WHY WEB CONFERENCING?

  • Online video meetings on any device
  • Integrated Voice over IP conference calls
  • Screensharing, securely from anywhere
  • Record meeting in real time and mark actions
  • Keep yourself and your team COVID-safe

Best video conferencing apps for small businesses

We delve into the best video conferencing apps on the market – both paid and free!

The working world isn’t the same as it once was. The coronavirus pandemic has kick-started a remote working movement, and businesses are turning to video calling apps to conduct meetings from wherever in the world its employees happen to be located. 

An alternative to video conferencing software and equipment, video conferencing apps are either available on a chargeable contract, or for free.  However, we find that free video calling apps may not offer businesses enough when it comes to things like meeting hours, or video call features. 

For each of our favourite video conferencing apps, we’ll give you the lowdown on the features you can expect to take advantage of, and the fees you can expect to pay. 

We’ll then give you a quick run through of the best free video conferencing apps, so you have the full picture when you come to decide on the one that’ll suit your small business needs. 



Compiling the best video conferencing apps for small businesses

We’ve been supporting businesses for over 20 years. In that time, we’ve built up a wealth of knowledge of the video conferencing features and tools that businesses need to keep communication and meetings as normal as possible when working remotely. 

Whether you’re wanting high quality video and audio, screen sharing, conference recording, minimal participants, or hundreds of employees from multiple offices tuning in, our experts have picked out the best video calling apps to suit a range of small business needs. 


Best video conferencing apps: an overview

Video calling apps can be basic, or have every bell and whistle going. But if you do want these bells and whistles, you’ll have to pay for them. Thankfully, even the best video conferencing apps aren’t expensive, with paid plans from the likes of Zoom and GoToMeeting offering small businesses all the features they need for a small monthly fee.

But it’s not all about the paid plans – all of our video conferencing apps offer free options, with trusty Skype and the popular Google Meet video conferencing app making the list for those looking for a more basic offering. 

 Best forPricingHigh quality video/audioScreen sharingConference recording
Zoom Best for ease of useFree
£11.99/month/license
£15.99/month/license
YesYesYes
GoToMeetingBest for advanced features£9.50/organiser/month
£12.70/organiser/month
YesYesYes
Google MeetBest for free web conferencingFree as part of Google G-SuiteYesYesNo
Microsoft TeamsBest for Microsoft 365 usersFree
£3.80 user/month
£9.40 user/month
£17.60 user/month
YesYesYes, with paid plan
RingCentral OfficeBest for VoIP integrationFree
£14.99 user/month
£19.99 user/month
£24.99 user/month
YesYesYes
SkypeBest for very small businessesFreeYesYesSkype to Skype calls only

The best video conferencing apps: the details

Read on to find out more about our pick of the best video conferencing apps, including Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, RingCentral Office, and Skype.

1. Zoom

Best for ease of use

Zoom vector Zoom is as popular in the office as it is the household, thanks to its trusted high quality calls and ease of use. Its free package is great for smaller businesses, allowing for calls with up to 100 participants for 40 minutes. Businesses can make use of screen sharing features, and you can integrate Zoom with Google Calendar for no additional cost. 

For businesses that require a bit extra, Zoom offers paid plans for a reasonable price. Starting at £11.99/month/license, businesses can host unlimited group meetings for up to 24 hours, and record meetings to the cloud. For small to medium businesses, the next plan up offers sophisticated extras, including business branding and a language interpretation channel.

With businesses of all sizes singing Zoom’s praises, and with an average rating of 4.5 stars across the web, we’re sure the video conferencing app will remain one of the market leaders long after everyday business starts resuming as normal.


Available on Android and iOS Free version available Plans start from £11.99/month/license 

Zoom prosZoom cons
Free HD quality calls (internet connection required)Audio quality can be on the poorer side
Unlimited group meetings with the free option40-minute meeting limit with free option
Easy to use interface with useful meeting tools
Paid plans are a reasonable price

2. GoToMeeting

Best for advanced features

Gotomeeting   GoToMeeting is the best web conferencing app alternative to Zoom. It doesn’t offer a free service, but its professional paid plan is cheaper than Zoom’s cheapest paid option. You can have up to 150 participants in a GoToMeeting conference call, and HD video comes as standard.

For those looking for a bit extra from their web conferencing app, GoToMeeting offers nifty features such as commuter mode for taking calls on the go, and plug-ins for Office 365, Google Calendar, and Salesforce. And if you’re worried about how secure your business calls are, GoToMeeting goes to town when it comes to protecting call privacy. 

With users commending its ease of use and call recording quality, GoToMeeting is a solid alternative to our number one video conferencing app. Just bear in mind that in order to achieve the super high call quality it’s renowned for, GoToMeeting sucks up a fair bit of bandwidth, meaning a high quality internet connection is required. 


Available on Android and iOS No free version available Plans start from £9.50/month/license 

GoToMeeting prosGoToMeeting cons
High quality video and audioNo free plan
Extra security features
Great value for money

3. Google Meet

Best for free web conferencing

Google Meet logo supplier box new If you’re looking for a simple way to stay connected with your close-knit team, you can’t go too wrong with Google Meet. Google Meet comes free with G Suite, although the features you have access to will depend on the G Suite package you’ve opted for. 

 

There are three G Suite packages – Basic, Business, and Enterprise. The basic package enables you to make calls with up to 100 participants, while the Enterprise edition takes you up to 250.  It’s also worth pointing out that you’ll need the Enterprise edition of G Suite if you want to record meetings or live stream them. 

When it comes to customer reviews, Google Meet has some of the most impressive going, owing to its ease of use and seamless integration with the Google Suite. However, with a high quality internet connection required for HD video – and reports of call quality being hit and miss – businesses may be better off going for a specialist video conferencing app.


