What Is Video Conferencing? 25 Best Tools (+ Setup and Tips)

Plan better video meetings and video communication with our ultimate guide. Discover top video conferencing tools and find the perfect fit for your team.

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woman wearing headphones and a blue blouse looking at a computer screen and smiling while taking notes during a video conference

With a global client base and remote workforce to tap into, now’s the time to ask: what is video conferencing?

The answer is simple: video conferencing is the best way for modern companies to manage internal communications when traditional office setups are phasing out.

Video conferences are the most efficient and flexible way to collaborate with an evolving team and communicate with clients remotely.

But you don’t need to rely on ad hoc setups or outdated software. From choosing the best software to lighting your workspace like a pro, this guide will help you get set up for video conferencing.

What is video conferencing?

Video conferencing definition

Video conferencing is a live video-based meeting between two or more people. It uses the Internet to facilitate live, face-to-face interactions and collaboration through audio, video, screen sharing, and chat.

Video conferencing helps coworkers connect remotely for internal meetings, presentations, and webinars.

It can also help you connect with clients from all over the world. You might have heard of popular online meeting software like Zoom, Google Meet, or Livestorm. These tools can be used to facilitate video conferencing in a variety of settings.

What are the common uses and types of video conferencing?

The most common types of video conferencing are:

  • Internal meetings
  • Sales calls
  • Product demos
  • Webinars and training
  • Job interviews

Internal meetings

Video conferencing can be used for all internal meetings like daily stand-ups, brainstorming sessions, 1:1s, and all-hands meetings.

For example, if you’re using Livestorm or Zoom, you can schedule recurring meetings, share a slide deck, and create breakout rooms for more focused discussion and collaboration during large company-wide meetings. Similarly, Livestorm is ISO 27001-compliant, ensuring your conversations are private and secure.

Sales calls

Your sales representatives can connect with potential leads anywhere in the world and build personal connections.

Video conferencing facilitates virtual consultations and product walkthroughs.

With Livestorm, you can create one-to-one and many-to-many video meetings for your sales team. You can also convert call recordings into videos for sales and use them for marketing activities.

Product demos

Let your clients see your product in action before they buy it.

You can set up product demo sessions to show the user interface, feature sets, and multipoint demonstrations.

You can also use Livestorm's collaboration tools for screen sharing, file sharing, and resource sharing to make demos more interactive.

Webinars and training

Trainers, facilitators, and experts can host workshops, lectures, or webinars for a global audience.

With Livestorm, you can create virtual classrooms with multiple attendees and add polls to collect insights and assess their understanding.

Job interviews

You can schedule one-on-one or group interviews to assess candidate skills, culture fit, and experience.

Platforms like Livestorm and Zoom integrate with Google Calendar, which is handy for directly inviting candidates by email and blocking time in their calendars. You can also create virtual waiting rooms to hold your next candidate while you finish up the previous interview.


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What are the pros and cons of video conferencing?

While video conferencing is a useful tool for modern communication and collaboration, there are some downsides like screen fatigue, technical hiccups, and privacy concerns. Here's a look at the pros and cons of video conferencing:

Benefits of video conferencing

Most businesses find video conferencing makes communication with all kinds of stakeholders far more flexible. With the right software, you can:

  • Connect instantly. No matter where your team or clients are located, you can meet instantly anywhere you have an internet connection.
  • Boost sales. You can connect with clients globally and meet more people in a day. You can also use pre-recorded, downloadable product demos to boost conversion on your website.
  • Save money. You don’t need expensive meeting rooms or rented office space to meet remotely. Choose video conferencing software that suits your needs, and internal communications will continue just as smoothly.
  • Be efficient. You’ll spend less time on admin when you create recurring meetings that sync with your calendar and can send automatic email invites and reminders.
  • Make data-driven decisions. Use video conferencing services with reporting tools to understand audience trends and improve your live events.

Challenges of video conferencing

When using a video conferencing platform for your business, you might be worried about how it could negatively affect internal communications. Here are some potential disadvantages (and how to overcome them):

  • Technical difficulties. Avoid technical issues by testing your software ahead of time and opting for a browser-based platform. Using browser-based software means all your attendees need to do is click a link to attend, eliminating time spent downloading apps and creating accounts.
  • Your meetings might feel less personal. Encourage everyone to have their cameras on for a start. Of course, some people may keep their cameras off (for privacy reasons), but you can still incorporate a few icebreaker questions and activities to build a sense of connection.
  • Meeting attendees might get distracted. When everyone is joining a meeting remotely, you have limited control over their environment. They might be in a busy coffee shop, commuting, or home with the kids. Establish basic video call etiquette from the top (like muting yourself when you’re not talking) and set up meeting checklists to keep things focused.

