The Best Virtual Meeting Tools

Screen shot 2015-07-01 at 2.55.13 PMWith more and more companies embracing telework, and with online tools increasing their reach, virtual meetings have become an invaluable business tool. File sharing, video conferencing, and online collaboration have allowed businesses to bring people face-to-face for meetings at a very low cost, even if the participants are thousands of miles away. Here are four virtual meeting tools that make connecting easy.

 

RingCentral Meetings
This is a very scalable product that can work for businesses with as few as two employees to more than 1,000 employees. However, given its cost – as opposed to similar services that offer free versions – it is probably a good choice for larger companies.

The service has three paid options: the Standard plan is $24.99 per month, per user, and supports up to four people per meeting and includes 1,000 toll-free minutes; the Premium plan costs $34.99 per user, per month, supports up to 25 people per meeting, and includes 2,500 toll-free minutes. And the Enterprise plan runs $44.99 per month and includes up to 50 people per meeting and 10,000 toll-free minutes. Users can access RingCentral Meetings with computers, tablets, or smartphones. As with its online fax service, RingCentral’s Meetings is feature-rich. Meetings includes application sharing, electronic hand raising, instant messaging, a whiteboard, record and playback ability, and private text chat.

Fuze
Fuze is an HD web conferencing tool that has three plans: a free plan supports three participants, allows three HD video streams, and includes HD VoIP, cloud content, and HD screen sharing. For $20 per user, per month, the Pro Plan allows up to 25 participants in a single meeting and 12 HD video streams. The Premium plan runs $40 per user, per month, and supports up to 250 participants in a single meeting, 12 HD video streams, and also includes webinar recording capabilities. Support is online-only.

Fuze is a great option for businesses with tight budgets that don’t need or want a huge number of features.

GoToMeeting
GoToMeeting has a free plan, as well as three paid options. The free version would be best for smaller businesses, as it only supports up to three people. The free version does include screen sharing and integrations with Slack, HipChat, Podio, Outlook, and Google Calendar. The paid versions start at $24 per organizer, per month, for up to five participants; $39 per organizer, per month for up to 25 participants; and $49 per organizer, per month, for up to 100 participants. All three paid tiers include screen sharing, HD video, VoIP and phone audio, a toll-free option, live 24/7 support, and free mobile apps. Only the top two plans allow you to record sessions, though.

WebEx
WebEx is another feature-rich meeting service that can work for smaller businesses, but offers a lot to large companies too. In addition to basic web conferencing, WebEx offers tools to hold webinars or events and offer online training courses. WebEx has three “premium” plans: Premium 8 is $24 per month, and supports up to eight people per meeting; Premium 25 is $49 per month and allows up to 25 people per meeting; and Premium 100 is $89 per month and allows up to 100 people per meeting. All three premium plans include full screen, up to seven video feeds, or split-screen video conferencing; the ability to share applications or a full screen, VoIP or phone call-in; markup tools and whiteboard; the ability to record meetings in both audio and video; free mobile apps; and the ability to share the presenter role.

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