When talking about working at home a decade ago, your boss might frown on this idea since working from home. Back at that time, working from home was a symbol of low effectiveness & uncompetitive productivity. Many employers believe that their workforce could be easily get distracted in the environment of remote working where their managers could not put their eyes on their employees & their orders couldn’t be reported directly.
Things are deliberately shifting today. The outbreak of the contagious requires social distancing to prevent loss of productivity and enhancement of protecting public health. To avoid the risk of infection, many companies, especially the IT industry, require their employees to working from their homes instead of working in the traditional working place. In that case, the online meeting & video conference become very important for companies & their people who decide to work from home.
Fortunately, with the development of internet technology & the immerse growth of online telecommunication needs, there are many different choices of video conferencing software that capable for us to handle online meetings. Each of them has a different orientation & suits better in various scenes. Let’s go a little bit deeper into them & spotlight their different functionalities.
- Comparison of Different Online Conference Software
- Dive into the Need – a Screen Recorder that Helps You to Make a Meeting Record
Comparison of Different Online Conference Software
Zoom is considered the most popular & successful online conference software today. Through Zoom troubled by controversy during the pandemic, but it couldn’t stop Zoom to became the most popular online conferencing platform in 2020.
Zoom is taking advantage of many dimensions compared to other online meeting tools. Its user interface is surprisingly clean and clear. Anyone who has their first try using online conferencing software could get quick access to Zoom’s core function & establish an online meeting with one click.
As for functionality, Zoom supports general meeting, with very straightforward operates that you need to adapt to it.
The scheduled meeting is presented as one of the main functions. The “Calendar Integration” allows you to schedule your Zoom meetings by using Zoom Scheduler Extension or Plug-In for Outlook with your existing calendaring system.
To help the conference holder to manage the meeting time & meeting participants. Zoom offered a “Waiting Room”, which offers a queue that allows you to deliberately admit the participants to join the meeting to increase the meeting security. There is also a “Breakout room” Which allows you to split a single call into individual groups. So, participants can then have their conversations without broadcast to all meeting participants.
The Zoom is also supporting In-meeting-chat. During a meeting, you can send your message through real-time chat to other conference participants. And the Recording function is provided as an option to record important meeting content & context. You can start the recording both manually & automatically. Also, you can share your screen with another participant when having a conversation, which is a handy feature to use.
And there are also the additional tools added as convenience features. For example, the virtual backgrounds, which allow you to display an image or a video as the background for your presentation. And Zoom has a feature that lets you “Raise your hand” virtually. It is a good one since you can notice the organizer/ speakers when holding your opinion without interrupting the current flow of speech. And here is a polling tool that allows you to make a poll during the conversation, adding some interactive part to the presentation is always a good idea.
One another spotlight that Zoom added to their video conference software is “Touch-up My Appearance”. It will soften your appearance through your webcam, to make you look professional & polished. Hmm, that could be very popular, isn’t it?
Generally speaking, Zoom is free to use, but still limited its functionality with a free version. The free version of Zoom can host up to 100 participants' meetings. It is pretty enough for the majority of working scenarios. And it limits the meeting time up to 40 minutes, which could be a critical issue for the meeting organizer. Zoom’s premium plan is above $180 plus tax, not generous.
Skype is a telecommunication application which released on 29th August 2003 initially. With 18 years of improvement & evolution, Skype has become synonymous with a computer communication tool. When people do online audio/video talk, they instinctively associate with Skype.
When we dive into Skype’s online conferencing features, we can see that surely there are differences between them. Differ from Zoom, Skype still focuses on their computer phone call profession. You can access their online meeting panel pretty quickly by click “Meet Now”, but still more than 60% percent of its navigators are prepared for computer calling features.
The interface of Skype it’s kinda confusing when compared to Zoom. The overall layout of software functions is following the logic of traditional telecommunication, like dialing over a landline & mobile phone.
When starting an online meeting, you can invite participants by sending them your room code or send the invitation through your Skype contacts. During the conversation, you can type in the message by clicking “Chat”. You can also send emojis to present your feeling, sending assets like pictures, documents through the chat column to share with the meeting members.
To schedule an online conference is the thing that you can easily handle with Skype. Click “Schedule a Call”, choose the meeting time, and pick up participants in the contact list, the invitation will send to everyone before the conference starts. An easy polling system is covered by Skype.
As we can see the Skype still positioning its self as a communication tool rather than an online conference specialized software. Many of its functionalities are phone call-oriented. Compare to Zoom, it lacks some useful features, in exchange for better telecommunicate/phone hangout capability.
