Best Free Video Conferencing Apps

The best video conferencing apps that you can use for free.
  • Best Secure Zoom Alternative
    100 participants
    Unlimited talk time
  • Best Free Zoom Alternative
    Chat features
    Easy-to-use interface
  • Best Overall Performance
    Reliable performance
    100 participants
  • Best Integration with G-Suite
    Integrates easily with Google Drive
  • Most Accessible Zoom Alternative
    4 video participants
    400 audio participants

Over 25% of adults in the US regularly use video conferencing for work so far in 2020, and it feels safe to assume that number will only increase as more folks work remotely.1 If we’re all going to use video conferencing apps so often, let’s try our best to not pay for them. The world may change, but may our appetite for free stuff never change.

These are the five best free video conference apps available right now.

Best free video conference apps
ProviderPriceMax meeting participantsMeeting lengthLearn more
Cisco WebexFree100 (25 visible at once)UnlimitedView Plans
SkypeFree504 hoursDownload
ZoomFree100Video: 40 minutes
Audio: 400 minutes
View Plans
Google Hangouts/MeetFree3060 minutesView Plans
FreeConferenceFreeVideo: 4
Audio: 400
UnlimitedView Plans

Video conferencing requires solid internet service.

Before we dive into the review itself, it’s worth noting that none of these free video conferencing platforms will work well without a decent internet connection.

To get the most out of your video conferencing experience, our internet expert Catherine McNally recommends Xfinity internet. As she puts it in our roundup of the best internet service providers:

“No other business serves as many customers (41+ states), delivers such fast speeds (up to 2 Gbps), or provides as many package options.”

For more details, check out our full Xfinity cable internet review.

Xfinity internet packages and pricing
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Performance Starter$24.99*25 MbpsView Plan
Performance$55*100 MbpsView Plans
Performance Pro$70*200 MbpsView Plan
Blast! Pro$80*300 MbpsView Plan
Extreme Pro$60*600 MbpsView Plan
Gigabit$84.99*1000 MbpsView Plan
Gigabit Pro$299.952000 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
with No Term Agreement

Cisco Webex: Best features

The most robust features you can find for a free video conference app

Cisco Webex free plan
ProviderPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
Cisco WebexFree100Stored for 30 daysView Plans

Pros

  • Unlimited meeting length
  • Huge number of meeting participants

Cons

  • Not the most user friendly

What we like

Out of nowhere, Cisco Webex upped its free-tiered package from 50 participants to 100, along with unlimited meeting times. You win this round, Craig.

Unlimited meeting length

Want to know what the big difference is between the free Zoom plan and the free Cisco Webex plan? It’s all about the meeting length times. Both Zoom and Webex offer 100 maximum video conference participants at a time, but Webex offers unlimited meeting length times and Zoom only allows for 40 minutes at a time.

The spectre of the 40-minute cutoff has loomed over every free Zoom meeting I’ve been on, and you can just forget all about that with Webex. Go ahead, get 100 over your closest friends and just have a never-ending story conversation. You can chat for as long as you like without having to stress about your conversation abruptly ending.

Huge number of meeting participant

You can have 100 participants on a video conference at a time with Webex, with 25 of those users being seen at a time.

Cisco Allows for 25 Participants

You can have 100 participants and see 25 people at once. You can all wave at each other if you want.

We’ve never seen any free video conferencing app go beyond the 100 participants at once, so Webex is at the very top of  the food chain for number participants.

What we don’t like

Webex doesn’t have the most user-friendly interface. It’s clearly intended for work rather than casual social calls.

You can have 100 participants and see 25 people at once. You can all wave at each other if you want.

We’ve never seen any free video conferencing app go beyond the 100 participants at once, so Webex is at the very top of  the food chain for number participants.

What we don’t like

Webex doesn’t have the most user-friendly interface. It’s clearly intended for work rather than casual social calls.

Cisco Webex Interface

Webex’s web app is straight to business. It’s basically the video conference equivalent of a crew cut.

Cisco Webex isn’t a social platform in the same way Skype is, for example. There aren’t obvious chat features (there’s a chat function once you start a meeting) or ways to easily invite someone to a meeting. I wouldn’t talk to my elderly mother on Cisco Webex, that’s for sure.

However, for business purposes, Cisco Webex is a cut above the rest.

Skype: Best user experience

Talk or chat for hours in a friendly social environment.

Skype plan
ProviderPriceMax meeting participantsMeeting lengthLearn more
SkypeFree504 hoursDownload

Pros

  • Chat and easy-call features
  • Four-hour meeting length

Cons

  • Lower max meeting participants

What we like

Skype does a great job creating a user-friendly experience that I absolutely would use with my elderly mother.

