Video conference software enables businesses to connect with team members who may not share a physical location to improve collaboration, communication, and overall productivity. We looked at the most popular options and reviewed Zoom, Join.me, and GoToMeeting in-depth below. These solutions covered a broad range for small businesses in terms of price, ease of use, and features. Read on for our comparison and review of these three options, as well as our top recommendations.
Best Video Conference Software for Small Businesses in 2017: Zoom
We recommend Zoom as the best video conference software for small businesses in 2017 because of its combination of features, convenience, and price.
Video Conference Software Comparison Table: Zoom vs Join.me vs GoToMeeting
|Best For||Most small businesses||Business who need cloud storage, but don't want to use third-party apps||Businesses that already use GoTo products, such as GoToTraining and GoToWebinar|
|Ease and Convenience of Use|
|Easy -- users can join a meeting from their browser, mobile app, or desktop app||Easy -- users can join a meeting from their browser, mobile app, or desktop app||Easy -- users can join a meeting from their browser, mobile app, or desktop app|
|Mobile App||iOS and Android||iOS and Android||iOS and Android|
|Online knowledge base including tutorials and training videos as well as chat and phone support.|
Support priority is given to paid package users.
|Online knowledge base including user forums as well as email and phone support for Pro and higher package users.||Online knowledge base including user forums and product tours as well as scheduled training sessions and 24/7 phone support.|
|Pricing||$14.99/month per user* for Pro version, billed annually||$18/month per user* for Pro version, billed annually||$29/month per user* for Pro version, billed annually|
|Yes, with limited features||Yes, with limited features||No, but 14-day free trial|
*Note that a user is someone who starts a meeting, not necessarily participants you invite to join a meeting
Best Video Conference Software for Small Businesses: Zoom
We recommend Zoom as the best video conference software for 2017 because it offers the best combination of features, convenience and ease of use, and price.
When we reviewed Zoom, Join.me, and GoToMeeting, we found that their lists of specific features were very comparable with each other. Most of the features that you would expect from your video conferencing software were included with each service, such as one-click meetings, URL invites, screen sharing, the ability to record meetings, and text-based chat.
But when comparing Zoom, Join.me, and GoToMeeting more closely, some clear differences emerged:
Zoom and Join.me both offer a free version of their service with limited features for smaller teams, but GoToMeeting only offers a free trial.
Zoom offers the widest range of third-party integrations to help expand and customize the service. Join.me offers a good range as well, but not as many as Zoom. GoToMeeting, however, only offers two.
Zoom only includes 1GB of cloud storage for recorded calls compared to 5GB from Join.me, but Zoom offers third-party cloud storage integrations, like Dropbox, that Join.me doesn’t. GoToMeeting doesn’t include any cloud storage.
Zoom and GoToMeeting both offer HD quality video, which Join.me doesn’t.
Finally, Zoom is the cheapest of the three options at $14.99/month per user. Join.me is comparably priced at $18/month per user, but GoToMeeting is significantly more expensive at $29/month per user.
One significant advantage that Join.me has over Zoom is that Join.me users can control another user’s keyboard or mouse remotely while screen sharing without the need to install their app. Zoom and GoToMeeting allow users to do this too, but only with their apps installed.
Other Video Conference Software Options: Join.me or GoToMeeting
Don’t get us wrong, Join.me offers an excellent video conferencing solution. The only reason that it’s not our recommended video conference software for 2017 is that almost everything it does well, Zoom does better. But if for some reason Zoom isn’t an option for your business, then Join.me is a perfectly fine alternative.
Join.me does offer 5GB of cloud storage versus 1GB from Zoom and none from GoToMeeting. Join.me also includes unlimited international conference calling, which may be a significant feature if your business works with a lot of international clients or remote staff. Participants can call into a phone number to join the meeting by audio for no additional charge. Zoom and GoToMeeting both offer call-in ability, but for an additional charge.
However, these aren’t strong enough advantages for us to recommend Join.me over Zoom.
