Comparison of free video conferencing services

Comparison of free video conferencing services

During this lockdown, wanted to compare some free tiers of video conferencing services, so that anyone can start using them instantly.

There is a difference between group video chat and video conference service, mainly with respect to advanced features like, number of participants, call length, dial-in audio, whiteboards etc.

This is not an exhaustive list, only few features are compared within free tier and can change anytime in future.

  • Zoom:
    Popular alternative, has many features bundled in free tier, only limiting factor is the total call length of 40 mins, after that you would have to just restart the meeting. No recordings or dial-in audio.

  • Jitsi Meet:
    Open source alternative, free to use instantly on browser. Disadvantage would be that it is hosted on a shared server, so you cannot really add any advanced integrations like etherpad and participant limit, from the forums is best around 40 people, hard cut 75.

  • Skype Meet now:
    One click conference setup from your personal skype account, anyone can join on desktop without skype client or account, Some restrictions on the length of the call and no call-in audio.  A nice feature is that recordings are saved for 30 days.

  • Cisco Webex:
    Good option, especially after they removed restrictions on length of call and participant limit. There is also a dial-in number that people can use to join conference with a phone call. No recordings or custom backgrounds.

Infographic and and the post is based on the sources provided below.

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