Skype is usually free, it offers free, 40-minute conference calls with up to 100 attendees, but to upgrade to Skype Business (Bundled in Office 365 Business Essentials at $5.00 per user per month, Office 365 Business Premium for $12.50 per user per month and Office 365 Enterprise E5 for $35.00 per user per month.) will uncap the participant limit & conference time limit(more than 40 minutes).
Also read: >>How to Record Microsoft Teams Meetings in A Hassle-Free Way?<<
Google Meet, also known as Google Hangout Meet was released in March 2017. Benefit from Google’s userbase & technology, Google Meet soonly became extremely popular after it was released.
Comparably, Google Meet offers an online meeting service designed primarily for business and office use, which lets colleagues and the workforce chat over video and text. Supplied by Google Services, Meet has some exciting features that its competitors offer to their users.
When using Google Meet, you can add the meeting participant by adding their Google account or join the meeting from Gmail. That is sometimes a convenient feature since almost everyone having their Google account for working & life. And sure, you can share your meeting link to meeting members so they can join the conversation just like other conferencing software. By the way, Google Meet allows you to switch APP layout by click on the setting menu. You can adjust the UI to fit the working needs as well.
You may host collaborative brainstorms with Jamboard whiteboarding integration in Google Meet. That would be niche when your team needs a brainstorming and robust debate to bring out brilliant ideas. And you can share a window, a tab, or your entire screen through the” Present Now” for better engagement.
Just like others, Google Meeting offers a Poll feature that allows presenters can get the feedback they need and audience members can make themselves heard. This leads to a more engaging, productive, and enjoyable meeting experience.
One interesting feature is you can turn on/ off the caption in Google Meet. Your voice will be analyzed & transferred to subtitle beneath your webcam when conferencing. This function gives great advantageous when the meeting needs to communicate with people who are from different cultural backgrounds. As we know that strong accents sometimes bother the understanding of the language, the caption function perfectly resolved that problem.
The entire Google Meet is based on Google App & Chromium browser. You don’t have to install anything to access Google Meet. Talk about the pricing, Google Meeting is free to use & no time limitation, but it still limits the related features, like a whiteboard, group invitation, and other functions we’ve mentioned above. It will need you to pay to uncap the function limits. The general rate of charge is $6 per month at the lowest level.
TeamViewer is a computer remote access software. It could be one of the pioneers that provided an easy solution of remote-control service for global users. The first TeamViewer was released in 2005 and the function was expanded over time. Recently, the TeamViewer team launched the TeamViewer Meeting, one considers an easy-to-use software which dedicates to online group conferences.
The user interface design for TeamViewer Meeting is pretty much minimalism. You can access all necessary functions by clicking the tabs on its main interface. There isn’t rocket science or fancy features that confuse you but one direction to its core – online video conference.
To use the TeamViewer Meeting, you don’t have to do the sign in or affiliate a social network account. You may join any video conference by entering the meeting ID, or create a meeting & generate the ID by yourself.
After you start the meeting, the system will inquire if you want to share the screen, that’s not a bad setting since over 90% percent of workforce meetings need the presentation exhibited with visual material.
You can send the text by clicking the speech bubble, but the TeamViewer Meeting is not yet supported to transmit the pictures & documents. There aren’t too many things we could have here, only to show off on webcam, have multiple people join in, have a good video/ audio conference. That’s it.
I would like to consider this simple & clean is the biggest advantage that TeamViewer Meeting is benefited from, and it is a complete freeware. But for users who need a multi-role meeting application that handles different needs during the presentation, TeamViewer Meeting may not be your priority option.
One advantage that can never ignore is that the TeamViewer is completely free to use. No function limitation, no participant restrictions, no time cap. From that perspective, the TeamViewer might be one the best when considered the cost-effectiveness.
Dive into the Need – a Screen Recorder that Helps You to Make a Meeting Record
For various occasions, we will need to record the entire meeting as a backup. Especially for the very formal working conference, or key business communication. As we stated above, not all online video/audio conference software that supports recording both the video & audio of the conference. It is at that time we will need a screen recorder that can record the whole online meeting for you. Read: [Free and Paid] 10 Best Game Screen Recorder Meeting All Your Needs
Though there are many options of screen recorders available on the internet, I would still strongly recommend the iTop Screen Recorder as a productivity tool to assist your working.
Advantages for using iTop Screen Recorder
1. Free. You don’t have to pay any dollar to access the functionalities that you need to record your conference. Even have no watermarks would be added to the graphic.
2. Handy. Click a button, select a window, then you are on the go.
3. Tiny. Compact install pack (20 megabytes), no addon, no registration & social media affiliation.
4. By the way, you could convert the conference video to a different format for better quality, improved mobility, etc…
If you will need a versatile helper to assist your meeting/ working screen capturing & recording, again, I would recommend iTop Screen Recorder. Anyway, it is free to use, if you’ve got such a need, how about giving it a try?