Video Conferencing Software That’s Easy for the Most Inexperienced
Video conferencing software can come with a variety of tools and cost quite a lot of money; but if you don’t need the tools or don’t have the budget for the high-end video web conferencing software, there are options out there that are extremely easy to use and cost little or are entirely free.
ooVoo Video Conferencing Software
ooVoo’s simple interface allows you to point and click the video icon to start a conference with the contact of your choice, or you can drag your contact into the call window. To reach out to a contact not yet on ooVoo, you can create a message in the interface inviting them to use the service.
ooVoo’s free video conferencing software plan gives you three-way video chat on your desktop, tablet or smartphone. You get your own web chat room, 720p video quality, text chat, ability send files up to 5 MB, as well as record and send video messages. The free conferencing plan is a bit limited, though, as you have no storage, desktop sharing, call recording, or multi-seats. Upgrading to $30 per month will give you those items, plus 1000 minutes of storage, 10-minute video messages that you can send to your contacts, and live support.
Gmail Video and Voice Video Conferencing Software
Embedded in your Gmail interface is Google’s bare-bones voice and video conferencing offering. This doesn’t allow desktop sharing, doesn’t allow you to connect via the phone network, and there are no recording options, but the service does use Google’s servers, so you shouldn’t get too many hiccups or disruptions of service.
Also separating the Gmail service from other simple video conferencing software is that it doesn’t use flash; rather, it utilizes proprietary plug-ins. All a user needs to do is enable their video at the bottom of their Gmail interface, and click on a contact’s video icon to start a conference. Some find the video conferencing software to be too taxing on their CPU, though, which slows down other applications.
Skype Video Conferencing Software
One can’t discuss free and easy video conferencing software without bringing Skype to the table. With nearly 930 million registered users, Skype is a heavyweight in easy-to-use video conferencing. Skype’s free plan gives you Skype-to-Skype calling, one-to-one video calling, instant messaging, and also allows you to send small files.
Skype Premium, which only costs $5 per month, integrates group video calling, unlimited calls to phones with a three and 12-month contract, and group screen sharing. Critics of Skype say the security protocols have produced multiple concerns, as it could be a target for hackers, however.
Camfrog Video Conferencing Software
Camfrog’ interface resembles the usual instant messaging interface, which should be comforting to new users of video conferencing software. Camfrog gives you the option of one-on-one conferences or multi-video conferences. The software doesn’t require you to have a video to see your guests, but you’ll obviously need one for them to see you. Camfrog works behind firewalls, but it has minimal security and there is no method of blocking contacts. This software also lacks the ability to make pc-to-pc calls or leave video messages, which for the novice beginner is probably not a drawback.
All of these video conferencing software solutions are easy to use for beginners, though they do present a few difficulties for large-scale operations. Many solutions offer free video conferencing services that include all the features you need for an effective online meeting, but be sure to thoroughly review the options before choosing.