The 9 Best Free Video Conferencing Apps
Whether you’re a solopreneur, part of a team or looking for something that your whole family can use, there is a video conferencing app that will suit your needs.
In this article, we’ll share the 9 best video conferencing apps and what features you can expect when you use them.
What features can you get out of a free video-conferencing app?
To help you choose the right app, we’ve lined up the most important features you should look for when choosing a video conferencing app. So, beyond the word free, it is important to weigh in what you’re getting and what value you can expect. It’s especially important if you eventually decide to scale up beyond the free tier.
Video is the essence of video conferencing—it is right there in the name. So, for an option to qualify as free video conferencing software, it should offer easy-to-use video options.
Great video conferencing should work well on different broadband speeds, provide multiple options for customization, and sync well with your device’s camera to transmit good quality video.
For smooth connections, quality audio lets the meeting start as soon as you’re ready, rather than having to spend unnecessary minutes checking if everyone can hear you. Quality audio completes the videoconferencing experience.
While video and audio are the backbone of a great meeting experience, chat helps users share ideas and maintain separate conversations on the side, without disrupting the entire meeting.
Meeting room size & length
Before you sign up for free videoconferencing software, find out exactly what is included in the free plan.
Free videoconferencing solutions tend to put a limit on the number of users you can invite in a single meeting and how long you can meet for. This is understandable since free videoconferencing is typically targeted at lite users like students or solopreneurs, who may not want to spend budget on this.
So, how much are you getting for free?
If a free videoconferencing software limits you to just five users per meeting, you will have a hard time finding wiggle room within that bracket and may end up having to upgrade quite quickly.
A free videoconferencing solution should provide unlimited one-on-one meetings and an adequate cap on group meetings that doesn’t restrict you from getting value out of the free tier.
Since we are assessing free videoconferencing software, why would you be concerned about pricing? There are a lot of reasons why.
Maybe you are an early-stage startup yet to raise funding or you’re a coach who’s started to offer your services via video. Your budget may be tighter than usual.
So, what happens when you scale up to 10 people? 20? 50?
Many videoconferencing software options are happy to offer a free tier but once you’ve scaled up and you’re looking for something more powerful, you may realize the first paid plans are significantly more expensive than you can justify investing in. Keep an eye on pricing so you can determine what you might end up paying if you decide to scale up to a paid plan.
Moderation is very much a part of the videoconferencing experience as you may have to mute users, pass control to others, or turn off someone’s video.
Not all video conferencing apps make it easy to moderate the meetings, but find ones where you are able to make sure you can meet safely with each other.
Ease of access
For most videoconferencing applications, free and paid alike, you’ll typically need to install software on your device to hold meetings. That leads to situations where you’re either downloading or updating an application two minutes after a meeting started.
While looking for the best free videoconferencing software possible, keep an eye out for those that let you create and run meetings right from the web browser with just a few clicks to join a meeting.
Now and then, things may go wrong or the application doesn’t work. Find a company who puts their customers first and is easy to reach if you need any help with anything. The quality of customer support offered makes all the difference for you to have an enjoyable experience.
Screen sharing offers a powerful tool for bringing context into any conversation. Share compelling presentations, visuals, annotate, and engage with your team virtually by transforming your screen into a digital whiteboard for everyone to see.
Meeting recording capability
Nothing beats being present for an in-person meeting where you can share ideas with your team or colleagues, in real-time.
But recording allows you to store that knowledge, share it after the fact, and transform your meetings into learning materials that can get used over and again.
Just like a face-to-face meeting, it’s understandable that you may share sensitive information over a video conference, such as business financials or company strategy. So, if you’re using a free videoconferencing software, make sure that whatever option you opt for, it prioritises the security of your data.
The Best Free Video Conferencing Apps
Here’s a breakdown of the best free video conferencing apps ranked based on their video and audio capabilities, security, screen sharing features, chat and more.
