Which Video Conferencing Solution Is Right For You?
Are you having trouble deciding which video conferencing solution is right for your business?
There is a long list of options to choose from when you need to have a video meeting with your staff. Are you sure you’ve been using the right one so far?
Zoom has become widely popular over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, both for professional purposes as well as social ones. Unfortunately, when a technology becomes this popular this quickly, it attracts attention from cybercriminals looking to exploit unaware, new users. This uptick in activity has led to a number of ongoing security concerns:
- Zoom-Bombing: Users have been reporting an increased rate of something called “Zoom-bombing”, which occurs when someone intrudes on your meeting to cause disruptions or eavesdrop on your conversation.
- Stolen Credentials: Cyber risk assessment firm Cyble has discovered more than half a million stolen Zoom credentials being sold on the Dark Web for almost nothing. The stolen info included usernames, passwords, meeting IDs, and host keys.
If you’re using Zoom and you’re worried about your cybersecurity, it’s not too late to change - you can expect to be working remotely for the foreseeable future, so you would be smart to take your time and choose the right video meeting platform.
Which Video Platforms Should You Consider?
- Price: Microsoft is currently offering a free 6-month trial of Microsoft Office 365 E1, including Microsoft Teams, in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
- Capacity: Teams allows up to 250 people in a meeting, and up to 10,000 spectating a live event, for up to 4 hours.
- Benefits: Using Teams means you’ll have access to the full integrated benefits of Microsoft 365, making it that much easier to work seamlessly between other Office-based apps (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).
- Price: Free (100 participants, unlimited one-on-one meetings, 40-minute group meetings, and desktop and application sharing); Meeting Essentials ($14.99/month per user, which allows for unlimited group meetings and 1,000 Call Me minutes); Office Premium ($34.99/month per user combines calling, messaging and meeting into one, facilitating team collaboration with unlimited video conferences and audio meetings).
- Capacity: Ring Central only allows for up to 100 participants, across available plans.
- Benefits: When compared to other free options, Ring Central’s is feature rich and useful for smaller businesses.
8x8 Video Meetings
- Price: In response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic and the increased need for remote meeting capabilities, 8x8 has released a free, stand-alone version of their video meeting platform.
- Capacity: 8x8 Video Meetings offers unlimited meetings, unlimited minutes, and dial-in capabilities with toll-free numbers for free.
- Benefits: One-click, no downloads (with WebRTC-compatible browsers like Chrome), making it simple to connect with contacts that haven’t used 8x8 Video Meetings before.
- Price: While the plans range from $20 - $30 per month and user, like other options on this list, UberConference is now being offered free to users during the pandemic. Furthermore, their 45-minute limit on meetings was increased to a max of five hours.
- Capacity: The standard meeting capacity on the smallest plan was 10, but in light of the pandemic, it has been increased to 50 participants.
- Benefits: As with RingCentral Powered By Zoom, Dialpad offers VoIP options in addition to video conferencing, all of which are free for two months during the pandemic.
- Price: Cisco offers a free plan, as well as Starter ($13.50/host per month with 50 attendees); Plus ($17.95/month with 100 attendees); Business ($26.95/month, five-license minimum, up to 200 attendees); and Enterprise (pricing available upon request).
- Capacity: The Free plan offers up to 100 participants with one host, and the paid plans add on to that, with additional hosts and attendee capacity.
- Benefits: The Free tier is a good option, with a large capacity, HD video, screen sharing, and recording options. Paid plans also offer cloud storage and management features.
- Price: Standard version (150 members, $14/month or $12/month annually); Business version (250 members, $19/month); Enterprise version (3,000 users, pricing available upon request).
- Capacity: 150 - 3000 members, depending on the plan.
- Benefits: Standard audio and video capabilities, along with screen sharing features.
- Price: Free version offers audio-only with screen sharing for up to three members; Lite (5 members, $10/host per month); Pro (250 members, video streaming, recording and scheduling, $20/month); Business (all pro features, plus 1TB of cloud storage, enterprise authentication, and Salesforce integration, pricing available upon request).
- Capacity: 3 - 250 members.
- Benefits: Designed for smaller businesses, the free and lower-paid tiers do not require organizations to pay for a long list of features they don't need.
Google Hangouts Meet
- Price: Cost is based on subscription to G Suite - Basic ($6/user/month and comes with 30GB of Google Drive storage); Business ($12/user/month and provides unlimited storage and extra security and admin controls); Enterprise (unlimited storage and advanced controls, $25/user/month).
- Capacity: G Suite Basic is limited to 100, but it goes up to 150 for Business, and 250 for Enterprise
- Benefits: On the Enterprise plan, you can livestream for up to 100,000 audience members.
If you’re unsure of how to harness the full scope of your video meeting platform of choice during and after the coronavirus pandemic, Alltek Services is available to help you out.
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