What is Video Conferencing? Definition, Tips, and Best Tools

Updated Nov 7, 2022.
What is Video Conferencing - Definition, Tips, and Best Tools

Video conferencing was once upon a time a luxury that only large corporations had access to, because of its expensive pricing. 

Small and medium-sized businesses could not afford video conferencing capabilities. The complex and costly equipment needed for video conferencing and the cost of hiring technical experts experienced in video conferencing were beyond their purse.

Today, video conferencing is no longer a luxury that only large corporations can afford. Nowadays businesses of all sizes (small, medium, and large) can afford to use video conferencing services. It is easily accessible not just to businesses but individuals.

In this article, you will learn about what video conferencing is, the types of video conferencing, how video conferencing works, key features of video conferencing software, the benefits of video conferencing, and the best video conferencing software tools.

Let’s get started.

What is Video Conferencing? A Short Definition

Video conferencing is a form of online meeting where multiple (two or more) people engage in a live audio-visual connection over the internet without having to be present in the same location. It allows for remote audio-visual connections between parties.

According to Investopedia, “video conferencing is a technology that allows users in different locations to hold face-to-face meetings without having to move to a single location together.”

You need a strong internet connection for video conferencing to flourish. Participants can see, hear, and talk to each other in real-time through video conferencing software irrespective of their current location,

Video conferencing is a type of online meeting where two or more people engage in a live audio-visual call. With a strong internet connection, the participants can see, hear, and talk to each other in real-time, no matter where in the world they are.

Businesses use video conferencing as a communication tool to communicate and collaborate with their employees, stakeholders, and customers. Both parties must have a stable internet connection, the necessary hardware, and software to enjoy a free-flowing and amazing experience.

This technology is convenient for businesses that have multiple locations across a wide area, such as subsidiaries in other countries or continents. These businesses can use video conferencing as a cheaper alternative for holding company meetings.

Video conferencing saves time and the cost and hassle associated with business travels. Businesses can use video conferencing to communicate with their remote workers. Other uses of video conferencing include holding regular business meetings, negotiating and closing business deals, and interviewing job candidates.

Types of Video Conferencing

One common mistake people and businesses make when it comes to video conferencing is to assume that all types of video conferencing are the same. While this is true, in the sense that the types of video conferencing are a means of communication, it is not entirely correct.

There is a need to understand the different types of video conferencing. Knowledge of the various types will help you make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing hardware and software for your video conferencing. Some video conferencing equipment is best suited for small meetings, while there is equipment that can handle a crowd.

Before making a decision on which video conferencing solution to adopt, understand how that solution will benefit your business.

There are two main types of video conferencing, point-to-point conferencing and multipoint conferencing.

1. Point-to-point Conferencing

In this type of video conferencing, there are only two participants involved. They communicate from different locations in real-time. Examples of point-to-point video conferencing are one-on-one customer support and job interviews.

One-on-one Customer Support

Most modern businesses use video conferencing to communicate with their customers. The customer support team uses video conferencing to offer a personalized customer experience for your customers. 

Under this form of point-to-point conferencing, communication is usually between a customer support employee and a customer. It is one of the mediums through which businesses can address the concerns and inquiries of their customers.

Job Interviews

Thanks to video conferencing, employers can quicken the hiring process by conducting live job interviews for candidates. Video conferencing for interviewing candidates is becoming a popular practice for companies, especially for those that offer remote flexibility.

The old method of inviting all candidates for interview in a physical location is time-consuming, costly on the side of the candidates (especially when they incur significant travel costs), and not very effective. Video conferencing saves costs and time for both job applicants and HR personnel. 

2. Multipoint Conferencing

Multipoint video conferencing is a type of video conferencing that involves three or more participants. Another name for multi-video conferencing is group video conferencing. This video conferencing solution is different from the three-way calling feature offered by the best business phone services and systems

With this type of video conferencing, users can host or join meetings with multiple participants. Businesses that have several remote workers and office locations can use the multipoint conferencing solution for communication and collaboration. A conference bridge is a handy solution for these businesses.

What is a conference bridge? It refers to software or hardware that allows a large group of people to connect a conference call. Examples of multipoint video conferencing include team meetings and webinars.

