Christmas 2020 will be more “homemade” than ever and video conferencing software will be of great help Keep in touch with family and friends at a time of physical social distancing.
And so it has to be if we want to limit the contagion of a coronavirus pandemic that is gripping the world at the peak of its second wave. The urgent approval of several vaccines raises hopes of a return to “normalcy”, but there are many months to go, and if we don’t want the crowds in supermarkets, company dinners, family celebrations and the usual communal drinks on these dates, they lead to deaths in January . It imposes a personal responsibility that we continue to bet on.
Video conferencing software
With that said, and there will be time to re-establish physical contact in the future, there are other ways to spend this Christmas and Christmas Stay connected with family and friends. And we’re talking about video conferencing software, a type of application that works for most searched, downloaded and used of all 2020 to meet the needs of teleworking or home learning. Of course, also to maintain personal contact and to meet the new communication needs that we had to live.
If you do not know all the available offers and would like to have these applications at hand, we will remind you of the most interesting ones for the most important desktop and mobile operating systems. Everything is free and some open source and cross-platform.
An extremely interesting project, 100% free, open source, private and in which you do not need registration or installation. Jitsi began his journey as a clone of Microsoft Messenger, but with the support of Multiprocolo and over time, his evolution turned to the realm of Skype-style VoIP solutions.
Now it’s one of the most powerful proposals in its workgroup category, even though it’s available for home users. It includes functions such as desktop sharing, presentation playback, joint document editing and of course video conferencing with integrated chat and a limit of up to 75 participants.
Despite its security and privacy issues (greatly improved in the latest versions) is still one of the most widely used video conferencing applications (more than 300 million users) for the ease of use of the user interface, the fun backgrounds, or the scalability for use on multiple devices.
Zoom is a complete video conferencing package for business users, but it offers an attractive free option. Users with this account type can organize video conferences for up to 100 participants, with meetings with three or more members limited to 40 minutes. You can upgrade to a paid plan to remove these restrictions, or just keep the free one. There is no limit to the number of meetings you can hold. So you can just host a new video call once you hit the limit.
With the free account, you can also make calls, record video or audio locally and share screens with other participants. Zoom can be used over the web with dedicated applications, browser extensions, and mobile devices that use apps to iOS and Android.
Google Meet – Duo
Google replaced Hangouts with Meet, a tool designed for education and business that ultimately reached everyone. Due to the pandemic, Google has eased some restrictions. Any Google user can hold group video conferences with up to 250 participants, regardless of their subscription level for the commercial solutions G Suite and G Suite for Education.
It’s available for iOS, Android, and through a web browser on any device. In addition to the ability to communicate and collaborate securely, as all information is transmitted in encrypted form, it offers additional functions such as integration with Gmail. Noise reduction or the ability to share individual tabs
The internet giant offers other video conferencing software as an extension to a hangout that it has never exploited. Google Duo is simpler and more specialized than Meet and was developed by Justin Uberti (responsible for the WebRTC communication standard). It was born as an alternative to FaceTime and anything else that comes from messaging services.
Google recently expanded the group call capacity to 32 participants. It works very well (especially on Android) it offers excellent streaming quality and is also available for iOS, Chrome OS and over the Internet.
Apple’s communication app reached its first decade last June and is obviously one preferred option for users of the Cupertino company. It works via a phone number or Apple ID and allows you to make audio or video calls with up to 32 participants at the same time.
FaceTime is integrated into the recent calls list in the phone app and can also be used via the contacts. It allows the use of effects to turn the user into an animoji, send stickers and other functions.
It works over Wi-Fi networks or cellular services and supports iOS, iPadOS or macOS operating systems to work on an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and also from a Mac computer.
Microsoft Skype – Skype Meet Now
Microsoft’s proprietary software after acquiring the best VoIP platform on the market. Nowadays there is a lot more competition and Skype has lost ground at the consumer level even though its technology has been integrated as a communication tool for other enterprise applications like teams.
Skype allowed Text, voice and video communication over the Internet (VoIP)Free voice and video between Skype users to and from anywhere in the world. In addition, special calls can be made between computers and landline or cellular networks at very low cost. It also includes a handy cloud-based call recording feature that any member can activate and share with others upon prior notice.
Each participant must register and download Skype in some way, be it an application for desktop computers (Windows MacOS or Linux), mobile platform (Android, Windows Phone, iOS). It’s also compatible with most smart TVs and can be used on consoles such as Xbox.
The Skype Meet Now variant enables video conferencing without having to register anywhere or download and install an application. Just go to the Skype Meet Now website and with one click generate a link to share with those you want to start a conversation with. This includes the ability to record calls or share the screen with the same number of participants (50) of the general application.
CISCO is a name commonly associated with commercial business products and is generally out of the reach of ordinary users. But there are also solutions like Webex, a robust and free option for those looking for basic video conferencing applications.
You can record up to 100 participants in a single call for as long as you want. There is no limit to the number of calls you can make. Get 1 GB of cloud storage with a free account. Conferences support functions such as screen sharing, files or video recording.
With Webex, users in up to 52 countries can use a standard phone to join a conference. Participants who wish to use their webcams can choose between a website, dedicated desktop applications or mobile applications for iPhone and Android with their own screen sharing functions.
If you are looking for one safe and private alternative That is not part of the company’s business. Here is an open source solution, the clear definition of which marks clear distances from other commercial markings: “Tox is made by people who are fed up with the options that spy on us, track us, censor us and prevent us from innovating.”.
You might have a crappy UI or confusing setup, but you don’t. Just install qTox (the full featured app) or uTox (for lighter systems) and start chatting. Tox is completely free and without ads. It offers secure chats, voice and video calls, and unlimited screen and file sharing. Tox offers desktop versions for Windows, Mac and Linux as well as mobile versions for iOS and Android.
Contrary to the name, it is not a free service by default. It’s a paid premium service, but it has a decent free option that can be useful for simple cases. FreeConference Only supports up to 5 participants in video conferencing at the free tier. What makes FreeConference shine is the support of up to 1,000 audio participants who can call on the phone.
The service also takes a software-free approach to video calling, so most users can only connect through a browser. It also has mobile applications for iPhone and Android that are open to free users.
A classic option with all standard functionsincluding group chats, video calls and stickers. If you change devices frequently, you will appreciate Viber’s transfer function, which allows you to move calls to a mobile phone.
Viber offers public chats (called communities) that you can use to connect with others when you don’t have friends to message, and built-in games when you want to compete with your friends. Viber doesn’t stand out for any particular reason, but it’s a solid app. To use Viber on the desktop, you must first sign in to your mobile phone to sync the account.
WhatsApp – Telegram – Line
We’ll leave the solutions of three great instant messaging applications for last. Although they aren’t the best video conferencing appsThey also offer these type of features and are sure to be massively used due to their versatility, ease of use, and installation in hundreds of millions of devices. You know them well and they work right on the messaging clients including video calls, voice and text messages.
In terms of lineis another well-known messenger (although widely used in Asia) that allows you to easily keep up with friends and family. Provides free video calling, voice calling, and text messaging for groups. Thousands of animated stickers too, although most are paid for through in-app purchases.
We could list another dozen video conferencing software solutions, but we believe that with the solutions listed, a typical consumer will have many options to stay connected this Christmas and (responsibly) overcome the period of physical social distancing we had to go through .