Best Video Conferencing Apps

The best video conferencing apps for staying connected.
  • Best Performance
    Reliable performance
    Allows for 500 participants
  • Best Free App
    Free video conferencing
    Four-hour time limit per call
  • Best Integration
    Integrates with GMail and Microsoft Office
    100+ meeting participants
  • Best Bundle
    Comes with other Microsoft Office programs
  • Most Accessible App
    Call-in conferencing
    Webinar features
Recent Updates: 1 month ago
Guess what? Google Hangouts changed its name to Google Meet. Well, that's not all that changed, so we updated our Google Meet section with the latest tidbits about this video call app.

As of March 2020, 25% of adults in the US are regularly using video conferencing to attend work meetings.1 Call me crazy, but I have the sneaking suspicion that number has only increased during the past several weeks.

Video conferencing is here to stay, but which video conferencing platform is worth your commitment? You don’t want to end up like my friend Drew, who hitched his wagon to Zune instead of the iPod back in the early 2000s. Let’s take a look at the best video conferencing apps.

Best video conferencing apps
ProviderPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
ZoomFree–$19.99/mo.100–5001 GB (Zoom Pro)
Unlimited (Zoom Enterprise)
View Plans
SkypeFree50Stored for 30 daysDownload
Google MeetFree–$25/mo.250Unlimited for G Suite EnterpriseView Plans
Microsoft TeamsFree–$12.50/mo250500 GBView Plans
Zoho$8–$63/mo.1005 GBView Plans

Zoom: Best performance

The most reliable platform with high participant capacities

Skype plan
PlanPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
BasicFree100NoneView Plans
Pro$14.99/mo.1001 GBView Plans
Business$19.99/mo.3001 GBView Plans
Enterprise$19.99/mo.500UnlimitedView Plans

Pros

  • Reliable performance
  • Huge maximum meeting participants number

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Security issues

What we like

When it comes to performance and features, Zoom is still in a class of its own.

Reliable performance

Out of all the video conferencing platforms, Zoom offers the most reliable audio and streaming. You should have the least amount of latency and the highest-possible frame rate for your internet connection with Zoom. On average, these are the performance stats that I get with my Zoom connection.

Zoom latency stats

Don’t worry if none of the above makes sense, we’ll break it down.

The most important number to look at is latency, which refers to the amount of time it takes for you to send and receive video data. So if I make a thumbs up gesture on a video conferencing call, it’ll take 17 milliseconds for the other meeting participants to see it. If they make a thumbs up back to me, it’ll take 24 milliseconds for me to see it.

Okay, let’s put those wild numbers in context. The old rule of thumb used to be anything above 250 milliseconds was unacceptable, according to Cisco.2 Zoom has crushed that old expectation and consistently gets the most out of your internet.

Reviews.org Zoom Chat

The Reviews.org team has a fairly seamless experience running meetings on Zoom.

Huge maximum meeting participants number

You can max out at 500 participants in a Zoom meeting with the Enterprise package. That number doubles the max number that Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams offer. If you have a large company with around 500 people, it’s a don’t-even-think-twice situation and you should choose Zoom for your company.

What we don’t like

Zoom has struggled to keep up with the hackers, but hopefully that trend won’t continue.

Security issues

Have you ever heard of Zoombombing? It’s where hackers infiltrate your Zoom call and basically just wreak havoc, and it’s become a trend with Zoom. In fact, high-security organizations like the Pentagon no longer use Zoom as its standard conference call app. It feels safe to assume that Zoom will always be proactive about security breaches and improve over time, but you could experience some issues in the meantime. You should always try to protect sensitive information on a Zoom call, just to be safe.

Pricey

All of Zoom’s prices are a per-user situation, and you need to pay for a minimum number of accounts for each plan. On face value it looks like the Business and Enterprise cost the same, but the minimum user requirement for the Business plan is 10 users, which ends up being $199.90 a month, and the minimum user requirement for the Enterprise plan is 100 users, which costs $1,999.00 a month.

If you want the best Zoom plans, be prepared to pay for more accounts than simply your own.

Light Bulb icon
The Pro plan offers individual accounts
The Pro Zoom plan is the only paid option that allows for a single account. The other two paid Zoom options require a minimum number of users.

