Free and reliable online meeting software
Web conferencing has become the preferred method for remotely located teams to work together and do business. But the cost of web conferencing tools can be prohibitive. For that reason, plenty of scrappy startups, entrepreneurs, and self-employed workers use free web conferencing tools to host and participate in online meetings.
Free web conferencing software sometimes lacks the features that paid programs offer, or they provide just limited trial periods. These limitations may still be worth it, depending on your circumstances.
To save you the legwork of finding the best free video conferencing solution, here’s a list of five awesome tools.
- Numbers available for numerous locations.
- Meetings can be recorded easily.
- Screen sharing and mobile apps available.
- PIN number must be used on free account.
- International numbers not available for free accounts.
- Free account limited to 10 participants.
Uberconference is a useful web conferencing tool that hosts video conferences. Uberconference also includes some great features in their free plan including call recording, voice transcription, hold music, screen sharing, and up to 10 participants per call. (The paid version allows for up to 100 participants.)
They also offer an unlimited number of conference calls per month and do not require a PIN number to initiate or join a call. The drawback with the free version of Uberconference is that calls are limited to 45 minutes, and there’s no support for international calls.
- Desktop and mobile apps.
- Screen sharing and screen annotation available.
- Custom meeting URLs available for all tiers.
- Limited time free trial.
- Starter program allows for only four participants.
- Can only record meetings on the most expensive tier.
Previously known as Freebinar. Intermedia AnyMeeting is a paid web conferencing tool with a free 14-day trial period. (It used to offer a ad-based free webinar service but has since moved to tiered subscription plans.)
AnyMeeting offers two pricing tiers: Lite and Pro. Both plans allow you to host meetings of up to 200 people. There’s also unlimited meetings, screen sharing, VoIP/PSTN audio calls, and in-meeting chats. The Pro version delivers a bit more functionality, including the ability to record meetings, upload presentations, take notes, and give attendees the ability to directly control your mouse and keyboard for more advanced collaboration tools.
Attendees do not need to download an app or plug-in to join a meeting, but hosts will control the meeting through software.
- 14-Day premium trial requires no credit card & reverts to free account when trial ends.
- Offers multi-monitor support.
- Only allows for 25 participants in the Professional and Team Tiers.
- Lower/Free tiers only allow 1 participant.
Mikogo is another great web conferencing tool with a free 14-day trial period. With an unlimited number of meeting participants at a time (with a paid subscription), Mikogo has all of the essential features that make for a useful online meeting tool.
Hosts can record meetings, switch between presenters, and pause screen sharing (great when you need to open a document in a private folder, for example). You can even control the speed and color quality of screen sharing to save bandwidth.
The downside is the number of participants a call can fit, which is just 25 for all of the pricing tiers. That’s less than most other services on this list.
- Calls can be completely web-based with no need to download anything.
- No credit card required.
- Background Blur available.
- Call quality can be glitchy.
- Limited to 10 participants at a time.
- Monthly fee for voice calls.
One of the earliest video chat services, Skype provides a more multi-platform, pay-as-you-go solution for video conferencing, with free calls between Skype subscription holders. Skype Meetings is Skype’s free video conferencing service. It offers most of the same tools and features found throughout this roundup, including screen sharing, file uploads, and HD audio and video. There are also options for real-time translation, SMS texting, and landline phone calls.
The downside is that you can only host up to 10 participants at a time. That said, Skype is great for users who make a lot of calls to international or landline numbers. International plans allow you to make calls around the world for a monthly fee. (In the U.S. it’s $2.99/month for unlimited calls.) There’s also a pay-as-you-go option through Skype Credit and Skype to Go.
- Up to 100 participants (even on the free plan).
- Whiteboarding and screen sharing available.
- Recording capabilities available.
- Free service limits calls to 40 minutes.
- Some of the more useful features are hidden behind a paywall.
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 robust features, including conferences that allow up to 100 participants, unlimited one-on-one conferences, video and audio conferencing, and group collaboration features such as whiteboarding and screen sharing.
The one pitfall with Zoom is that conferences with multiple participants are limited to 40 minutes. Paid services allow unlimited call durations, hundreds of meeting participants, cloud storage space for recording calls, admin dashboards, custom emails and URLs, and company branding.