Virtual meetings are an essential component of the modern workplace. The good news? Free video conferencing software can meet the needs of many small- and medium-sized teams.
But with most free tools, it’s likely you’ll face limits when it comes to meeting length and the number of users allowed in each meeting.
How to compare video conferencing software
When comparing video conferencing software, be sure to consider which features are included in the free tier, such as:
Meeting time limits
Number of participants allowed in each meeting
Tools for screen sharing and recording
Integration with external apps
5 free video conferencing software solutions
The video conferencing providers on this list offer a free membership complete with HD video and audio. We excluded software that only allows for a free trial — you can use any of these on our list indefinitely.
Its interface is clean and easy-to-use, and the free version includes 2GB of cloud storage.
Meeting time limit: 30 minutes
Meeting participant limit: 25
Meeting recording and IM
Selective screen sharing allows you to show a single app rather than entire desktop
Only PC users can record meetings
Skimpy meeting and participant limit in free tier
Freelancers and businesses with fewer than 10 people can take advantage of the sleek user experience and breezy learning curve.
Meeting time limit: 45 minutes
Meeting participant limit: 10
Screen sharing and meeting recording
Accessible via the web, desktop or a mobile device
Only 10 participants per meeting
PIN code required for meetings in the free version
When do I need to upgrade?
When your team’s needs overwhelm the capacity of the free video conferencing software, it’s time to upgrade. For example, Zoom’s free version is popular with small and medium companies because it can accommodate up to 100 participants. But as your projects grow more complex, you’ll probably want to upgrade to avoid meetings cutting off short.
If you’re a startup that expects to grow, take a look at the paid tiers to see if they have what you need when you scale up. Pay attention to features like transcription, in-meeting drawing tools, mouse and keyboard sharing and customer service reputation.
No, Join.me doesn’t offer a free tier, though you can test any of its paid plans with a 14-day free trial.
Not for most businesses. While Skype’s free version does allow for up to 50 users a call, it’s intended for personal use and requires all participants to have a Skype account. That can mean frustration when connecting with clients or coworkers without a personal Skype account.
Lifesize’s free version is only available for six months, which is why we excluded it from this list.
Amy Stoltenberg writes about lifestyle and money for Finder, researching the best options for shopping, banking, insurance and authentic travel experiences. After studying writing and fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked as a technical designer before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. She lives in Los Angeles. When her laptop's closed, you can find her wandering the streets looking for hole-in-the-wall eateries and daydreaming about her next great adventure.
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