Skype: Best free video conferencing app

Talk for hours for free without interruption.

Skype plan
PlanPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
SkypeFree50Stored for 30 daysDownload

Pros

  • Free video conferencing
  • Uninterrupted video calls

Cons

  • Lower max meeting participants

What we like

Skype is built around offering free video conferencing and it shows.

Free video conferencing

Skype is a completely free video conferencing platform. You can add money to your Skype wallet for calling phones directly, but you can always video conference for free. As long as you keep your Skype communication strictly to video conferencing, you won’t have to pay a cent.

Light Bulb icon
How does Skype make money?
Skype makes its money from selling small ad space on its program and through user subscriptions. Some folks treat their Skype account like it’s a cell phone plan, and pay $3.59 a month for unlimited calls to mobile and landline phones.

Uninterrupted video calls

Skype allows you to video conference for four hours at a time for free. You could roughly fit five full Zoom conversations (which max out at 40 minutes for free) in one free Skype conversation. Oh, and once your four-hour-long Skype conversation ends, you can just start up another conversation and take up another four hours for free. Skype allows for up to 10 hours of video conference a day. You could easily spend more than half of your awake time Skyping with somebody if you wanted.

Skype is the free video conferencing platform of choice for my family

What we don’t like

Skype wouldn’t make sense for a large company with its max video conference capacity of 50 participants. If you want to have more than 50 people on a call, you shouldn’t use Zoom as your video conferencing app.

Google Meet: Best integration

Sync everything with your Google account.

G Suite plans with Google Meet included
PlansPriceMax meeting participantsMeeting recordingsLearn more
Free VersionFree100NoView Plans
Basic$6/mo.100NoView Plans
Business$8/mo.150NoView Plans
Enterprise$25/mo.250YesView Plans

Pros

  • Syncs with other Google apps + Microsoft Office
  • Free version with unlimited 60-minute meetings
  • Automated closed captioning

Cons

  • No meeting recording on lower-tier plans

Wait, what’s Google’s video conferencing platform called?

For now, Google’s video call app is called Google Meet.

The artist formerly known as Google Hangout has been rebranded about four different times in the recent past. This is how one Google representative laid it out on Twitter:

Google Hangouts Tweet

So, there was Google Messages, Google Hangouts Chat, Google Duo, and Google Hangouts Meet. It all feels like different names for basically the same thing, and ultimately Google’s video conferencing app will be packaged in its Suite regardless.

Our advice: don’t worry so much about the name. Now let’s back to the best video conferencing apps review.

What we like

For those of you who use your Google account for everything, Google’s video conferencing platform beautifully syncs with your contacts list and Google Calendar.

Syncs with your Google account

Google Meet is essentially an extension of your existing Google account (if you have one).

As opposed to Skype or Zoom, you won’t have to hunt down people’s contact information with Meet because chances are, they’re already plugged into your Google contacts list. All you have to do is hit the Hangouts button with one of your contacts and you can begin a conference call.

If you’re using the free version, your video conference attendees just need to sign into their Google accounts to join in. Google says this is for added security, and we don’t see it as too much to ask in the name of avoiding the Google Meet version of Zoom bombing.

Google Video Conference Button

Click the speech bubble icon to start a video call

Free meetings for all

You don’t need to pay to host a meeting with Google Meet.

Anyone can hop on an hour-long call with up to 100 people, no G Suite subscription required. That’s a stellar bonus for anyone who freelances or operates a small business. You can cut costs without sacrificing communication.

The only major downside to the free version of Google Meet is that you can’t record and save meetings. If this is a perk you’re looking for, you’ll need the Enterprise edition of G Suite, which comes with unlimited storage as well.

What’s the difference between the G Suite Business version and Enterprise version?

Besides costing $13 more every month than the Business Google Suite package, Enterprise offers up a few extra perks that might make the added cost worth it for large businesses:

  • Record and save meetings to Google Drive
  • Live-streaming meetings with up to 100,000 viewers
  • A maximum of 250 meeting attendees

The Enterprise suite also gets you extra security and admin features, like data loss prevention, security key enforcement, and S/MIME encryption.

What we don’t like

The catch is that Google Meet only works well if your life is already built around the Google Suite of products or Microsoft Office.