Whereby is the ultimate video conferencing software for individuals and teams of different sizes. Whether you’re meeting with 2 or 100 people, Whereby empowers you to create and run meetings as simply as possible without the technical headache other video conferencing tools cause.
Whereby’s free plan offers:
Unlimited one-on-one meetings
Group meetings of 45 minutes, for up to 100 participants
Robust customer support
Integration with your existing tool stack—Slack, Google Drive, Trello, Miro, YouTube, and Outlook
Breakout Groups, created within seconds
End-to-end encryption, and GDPR compliant security protocols that ensure your data is protected
Whereby simplifies video conferencing so you can have great meetings, right in your browser—with just one click.
Jitsi is a completely free, open-source video conferencing software you can leverage for personal and professional use alike.
But, like all things open source, Jitsi’s unlimited free usage can be a huge drawback for users. Unlike other options on our list, Jitsi doesn’t even feature a paid plan, which is typically unusual. What happens if you decide to pay more to get better features and even more advanced customer support?
Open-source software teams tend to lack the resources to build and maintain high-end software and as a result, you could expect poor customer support, a lower premium on security, and long wait times for bugs to be fixed.
Meet is Google’s videoconferencing software that has a long history under a different name. Google Meet offers fast, free videoconferencing lasting an hour for up to 100 users. Since it’s built right into Google’s ecosystem, you’ll enjoy more cross-application functionality if you already use Google’s services. That is, if you’re willing to ignore Google’s privacy track record.
Zoom’s free videoconferencing software holds a place on our list because it’s reliable, efficient, and works fairly well no matter your bandwidth speed. That aside, Zoom requires a local application to run any meeting at all, which might result in having to quickly update an application where you’ll end up being several minutes late to a meeting.
Zoom’s free plan lets you meet up to 100 participants, limited to 40 minutes per meeting.
Zoho offers a free videoconferencing solution built alongside their suite of productivity tools.
Zoho’s free tier might be the least attractive on our list. It lets you meet just three users at a time —including yourself. You can access post-meeting analytics, share your screen, and run webinars. But with a hard limit on the free plan, it’s hard to see where you can go with all the extra functionality when you can only meet two people at once. Hardly exciting.
Videoconferencing is just one of GoTo’s offerings, ranging across meetings, webinars, cloud telephony, and virtual IT assistance.
GoToMeeting offers free video conferencing capped at 40 minutes per session with just three participants. For anything beyond that, you can pay anywhere from $150 per user, or $7,500 annually for a team of 50.
So, if you’re a small team looking to hold meetings with 3+ people, GoToMeeting might not cut it. And if you’re looking to grow with GoToMeeting as you scale, the pricing might be a bit more than you bargained for.
Livestorm brands itself as a video engagement product that helps you run webinars, product demos, live events, online courses, and internal video conferences within your organization.
Livestorm’s free tier is limited to 20 minutes per event with only five participants. If you want to exceed that cap, you’ll be paying nearly $1,300 annually for a single license. Scale that up to a hypothetical 50-person team and you have a bill of $64,000.
Webex offers a free videoconferencing product designed for large groups, and integrations with a wide range of productivity apps, such as Box, Google Drive, and Salesforce. Webex offers a generous free tier limited to 50 minutes per meeting with 100 participants.
Powered by Dialpad, Uberconference offers a simple videoconferencing solution, built with a clean UI, screen sharing, and recording, for up to 10 participants, and limited to 45 minutes per session.
Uberconference does a good job with their product but judging by the low cap placed on the free tier, it’s easy to exceed that and cross over to their paid tier for $180 per annual license.
Whereby offers free video conferencing that works for everyone…
Whereby is designed as the ultimate video conferencing platform for small businesses, startups, solopreneurs, and students who are looking for free video-conferencing software that has intuitive user experience.
Whereby offers one-click meetings right in your browser, with unlimited one-on-one meetings and 45 minute group meetings with up to 100 participants. Add in chat, Breakout Groups, bank-grade security, and integrations with the tools you already use.