferencing tool isn’t only the best, it is one of the cheapest. Using the app cost zero dollar but it has a paid plan if one wish to use it. The amount to be paid depends on the plan you are opting for.
Participant: Zoom participants varies depending on the plan you have choosing. It free version gives room for 100 participants provided that the meeting won’t last beyond 40 minutes. To enjoy more participants and duration, just subscribe to its paid plan which has unlimited participation.
This is another video conferencing app which is second best to Zoom. It was established in 2003, then, it only function of desktop but at present it can be used on any devices. Skype is suitable for medium and large scale businesses and unlike zoom, it Skype is web-based and supports all Windows, Android phones, iPhone, Macs and iPad.
Simplicity: It is easy to download and navigate and need little or no guide to start using it. You can use it on Windows, Android, iPhone, Web-based, Windows mobile and the likes.
Reliability: Skype has been one of the most reliable and easiest software for communicative uses for over fifteen years. It has over 100 million users per month.
Cost: Skype offers free usage to all from anywhere in the world. You only need to pay if you want to use its premium services that comes with features like voice mail, SMS texts or making calls to a landline, cell or outside of Skype.
Participants: Skype’s free package allows you to have up to 50 people at once in a group video or audio conference. Premium package gives you the chance the unlock the limited participants of free plan.
3. Google Meet
This is a goggle-produced video conferencing app which which stably released in 2020. It also offers free plan and support all devices as well. It is formerly known as Goggle Hangout Meet.
Simplicity: It very easy to use and does not suck up much battery.
Reliability: It is a goggle product, it credibility and reliability must be top notch as its developer is a trusted organization.
Cost: It also offers free plan and has paid plan that comes with more enjoyable services.
Participants: For free plan, 100 individuals is the maximum for a group which meeting will last for 60 minutes. Premium plan gives room for better participants.
WebEx is an excellent video conferencing platform that is very easy to schedule meeting and invite people. It was established by Subrah Iyar and Min Zhu as WebEx in 1995 and was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2007. Webex meeting can be used on desktop, iOS, Mac and Android.
Simplicity: Webex has an easy and friendly interface.
Reliability: It is extremely reliable and have high-quality audio and video. It has been in used for over a decade and has millions of users monthly.
Cost: Like others, it has free offer and provides paid plan as well.
Participants: Webex meetings free plan allows for 100 participants for period of 50 minutes and 250 participants for business meetings. It paid plans has more features.
This video conferencing platform is among the leading businesses which allow people to meet virtually either for personal or professional reasons. Before now, it used to be a web-based video conferencing platform but it can now be access through app on virtually all devices.
Simplicity: GoToMeeting is also easy to use and it is user friendly. Everybody can easily navigates its features for meetings and call, whether one is used to online meeting or not.
Reliability: It features are very much reliable but it audio can delay at times.
Cost: For starters, It is free for first 14 days for period of 40 minutes. After this, you will be charged based on the plan you opted for. It has three main plans; professional, business and enterprise.
Participants: It 14-days free trial gives room for 250 participants while its paid subscription offers you more and enjoyable features.
Video conferencing apps let you enjoy holding meeting remotely right on your phone or PC. There is no absolutely free video conferencing, but some as mentioned offer free usage for a start and their paid plan gives you what you want in ensuring that you have the best online meetings.