How does video conferencing work?

Video conferencing connects two or more users via audio and video. Most software in this category features high-definition (HD) video to ensure clear communication and limited technical issues.

All video conferencing technology options support one-to-one calls. Yet many software platforms are better for sharing information with large groups, as 100 or more participants can join a call at one time.

Some platforms are better for broadcasting, meaning a single speaker can share a video message with employees, colleagues, or clients. Others are ideal for interactive calls, as they allow multiple people to speak simultaneously.

Most video calling platforms work with a variety of devices, including desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and other mobile devices. In addition, some support calling in via a phone number.


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The best video conferencing software at a glance

With the right setup, it’s easy to engage with prospects, customers, and team members in real time. So we’ve dug right into the reviews of the best video conferencing software on the market to help you decide. Here’s what we found:

  1. Livestorm: Best for all-in-one engaging video conferencing
  2. Zoom: Best for simple video calling
  3. Webex: Best for collaborating outside of calls
  4. Google Meet: Best for a budget
  5. Microsoft Teams: Best for document collaboration
  6. GoTo Meeting: Best for a simple, no-frills solution
  7. ClickMeeting: Best for video calls with large audiences
  8. Zoho Meeting: Best for enterprise users
  9. AnyMeeting: Best for video and phone conferencing
  10. Dialpad Meetings: Best for AI-enhanced productivity
  11. TeamViewer: Best for remote access
  12. Vonage Meetings: Best for international video calls
  13. Sessions: Best for interactive video conferences
  14. U Meeting: Best for small virtual meetings
  15. TrueConf: Best for on-premises infrastructure
  16. RingCentral Video: Best for AI-powered video meetings
  17. Skype: Best for free video calls
  18. Slack Huddles: Best for instant team connections
  19. Amazon Chime: Best for enterprise communications
  20. Nextiva: Best for VoIP-enabled teams
  21. 8x8: Best for streaming to large audiences
  22. Lark: Best for real-time collaboration
  23. Pumble: Best for video meetings on a small budget
  24. Whereby: Best for API or SDK integration
  25. Gather: Best for an immersive virtual environment

25 best video conferencing platforms for your business

Whether you need video conferencing software for small business or enterprise, here are the best options for your needs. Let's explore features, pros, and cons of the top 25 platforms.

1. Livestorm: Best for all-in-one engaging video conferencing

Livestorm is a video engagement platform that will help you host interactive meetings and drive results. At Livestorm, we believe that meetings should never be dull, so our platform is the only choice if you’re looking for powerful engagement features to motivate attendees.

People attending an online meeting on Livestorm, a browser-based video conferencing software

Why should you use Livestorm?

Livestorm is browser-based, so meetings are super easy to set up and access: all your attendees need to join is the meeting link. It’s an all-in-one platform that can be used for everything from internal meetings to sales calls or live webinars. You can even use Livestorm for your legal video conferencing needs.

If you’re looking for secure video conferencing, this is a strong contender. Plus, Livestorm is the number one choice for engagement because it includes all the following:

  • Breakout rooms
  • Screen and media sharing
  • Chat
  • Q&A and question upvoting
  • Live polls
  • Hand raising
  • Emoji reactions
  • Automatic transcription
  • Custom branding
  • Automated email invitations and reminders
  • Detailed reporting for metrics like the number of attendees, replay views, and traffic data
  • Integration with useful apps like Visme, Miro, Slack, Google Calendar, and HubSpot

Livestorm is also one of the only video conferencing platforms that offers an unlimited free trial, so you can give it a complete test drive before you hand over your credit card details. Take a look at our pricing page to see all that’s included.


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2. Zoom: Best for simple video calling

Zoom is a household name for video calling, setting the precedent for simple-to-use video conferencing software designed for mobile apps. But it has limited customization options when compared to Livestorm.

22 people in a meeting using Zoom video conferencing software with end-to-end encryption

Why should you use Zoom?

Zoom has become a popular choice for webinars and professional training. Zoom has important features like presentation sharing and breakout rooms for more in-depth discussion. With Zoom, you can customize your plan with add-ons to host events just how you like them. The Business plan includes:

  • 300 participants
  • 30hr meetings
  • Private and group chat during meetings
  • Meeting recordings
  • End-to-end encryption (E2EE)
  • Integrations with Slack, Google Calendar, Shopify, Discord, LinkedIn and Salesforce.

Are there any drawbacks to Zoom?

Zoom can now be used in your browser, but it was originally built as an app-based product. It works best in-app, especially on smaller devices, but even then, users do report difficulty using the mobile app. Be warned: the free version caps meetings at 40 minutes.