Team Meetings

Companies hold general meetings with all their employees to outline their objectives. Departments also conduct team meetings towards the attainment of a specific objective. You need higher-quality cameras and audible microphones for effective communication between parties.

Webinars

A webinar is an online presentation or seminar conducted over the internet to educate participants. There are tons of webinar software platforms such as Zoom, GoToWebinar, ClickMeeting, GetResponse, and Live Webinar that help you conduct, host, and join webinars.

The difference between webinars and team meetings is that team meetings are open for discussion among participants while webinars emphasize the speaker or facilitator. 

How Does Video Conferencing Work?

VoIP is the technology that powers video conferencing. The technology (VoIP) makes it easy for voice communication to occur on the internet. Video conferencing technology relies on special algorithms called codecs (coder-decoder) to transfer audio and video signals from one location to another.

The mechanisms that make video conferencing possible over the internet are data compression (coding), and data transfer and decompression (decoding).

Data Compression (Coding)

In a video conferencing session, the camera captures analog video signals while the microphone captures audio signals. VoIP technology converts the audio and video signals into data packets that the internet can understand.

Such transactions take microseconds to execute no matter the distance between one party and the other. The conversion of video and audio signals into data packets is known as data compression.

Data Transfer and Decompression (Decoding)

After coding the audio and video signals in the form of data packets, the data packets travel over the internet to their destination. Once it reaches that destination, the compressed data (data packets) converts back to its original state, analog video, and audio signals.

The other parties or attendees can now see and hear live what is happening in the video conferencing session. Both the coding and decoding mechanisms do not take any time to execute. They work in the background without users even noticing a one-second lag in time from one point to the other. 

Video conferencing solutions come with an echo cancellation feature that helps eliminate any sound delay or disturbance. The video cancellation feature is essential for keeping the audio and video in sync. You do not want the video to be faster than the audio, or the audio to be faster than the video. They have to be on the same wavelength to get their full benefits.

Video Conferencing Tools 

Gone are the days when you needed lots of expensive and heavy equipment to launch a video conference. In today’s world, you just need a few basic tools.

  • A computer screen, monitor, or projector to broadcast the video.
  • A LAN connection or high-speed broadband network.
  • A video camera for video input.
  • A microphone for audio input.
  • Headphones or speakers. 

Understanding How Video Conferencing Works in Five Steps

Step 1: Two or More People Communicate Through Audio and Video

Video conferencing is all about the communication between two or more people via video conferencing software or channel. It is used for remote communications. For you to host or join a video conference, you need a computer with a webcam and speakers, or a smartphone, and an internet connection.

Behind the scenes, they are mechanisms or tools that enable the streaming of audio and video, and instant messaging in real-time. 

Step 2: AV Input Is Converted to Digital Data

Video conferencing is made possible by the conversion of video input and audio input from the camera and microphone respectively to analog or digital signals by the video conferencing software.

As the end-users communicate, the video input from the camera and audio input from the microphone is instantaneously converted to analog and digital signals by video conferencing software or equipment.

Step 3: The Digital Video and Audio Is Compressed

After converting the video input and audio input to analog and digital signals, the next step is to use special compression software to packetize the video and audio data. Compressing the analog and digital signals into data packets will enable it to move faster over the internet, which is the medium for distribution.

How clear and audible the audio and video are at the receiving point is dependent on the system’s compression ratio. Lower compression ratios will appear staticky and choppy while higher compression ratios will provide a fluid and real-time communication experience.

Step 4: The Video and Audio Data Reaches Its Destination

The penultimate step is the arrival of the video and audio data at its intended destination. Here, the video and audio are still in their “packetized” form, which means users cannot understand it, only the internet. 

At this point, the video conferencing software decompresses the video and audio back to their original size and then converts them back to analog. The decompression is necessary for the video to display, and for the audio to be heard properly through the speaker.

Step 5: You and Other Participants Can See and Hear the Content

The last step is when you and everyone else connected can see and hear the content. Crystal-clear audio and video will depend on the quality of compression in step 3 and the internet connection. 

