Even more of us are familiar with and are using video calling for business in 2020. Here’s the latest information about what the leading providers are offering for free personal use.
A free Webex plan gives you meetings with up to 100 participants, HD video, screen sharing, and a personal room for up to 50 minutes.
Meet offers a very simple way to video chat with colleagues, friends, and family up to 100 people — assuming they all have Google accounts, which is a requirement for both hosts and participants. Google is continuing unlimited Meet calls (up to 24 hours) in the free version through March 31, 2021 for Gmail accounts.
Jitsi is a free open-source platform that lets you easily meet online by simply navigating to the site and clicking on “Start Meeting.” Apps are also available. It features unlimited meetings for up to 50 people.
The Personal Teams version doesn’t require an Office 365 account. Microsoft is allowing calls to friends and family to last up to 24 hours and with up to 300 participants for free on desktop and the web. These limits were announced in November 2020 and will be available ‘until further specified.’
Skype: Meet Now
Skype a pioneer in 1:1 videoconferencing, has a multiple person option, too. It’s Meet Now feature (which is accessed by choosing the “Meet Now” button on the left side of the app) allows videoconferencing; up to 50 people can meet with no time limits on meetings.
The free version of Zoom allows up to 100 users to meet, and there is a 40-minute limit on meetings of more than two people. Zoom has announced that the time limits will be removed on specific days including the last day of Hanukah, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.