3. Webex: Best for collaborating outside of calls

Webex by Cisco lets you connect remote attendees with people in physical conference rooms that have Cisco video conferencing systems. So you can connect through conference calls and Voice over IP (VOIP) phones. The transcription feature is available in 13 languages so you can host multilingual conversations.

Webex offers basic video conferencing services

Why should you use Webex?

Webex offers co-browsing, in-platform messaging, and file transfer outside of traditional video calls, making it a combined communication platform for businesses to collaborate online. The Starter plan includes:

  • 50 hosts
  • 24hr meetings
  • Chat during meetings
  • Integrates with all Cisco hardware
  • Personalized meeting room layout

Are there any drawbacks to Webex?

Webex is billed as “one app for everything,” but, as a result, the user interface is over-complicated. Unfortunately, some engagement features like polling can only be used in-app, plus you will have to pay extra for encrypted cloud recordings and cloud storage.

4. Google Meet: Best for a budget

Google Meet is a browser-based video conferencing software on computers but requires an app to access from your phone or tablet. As it’s a part of the Google Suite, you can send Google Calendar invites with a Meet link automatically attached.

Team meeting on the virtual video conferencing software Google Meet

Why should you use Google Meet?

With a free Google account, you can host 60-minute meetings using Google Meet at no extra cost. If you do decide to go down the paid route, a Google Workspace subscription starts at around $6 and includes:

  • 100 participants
  • 24hr meetings
  • Chat during meetings

Are there any drawbacks to Google Meet?

Although Google account holders will find the free plan pretty accessible, it’s not as well-rounded when it comes to built-in features. You’ll need to pay extra for basic engagement features like polling, Q&A, and hand-raising.

5. Microsoft Teams: Best for document collaboration

Microsoft Teams integrates with Office apps like SharePoint, Word, and Excel, allowing users to collaborate on live documents in a shared workspace. It's available as part of Microsoft 365 business and essentials subscriptions.

Microsoft Teams video conferencing tool integrates with all Microsoft products.

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Why should you use Microsoft Teams?

If you’re looking for more ways than just a video call to collaborate remotely with your team, this is a good option. As well as working on shared documents, you can schedule virtual meetings that integrate with your Outlook calendar. The Microsoft Teams Essentials plan includes:

  • 300 participants
  • 30hr meetings
  • Chat during (and outside) meetings

Are there any drawbacks to using Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams definitely isn’t the best option if you’re looking for straightforward, slick video conferencing. Its focus on document collaboration makes it a complicated beast that many users find difficult to navigate and prone to outages.

6. GoTo Meeting: Best for a simple, no-frills solution

GoTo Meeting is an online meeting platform that supports browser-based video conference calls. It offers video conferencing for small business and large companies alike, yet the platform provides enterprise-level security for all users.

GoTo Meeting video conferencing

Why should you use GoTo Meeting?

It's a simple, no-frills conferencing platform that's easy for anyone to use without an app download. Yet it's also part of the GoTo suite, which includes GoTo Webinar for virtual events, GoTo Training for virtual training, and GoTo Connect for unified communications.

If you purchase GoTo Meeting individually, the Professional plan includes:

  • 150 participants
  • Unlimited meetings
  • No meeting time limits
  • Chat during meetings

Are there any drawbacks to using GoTo Meeting?

If your needs go beyond basic video conferencing, you'd have to pay an extra monthly fee to add on GoTo Webinar or toll-free calling. In addition, all GoTo Meeting plans also include basic engagement tools like screen sharing and hand raising. But you'd need to upgrade to access advanced options like drawing tools, note-taking, transcriptions, and cloud recordings.

7. ClickMeeting: Best for video calls with large audiences

ClickMeeting is a video calling and conferencing platform that works for one-on-one conversations or events with 1,000+ participants. It's designed for use cases ranging from product demos and business meetings to training sessions and online courses.

ClickMeeting video conferencing

Why should you use ClickMeeting?

This platform supports interactive calls with up to 40 people who can speak, listen, and brainstorm together. With ClickMeeting, you also get access to presentation tools like whiteboards, screen sharing, and chat tools. You can schedule meetings in advance or connect instantly.

The Live plan includes:

  • Up to 1,000 attendees
  • 6 hours of recording storage
  • 1 GB of file storage
  • Private chat and chat moderation

Are there any drawbacks to using ClickMeeting?

All plans support up to 1,000 attendees. But if you need to host over 1,000 participants, you'd need to upgrade to an enterprise plan. ClickMeeting can also get expensive if you need to host simultaneous video conferences, as the platform requires a paid add-on for parallel events.

8. Zoho Meeting: Best for enterprise users

Zoho Meeting is an online meeting software platform with interactive tools, industrial-standard security, and capacity for up to 5,000 attendees. Participants can join via the desktop or mobile app or call in via a local number. Hosts can record and download meetings to share offline.