Many video conferencing software take extra steps to ensure that the audio and video are in sync, clear, and of high quality. They use either echo-canceling feature to remove all forms of sound interference.

All the five steps happen so rapidly, faster than the blink of an eye.

Key Features of Video Conferencing Software 

There are so many video conferencing software in the market. Choosing the best video conferencing software requires you to pay attention to key features that allow for a wonderful video conferencing experience.

Here are some of the key features of video conferencing software you should look out for when hunting for video conferencing software.

1. Screen Sharing

Screen sharing is vital for interactive meetings and webinars. A good video conferencing software gives users and participants the ability to visually share images, presentations, documents, and their screens during a video call.

The advantage of screen sharing is that it makes it easier for participants to understand and follow the speaker. Screen sharing puts everyone on the same page. Some video conferencing software only permits the host to share their screen while some allow participants to share their screens. 

Screen sharing is a must-have feature. It is safe to say any video conferencing software that does not support screen sharing is a poor choice. Business owners, stakeholders, and participants use the screen sharing feature during video calls to plan, brainstorm, strategize and make decisions faster.

Since video conferencing software is a communication and collaboration tool, it has to have an application and screen sharing feature. The screen sharing feature boosts collaboration among teams and participants in the same fashion as a face-to-face meeting.

2. Simultaneous Annotation

Sharing screen feature is cool, it allows you to share as much information as you want to participants during a video call. However, what is even cooler is the simultaneous annotation feature.

You may need to annotate on a shared screen to correct errors or make some points clearer. Some video conferencing tools offer annotation features for just the host, while others enable the feature for participants.

3. Chat Features

The vast majority of video conferencing software has chat features. It is that chatbox you use to type in questions or make comments as the video call runs without interrupting the speaker. 

There are two types of chat options offered, the private and group chat options. The chat feature is an alternative communication channel used instead of sending audio and video messages. You can save the chat log for later usage.

Whether you are holding a meeting with an employee or with stakeholders, the chat feature gives you and other participants another medium for communication. You can share text messages and even emojis in the chatbox.

4. File Sharing and Transfer

During a video call, you may need to transfer a document, video or audio recording, or any other file type. You can send files easily and quickly to any or all participants in the video call without using a third-party service to do so.

File sharing and transfer is a handy tool that is useful for collaboration. All you need to use the file transfer functionality is to have an FTP server and FTP clients. The server is what facilitates client connection and makes it possible to request needed files.

Working Principle of FTP
Source : Raysync.cloud

The bulk of video conferencing software has both an FTP server and a client, removing the need for a separate FTP server for that purpose.

5. Video Call Recording

One feature to look out for in video conferencing software is its video call recording feature. You can record video meetings for later steaming. This feature documents the video call and makes it available for those who missed the meeting and those who attended but want to watch the session.

Many video conferencing software offers unlimited recording of your video meetings and presentations. They offer unlimited storage space in the cloud for your video call recordings and easy sharing via one click.

6. Noise Cancellation

Noise block or cancellation technology is one of the standout features that every video conferencing software should have. The feature minimizes and blocks wanted noise that can distract participants during an ongoing video call or meeting. 

Different kinds of noises can make the speaker’s voice inaudible such as paper shuffling and other background noises. Usually, the moderators can mute individual devices where the noise is originating from. However, in cases where they cannot identify the source, the noise cancellation feature will mute the microphone.

7. Device Switching

An ideal feature a video conferencing software should have is the ability to switch devices seamlessly in the middle of a call. For example, you can use your laptop to start a video conference, and then you may want to switch to your mobile phone. The device switching feature allows you to switch between the two devices without having to disrupt the meeting.

8. Multiple Webcam Capabilities

During a video conference, the focus of the camera and microphone is always on the individual doing the talking. If your business has tons of remote workers and you regularly hold meetings, multiple webcam dynamic features can come in handy.

Your video conferencing software should support multi webcams so that you can see everyone and not just the main speaker.

9. VoIP

Many business VoIP providers have video conferencing tools as part of their package. You probably know Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to be superb for voice calls but you do not know you can use video conferencing through your VoIP. Some of the best business VoIP providers include RingCentral, RingCentral alternatives, Ooma, Ooma alternatives, Vonage, and Vonage alternatives.

