Simple video conferencing isn’t a luxury anymore—it’s a necessity. When video conferencing is a part of your everyday work life, you can’t afford to have poor quality or deal with a service that isn’t going to meet your needs.
Now that remote and hybrid work have become commonplace, many companies are offering free video conferencing services with features that remove the barriers to easy conferences.
Why should you use a free video conferencing service?
Ever since 2020, remote and hybrid work have been on the rise. During this time, some of the best video conferencing platforms have become mainstream and are now recognized by nearly all employees, remote or not. Video conferencing software allows you to hold a virtual meeting or conference with your team, no matter how many miles apart you may be.
Even with in-person work, video conferences can increase productivity by allowing meetings to run seamlessly without any distractions or interruptions. But for remote employees, they’re a crucial part of connecting with co-workers and maintaining a workplace community and culture.
For the video conferencing platforms that offer both a free and paid service, the free service might suffice, depending on your needs. Aside from offering a platform to conduct video conferences, most free services also offer other features such as screen-sharing, recording, and easy scheduling. But if you’re looking to figure out what service is best for you, using the free version first can be a great way to test out the company.
Top five free video conferencing services
While there are many paid conferencing services, most video conferencing platforms also offer a free service for those who need simple video conferencing. It can be a challenge to figure out which service is best for your business. To help you determine which service will work best for you, here are five of the best video conferencing services for remote and hybrid workers.
Zoom became a well-known platform during the peak of shutdowns and the rise of remote work during 2020. It became especially useful for educators who needed to conduct class remotely.
Zoom is a highly-rated platform because it’s simple for anyone to use, has a lot of practical features even for free users, and it allows for quick connection. Zoom is free for up to 100 participants for a forty-minute session. Without a subscription to Zoom, your meeting will shut off after the forty-minute period.
If you’re looking for more features than what the free service has to offer, you can upgrade to one of Zoom’s paid subscription services. They range from $15 a month to $90 a month depending on how many participants you need in your meetings. There is also a Large Meeting Feature, which can be added on if you need to add more participants.
Google Hangouts also became very popular for virtual educators during the beginning of the pandemic. Google Hangouts is easy to use, even for those who aren’t familiar with video conferencing platforms. Many of the features are similar to Zoom, but it’s not as useful as Zoom for larger meetings or webinars.
The features of Google Hangouts make it really useful for those who want to record, but overall video quality is not good.
It's good for individual demos or if you have smaller team meetings. One of the benefits of this platform is it’s completely contained within a web browser and doesn’t require the user to download any application. Although the basic services of Google Hangouts are free, the business features are reserved for those with a Google Workspace subscription.
DialPad Meetings, previously known as UberConference, has two different account options—their free service and their paid service. Their free service offers unlimited calls up to 45 minutes long, with up to ten participants. On the other hand, their paid service, or business account, is $15 a month and allows you to host up to 150 participants and meet up to five hours.
Like many other free conference services, UberConference offers a waiting room and a passcode can be added to any meeting for extra security. However, it’s not required and joining a meeting with DialPad can be simple with just one click. Some of the unique features of their paid service are AI meeting transcriptions and custom hold music for when someone is in the virtual waiting room.
In contrast to Zoom, FreeConferenceCall offers no restrictions or time limits on your meetings. This free service offers local and international dial-in numbers and the limit for the number of participants is 1000.
Instead of offering a paid service, FreeConferenceCall offers a “pay what you can” model, which allows them to offer their services free to charities, volunteers, and students around the world. The users of FreeConferenceCall.com are encouraged to pay towards the service in order to help others who need the platform. FreeConferenceCall.com offers both a desktop and mobile app, and has served over 2 billion calls worldwide.
PantherConnect is a free video-conferencing service that can help you simplify your remote working life. Unlike some of the other free conferencing platforms, PantherConnect provides free access to all of it’s features.
The ease of use makes PantherConnect a contender with some of the bigger conferencing platforms. You can join a team call in just one click without having to search for multiple passwords, codes, or other obstacles. With your free account, there are also unlimited calls with no time limits. If you have additional needs for your business, there are add-ons available such as a transcription service, live language interpreter service, and advanced webinar features.
PantherConnect is a new service and because of that, you’re likely to have access to advanced features without charge as they focus on building their user base. You may also find some minor bugs, but there is easy access to live help right from inside your calls to help smooth things over.
Whether you choose to take advantage of free video conferencing or use a paid subscription, the best service for you will depend on your needs. Although many conferencing platforms offer similar features, each will vary slightly, especially when it comes to the number of participants and the length of each meeting. Before you host your next video conference, make sure you’re using the video conference service that’s right for you.