Zoom and Join.me offer comparable features, with Zoom offering more third-party app integrations, HD quality video, and comparable customer support for a lower per user cost.
Similarly, GoToMeeting offers excellent video and call quality in a reliable and feature-rich service.
However, it only supports two third-party integrations and costs almost twice as much per user as Zoom. For these reasons, it is our lowest recommended service of the three for your small business.
In-Depth Review: Zoom vs Join.me vs GoToMeeting
Free vs Paid Versions
Both Zoom and Join.me offer free versions of their app with limited features. GoToMeeting, however, does not.
Here is how Zoom and Join.me’s free versions compare:
|Meeting Length||Up to 40 minutes||Unlimited|
|Keyboard/ Mouse Control||Yes||No|
Ease and Convenience of Use
For most small businesses, how easy their video conferencing software is to use will be your primary concern, assuming that basic features are included. The software should be able to work directly from your browser without the need to install a separate app.
It’s one thing to ask your staff to install an app that they will use often, but it’s another to expect your clients or other outside partners to. It’s inconvenient, unprofessional, introduces the potential for technical issues, and some people may not be able to install it at all (if they don’t have administrator access to their computer, for example).
Zoom, Join.me, and GoToMeeting all offer users the ability to join meetings as participants by entering a URL and the meeting ID in their browser or entering the meeting ID in their mobile or desktop apps.
Zoom, Join.me, and GoToMeeting all offer many of the same standard video conferencing features that will help the day-to-day operations of your small business, as well as help it to present a professional face to any clients you invite to join your meetings.
Some of these features include:
- Start a meeting with one-click and invite participants with a unique URL and/or meeting ID
- Schedule meetings in the future, either one-off or recurring, and auto-send invites to participants
- Route audio through the computer or over the phone. Participants have the option to dial a third-party number and connect through their phone
- Record meetings and save them to your hard drive (Zoom and Join.me also offer cloud storage)
- Screenshare either your entire screen or just a specific window
- Mouse & keyboard control — let a user “take over” your computer, but get control back in a single click
- The ability to “whiteboard” or annotate while screen sharing
- Meeting controls, like the ability to mute or dismiss participants
- Text-based chat
However, Zoom, Join.me, and GoToMeeting each include a few features that differentiate their services from the others. We’ll look at them in more detail below.
- Online knowledge bases, including:
- User guides
- How to guides
- Tutorials (both written and video)
- Regularly scheduled training sessions
- User forums
- Online chat support
- Email/ticket-based support
Where they differ, though, is in the phone support that they offer.
All Primary Video Conference Software Options
There are many other video conference software options on the market that may be a better fit for your business’ needs. Here are some of the others that we liked and what makes them unique:
|Software Name||What Makes It Unique?|
|Zoom||The best combination of features, convenience, and price|
|Join.me||A close second to Zoom -- comparably featured and priced|
|GoToMeeting||One of the leaders in the industry with 24/7 support|
|Amazon Chime||Seamless integration across devices and powered by Amazon|
|Cisco WebEx||Generously featured free plan|
|ClickMeeting||Many features to help control audio and video quality of meetings|
|LyteSpark||Lean browser-based solution with attractive user interface|
|Skype for Business||Economical solution that integrates with Office 365|
|Slack||Your business might already be using Slack to collaborate|
|TeamViewer||Start connections from PC-Mobile, Mobile-PC, PC-PC, or Mobile-Mobile|
|Drum||Participants can join meetings via landline|
|HighFive||Includes video conferencing hardware in their packages|
|Gruveo||No registration is required to participate in calls|
The Bottom Line
Convenience and ease of use are two of the most important factors to consider when choosing your video conferencing software. All three of the options we reviewed — Zoom, Join.me, and GoToMeeting — make it easy to set up meetings, and convenient for participants to join them.
All three services also offer comparable sets of features. Where they significantly differ is in the range of third-party integrations that they offer and their per user price. On both points, Zoom was the clear winner. It’s for that reason that we recommend Zoom as the Best Video Conferencing Software for 2017.