Ideally, communicating via video conferencing should be as easy and seamless as communicating via voice calls. VoIP makes it seamlessly easy for users to switch from video calls to voice calls to group meetings, all through the push of a button.

10. Performance Reports

Performance reports such as KPIs and OKRs are vital for evaluating the performance of your presentations, identifying what went wrong, and measures to improve it. With the right performance metrics, you will discover how well received your presentations and meetings are, the most engaging parts, and attendance records.

Use a video conferencing software provider that offers both attendance and chat reports. If you cannot get adequate feedback about your meetings and webinars, how do you want to improve on your performance?

Benefits of Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is transforming the way people and organizations communicate and collaborate. If you cannot do face-to-face meetings, the next best thing is video communication. Here are some of the benefits of video communication.

1. Improved Productivity

One of the benefits of video conferencing is that it improves productivity. Video conferencing software comes with tons of features that enhance communication and collaboration among individuals and organizations. Some of these features include file transfer, screen sharing, and group chat.

Other forms of communication such as SMS, email, or audio conferencing do not offer the video features of video conferencing. Video conferencing keeps everyone in sync, enabling them to make informed decisions faster and improve productivity.

2. Humanized Conversations

Video helps humanize conversations you have with other participants. After face-to-face meetings, video conferencing is the next best communication model for humanized conversations. 

There is no doubt that video conferencing is the most engaging form of non-face-to-face communication. It is the closest to a real-life experience. You can see other participants' facial expressions and body language without engaging face-to-face with them.

3. Superior Communication

Visual data is a superior form of communication to audio or text. Humans process visual data faster than text, audio, or any communication form. Compared to text and audio meetings, participants are more likely to understand and retain information better when it is in video form. 

The use of visuals can strengthen presentations, and helps explain many concepts that cannot be done effectively via audio and text. Participants tend to stay more focused on the meeting when it is in a visual form.

4. Well-structured Meetings

Video conferences have a predefined start and end time. Attendees are more likely to stick to the agenda and have less time for an idle talk with the well-structured video conferencing meeting time.

5. Time and Cost Savings

Many of the goals of a face-to-face meeting can easily be accomplished through video conferencing. As COVID-19 made many in-person meetings impossible to attend at its peak, many organizations moved these meetings to video conferencing platforms.

You can host webinars, conferences, job interviews, boot camps, and business meetings with video conferencing. All these will save you money spent on renting a venue, transport costs for all attendees, and time expended on getting to the venue and returning. 

With video conferencing, you can host meetings from the comfort of your home, and have 100s of attendees join from their comfort zones. 

Video conferencing makes communication even faster and more efficient. You can hold important meetings with people from any part of the world through video conferencing. You do not have to worry about the logistics and other related costs such as food, lodging, and flight for your attendees. 

6. Remote Workforce Support

Video conferencing supports the case for a remote workforce. Organizations and businesses that make use of remote workforce use video conferencing for effective communication and collaboration. 

With video conferencing, businesses can run without a physical office and have a diversified staff scattered all over the world. They can still operate efficiently, and maintain normal human and professional relations.

7. High Engagement

Compared to audio conferencing and other types of online communication, video conferencing has a high engagement rate. Participants tend to zone out and multitask while participating in audio conferencing because they do not feel a strong connection with other members.

With video conferencing, there is pressure on participants to maintain contact and focus, which results in higher levels of engagement. With every participant visible, you cannot easily be distracted and multitask as you can with audio conferencing.

8. Improves Attendance

Organizations face a challenge in coordinating in-person meetings with staff, partners, and other attendees due to the need to pick a time or date best suitable for all. Video conferencing helps reduce many of the constraints that make potential attendees miss out on these meetings.

Is the venue too far and the transport costs too expensive? You can connect through video conferencing from the comfort of your room or present location. Video conferencing offers flexibility that improves attendance rates. 

Once attendees miss out on in-person meetings, there may not be an opportunity for them to get a video replay of the meeting, except maybe a copy of the minute of the meeting. With video conferencing, you can record the meeting for non-attendees.

