Best video conferencing software for small businesses in 2021
Good video conferencing software is nothing less than a necessity for your business. But that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive – or even cost at all...
To say the pandemic has been tough on businesses would, quite frankly, be an understatement. Staff have been furloughed, jobs lost, cash reserves all but eroded, and whole corporations are now working from home… indefinitely. Businesses need to adapt; to adopt new tools and processes in order to thrive.
And what better place to start than with web video conferencing? Good communication is at the heart of all successful businesses, and having the right software to do it remotely is more important n0w than it’s ever been before; TrustRadius reported that the web and video conferencing industry saw a 500% increase after the Covid-19 outbreak began – meaning that businesses that aren't getting on board with this tech run the risk of getting left behind.
That’s why we’re breaking down the top video conferencing software suppliers for small businesses below.
Scroll on to read reviews, or if you’re a little shorter on time, provide us with some details about the kind of conferencing software you’re looking for. We’ll then match you with business communication solution providers that fit your requirements, who’ll get in touch with a quote tailored to you.
What is the best web conferencing software?
Web video conferencing software is everywhere, but providers differ wildly when it comes to cost, call quality, the number of users allowed, and the features included. We’ve saved you some time, and reviewed the top six.
Without further ado, the best video conferencing software comes from PGi GlobalMeet, GoToMeeting, BlueJeans, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom.
Read on to find out why.
|Provider||Best for||Free plan?||Paid plan* from:||Read more|
|PGi GlobalMeet||Customer support||✔||£9||PGi GlobalMeet review|
|GoToMeeting||Mobile app||✔||£9.50||Visit GoToMeeting|
|Cisco Webex||Free plan||✔||£11.25||Cisco Webex review|
|Microsoft Teams||Budget-conscious businesses||✔||£3.80||Microsoft Teams review|
|Zoom||Ease of use||✔||£11.99||Zoom review|
* (per organiser/host, per month)
With a free plan facilitating up to 125 participants on unlimited calls, PGi GlobalMeet defies conventional logic – proving that you can, indeed, get something for nothing.
With a sparkling interface and a slick, intuitive mobile app, PGi GlobalMeet is a pleasure to use. It’ll also slot into your existing systems with ease – integration with Microsoft’s calendar and collaboration tool Teams is seamless, and free to boot. Screen sharing, call recording, and HD video and audio are all included as standard.
And when it comes to customer support, PGi GlobalMeet’s is superlative. Online support is included free, while a monthly subscription of just £9 per user unlocks round-the-clock phone, chat, and email-based support.
For a user-friendly, mobile-friendly, and refreshingly wallet-friendly experience, GoToMeeting can’t be topped. As well as highly rated mobile apps for both iOS and Android, GoToMeeting is just… well, a pleasure to use. Simple to navigate, with an almost non-existent setup process and automatic syncing of contacts, GoToMeeting takes the hassle out of video conferencing.
Better still, GoToMeeting’s basic plan starts at just £9.50, and allows for a very generous 150 users. HD video, Siri-enabled dialling, and meeting diagnostic reports are all included as standard, and there’s no limit on how many meetings you have – or how long they are.
However, there’s a lot to be said for upgrading.
Trading up to GoToMeeting’s Business plan (£12.57) is only slightly more expensive, and gets you 250 users – plus a whole extra subset of features, including unlimited cloud recording and drawing tools. You’ll also benefit from mobile cloud recording, as well as GoToMeeting’s machine learning-powered smart meeting assistant.
Simple to use, and with a stylish, stripped back interface, you’ll find BlueJeans’ intuitive software as comfortable as slipping on an old pair of Levi’s.
Starting at £8.86 for 50 users, BlueJeans’ basic plan doesn’t offer as many call participants as GoToMeeting’s plan does, but it’s cheaper. And – feature-wise, at least – you actually get more bang for your buck. Whiteboarding, annotation, screen sharing, and an impressive complement of smart features are all included from the get go.
