Top 5 Video Conferencing Platforms Compared
As companies try to minimize employee contact and travel and maximize their efficiency, video conferencing tools have come handy for both companies and employees. Here’s a comparison of top tools including Zoom, Kredily, Cisco Webex, Google Meet and Skype.
With the recent pandemic and the outside world almost getting into shut down mode, many companies had to quickly move to a video conferencing platform to keep their operations running. (Our blog on The 5 Best Video Conferencing Tools may help you decide on the platform that may work for you)
While selecting the right video conferencing tools for your company or personal use questions may come to your mind. Which tool is safe? Is there any privacy violation? Can the tool be used in your country? What features does one need and how much does it cost and many more.
To make an informed decision on video conferencing tools, we have compared Zoom, Kredily, Cisco Webex, Google Meet, and Skype on their price, features, and functionality.
Price: It has four plans that one can choose from. The free version is the best for short meetings limited to 40 minutes for up to 100 people. Zoom comes in four versions for different business needs namely Basic, Pro, Business, and Enterprise priced at $14.99, $19.99, $19.99/month/host respectively. While the price for Business and Enterprise plans look the same, the Business plan allows a minimum of 10 hosts and Enterprise is for a minimum of 50 hosts.
Features and Functionality: Connecting to Zoom is easy. If you are a guest you have to wait for the host to approve you. One can enable their voice and audio as per their wish. You can choose a virtual background and the host can record the meeting. It is a basic video conferencing system with minimum features. Since the learning curve is less it’s more popular.
Data Privacy and Security: There was a sudden surge in the number of users complaining about security and privacy issues on Zoom. The company has frozen other production until these issues are fixed. So, for the time being it might not be the best in security.
Highlights: Meeting invitations integrate smoothly with all top tier calendaring systems. Meetings can be recorded as local or cloud-based files and can be searched as transcripts.
Plus: Fairly intuitive and easy to use
Minus: Security is a major concern. Limitation of 40 minutes in the free version
Price: Greet comes in three versions— Free, Professional, and Enterprise. The free version has options for unlimited users and meetings and it’s extremely secure. The only feature that gets limited in the free version is related to leave and attendance of the employee. It’s limited to only two employees in the free version. The Professional version costs 4999 INR per month. The Enterprise version is for large organizations and comes with custom pricing.
Features and Functionality: Greet is designed such that it comprises innovative features for modern day conferencing. These include customizable meeting links, screen sharing, scheduled meetings and chat among others. It is a business-centric tool, where it not only gives a conferencing facility but allows many other HRMS features attached to it. It can manage biometric attendance, payroll, leave management, and other HR functions.
Data Privacy and Security: Kredily uses advanced security measures and is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), making it extremely safe. Only an authorized person can access and upload the company employee data. It can be moved at any point in time.
Unlimited meetings, no time limits.
Plus: A comprehensive workplace communication platform which is Made in India
Minus: Relatively, a new entrant in this space
Price: Cisco Webex comes in three versions— Starter, Plus, and Business and each is priced at $13.50, $17.95 and $26.95/month/host limited to 50, 100, 200 participants respectively. These are further reduced to $13.95, $17.95, $26.26/month/host if billed annually. Enterprise version comes for a minimum of five licenses per month. During the pandemic, Cisco has made some changes in its offering and currently the free version can host up to 100 people with no time restriction on call and 1 GB of storage on the cloud.
Features and Functionality: Cisco WebEx is more user friendly. It allows co-browsing, sharing files, and removing any attendee is easy. The meeting can have passwords to make it safe. It is better suited for business needs as opposed to Zoom which is more individual friendly.
Data Privacy and Security: It is a secured tool for users, data, and content. Cisco has extended security options as Pro Pack with flexible retention policy and extended security pack for cloud-lock.
Highlights: The free conference plans has a full HD video option (for up to 3 users) and screen sharing on desktop and mobiles.
Plus: Has a proven track record and is a secure platform
Minus: Lack of awareness of its features
Price: Google Meet starts at $6, $12, and $25/month/user. They have Basic, Business, and Enterprise packs with a limitation of participants to 25, 50, 100 people at a time. Right now it’s free until September 2020 for all users.
Features and Functionality: Google Meet is business version of Google Hangouts. Easy to join with a click. One can preschedule meetings. You can also dial-in numbers to join the meetings. The dial-in feature is available in the Enterprise version only.
Data Privacy and Security: Based on the cloud, this video conferencing tool is specifically designed for business enterprises.
Highlights: Meet is now integrated with Gmail and anyone with a Gmail account (personal or corporate) can schedule or join a meeting with just few clicks.
Plus: Being part of GSuite makes it easy for businesses to adopt.
Minus: There have been inconsistencies in video conferencing platform from Google, hence not seen as having clarity on the offering
Skype: Skype pricing varies according to the region you are based in. We will take pricing in India for comparison. It comes at $8.10/month. Though calls to landlines of mobiles are charged, it’s free as long as you call another Skype user. It has a business version where it is charged per user based. Skype for Business is now called as Microsoft Teams.
Features and Functionality: One unique feature of Skype is it can dial into phone numbers directly. It’s easy to install and use.
Data Privacy and Security: Skype is a Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP). After its acquisition by Microsoft, they have ensured to make it robust in terms of security.
Highlights: Skype is one of the oldest video conferencing tools and has evolved very well with the changing technology and times. With top notch features and easy to use interface, it’s one of the most popular tools around.
Plus: Since it comes as a preloaded software, adopting it is easy
Minus: It is more popular for voice calls over internet
If you are an individual looking for meetings with a small number of participants (less than 50), you can use the free version from any of these five platforms. If you are an enterprise looking for something more complex, then an evaluation of your requirements and mapping it with the available platforms would help you in deciding the right video conferencing tool. Let’s get started with video conferencing.