Chat and easy call-in features

Skype was made for more casual video conferencing, and perhaps best of all, it was always intended to be free. You don’t have to stress about Skype prompting you to upgrade to paid versions every ten minutes (*cough* FreeConference *cough*).

Right when you log in to Skype, you’re greeted with your chat windows. You can easily start up video conferences by clicking the camera icon in the top right corner. Oh, and you can send emojis and GIFs super easily.

Money icon
How does Skype make money?
Skype sells small ad space on its program and offers a subscription for folks who want to use their Skype account more like a cell phone plan. You can pay $3.59 a month for unlimited calls to mobile and landline phones with your Skype account.

My family uses Skype because everyone easily understands how to use it. Also we can send dumb emojis to each other.

Four-hour meeting length

Before Cisco Webex went and enhanced their free version to have unlimited meeting times, Skype was first in the industry when it came to meeting length for free video conferencing apps. Those were the days. Still, four uninterrupted hours on a free video easily beats out most other free apps (Zoom only allows for 40 minutes for free).

Once your four-hour conversation ends (that sounds exhausting), you can just start up another four-hour call if you want. You can spend 10 hours a day video conferencing for free with Skype.

What we don’t like

Skype meetings max out at 50 participants at a time, which wouldn’t make a lot of sense for a large corporation. If you are looking for a free video conference app to run your company, Skype would not be an ideal fit.  You would be better off using something like Cisco Webex which allows for 100 participants at a time.

Zoom: Best performance

The most reliable platform with high participant capacities

Zoom free plan
ProviderPriceMax meeting participantsMeeting lengthLearn more
ZoomFree100Video: 40 minutes
Audio: 400 minutes
View Plans

Pros

  • Reliable performance
  • 100-person meeting capacity

Cons

  • Security issues

What we like

Zoom is the most popular video conferencing app for a reason—it’s because it runs so dang well.

Reliable performance

Zoom offers a super reliable streaming experience. I’ve experienced latency issues, albeit small latency issues, with Cisco Webex, Skype, FreeConference, and Google Meet. Zoom consistently holds low latency rates on its video conferences:

Zoom latency stats

Latency refers to the amount of time it takes to send and receive data. Per our report indicated above, it took about 17 milliseconds for the data to travel from my computer to my friend’s computer. Think about it this way—if you and I were having a video chat and I made a thumb’s up gesture, it would take about 17 milliseconds before you saw it. Likewise, if you made a thumbs down gesture back to me (how dare you), it would take me 24 milliseconds to see it.

According to Cisco, the old rule of thumb is anything above 250 milliseconds is considered unacceptable.2 Well, Zoom absolutely destroys that number and delivers the lowest latency video chat conversations we’ve seen.

Reviews.org Zoom Chat

Reviews.org uses Zoom with very low latency. Shoutout to the top of my baby’s head in the top left corner.

Light Bulb icon
Latency also depends on your internet speeds
Zoom isn’t quite magical enough to remove latency out of a slow internet connection. Your internet speeds always matter when using Zoom, but what makes Zoom special is that it can get the most out of your internet.

Meeting capacity up to 100 people

Zoom matches Webex with its 100-person meeting capacity for free video conferencing. Hopefully this becomes a bit of an arms race and either Zoom or Webex increases their free meeting capacity soon. If someone from Zoom or Webex is reading this, we promise to give you our number one recommended spot for free video conference apps if you up the ante to 150 participants. You’ve been challenged! [Editor’s note: Not a real challenge.]

What we don’t like

With all of its popularity, Zoom has become a major target for hackers. It’s become so common that Zoombombing has become a verb in our nomenclature, much like Uber, DoorDash, and Netflix. Despite the fact that the Pentagon no longer uses Zoom as its video conference app of choice, we remain cautiously optimistic that Zoom will improve its security measures.

In fact, Zoom just bought a security company called Keybase (its first acquisition) in an effort to enhance their security over the next 90 days. We’ll be watching if the number of Zoombombing instances dramatically drops with these efforts, but it would be wise to stay off Zoom for sensitive calls for at least the next 90 days.

Google Hangout/Meet: Best integration

Sync everything with your Google account.

Google Meet free plan
ProviderPriceMax meeting participantsMeeting lengthLearn more
Google Hangouts/MeetFree3060 minutesView Plans

Pros

  • Syncs with your Google account

Cons

  • Short free meeting length

What we like

Google Hangouts’ branding has changed way too many times, but now we’re 90% sure that Google Meet (not to be confused with Google Meat, which isn’t a thing yet) is what they’re calling their video conferencing app. Whatever it’s called, the platform syncs beautifully with your Google account.

Syncs with your Google account

Google Meet is a built-in application that is already synced with your Gmail account. Chances are you won’t even have to sign up for anything new, you have access to Google Meet right now. All you have to do is go to Meet.Google.com, click Start a Meeting, and you’re off to the races. You can add people to the call by texting an invite link, or inviting them directly through your Gmail contacts.