Available on Android and iOS Free version available Free with G Suite

Google Meet prosGoogle Meet cons
Free with G SuiteCall quality can be a bit hit and miss
Seamless integration with Google Calendar
Features depend on your G Suite package
Comes with Google Hangouts instant messaging

4. Microsoft Teams

Best for Microsoft 365 users

Microsoft Teams   Shortly after Microsoft acquired Skype, Microsoft Teams was born – a free alternative communications tool optimised for the Microsoft Office suite of products. Its free version is more of a collaboration tool than a web conferencing app, with document sharing and instant messaging just some of the features small businesses can take advantage of. 

The free version of Microsoft Teams is pretty basic, so if you’re looking for features like meeting recording or access for those outside of your Microsoft network, you’ll need to invest in Microsoft 365. Packages start from just £3.80 user/month. 

Similarly to Google Meet, Microsoft Team’s customers commend how well the product integrates with its hosting package – in this case, Microsoft 365. That said, to be able to take advantage of its best features, businesses have to pay extra on top of their Microsoft 365 license, making it a fairly expensive option for small businesses.


Available on Android and iOS Free with Microsoft 365 Plans start from £3.80/user/month

Microsoft Teams prosMicrosoft Teams cons
Free tool for small businessesFeatures are pretty basic
Free file collaboration and screen sharingUpgrade to Enterprise edition of 365 for the most secure call connections
Microsoft 365 upgrade starts at just £3.80 user/month

5. RingCentral Meetings

Best for VoIP integration 

Ring Central Specialists in the VoIP field, RingCentral has pulled together its collective expertise to create a video conferencing app that’s packed full of advanced features – if you’re prepared to pay for them. 

The free version offers businesses a package similar to that of the basic versions of Zoom and Google Meet, including screen sharing, whiteboard, call recording, and decent security. 

But if you do end up paying for its (somewhat pricey) advanced packages, you’ll get to take advantage of some really cool features. 

You’ll be able to integrate full webinar packages, host remote cloud conferences, and experience super high audio quality. And there are some nifty additions too, like safe driving mode and the option to conduct polls during a meeting.

The general consensus from RingCentral customers is that the interface isn’t as easy to use as other video conferencing apps. Hosting video meetings with people outside of the business will also require them to download the software, rather than use a browser plugin.


Available on Android and iOS Free version available Plans start from £14.99/user/month

RingCentral Meetings prosRingCentral Meeting cons
Integrates with a RingCentral VoIP phone systemPaid plans are expensive
Customise and build your own video conferencing toolCustomer support isn’t the most reliable
Lots of advanced features in the paid plan

6. Skype

Best for very small businesses 

Skype vector The fact that Skype is still a popular choice after all these years goes to show just how much of a great tool it is. With HD video calling, instant messaging, and free meeting recording and subtitle features, small businesses can’t really go wrong. 

While businesses commend the features on offer – especially for a free piece of software – there are some concerns about its tendency to lag, both during calls and when loading up the software at the start of the day. 

However, for one to one meetings and small group calls, its free features – and of course, the option to call toll numbers (at an additional cost) – still make it worthy of a place in our list of the best video conferencing apps for small businesses. 


Available on Android and iOS Free version available Skype credit available to purchase

Skype prosSkype cons
Great conference call features for freeVideo and audio quality is hit and miss
Option to call mobile numbers with Skype credit50 people maximum on a call
Fair limit of 100 hours per month for group calls

The best free video conferencing apps for small businesses

The great thing about video conferencing apps is that you don’t always have to pay for them to be able to do everything your business needs to do. 

All of the video calling apps featured in our list offer businesses a free plan, but if we were to choose our top three, the best free video conferencing apps for small businesses would be:

  1. Zoom
  2. GoToMeeting
  3. Google Meet

So how do you work out which one is best for you?

Well, when it comes to deciding on which provider offers the best free plan, working out the differences is like trying to split hairs – there aren’t any, really. 

Inevitably, as your business grows, your needs change. So when choosing the best video conferencing app for your small business, consider which one offers you the best future option. 

For example, while you may be tempted to pick Zoom on the basis that its free plan offers your business everything it needs, you could be better off choosing GoToMeeting, because it offers one of the cheapest paid plans when it comes to upgrading.

Google Meet, on the other hand, would require you to upgrade your entire G Suite package, which may or may not be necessary as your small business matures.


Best video conferencing apps for small businesses: the verdict

In summary, our pick of the best video calling apps for small businesses are: 

  1. Zoom
  2. GoToMeeting
  3. Google Meet
  4. Microsoft Teams
  5. RingCentral Meetings
  6. Skype

Zoom and GoToMeeting are our favourites, offering businesses a great free option and reasonably priced paid plans that are rammed full of clever features. 

Google Meet and Microsoft Teams make the middle. While free, they are optimised for G Suite and Microsoft 365 products respectively, meaning that when it comes to upgrading, you’ll need to upgrade your entire package, not just your video conferencing app. 

Lastly, we have RingCentral Meetings and Skype, which are great options but come with a greater set of limitations. 

RingCentral is more suited to those interested in having an all-in-one VoIP and video conferencing solution. This is because its paid plans are expensive, and are designed for businesses looking for the best in communications technology. 

Skype is the most basic out of all the video conferencing options we've included, and while offering a feature-set worthy of appearing in our list, its shaky audio and video quality means it’s better suited to very small businesses that don’t rely too much on video conferencing in day to day operations.


Aimee Bradshaw
Aimee Bradshaw

Writer and researcher

Aimee recently joined Startups as resident expert in business tech, products, and services. Having ran her own egg delivery business from the age of 12, she is an advocate of self starters and small businesses.

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