Leadership

Hassle-free web-based conferencing apps

A good conferencing solution is a must for modern businesses; here are five apps worth your consideration.

Most people in business in this century can't get by without web conferencing; from webinars to meetings with vendors, business partners, and co-workers across the globe, a good conferencing solution is a must for modern businesses. Unfortunately, many conferencing solutions require an application to be downloaded and installed on the client machine in order to participate.

In this edition of Five Apps, I take a look at five web-based conferencing apps which can be used without a full client-side installation and some that require no installation at all.

For additional screenshots of these apps, check out the accompanying TechRepublic Photo Gallery.

1: MegaMeeting

MegaMeeting is a cross browser and platform system that allows for one-on-one video chat, multi-party video conferencing, and webinars all within a browser-based app for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The app requires only Adobe Flash on these platforms. In addition, MegaMeeting offers iOS and Android apps for connectivity from mobile devices. Attendees are limited by seats purchased. There do not appear to be any free versions; MegaMeeting advertises that their services are as low as $39 per month. Video conferencing is limited to 16 streams but can have hundreds of viewer (no limit was specified).

2: AnyMeeting

AnyMeeting is a Java-based meeting space that supports up to 200 attendees. The basic, free version is ad-supported and is limited on the features offered. Paid versions remove the ads and add additional features. AnyMeeting is PC and Mac compatible, but I would imagine Linux gurus can get it to work there as well. Video conferencing is limited to six streams. AnyMeeting has all of the standard features of a web conferencing app plus some additional ones like polling and a status indicator interestingly labeled "My Mood." This app even offers an integrated "ticket sales" module so you can charge admission to your webinars.

3: Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect is, of course, an Adobe Flash-based conferencing solution when used in Windows and Mac OS but is also available as an app for iOS, Android, and Blackberry Playbook. Unlike the other offerings, video streams are limited only by available bandwidth. Adobe Connect even integrates with SIP/H.264 compatible devices to enrich the conference experience. This app is the only one in this list to offer on-site servers, keeping all conference traffic within your corporate environment. Pricing information appears to be tightly controlled by Adobe sales staff. Adobe has a similar free offering, Adobe ConnectNow, a part of Acrobat.com, which is limited to one-on-one communication but is also upgradable to additional attendees.

4: Cisco WebEx

Cisco WebEx, easily the most well-known of the apps on this list, is also a Java-based conferencing solution. Also available are mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Blackberry. Like the others, it offers all of the standard conferencing features within the free version and additional features if you upgrade. The free version is limited to three participants; upgrades to 8 or 25 people per meeting are available. Like Adobe Connect, WebEx also has Enterprise options for up to 500 people but they do not appear to offer on-site services.

5: ooVoo

Our final selection, ooVoo, is technically a fat-client system, but it does have a "Web Call" feature which allows you to invite up to 12 participants in a video chat for free. For the Web Call, users only need Java and an ooVoo account to get started. Like many others, ooVoo offers iOS and Android apps and the fat-client works on Windows and Mac. ooVoo also offers Widgets for various social networking sites as well as personal web pages and allows you to save your video chats as YouTube videos for later viewing and sharing. Using the fat-client, and getting a Premium subscription, the host can share their screen. The Premium subscription also removes ads.

Your picks

What web-based conferencing solution have you used? Share your recommendations with fellow TechRepublic members.

12 comments
mitrackersoft
mitrackersoft

Webex, gotomeeting are the biggest web conferencing provider in USA, good quality but in not good price. In market, there are many other alternatives, I ever used CUMeeting, I can say it not lose the competition with WEBEX and Gotomeeting, you guys can have a try. http://www.cumeeting.com/

JAverett100
JAverett100

I've been using ScreenConnect for remote support for years and they just recently added meetings.

abbas javed
abbas javed

I would recommend to use Banckle apps as they are the best and complete online solution for websites. Banckle Meeting is known for its very easy-to-use user interface and HD audio/video web conferencing. I think the most important thing is how easy is the meeting room for any software. Banckle meeting provides with its best online meeting room with all the necessary features. Please try out: http://banckle.com/apps/meeting/overview.html

rickyaliasgar
rickyaliasgar

MegaMeeting, anymeeting, WebEx etc. are quality web conferencing software’s. In addition to above, one can even consider deploying on premise web conferencing appliance such as RHUB appliances in order to conduct webinars, web conferences, online meetings etc.

thenabster
thenabster

That was a good list. There are few here that I would try out later. I would also like to add another one to the list. It's called Reflap and it's a video chat website that allows its users to video chat for free and also group video chats. Included to that, when you log on to the website you create a personal call address that anyone can call you from like your phone number. Check it out http://www.reflap.com

santhu.ch2
santhu.ch2

Absolutely free online conferencing website. Create a meeting ID and participate in the conference meeting with your colleagues and professionals who want to share your Status of your works or share your Discussions etc etc... http://www.freeconferencing.com/ It is same as Gotomeeting but we donot require any software for freeconferencing.com Enjoyyyyyyyy

abbas javed
abbas javed

I like Banckle Meeting. Its a cloud-based online meeting application and i found it very interesting for my e-learning sessions. Incredible meeting room with all the basic elements you need and outstanding video/audio conferencing. I am fan of this app. Totally hassle free! http://banckle.com/apps/meeting/overview.html

brwills
brwills

I have used this at a few different companies I have worked for and it work quite well. Allows sharing of screens and different people can be set to control the mouse on the screen. It costs money, but works very well.

inspire_it_ireland
inspire_it_ireland

BigBlueButton is popular, free, openesource, and is installed and managed locally. One current downside might be lack of mobile apps (currently).

aaron4
aaron4

I am a fan of meetings.io. It is Flash based, but is super easy to use and free. Gives you all of the great web conferencing tools, minus remote desktop control (it does have desktop sharing though). You can have up to 10 participants.

lhAdmin
lhAdmin

ReadyTalk is an "easy to use" audio & web conferencing service our organization uses. They offer Web & Audio conferencing plans, professional webinar service, as well as recording & archiving services. They also have non-profit friendly pricing. We've also used Webex in the past but didn't have enough use to justify the monthly fee. It was also a little complicated to share one login id among a few users.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Have you tried a web-based conferencing app like the five listed here? Did it perform as advertised? Can you recommend one of these applications or do you perhaps have a better suggestion?

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