Zoho Meeting video conferencing

Why should you use Zoho Meeting?

As a complete video conferencing solution, Zoho Meeting works for both calls and webinars. Unlike many other platforms, however, this one doesn't charge an extra monthly fee for webinar capabilities. It also has a full range of interactive tools, including chat, reactions, whiteboards, annotations, polls, and screen and file sharing.

The Standard Meeting plan includes:

  • Unlimited meetings and webinars
  • 24hr time limit per event
  • 2 co-hosts
  • Cloud recording storage for up to 10 meetings per host

Are there any drawbacks to using Zoho Meeting?

Zoho Meeting is best for live events for large groups. If you need to record meetings frequently or if you want to host a lot of face-to-face meetings for small groups, it's less ideal. You'd have to pay an extra annual fee for more recording space or for meeting rooms.

9. AnyMeeting: Best for video and phone conferencing

AnyMeeting is a video conferencing platform designed for both small businesses and large teams. Since it integrates with Google Workspace, Slack, and Microsoft Teams, it lets you start or join meetings from the tools you already use.

AnyMeeting video conferencing

Why should you use AnyMeeting?

AnyMeeting supports GDPR and HIPAA compliance, which set the stage for secure meetings and more peace of mind. This platform also has interactive tools and productivity features like:

  • Real-time screen annotation
  • Unlimited meeting storage
  • Automated meeting note distribution
  • Meeting transcripts with action items

Are there any drawbacks to using AnyMeeting?

AnyMeeting doesn't publish pricing publicly. To get a custom quote for your organization, you'd need to contact the sales team.

This meeting platform also requires a desktop or mobile app download. That means it may be less ideal for external meetings.

10. Dialpad Meetings: Best for AI-enhanced productivity

Dialpad Meetings is an AI-powered collaboration platform for one-on-one video meetings and large video conference calls. Meeting hosts and attendees can save time with the platform's AI meeting transcriptions and prioritize next steps with AI action items.

Dialpad Meetings video conferencing

Why should you use Dialpad Meetings?

This platform works as a video conferencing solution and as a screen sharing app, so it's helpful for communicating in the style that works best for your team. For small or bootstrapped teams, Dialpad Meetings has a free plan that allows 45-minute meetings with up to 10 participants.

Business plans include:

  • 5hr meeting limit
  • 150 participants
  • Unlimited audio and video recordings

Are there any drawbacks to using Dialpad Meetings?

While the Dialpad Meetings free plan is relatively generous, it doesn't include any of the AI tools that make this platform unique. You'd have to upgrade to a paid plan to access automated summaries, transcriptions, and action items. You'd also have to upgrade if you want to add on other elements of the Dialpad ecosystem, such as AI-powered sales or customer service tools.

11. TeamViewer Meeting: Best for remote access

TeamViewer Meeting is a video conferencing platform with remote access capabilities. It's part of the TeamViewer suite, a remote access and support software application for IT, sales, and customer service professionals.

TeamViewer Meeting video conferencing

Why should you use TeamViewer Meeting?

TeamViewer supports HD video calls and has built-in collaborative features like 4K screen sharing and shared screen recordings. It offers end-to-end encryption and password protection.

The TeamViewer Meeting 50 plan includes:

  • 50 participants
  • 1 organizer
  • Apps for desktop and mobile

Mid- and top-tier plans also include remote control access, which allows meeting participants to control the screen during screen sharing.

Are there any drawbacks to using TeamViewer Meeting?

This video calling tool is available as part of the TeamViewer suite. Organizations that aren't using or considering TeamViewer will find better options elsewhere on this list.

12. Vonage Meetings: Best for international video calls

Vonage Meetings is the video conferencing component of the Vonage Business Communication suite. It's available via desktop or mobile app and includes dial-in numbers for up to 60 countries, making it a good choice for international teams.

Vonage Meetings video conferencing

Why should you use Vonage Meetings?

With Vonage Meetings, you can engage attendees with emoji reactions, roundtables, and screen sharing. You can also collaborate with whiteboards and chat while monitoring active and inactive participants. You can schedule meetings in advance or start them instantly from Vonage team messaging tools.

The mid-tier Premium plan includes:

Are there any drawbacks to using Vonage Meetings?

Vonage Meetings is part of the Vonage Business Communication suite, and it's available with mid- and top-tier plans only. If you don't need a complete business communication solution with SMS, VoIP, and call recording, you'll find better options elsewhere on this list.

13. Sessions: Best for interactive video conferences

Sessions is a virtual meeting platform with AI-powered tools for more efficient collaboration. It works for live calls and conferences, and it also supports interactive workshops with breakout rooms. Sessions can also help you keep meetings on track with agendas.

