The top 5 video conferencing apps for remote businesses

By 2020, flexible working practices will be the norm for 70 percent of organisations. The term ‘office work’ is rather close to becoming extinct and a new generation of remote businesses are making headway, adopting cloud technologies, coffee shops and yes, you guessed it, video conferencing.

video conferencing apps

But with a variety of video conferencing apps at your disposal, it’s tough to decide on a platform, especially if you’re looking to roll it out company-wide.

So without further ado, here are our top five picks, in no particular order.

1. Skype for Business

First and foremost, Skype for Business is a Microsoft product, so it already has quite a reputation. Not only is it a secure service (thanks to Microsoft’s security policies), it easily integrates into other Microsoft packages like Office 365.

Skype for Business is free to use with up to 25 members, and the service produces about 3 billion minutes of calls a day, so it’s clearly a popular choice.

The downside is that downloading it can make you want to pull out your own teeth. For those remote businesses after something short-term, don’t waste your time.

User friendliness – 3/5

Price – $5.50 a month, or $5 a month as part of the Office 365 business essentials package.

Trial period? – No.

2. Join.me

Join.me are striving for simplicity. Their software works directly from the web, reducing the need to download external plugins and applications.

This platform comes with a cool feature called whiteboarding, which allows members to see what you’re putting onto virtual paper in real-time, making for effective collaboration. The service is highly personal, too, and you can set up unique meeting links, eliminating those long-winded IDs.

As far as video conferencing apps go, this one is ideal for remote businesses.

User friendliness – 5/5

Price – £12 a month for up to 50 participants/£20 a month for up to 250 participants

Trial period – No trial period, but usage with up to 3 participants is completely free!

3. RingCentral Meetings

RingCentral Meetings is Turbine’s personal favourite. It’s the Volkswagen of video conference calling: user-friendly, reliable and requiring little maintenance.

With features like interactive screen sharing, one-click scheduling and lots of integration options with big players including Microsoft and Google (not to mention online backups to Dropbox), RingCentral Meetings is by far a smart choice for those remote businesses looking to bring lots of different tributaries into the same river.

User friendliness – 4/5

Price –

Entry – £7.99 per user per month

Standard – £14.99 per user per month

Premium – £19.99 per user per month

Trial period – Yes, there’s a 14-day free trial for all users subscribing to any package.

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4. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a brilliant tool for remote businesses looking to conference on the casual. With group chats of up to 100 people and video calling with up to 10, it’s the perfect platform to soundboard your latest idea with colleagues.

Hangouts also integrates into Gmail, naturally, making it easy to go from email chain to video chat in a matter of seconds. Much like join.me, it also works natively on the web.

Hangout’s coolest feature, however, is Hangouts Meet (though we’re not fans of the name). Hangouts Meet uses machine learning to analyse peoples’ calendars and suggests a suitable meeting time based on schedules, automatically booking something direct to everyone’s Google calendar. Neat, huh?

User friendliness – 4/5

Price – Free for Google+ users, or £6.60 per user per month as part of the G suite business package.

Trial period – Yes, there’s a 14-day free trial for all users subscribing to any package.

5. Cisco WebEx

Cisco’s WebEx has its own take on video conferencing. Not only is it a reliable platform for conference calls, they’ve also specially designed the service with online training courses and events in mind, giving the user simple live stream capabilities straight to a conference room.

Our favourite WebEx feature though, is CallMe, which makes sure you’re never late to a meeting again. When using the app on your mobile, CallMe will phone you and dial you straight into a conference, all you have to do is answer. Genius!

User friendliness – 4/5

Price – £15 a month for up to 8 people, £30 a month for up to 25 people and £49 a month for up to 100 people.

Trial period – Yes, there’s a 14-day free trial for all users subscribing to any package.

And our verdict is…

We’ll admit, as users of RingCentral Meetings, we’re a little biased in deciding the best service. For us, this platform ticks all the boxes. It’s dynamic, has simple functionality and never seems to falter.

But you’re not Turbine, and your needs are likely different to ours. If you’re a remote business that often collaborates, join.me is an effective and simple solution to those out-of-office meetings. For bigger businesses, Skype for Business might be the way to go based on its reliability and trustworthiness.

Which video conferencing apps do you use? Let us know in the comments below!

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