Table of contents:

Corona: The 6 best video conferencing systems
Corona: The 6 best video conferencing systems

Video: Corona: The 6 best video conferencing systems

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Video: The Top 4 Best Video Conferencing Tools For Your Business 2023, February
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Due to the current corona crisis, many employers and employees are confronted with home offices for the first time. In order to be able to continue to hold meetings, conferences and important conversations, video conference systems are used. We have put together the most important ones for you in a comparison.

Table of Contents Table of Contents Video Conference Systems in Comparison: What Can They Do, What Do They Cost?

  • How do video conferences work?
  • What do I need for a video conference?
  • zoom
  • Skype
  • Google Meet
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Bit 24
  • Mikogo
  • The most important functions of a video conference system at a glance

Table of Contents Table of Contents Video Conference Systems in Comparison: What Can They Do, What Do They Cost?

  • How do video conferences work?
  • What do I need for a video conference?
  • zoom
  • Skype
  • Google Meet
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Bit 24
  • Mikogo
  • The most important functions of a video conference system at a glance

The corona virus has turned our working world upside down in no time. Business trips are canceled and anyone who can should work in the home office. Questions quickly arise, such as: What will become of the team meetings? How do we organize collaboration and how will data exchange work in the future? This is also possible using various tools such as video conferencing systems. In addition, “remote work” (freely translated: “remote work”), ie working anywhere in the world, is an unstoppable trend that will keep us busy even after the crisis and will be part of the future.

How do video conferences work?

Video conferencing is more popular than ever. They enable two or more participants to be exchanged in real time from completely different locations. Depending on the system, not only online meetings can be attended. Many services offer much more: For example, entire projects can be managed and edited in teams, or data can be exchanged using the tool.

Delimitation to the web conference

At first glance, the terms video conference and web conference seem to mean the same thing. In a web conference, the focus is not on video transmission. Rather, it's about sharing the screen, working together on documents or text-based chat.

What do I need for a video conference?

Hardware: For most video conferencing systems you only need a computer or a notebook with a webcam and a microphone or a headset. Modern smartphones and tablets are already equipped with it.

Internet connection: In order to be able to communicate properly with one another via video conference, you should have a bandwidth of at least 200 Kbits / s in the up- and download.

Software: There are now a large number of different providers. We present some video conferencing systems for home office use.

Video conference system 1: zoom

A video chat service that is used particularly frequently in view of the current situation is Zoom. This video conference system has the advantage that you can get in touch with many different colleagues. If you want to hold a video conference, you must log in with your email address and then share a link. Via this link, all colleagues can join the meeting without having to create an account themselves. Zoom also offers upgrades that allow you to phone more people or even hold webinars. The demo version is free of charge, but only includes personal conversations and group conferences with a time limit of 40 minutes. The subscriptions start at a monthly price of 13.99 euros per moderator.

But be careful! Zoom has been criticized for some time now. The video chat service grants itself extensive rights. For example, it stores user data and information on the end devices, networks and Internet connections used. Experts also warn that Zoom will forward the collected data to various service providers.

Overview of the tariff models of Zoom

basic

Per

Business

Enterprise

Attendees

Up to 100

Attendees

host

Up to 100

Participants

Up to 300

Attendees

At least

10 hosts

Up to 1000

Participants

At least

50 hosts

Price

free

13.99 euros each

Month and

Moderator

18.99 euros each

Month and

Moderator

18.99 euros

per month and

Moderator

Video conference system 2: Skype

Skype has been one of the most popular video conferencing systems in the world for over 15 years. With Skype you can make calls to up to 50 people simultaneously, free of charge, quickly and easily. You only need to create a Skype account at the beginning and add your Skype contacts to the address list. So if you are looking for a program for private use and attach more importance to an uncomplicated introduction to the subject, you have found the right software with Skype. The disadvantage: The transmission often leaves something to be desired, sound dropouts or clipping occur too often for the tool to be recommended for regular or professional video chats.

Skype-Videokonferenz
Skype-Videokonferenz

Skype is also widely used by individuals.

Photo: iStock / Rawpixel

Video conference system 3: Google Meet

With "Meet", Google has its own video conference system on offer that works entirely via the web browser. In order to plan and hold online meetings, you need a company license, a so-called "G-Suite account", which is subject to a fee. There are three pricing models:

  • G Suite Basic for just under 5 euros per user per month
  • G Suite Business for just under 10 euros per user per month
  • G Suite Enterprise for 23 euros per user per month

If you do not have one, you can take part in video conferences, but you cannot organize one yourself. The advantage of "Meet": Since the service is integrated in the G-Suite and it is synchronized with the calendar, you always have an overview of all important appointments. The service provider also offers the option of recording video conferences and sharing them later.

Good to know: Due to the Corona crisis, Google decided that G Suite and G Suite Education users can now hold meetings for up to 250 people for free, stream videos for up to 100, 000 viewers, and record meetings and save them in Google Drive.