Sessions video conferencing

Why should you use Sessions?

When you want to host engaging, interactive video calls, Sessions has plenty of tools. Meeting hosts can show websites, whiteboards, slides, videos, and more. During calls, you can engage with attendees via interactive polls and live chat. Afterward, you can share AI-powered meeting transcripts.

Sessions has a free plan that allows up to 25 participants per call. The (paid) Solo plan includes:

  • 50 participants
  • 4hr sessions
  • 20 hours of cloud recording per month

Note that you'd have to upgrade to the mid-tier Starter plan to access team features and workspaces.

Are there any drawbacks to using Sessions?

Sessions is relatively affordable for single users, but it can get expensive for teams. To access any team features and workspaces, you'd have to upgrade to the mid-tier Starter plan. Since Sessions charges per user, large teams may end up overspending.

14. U Meeting: Best for small virtual meetings

U Meeting is a video conferencing and distance learning platform that allows up to a dozen simultaneous video feeds. It supports invitation-only meetings, password-protected video calls, and scheduled meetings for teams. U Meeting offers access via mobile or desktop app or via browser.

U Meeting video conferencing

Why should you use U Meeting?

With U Meeting, you can host virtual meetings, team training, or customer onboarding sessions for up to 200 participants. To engage attendees, hosts can use a wide range of interactive tools, including:

  • Breakout sessions
  • Virtual whiteboards
  • Screen and audio sharing
  • Annotation and laser pointer tools
  • Roll call tools to take attendance

Are there any drawbacks to using U Meeting?

U Meeting doesn't publish pricing publicly. To get a quote, you'd have to contact sales. In addition, U Meeting is less ideal for large video calls. If you need the ability to host more than 200 attendees, another option on this list would be a better choice.

15. TrueConf: Best for on-premises infrastructure

TrueConf is a video conferencing and corporate messaging platform. It's designed for enterprise users who need a secure, scalable solution with on-premises server infrastructure rather than a cloud-based option.

TrueConf video conferencing

Why should you use TrueConf?

As a unified communications platform, TrueConf offers video conferencing for larger groups, video calls between two users, and team messaging with file sharing and data storage. The TrueConf Server plan includes:

  • Video conferencing for up to 1,500 participants
  • One-to-one video calls in 4K Ultra HD
  • Team messaging with personal and group chats
  • Collaboration tools like polls and reactions

Are there any drawbacks to using TrueConf?

TrueConf has a free plan, but it's relatively limited. On the free plan, video conferences can include 10 participants only. To host up to 1500 participants, you'd need to contact the TrueConf sales team to get a quote for a paid plan.

16. RingCentral Video: Best for AI-powered video meetings

As an AI-powered platform for video meetings and conferencing, RingCentral Video is designed for teams to work together efficiently. Since it offers a browser-based experience (i.e., no app download necessary), it works for both internal and external connections.

Ring Central Video conferencing

Why should you use RingCentral Video?

The platform's AI-powered tools transcribe calls, produce meeting summaries, and generate video highlights to help you make better use of work time. RingCentral Video also has tools like whiteboards, breakout rooms, and huddles for more efficient work.

The Core plan includes:

  • 100 video meeting participants
  • 1,000 audio meeting participants
  • Unlimited video call recording with one year of retention

Are there any drawbacks to using RingCentral Video?

If you want to use RingCentral Video for more than just video meetings, you'd need to purchase one or more add-ons. For example, you'd need RingCentral Rooms for dedicated meeting rooms, RingCentral Webinars for virtual presentations, and RingCentral Events for virtual or hybrid events. Each one requires an additional fee.

17. Skype: Best for free video calls

Skype is a video calling platform that supports video conference calls and video group chats. As a browser-based tool, it doesn't require a download. But frequent users can opt to use the Skype desktop or mobile app instead.

Skype video conferencing

Why should you use Skype?

With Skype, you can connect one-on-one or invite dozens of colleagues or employees. All plans include call recording, screen sharing, and background blurring.

Skype video conferencing is completely free to use and allows:

  • 100 participants
  • 24hr calls

Are there any drawbacks to using Skype?

As one of the simplest video conferencing options on this list, Skype is missing some interactive and AI-powered features. If you need collaborative tools like whiteboards and polls or AI tools like transcription and summaries, you'd be better off with another tool.

18. Slack Huddles: Best for instant team connections

Slack Huddles is a virtual space where teams can start audio or video calls and host brainstorming meetings directly in Slack. If your team already uses Slack for internal messaging, Huddles lets you chat face-to-face with a single colleague or with a larger group.

Slack Huddles video conferencing

Why should you use Slack Huddles?