9. Helps Employee Retention

Video conferencing helps employers retain their employees by offering a good work or life balance. It is no secret that employees will leave their workplace if they do not enjoy a good work or life balance when they find another opportunity. 

With video conferencing, businesses can offer more mobility and flexibility to their employees. The reduced hassle of day-to-die commute can help improve employee retention. 

You can also easily hire remote workers and hold regular communications with them via video conferencing. They will feel like a part of the team and communicate better with your staff to greater collaboration.

10. Gives You a Sustained Competitive Advantage

When you sum up the other benefits of video conferencing, it is easy to see the competitive advantage that video conferencing can give you over your competitors. Video conferencing will save you and your employees some costs, improve team unity, and accelerate productivity levels. 

Sustained Competitive Advantage of video conferencing
Source: Cisco Blogs

Best Video Conferencing Software Tools

1. Zoom

Best Free Video Conferencing Software for Online Video Conferences

Zoom is the Best Free Video Conferencing Software for Online Video Conferences

Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing and webinar software in the market. Founded in 201, the company is a popular choice used by individuals and businesses for their online video conference needs.

The cloud-based software offers a simplified video conferencing and message solution. You can organize and join video conferences from any device of your choice. 

Zoom also allows you to schedule meetings ahead of time, share links to your meeting, and sync with your calendars. Participants can join your Zoom video conferencing meeting from any location in the world. 

The video conferencing software utilizes HD video and audio for clearer images and sounds. It can welcome up to a thousand participants to a meeting and show up to 49 videos on screen.

There are no boring meetings on Zoom. It helps increase effective collaboration by giving participants access to filters, polls, hand raising, and music/video sharing. You can share your screens on the video call if the host gives you access to that feature.

Another cool feature of Zoom is its ability to record your meetings and store them in the cloud. You can also launch your meetings from third-party applications such as Gmail, Outlook, and iCal.

Zoom uses security features like encryption, passcode protection, join by domain, and reporting before and during the meeting to ensure your communication data are secure.

2. 8×8 Meet

Best Video Conferencing Software for Business of All Sizes

8x8 Meet is the Best Video Conferencing Software for Business of All Sizes

The 8×8 Meet video conferencing product is one of the best video conferencing solutions for businesses. It can host high-quality video conferencing on any device, be it desktop or mobile, for up to 100 participants. There are no meeting or minute restrictions when using the software. 

8×8 Meet uses encryption technology during and after the meeting to keep the contents of the meeting safe and secure. It is reliable software with an intuitive design and a simple learning process. You can use the software to share rich content and foster effective collaboration in your business.

Participants can customizable and edit their virtual backgrounds such as making it blurry or selecting an image to replace it. The meeting host gets access to advanced moderation controls such as meeting lock, host delegation, participant permissions, host delegation, and participant lobby.

The cloud-based software allows you to invite participants from within a meeting, record and save the meetings on the clouds, scheduling of meetings directly from your calendar, stream the content of your meeting on YouTube Live, and share audios and videos.

3. BlueJeans Meeting

Best Video Conferencing Software for the Digital Workspace

BlueJeans Meeting is the Best Video Conferencing Software for the Digital Workspace

BlueJeans is a video conferencing software designed for the modern workplace. It is a simple software that combines the functionality of web, audio, and video conferencing together in one platform. Businesses and individuals use BlueJeans as a collaboration tool daily.

The software is the first cloud service to connect desktop, mobile devices, and room systems in one video meeting. 

There are five BlueJeans video conferencing packages for businesses. They include BlueJeans Meeting, BlueJeans Events, BlueJeans Rooms, BlueJeans Gateway, and BlueJeans Telehealth.

BlueJeans Meeting is for setting up secure virtual meetings. BlueJeans Events supports interactive live streaming for webinars and other virtual events. The BlueJeans Room is for setting up an intelligent workspace solution.

The other two video conferencing solutions by BlueJeans are not as popular as the first three. BlueJeans Gateway is a solution that allows you to connect rooms to Microsoft Teams. BlueJeans Telehealth helps businesses set up high-quality virtual healthcare.