Video conference system 4: Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams combines chat, online meetings and data exchange in one app. In this way, different teams can be created, each of which can exchange ideas in a group channel. Each of these channels even has an individual email address, so that messages can be sent there directly via Outlook. In the individual teams you can also start audio and video conferences and exchange documents such as Excel, Power Point and Word and view them in real time. A great advantage: All files that were sent in the chats are automatically available to all recipients in a SharePoint Online drive. Due to the close connection between Microsoft Teams and Outlook, the organization of meetings can also be planned centrally. In addition, the “Microsoft Planner” can also be integrated into teams in Microsoft Teams, so that individual tasks can be defined and assigned to members.

Microsoft Teams cost overview

Microsoft Teams

free

Office 365 business

Essentials

Office 365 business

Premium

Users

Up to 300

Up to 300

unlimited

Price

(in annual

subscription)

free

4.20 euros each

Users and

month

€ 10.50 each

Users and

month

Tip: Due to the corona crisis Microsoft offers a free six-month Office 365 E1 trial that includes Microsoft Teams.

Chat
Chat

Most tools also offer a chat room, in which you can constantly exchange information.

Photo: iStock / oatawa

Video conference system 5: Bitrix 24

This provider of video conferencing systems offers a comprehensive solution for the task and project management of a company. Not only do you have the option of holding small video conferences, but you can also coordinate appointments, save data centrally and coordinate tasks and projects. Bitrix 24 offers six tariff models, one of which is free of charge and is usually suitable for small companies with up to 12 employees.

Free

Start +

CRM +

Project +

default

professional

Users

Currently

unlimited

2nd

24th

50

Unlimited

Price

Free

24 euros

per month

69 euros

per month

69 euros

per month

99 euros

per month

199 euros

per month

Tip: Due to the Corona crisis, this upper limit for participants has now been lifted, so that an unlimited number of users can currently work with the free version.

Web conference system with video function 6: Mikogo

The Mikogo video conference system primarily enables screen sharing to optimize web conferencing and online sessions. A distinction is made between a free version and the licensed versions (Standard / Professional / Team) with all available functions. If you choose the paid versions, you can communicate with up to 25 people at the same time. In addition to the ability to share documents and programs in real time, record meetings and give presentations using an interactive whiteboard, Mikago also has the advantage that participation is 100 percent web-based and does not require any downloads, plug-ins or the like.

default

professional

team

Users

For people

the meetings with

only one person

carry out

For people

the meetings

with up to 25 people

carry out

For teams with up

to five people

the simultaneous sessions

carry out

75 euros per month

Price

12 euros per month

15 euros per month

75 euros per month

The most important functions of a video conference system at a glance

Depending on the intended use, the selected video conference system should offer different functions. We have summarized below which of these are very popular.

Conferences and meetings

In order to guarantee an optimal exchange, the video conference system must have easy access to the webcam and microphone. It should also be able to maintain sound and video quality with multiple participants. For large team meetings, there must be a button to mute the microphone. This is the only way to avoid annoying background noise.

File sharing

Good video conference programs enable data exchange, so that important documents such as presentations, lists and project updates can be sent to the conversation partner in real time.

Screen transfer

The function of transferring a participant's screen to all other screens is also particularly important. So you can work on a document in real time or show a presentation.

Remote access and co-browsing

So-called co-browsing is rarely used. With this feature, you can access another participant's computer and take control of the mouse and keyboard. Your conversation partner can follow what you are doing on their computer. This tool is particularly important for people who work in a company's IT customer service.

zoom Skype Google Meet Microsoft

Teams

Bit 24 Mikogo
Video-

conference

Depending on

Tariff with

up to

1000

Participants

up to

50

Participants

Depending on the tariff

up to

250

Participants

Up to

250

Participants

Video-

conference

up to

4 people

with live picture

Video calls

with max. 12th

Participants

Depending on the tariff

up to

50

Participants, but only that

first 4 are

with live picture

to see

File

Sharing

Yes Yes Yes yes, im

on-line-

SharePoint

up to 15 GB

yes, depending

Tariff, unlimited

Cloud

Storage

Yes
Screen-

transmission

Yes yes until

300 MB

Yes Yes Yes Yes
Co-

Browsing

yes, ever

to

Tariff

No No Yes No Yes
admission

the conference

Yes Only with

Add-on

possible

Yes Yes No Yes
costs free, Upgrades

from € 13.99

per month

and

Moderator

free

€ 5 to € 23

per month

and users

free, Upgrades

from 4.20 to

€ 10.50

free, Upgrades

from 24 to

€ 199

€ 12 to € 75

per month

benefits

Simple

service

Lots

Attendees

As part-

no recipient

Account

necessary

Simple

service

complete

free

Size

Attendees-

number

Size

Attendees-

number

shortcut

with Outlook

greater

On-line-

Storage

Comprehensive

Tool with a lot

Functions

Data will

on their own

server

saved

German

privacy

and German

server

simple

service

disadvantage Privacy-

and security

problene

With many

Participants

suffers

quality

barely

privacy

No

free

Tariff

available

No German

privacy

Video-

conferences

only with a few

Participants

possible

Installation on

own

Server complicated

elaborate in the

training

Video-

conferences

only for small ones

Teams

Lea Straub editors haus.de

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