With Huddles, you can start video meetings instantly and use Slack's built-in collaborative tools. The app includes:

  • Emoji reactions
  • Screen sharing
  • File sharing

Slack automatically saves any files and messages you share during a Huddle so you can keep working on them together.

Are there any drawbacks to using Slack Huddles?

If you need to set up a video call with more than 50 people or a video conference with people outside of your organization, Slack Huddles isn't the best option. The free plan allows only two participants per call, and paid plans limit Huddles to 50 people.

19. Amazon Chime: Best for enterprise communications

Amazon Chime is a unified communication platform where your team can host video meetings, chat with colleagues, and make business calls. It's designed for enterprise communication and has 200+ dial-in numbers for attendees located around the world.

Amazon Chime video conferencing

Why should you use Amazon Chime?

When you host HD video meetings with Amazon Chime, you can collaborate via screen sharing and meeting chat. Since the app calls attendees when meetings are ready to start, Amazon Chime can help your team avoid unnecessary waiting time.

Unlike most video conferencing platforms, Amazon Chime charges by usage rather than by user. As a result, anyone can use free tools on the Basic plan and paid features on the Pro plan—and only pay when they actually use Pro features.

Are there any drawbacks to using Amazon Chime?

Because Amazon Chime uses a pay-per-use pricing model, costs can fluctuate from month to month. If you need to budget for a consistent monthly subscription fee, choose a platform with a pay-per-user model instead.

20. Nextiva: Best for VoIP-enabled teams

With Nextiva, you can collaborate with colleagues, employees, and customers using video conferencing and chat over VoIP. Nextiva has desktop and mobile apps for your team, and attendees outside your organization can join via web browser or by dialing in.

Nextiva video conferencing

Why should you use Nextiva?

As a business communication platform, Nextiva has much more than just video conferencing. It also has voice calling, internet fax capabilities, and virtual collaboration tools like screen sharing.

Nextiva's Professional plan includes:

  • 40 participants for conference calls
  • Unlimited video conference calls
  • No meeting time limits

Note that you'd need to upgrade to the Enterprise plan to invite unlimited participants and access video conference recordings. However, Nextiva does give you the option to livestream town hall meetings via YouTube to reach a wider audience.

Are there any drawbacks to using Nextiva?

Nextiva has collaboration tools like screen and file sharing. But if you want interactive tools like polls, roll call, and whiteboards, you'd be better off choosing a different web conferencing solution.

21. 8x8: Best for streaming to large audiences

As an HD video and audio conferencing platform, 8x8 works for small and large businesses alike. It offers dial-in numbers for 50+ countries and makes meetings secure with features like end-to-end encryption, meeting locks, and participant permissions.

8x8 video conferencing

Why should you use 8x8?

When you host video conferences with 8x8, you can also stream to a larger audience via YouTube Live. Afterward, you can use the platform's AI-powered insights to review summaries, check engagement, and listen to call recordings.

The X2 plan supports:

  • 500 active participants per meeting
  • YouTube livestreaming for larger audiences

Are there any drawbacks to using 8x8?

Because 8x8 is a contact center and communication platform, it's best for organizations that need a unified solution for internal connections and customer engagement. If you need a corporate video calling solution only, another option on this list would be better.

22. Lark: Best for real-time collaboration

Lark is a productivity app where your team can host interactive video meetings and work together in real time. It supports everything from one-on-one video calls to video conferences with hundreds of attendees and dozens of breakout rooms.

Lark video conferencing

Why should you use Lark?

When you want to work with colleagues or clients in real time, Lark has the tools you need. During video conferences, you can work together on live documents and view real-time translations. You can also catch up with colleagues who couldn't attend via Lark's automated meeting transcriptions.

Lark's Pro plan includes:

  • 500 meeting participants
  • 24hr meetings
  • 1TB cloud storage

Are there any drawbacks to using Lark?

If you need to use Lark for all-hands meetings or enterprise-level corporate communications, it could get expensive quickly. All plans include Lark Webinar, but it only supports 100 participants. To include more, you'd have to pay per attendee.

23. Pumble: Best for video meetings on a small budget

Pumble is a team collaboration app that supports video conferencing, voice calls, and messaging. With Pumble's video messaging tool, you can also record and send asynchronous communication to colleagues.

Pumble video conferencing

Why should you use Pumble?

Pumble's free plan is relatively generous and includes unlimited users, one-on-one video meetings, and video messages. To meet with a larger team, however, you'd need to upgrade to a paid plan. Pumble's Pro plan includes:

  • 25 participants
  • 10GB file storage per seat
  • Unlimited video messages

Are there any drawbacks to using Pumble?

Even Pumble's top-tier Enterprise plan limits video conferences to 50 members. If you need an enterprise solution for all-hands meetings with more than 50 attendees, you'd be better off with a different platform.