4. GoToMeeting

Best Video Conference Software for Businesses with Remote Workforce

GoToMeeting is the Best Video Conference Software for Businesses with Remote Workforce

GoToMeeting is a video conferencing software built for seamless collaboration and nurturing team relationships. It has an HD video feature that provides high-definition video conferences. 

You can share your mobile or desktop screen with other participants while the meeting is ongoing. There is also a drawing tool that allows you to center attention on a particular area of your shared screen while presenting it. 

GoToMeeting has mobile apps available for iOS and Android devices. You can join or host any video meeting with the GoToMeeting app. The audio and video quality is enhanced and crystal clear. It has over 50+ toll-free countries.

The cloud-based software employs several security features to make meetings safe for the host and participants. They include risk-based authentication, SOC2 certified data centers, AES-256 bit encryption, secure socket layer encryption, and meeting lock. 

GoToWebinar integrates with third-party applications such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Calendar, and Office 365. You get unlimited meeting recordings, transcriptions, and a convenient note-taking feature.

5. Cisco Webex

Best Video Conferencing and Webinar Software for Incredibly Large Enterprises 

Cisco Webex is the Best Video Conferencing and Webinar Software for Incredibly Large Enterprises

Webex by Cisco is a video conferencing and webinar platform designed for large enterprises to foster easy team collaboration. It has one of the largest attendees capacities, with up to 40,000 attendees able to attend the same meeting at the same time. 

The software is best suited for large enterprises which have a large pool of workers whose numbers exceed the limits of other video conferencing software.

Some of the major features of Cisco Webex include screen share, video meeting, multiple device support, and collaboration via video or voice call. There is also an inbuilt Q & A session, surveys, and polls features that help drive engagement from attendees.

Despite its ability to accommodate up to 40,000 attendees, it provides high-definition video and audio quality. It has a mobile app that makes it easy for attendees to join from any location. You can use the software to record a live video call.

6. Dialpad UberConference

Best Free Video Conferencing Software for Less than a 100 Participants

Dialpad UberConference is the Best Free Video Conferencing Software for Less than a 100 Participants

Dialpad UberConference is free conferencing software that requires no pins and no downloads. It has a rich and intuitive user interface that is easy for everyone to use to set up online video meetings or attend one without any hassle.

The software supports high-quality video resolutions up to 720p which makes your meetings more engaging. Your participants communicate with each other as if they are in a physical conference room. You can share your screen to boost collaboration between you and your attendees. 

Dialpad UberConference has a voice intelligence feature that helps you transcribe your video meetings. You can automate multiple tasks during the conference call such as snapshots of your ongoing meeting and the recording and transcripts of the video call. 

One amazing feature about Dialpad UberConference is that it allows you to play custom-hold music to keep your participants engaged before the video conferencing starts. You can launch or schedule your video calls from the UberConference website or app.

The cloud-based video conferencing software with numerous third-party applications such as Twitter, Slack, Evernote, Google Calendar, Slack, Outlook, Hubspot, and other Hubspot alternatives. This integration enhances your video conferencing experience.

7. Google Hangouts

Best Free Video Conferencing Software with Premium Features

Google Hangouts is the Best Free Video Conferencing Software with Premium Features

Google provides lots of amazing applications with premium features, one of them is Google Meet. It was formerly known as Google Hangouts Meet.

The free video conferencing software by Google helps individuals and small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) to host video call meetings and attend them. You can connect to Google Meet with multiple devices such as your desktop, laptops, tablets, android, iPhone, or iPad devices.

Compared to Dialpad UberConference (which is also free video-conferencing software), Google Meet can host up to 250 participants and up to 100 thousand live viewers when you use a domain. 

Google Meet has a special speech recognition technology that provides live captions during video meetings. This feature helps your attendees to pay more attention and assimilate the content of the meetings better.

The video conferencing application by Google gives you access to an unlimited number of meetings. You can record your Google Meet video call sessions and it will save automatically to your Google Drive account.

8. Microsoft Teams

Best Collaborative Video Conferencing Software for Large Businesses

Microsoft Teams is the Best Collaborative Video Conferencing Software for Large Businesses

Microsoft Teams is a video conferencing software developed by the tech giant, Microsoft. The software is a part of the Microsoft 365 family suite of products and excelling for online meetings and video conferencing for businesses.