Google Meet Start A Meeting

You can probably start a meeting from your browser right now with Google Meet.

There are a lot of conveniences built in with Google Meet if you’re already an avid Gmail user. You can even save recordings from your conversations directly to your Google Drive, making them infinitely more accessible to you and others. This is much better than having your conversations saved locally to your computer where they’re easy to lose and harder to share.

If your business already runs on Gmail, we would highly recommend you just double down on the Google lifestyle and commit to Google Meet.

Short free meeting length

For now, Google Meet restricts its free users to only 60-minute meetings at a time. Hopefully the peer pressure from Cisco Webex and Skype will force Google’s hand to be a little more generous, but in the meantime, you’ll need to deal with the annoyance of your Google Meet meetings shutting down automatically after 60 minutes.

FreeConference: Best audio/video conference support

Have up to 400 audio participants on your video conference for free.

FreeConference free plan
ProviderPriceMax meeting participantsMeeting lengthLearn more
FreeConferenceFreeVideo: 4
Audio: 400
UnlimitedView Plans

Pros

  • 400 audio participants
  • Unlimited meeting length

Cons

  • Only four video conference participants

What we like

If you just want to get as many people as possible on a conference call and talk as long as you want for free, FreeConference is going to be your best bet.

Audio participants up to 400

On its free-tiered plan, FreeConference (shouldn’t all the plans be free with a name like that?) allows up to 400 audio participants at a time. I know when you searched for “Best Free Video Conference Apps,” you weren’t expecting to hear about audio-specific video conferencing, but FreeConference can make a lot of sense for certain situations. You can host a conference call with your entire staff for free with FreeConference, for example.

Sure, you won’t be able to see each other, but sometimes that can be a good thing. Nobody knows that you just rolled out of bed during an audio-specific conference call.

You can host up to 400 people on an audio conference call from your browser with FreeConference.
Source: FreeConference

Unlimited meeting length

At the cost of what you give up in terms of video conferencing capabilities, FreeConference makes up for it with unlimited meeting lengths, even with its free-tiered plan. You can carry on with your audio-specific conference call for as long as you want, and you can do the same with your four-person video conference call. Hopefully Zoom is taking notes about what other video conference apps are doing. Nobody likes having their meetings abruptly cut short. Thankfully, that’s something you won’t need to worry about with the free plan FreeConference providers.

What we don’t like

You’re limited to only four video conference participants at a time, which is devastatingly low. As a free option, VideoConference doesn’t make much sense for folks who know they want to do video conferencing. You’d be much better off going with Zoom or Webex if you always want to host video conference meetings. Stick with FreeConference for audio conference calls for free, but look elsewhere for free video conferencing.

How to run a smooth video conference

Regardless of what free video conferencing platform you use (though Zoom is the most reliable option overall), you’ll need a reliable internet connection for things to run smoothly. There’s a chance you’re paying too much for your internet and not getting good enough speeds. Put in your ZIP code below and do a little internet shopping to see if there’s better options in your area.

Find the best Internet Providers in your area.

Recap: What are the best free video conferencing apps?

Isn’t it great that free video conferencing is a thing that exists? It’s surprising how much you can do with these video conference apps for free. Here’s our recap for the best free video conferencing platforms.

Best free video conference apps
ProviderPriceMax meeting participantsMeeting lengthLearn more
Cisco WebexFree100 (25 visible at once)UnlimitedView Plans
SkypeFree504 hoursDownload
ZoomFree.100Video: 40 minutes
Audio: 400 minutes
View Plans
Google Hangouts/MeetFree3060 minutesView Plans
FreeConferenceFreeVideo: 4
Audio: 400
UnlimitedView Plans

What are the best Zoom alternatives?

  • Best features: Cisco Webex leads the web conferencing pack when it comes to free features. You can have 100 participants and talk as long as you want for free with Webex.
  • Best user experience: Skype is the video conference app I would use with my non-tech-savvy mother. It’s the simplest user experience and offers easy-to-use chat features, and it’s completely free.
  • Best performance: Zoom will consistently deliver the lowest amount of latency for your video conference calls. You can have 100 people on at once in a video conference call, but the calls last only 40 minutes before abruptly shutting down.
  • Best integration: Google Hangouts/Meet syncs beautifully with a Google account. Even for all of its shortcomings for free conferencing (60-minute max meeting length, 30 max participants), it still makes a lot of sense for heavy Google-platform users.
  • Best audio conference support: FreeConference supports 400 people at once for free audio conference calls. You can also have four people on at once for a video conference, which isn’t great, but it’s nice when paired with the huge capacity for audio conferences.

What is your favorite free video app? What are the features you love, and what are the shortcomings that really frustrate you? Let us know in the comments below.