24. Whereby: Best for API and SDK integration

Using the Whereby API and SDK, you can embed video calls into the communication platforms your organization already uses. You can also use Whereby's standalone meeting tool to connect one-on-one or host video conferences with teams, colleagues, and clients.

Whereby video conferencing

Why should you use Whereby?

With the Whereby API, you can use a pre-built user interface or customize it to fit your organization's needs and style. You can also set up breakout rooms to meet with smaller groups and record calls to reference later. The Build plan for Whereby Embedded includes:

  • 2,000 participant minutes per month
  • Extra minutes available as an add-on
  • Recording and live streaming at a per-minute rate

With Whereby Meetings, you can create custom rooms, collaborate with whiteboards, and interact with emoji reactions. This tool also includes breakouts for running smaller workshops and events. The Pro plan for Whereby Meetings includes:

  • 100 attendees
  • No meeting time limits
  • 3 meeting rooms

Are there any drawbacks to using Whereby?

If you need video conferencing for enterprise, Whereby isn't the best option. Its meeting tool allows up to 200 attendees per meeting, and its API plans include 2,000 participant minutes per month. For frequent large video calls, you'd be better off with another tool.

25. Gather: Best for an immersive virtual environment

With Gather, you can create a virtual headquarters for your organization, complete with avatars and an interactive setting. Team members can start daily huddles in the moment, plan video conferences in advance, and chat throughout the workday.

Gather video conferencing

Why should you use Gather?

Gather lets you share your screen over a quick video call with colleagues and run multi-day virtual conferences with hundreds of attendees. Free plans support up to 10 users, while paid plans include:

  • 500 users
  • Unlimited video chat
  • Multi-day events

Are there any drawbacks to using Gather?

One of the biggest perks of Gather is its customizable environments and immersive settings. If your team doesn't need a virtual workspace to host video calls or plan video conferences, another option on this list would be a better fit.

What are the key features of video conferencing software?

Ever sat through an online event where technology fails, and things fall apart? It’s the worst-case scenario, but it can be avoided. When it comes to achieving the best video conferencing setup, the software you choose will have a big impact.

Before you commit to a subscription, make sure your video conferencing platform has the following features:

  • Breakout rooms for focused discussion and collaboration
  • Google Calendar and email integration
  • Browser-based access
  • Recurring events
  • Automatic email invites and reminders for attendees
  • Screen and media sharing
  • Automatic recording
  • Engagement features like chat boxes, Q&A, emoji reactions, and polling
  • Capacity to host enough attendees (depending on the size of your audience)
  • Compatibility with a range of devices
  • Dial-in by phone (in case of poor connection)
  • Strong security features (we've listed the most secure video conferencing platforms for you)

Best hardware for video conferencing setup

You’re hosting your first virtual meeting, and everything is going great - but is that really what you look like from that angle? Most laptops come with built-in hardware for video calls, like video conferencing cameras. But let’s face it; they can be pretty mediocre.

From poor camera quality to crackling audio, your built-in features could hold you back. For a more professional (and flattering) video conferencing setup, you’ll want to pick out your hardware yourself.

Let’s look at the key considerations for your video conferencing setup:

  • Sound clarity
  • High-quality video
  • Bright lighting

1. Sound clarity

Crisp sound quality is a must when hosting professional meetings: you don’t want to miss anything your clients say. A strong pair of headphones with a built-in microphone will ensure you can be heard clearly, too.

man wearing headphones taking notes during virtual lesson

Try these top picks:

  • Apple Airpods. With exceptional sound quality and portable design, Airpods are a must for busy professionals who want discreet headphones to use on the go.
  • Jabra Evolve2 40. Designed for comfort with built-in noise isolation, this Jabra headset is ideal for those who expect to be in and out of calls all day.

Do you need a microphone? Not with a good pair of headphones, but it does depend on how you expect to use video conferencing for your business.

If you’re attending regular work meetings online, a microphone is an extra expense that might get in the way of having natural conversations. However, some hosts do like to use a microphone for webinars, and you’ll definitely want one if you’re going to use video conferencing software for interviewing guests for a podcast. If that sounds like you, Blue Yeti is a versatile and inexpensive mic that’s worth looking into.

Pro tip: Try free noise-canceling software like Krisp if you expect to host meetings in noisy locations. Krisp uses artificial intelligence to reduce distracting sounds like traffic, pets, keyboard strokes, and echoes.

2. High-quality video

Ditch poor camera quality and unattractive angles, and never look back, because you’re about to get a proper webcam. Even if you do have a laptop with a camera, there’s no reason why you should be hunched over it while trying to impress important stakeholders. Choosing a new webcam is going to give your video calls a total upgrade.