If you’re new to Google, then committing to Google Meet as your video conferencing app of choice will be a headache starting up. You’ll need to track down email addresses and familiarize yourself with the tools. Likewise, if the people you’re trying to video conference with don’t use Google, then you’ll have a hard time linking them into the conversation.

Microsoft Team: Best video conferencing bundle

Get the entire Microsoft Suite bundled with Microsoft Team.

Microsoft Office plans
PlansPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
Microsoft TeamsFree50NoneView Plans
Office 365 Business Essentials$5/mo.250500 GBView Plans
Office 365 Business Premium$12.50/mo.250500 GBView Plans

Pros

  • Comes with Microsoft programs
  • Impressive features

Cons

  • Comes with Microsoft programs

What we like

For all of the Microsoft stans out there (am I using that term correctly?), you can bundle your entire Microsoft suite of products with Microsoft’s impressive video conferencing platform Google Teams.

Comes with Microsoft programs

Currently, the only way to get the paid version of Microsoft Teams is through bundling with the other Office 365 Essentials. You can opt for the free version of Microsoft Teams, but it doesn’t work as well as Skype, for example. To get the fully-fledged version of Microsoft Teams you need to get all the other Microsoft programs as well.

For some people, that’s like getting a free shake with your burger and french fries. If you already love Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and other MS software, then getting Microsoft Teams bundled in there is an awesome bonus.

Impressive features

The paid versions of Microsoft Teams have a long list of features that make it way more than just a video conferencing app. Allow us to call out some of our favorite features:

  • Allows for 300 users
  • 1 TB of file sharing
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Strong security measures
  • Screen sharing
Microsoft Teams Screenshots

If you’re familiar with Slack, Microsoft Teams has a similar look.
Source: Microsoft

Overall, it’s a nice package that will either cost you $5 or $12.50 a month per user. If you already use the Microsoft Suite of programs, then Microsoft Teams is a no brainer.
What’s the difference between the Business Essentials and Business Premium plans?

There are two different paid plans that include Microsoft Team and its video conferencing software—Office 365 Business Essentials ($5/mo.) and Office 365 Business Premium ($12.50). The Essentials package comes with the Microsoft web app versions of Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, and the Premium comes with the full downloadable versions of those programs.

What we don’t like

If you’re not a loyal Microsoft suite user, then Microsoft Teams wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense for you. For example, I am a committed Google Doc user, as evidenced by the fact I’m currently writing this in a Google Doc. Transferring all my files to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel just isn’t an option at this point. By extension, that makes Microsoft Teams not a great fit for me. If you also use Google programs religiously, then Microsoft Teams might be too big of a transition.

Zoho: Most accessible video conferencing app

It’s never been easier to start a video conference or webinar.

Zoho plans
PlanPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
Meeting$8/mo.10010 recordingsView Plans
Webinar – 25$15/mo.2525 recordingsView Plans
Webinar – 50$23/mo5025 recordingsView Plans
Webinar – 100$31/mo.10025 recordingsView Plans
Webinar – 250$63/mo.25025 recordingsView Plans

Pros

  • Simple call-in features
  • Webinar support

Cons

  • No free plan

What we like

Out of all the major video conferencing platforms, Zoho is the best platform for starting a video conference or hosting a webinar.

Easy call-in features

The beauty of Zoho is that it’s super easy to join a conference call or webinar. When you invite guests to your Zoho meeting, you can either send a link or a call-in number. Participants don’t have to go through the trouble of creating an account either, like they would for a Google Hangouts, for example. Folks can either click the link and open the conference call in their browser, or they can just call in using their phones.

If it’s constantly a struggle to get everyone you want on the same conference call, Zoho will certainly alleviate that process. Let’s be honest, there’s just no way my Mom is figuring out how to join a Zoom call.

Zoho Screenshot

Zoho makes joining a conference call way easier. You can just send you a link or call-in number.
Source: Zoho

Webinar features

If you’re thinking of hosting a webinar series, Zoho gives you all the tools you need to start. Perhaps the best thing is that Zoho comes with a registration program, so you can easily keep track of who’s coming to your webinar. Plus, you get tools to promote, send out reminder emails, and moderate your attendees.