Upgrading (£12.41 per host, per month) gets you 75 users and extensive call analytics capabilities, plus seamless integration with the tools you use everyday. That includes CRM (customer relationship management) software such as Zoho, as well as other workplace communication tools, including Slack and Microsoft Teams.
One of the big names in global telecommunications, Cisco has built a reputation on connecting people and businesses with powerful, intelligent hardware. It’s only right, then, that its video conferencing software – Webex – should be one of the first names on your list.
For starters, its free plan is simply excellent. Recently updated to help businesses struggling with COVID-19 imposed restrictions, Cisco’s free plan now includes up to 50 users, and unlimited call volume and duration. It also throws in a range of file and whiteboard sharing options, HD video, and more calendar integrations than you can shake a stick at.
‘Budget-friendly’ isn’t a term always associated with Microsoft’s litany of generation-defining products. But, as it turns out, its video conferencing software is just that.
Starting at £3.80, Teams boasts the cheapest paid plan on our list. That makes it an excellent choice not only for the cost-conscious business owners out there, but for lovers of Microsoft Office, too. Why?
Because Teams is tailor-made for integration with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote – meaning it can slot straight into your current software line up with ease. Its impressive free plan also includes web versions of Microsoft tools, to help facilitate real time collaboration away from the camera.
Chances are, you’ve been hearing a lot about Zoom recently. The video conferencing software provider most recently made headlines when it was revealed the coronavirus outbreak has made its founder wealthier than Richard Branson. But why?
Zoom isn’t the cheapest tool out there. It doesn’t offer the most users, and even its paid plan imposes a limit on call duration (that’s 24 hours, but still). So why have business owners been flocking to it in their droves?
Because Zoom is extremely easy to use, that’s why. From setting up a call, to utilising one of Zoom’s plethora of conferencing, collaboration, and co-annotation features, it’s all a breeze. There’s also a completely free (albeit limited) version available, which should satisfy the needs of the smallest businesses.
Best free web conferencing
Sometimes, low-cost web video conferencing software is… well, still too expensive.
Plus, it doesn’t matter if it’s just a few pounds per month. What’s the point in paying for a video conferencing tool if your business doesn’t need a lot of features, or if you don’t have enough staff to make it worthwhile?
If this sounds like you, head on over to our page on the best free conference call services. There, you can browse the top seven web conferencing software packages available free to small UK businesses, and find out how we chose them.
Find the best web video conferencing software
The right web video conferencing software for you depends largely on two factors.
Firstly, your budget. A free software option serves two purposes – as a low-risk introduction to video conferencing, or as a last resort, for when you’ve cut out all other overheads. For businesses in their prime, free software shouldn’t really be a consideration at all. But if your budget is low, it will do the trick.
The second thing you’ll need to think about is the amount of users you’ll require. If it’s more than about ten people, you’ll almost certainly want to opt for paid video conferencing software.
But if this article has shown you anything, it’s that there are a lot of video conferencing software providers out there – and making the right decision isn’t easy.
So let us help. Simply provide us with some information about your startup’s web conferencing software requirements, and we’ll match you with the business communication tool suppliers best-suited to help your startup scale.
It takes about 30 seconds, and you’ll receive quotes tailored to the specific needs of your remote working setup. What have you got to lose?
Web conferencing software FAQs
What is meant by a ‘host’ or an ‘organiser’ in the pricing plans?
As you’ll have seen, most web conferencing software licences are billed per ‘host’. A host is an individual who can schedule and conduct virtual meetings with the software. Hence, the username and password for each host account will usually be tied to a specific individual licence.
What is the best video conferencing equipment?
It’s important to remember that the providers above, by and large, offer only the software you’ll require to make and take calls online. While this is handy for startups, larger businesses (or those at least preparing to scale eventually) may need a more advanced setup – speakers, microphones, extra displays… the lot.