Web conferencing has become the preferred method for distributed teams to do business. However, especially for small businesses and start-ups, the cost of web conferencing tools can be prohibitive, ultimately delaying the adoption of online meetings.
This doesn’t need to happen, though, as there is a variety of free web conferencing software available, and while it’s true that many are missing vital functionality or only have limited trial periods available, there are some tools that are as good as their subscription counterparts. To save you the legwork, here's a list of awesome (and free) web conference tools.
Uberconference is a useful web conferencing tool that allows for voice conferences, and screen sharing. Uberconference also includes some great features in their free plan including call recording, International conferencing numbers, and up to 10 participants per call.
They also offer an unlimited number of conference calls per month and usually do not require a PIN number to initiate or join a call. The downfall with Uberconference is no video conferencing, but they make up for that with lots of rich features and controls and some pretty awesome hold music.
Previously known as Freebinar. AnyMeeting is a fantastic free web conferencing software, with features that easily match those of its paid-for counterparts. As it is ad-based, you will have to put up with some minimum advertising in order to use this tool, but it is not intrusive for the hosts or attendees.
It allows for meetings of up to 200 people and has essential functionality like screen sharing, VoIP and phone conferencing, meeting recording and it even has a follow-up functionality. It’s web-based, so the only download needed is a small plugin that enables screen sharing (on the host’s side). No downloads are necessary from the attendees, so even those behind a firewall should be able to attend meetings on AnyMeeting.
Mikogo is another great web conferencing software that has a free option. What its interface lacks in looks, it more than makes up for that in functionality. Allowing an unlimited number of meeting participants at a time (with paid subscription), Mikogo has all of the essential features that make for a useful online meeting tool.
Features include meeting recording, switching between presenters and the ability to pause screen sharing (great when you need to open a document in a private folder, for example). But perhaps its most useful feature is the ability to control the quality of the meeting; great for when you want to save bandwidth, for example.
TokBox Video Chat
If it’s a video conference software you’re after, look no further than TokBox’s Video Chat. Its greatest feature is that it allows for up to 20 participants at a time, and while it’s not specifically made for business (they do have a paid business offering), It's considered reliable and easy to use. It also integrates with social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, so you can let your business contacts know about your planned video conference easily, without the need for e-mail.
Zoom, like many of the other options here, is a web conferencing tool that offers free and paid plans. The free account with Zoom has some pretty great features, including conferences that allow up to 100 participants, unlimited one-on-one conferences, video and audio conferencing, and even group collaboration features such as whiteboarding and screen sharing. The one pitfall with Zoom is that conferences with multiple participants are limited to a 40-minute window.