What you pay for the webinar support depends on how many attendees you plan on having. Here’s how the pricing breaks down:

Zoho plans
PlanPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
Webinar – 25$15/mo.2525 recordingsView Plans
Webinar – 50$23/mo5025 recordingsView Plans
Webinar – 100$31/mo.10025 recordingsView Plans
Webinar – 250$63/mo.25025 recordingsView Plans

Even if you charge just a few bucks for your Webinar series, you’ll easily cover the costs of Zoho. It also definitely helps that Zoho is so easy to use that your guests shouldn’t have any issue accessing the webinar.
What we don’t like

Zoho doesn’t come with a free program. You can sign up for a 30-day free trial, but once that’s over, you can’t continue with a free plan. It’s clear that Zoho was built for business and folks who want to host webinars, not so much for the casual user that wants to conference with family and friends.

Video conferencing app honorable mentions

There’s lots of other video conferencing platforms out there, and some might even be a better fit for you. Here’s our honorable mentions of the best video conferencing platforms.

  • Slack: Slack comes with video conferencing automatically, but you can’t have more than 15 participants at a time. Slack shines when it comes to simple 1-on-1 video calls.
  • Discord: Discord was made for gamers, but it works perfectly well as a stand-alone video conferencing app. It’s totally free, for starters, and you can have 10 video conference participants at a time. A friend and I have been using Discord to chat while playing Lord of the Rings Online, and it works beautifully while gaming.
  • FaceTime: FaceTime supports a surprising 32 video conference participants at a time, but everybody on the video conference call needs to be using an Apple device.
  • WhatsApp: WhatsApp allows for 16 participants on a video conference call at a time. It works on both Android and Apple devices.
  • Wire: Wire is an up-and-coming video conferencing platform that’s fully committed to security. It currently only allows for four participants at a time during a video call, but it’s the most secure video conferencing platform we’ve seen.
  • GoToMeeting: GoToMeeting’s overall video conferencing quality is just as good as Zoom and Google Hangouts, but its only downside is that it’s a bit more expensive than the other options.
  • FreeConference: FreeConference isn’t quite as free as it sounds, but it does offer a free-tiered plan with a maximum of five participants at a time for video conferencing. You can opt for the not-so-free paid plans that include additional features, including support for tons of international call-in numbers.

Video conferencing requires a reliable internet connection

Even if you have the best video conferencing platform ever, it’ll still only work as well as your internet connection. If you are frequently experiencing a drop in video conferencing stream quality, the culprit is probably your internet connection.

Few things are more annoying than trying to have a productive meeting and having the stream cut out of every few seconds. Put in your ZIP code below and see what internet upgrade options you have in your area:

Find the best Internet Providers in your area.

Recap: What are the best video conferencing apps?

Video conferencing apps are here to stay, and as it stands right now in 2020, these are our picks for the best conferencing apps.

5 best apps for video calls
ProviderPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
ZoomFree–$19.99/mo.100–5001 GB (Zoom Pro)
Unlimited (Zoom Enterprise)
View Plans
SkypeFree50Stored for 30 daysDownload
Google MeetFree–$25/mo.250Unlimited for G Suite EnterpriseView Plans
Microsoft TeamsFree–$12.50/mo250500 GBView Plans
Zoho$8–$63/mo.1005 GBView Plans
  • Best performance: Zoom is the most popular video conferencing platform for a reason. It’s the most reliable conferencing app for a smooth stream.
  • Best free video conferencing app: Skype was built to offer free video conferencing. It lets you talk for hours on end (four at a time, to be exact) and it won’t cost you a penny.
  • Best integration: Google Meets is a natural fit with your Google account. It’s incredibly easy to start up a video conference with your Google contacts or anyone who uses Microsoft Office.
  • Best bundle: Microsoft Teams comes included with the Microsoft Suite of programs. If you’re already planning on using Microsoft programs, you should commit to Microsoft Teams as your video conferencing app of choice.
  • Most accessible: Zoho makes it as easy as possible to start a conference call with anybody, regardless of what device they’re using. Folks can call in to meetings, or just click on a link to join. It also has really impressive webinar hosting features.

What’s your choice for the best video conferencing platform? Have you had any bad experiences with any video conferencing you’d like to share? Oh, and please feel free to include any embarrassing video-conference-related stories. We love those.