Many businesses all over the world use Microsoft Teams to hold meetings and foster collaboration and communication among employees. It connects your employees living in different parts of the world into one space.

You can blur or customize your video background to encourage participants’ concentration during the meeting. With Microsoft Teams, you can record your videos and share files with participants or team members. At the end of the meeting, you can share the saved recording with individuals that missed out on the meeting 

There is a chat feature that provides an alternative means of communication. You can chat before, during, and after the video meeting with your participants. 

The host gets full control over the meeting and can delegate some of these controls to participants or co-hosts. Moderators can mute and remove participants who are proving to be a distraction.

Microsoft Teams integrates with Outlook Calendar, Jira, Office 365 tools, Trello, and other project management software. It also supports multitasking while the meeting is going on without any need for you to end the call.

Video Conference FAQ

What Is a Video Conference?

Video conferencing is a technology that supports the hosting of face-to-face meetings without the participants having to be in the same location at the same time. It is an audio-visual connection between two or more participants.

The technology makes it possible for multiple people to meet and collaborate face-to-face, often over a long distance through the internet. Participants can transmit audio, video, text, and presentations during a video conferencing meeting.  

Businesses and organizations depend on video conferences to foster better communication and collaboration among employees and team members. It saves businesses time, costs, and the stress that comes with business travel. 

Companies that have branches or subsidiaries in different locations or businesses that work with lots of remote workers hold video conferences to carry out their activities. Businesses use video conferences to hold regular meetings, interview job candidates, and negotiate and close business deals.

What Is Needed for a Video Conference?

Before you can host a successful video conference, there are requirements (including hardware and software) you need to have in place. They include a fast and reliable internet connection, high-quality webcams, a microphone, video conferencing software or application, and employee training.

The first thing you need is a fast and reliable internet connection to ensure that the video conference runs smoothly. Everyone joining the video conferencing call should use a strong internet connection, as one person’s weak connection can affect the whole video conference. Some of the best high-speed internet providers include Verizon, ATu0026T, Viasat, Ooma Connect, Comcast, and Spectrum.

A Camera or webcam is the second thing you need for a video conferencing call. Most laptops, desktops, and smartphones come with an in-built camera. If your computer system does not have one, you can purchase a standalone camera or webcam. When you purchase a new computer or mobile device (the latest versions), it will always come with an in-built camera.

The third thing you need is a microphone. The role of the microphone is to ensure that every participant can hear you, while the role of the camera is to ensure that they can see you. New computer system models come with in-built microphones. However, if you use an old system that doesn’t have one, you can use your headset or buy a standalone microphone.

If the video conferencing call is for a large number of people, getting an omnidirectional microphone will help produce better sound quality.

The fourth thing you need is video conferencing software. The software is the platform you use to host and join video conferences. 

One step that is often overlooked by businesses is the need to provide training for employees on how to use the company’s video conferencing platform. Many video conferencing applications used by companies are easy to learn. However, a simple guide can help employees learn the ins and outs quickly than the common trial and error method.

What Is the Best App for Video Conferencing?

The best app for your video conferencing will depend on your needs. If you are looking for a video conferencing app for a small business meeting needs, you can do it with free and affordable video conferencing apps with minimal features.

However, if you need a video conferencing app for as large as a thousand attendees, the best for you will be one with premium features, even though it may not be the most affordable.

Zoom is the most popular video conferencing software used by both individuals and businesses of all sizes for their online video conferencing needs. If you need a video conferencing tool that can accommodate up to 100 participants, 8×8 Meet and Dialpad UberConference are your best bet.

BlueJeans Meeting is the best video conference software for the digital workspace, while GoToMeeting is suitable for businesses with a remote workforce. 

If you run an incredibly large enterprise and need video conferencing software that can accommodate up to 40 thousand participants, Cisco Webex is the go-to choice.

Google Hangouts is the best free video conferencing software with premium features. It can accommodate up to 250 participants and up to 100 thousand live viewers when you use a domain. Microsoft Team is the best collaborative video conferencing software for large businesses.

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Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.