Irrespective of the type of team your organization has put together, communication is vital and super important. For remote teams, it’s twice as important. Communication asides, seeing your teammates, colleagues or coworkers also goes a long way in fostering work relationship, idea sharing, productivity and lots more — better than texts and emails.
And while it might sometimes be impossible (due to distance, lean company budget, etc.) for remote team members to meet in person, video conferencing is a perfect alternative. Thankfully though, there are hundreds of video conferencing tools available for remote teams to visually communicate face-to-face without eating into the company’s budget. Some of these free tools are just as good as the paid ones and are the best opion for small distributed (read: remote) teams.
Listed below are five (5) tools that remote teams can use to hold video conferences and remote meet-ups for free.
5 Free Tools Remote Teams can use to hold Video calls and Meetups
For small and medium-sized remote teams, Zoom is one of the best free tools to use for video conferencing. With support for as many as 100 participants in a single conference call, Zoom would definitely accommodate all of your team members. The better parts of Zoom are the platform’s features — High-Definition (HD) video and voice, simultaneous screen-sharing, whiteboarding, group messaging, local recording, presence indicator, etc. — which are also available to use for free.
Compared to Zoom’s paid plans that support a 24 hours conference meeting duration, the free usage is limited to only 40-minutes. That’s about the only limitation of Zoom. Once the 40 minutes time limit is up, the group video call closes and you’ll have to reconnect/reopen the call to continue with your presentation — for another 40 minutes of course.
To use Zoom for 24 hours without interruption, you’d have to subscribe to Zoom’s Pro, Business or Enterprise paid plans.
ezTalks is another free video conferencing tool for small and medium-sized remote teams. Albeit the platform also runs paid subscription plans, the “Starter” plan is available for free and, like Zoom, can host up to 100 team members. The free plan, however, also has a 40-minutes duration limit for a single session of group video conferencing.
To add, teammates can join meetings by visiting the ezTalks website — no sign-up or software download required — as long as they know the meeting ID. If you are invited to a group conference call via an email or a link, you can simply click on the link to join from your computer or mobile phone. Other features of ezTalks include HD video and audio, screen sharing with annotation, recording, voting and polling, private and group chat, interactive whiteboard, etc.
Appear.in is another great web-based free video conferencing tool for small remote teams. The platform is also available on mobile (iPhone and Android) and comes with paid subscriptions too. But for a small-sized remote team with a maximum of 4 members, Appear.in’s free plan should suffice.
Other features of Appear.in video conferencing platform include custom URL, screen sharing, recording, etc.
TroopMessenger is another awesome tool that caters to the video conferencing & communication needs of your company’s remote team. The platform runs paid (Premium & Enterprise) plans laced with high-end features but the basic plan is free and perfect for small remote teams.
The free plan can accommodate as many as 50 participants in a single group video call. Other features of TroopMessenger’s free video conferencing include favorite users, one-to-one search, file sharing, group chats (maximum of 5), etc.
Skype is one of the most popular VoIP service providers in the world. While there are paid Skype plans for Enterprises and Corporations, Skype for Business is free to use and supports video conference calls of with to 25 participants.
Other features of Skype for Business include call recording, screen sharing, live subtitles, HD audio and video, background blur, private conversation and support for multiple devices (smartphones, web, desktop, tablet, Xbox, etc.)
Unlike the above-mentioned tools and platforms, UberConference is quite different in that it only supports “voice conference calls”, not video. We, however, find it particularly useful for communicating with remote team members. It is free to use and supports unlimited group call session for a maximum of 10 participants for a max duration of 45 minutes.
For small businesses, teams, organizations, and start-ups, the cost of paid web conferencing tools is an expense that could be avoided. Exploit these tools to boost productivity, communication, and teamwork amongst your team members while also saving your company some cash.
Feature Image credit: Lifewire