Try one of these top video conferencing cameras:

  • Logitech Brio 4K. You’ll be in good hands with most Logitech cameras, but we’re especially fond of the Brio 4K, which includes facial recognition technology for extra security.
  • Razer Kiyo. A powerful little camera with a built-in ring light for extra illumination, the Razer Kiyo is a great solution if your desk faces a wall and you want to skip expensive lighting solutions.

3. Bright lighting

Whether you have an office or work from home, it can be tricky to get the best lighting for video conferencing. Bright, natural lighting works best, but you can’t rely on the weather, and not everyone has the luxury of a desk near a window.

Man setting up lighting for video conference

If you need to bring artificial light into your setup, try one of these:

  • Cyezcor Video Conference Lighting Kit. This lighting kit is smaller than your average ring light, and clips to your computer screen, so you don’t have to find space for an unwieldy lamp. The ring shape distributes light evenly onto your face for a more flattering appearance.
  • Neewer Video Conference Lighting Kit. The Neewer kit opts for a square, LED light with the handy addition of a remote control to help you control the brightness from where you’re sitting. You can even try out its color filters if you’re interested in achieving different camera effects.

Pro Tip: Avoid mixing light sources if you can. Sitting next to a window with a desk lamp switched on isn’t ideal for light clarity as it may cast shadows and interfere with your camera's light adjustment settings.

Tips to set up video conferencing

You’ve chosen your software and got the gear. Now it’s time to curate a professional background and brush up on your virtual meeting etiquette. Follow these video conferencing tips for the perfect virtual meeting setup:

  • Find a quiet room. You’ll want somewhere calm and quiet to focus on hosting.
  • Fix your background. Paying attention to what can be seen on your camera will make you a more professional and polished host. If you don’t have the best wall color for video conferencing, you could choose a virtual background instead.
  • Make a plan. Set an agenda and keep the conversation moving to avoid anyone dozing off. If it’s going to be a long event, be sure to include comfort breaks and audience participation.
  • Do a trial run. Always test out your software in the location where you plan to run the event to avoid awkward mishaps and delays on the day.
  • Use a strong browser. Most video conferencing software will operate best on Chrome. Check the advice from your software provider if you’re not sure.
  • Check your internet connection. For smooth meetings, we recommend 15Mb/s upload and download speeds. Apps like Speedtest can help check your connection ahead of time, but always have a backup plan in case of outages.

7 Steps to Make Your Video Conference a Hit

In this video, we break down how to host a successful virtual event in 7 easy steps. From planning to promotion and following up with your event registrants, you'll learn what steps to take before, during, and after your video conference.

What’s the next step for setting up video conferencing?

If you’re looking for a way to upgrade your communications strategy, this is it. Video conferencing tools are super fast and super flexible and make meetings easy to record and revisit.

If you’re ready to get started, why not try Livestorm? Easy-to-use software and carefully curated surroundings are key to hosting impressive online meetings. But to make the most out of your video conferencing setup, you’ll need a strong video engagement platform with various features to support results-driven, collaborative working.

With the right video engagement platform, you’ll boost your team’s productivity, deliver powerful onboarding sessions, and even reach new audiences.

How can a video engagement platform help?

The best way to address the disadvantages mentioned above is to use a dedicated video engagement platform. With video engagement, it’s not just two people in a video call: it’s about using your video capabilities to their full potential and getting the best out of your team.

What is video engagement?

Video engagement refers to how much your audience pays attention to and interacts with your video conferencing event. It can be measured using metrics like registration signups, chat messages sent, and replay views.

How to make video conferencing more engaging

If your whole team is suffering from meeting fatigue, try using video engagement features to capture their interest:

  • Video chat. Chat boxes are a handy place for meeting attendees to post ad hoc questions, interact with each other, and share links, all without interrupting the speaker's flow.
  • Polls. You can introduce polls whenever you want to check your understanding or gather feedback during the meeting.
  • Q&A. Built-in Q&A functionality will make dealing with audience questions much slicker. Platforms like Livestorm will notify you when a participant asks a question and give other audience members a chance to upvote questions they’re interested in.
  • Digital whiteboard. Get creative as you brainstorm with your team in real-time or set mini-tasks for participants to complete on a whiteboard like Miro.
  • Multimedia sharing. The ability to easily share a presentation, play a video clip, or pre-recorded audio will make your meetings more dynamic and keep your audience alert.
  • Screen sharing. Perfect for problem-solving or training, a good video conferencing platform will allow you to share your screen and demonstrate a workflow on camera.

If you’re using a strong video engagement platform like Livestorm, you’ll have all the tools you need to host interactive meetings and meet your business objectives. With the right software, you’ll keep your team engaged, wow your clients, and get results for your business.

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