On this computer age, you can now communicate in whichever way you prefer without the need to move from one place to another. By just having a reliable device and a stable Internet connection, you can now upgrade your simple text messages into face-to-face online interaction with your significant others. Although to maximize your online communication experience, you have to download a software which is compatible with your computer, as well as mobile devices. Some of these software are even offered for a hefty price. The good news is that even the most popular online meeting tool on the market offers a free version of its services.
Cisco Webex, developed by Cisco Systems, is not only popular but also considered as one of the best online meeting tools out there. Its flexible and easy-to-use features will allow you to host and participate in an online collaboration with your colleagues and clients in a simple and guaranteed way.
The multi-awarded meeting tool used for online collaborations
Webex offers numerous helpful but not necessarily unique features.
Starting an online conference and/or webinar with the software is easy and simple. You’ll just have to finish the necessary initial setup process then make sure that the Meeting Center has been up and loaded on your computer which runs a web browser such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Chrome. As the host, you can send invites to your preferred attendees through email browsers, instant messaging apps, or directly in a chat. Colleagues and clients can immediately participate in your online workroom by clicking the link of your invitation which will instruct them to either connect through their phone line or via VoIP. Toll-free numbers are also provided, as well as call-in numbers for several countries which allow participants from the other side of the globe attend the online meeting you’ve created without the need to pay for international call charges.
Helpful (but common) features
It is a fact that most online meeting tools in the market have already a built-in screen sharing ability, so having it in the software is no news at all. Although, the software takes a one step ahead by giving you and the other hosts (since you can have multiple hosts) a control panel that will let you all chat or take control of the online conference privately, as this panel will not be visible by the other attendees. Exiting screen sharing can be done easily with just one click.
Additionally, if you wouldn’t like to share your screen but is required to present an application, you can go through your presentation with ease with the option of sharing only the app such as PowerPoint or any other file of your choice in your computer. With this, participants within the online meeting will be able to see your presentation file without necessarily able to get a glimpse of your screen. While if you’re working on a shareable app such as an Excel spreadsheet, you can choose to allow your colleagues to input their own data while the online conference is still ongoing. The software also has a whiteboard functionality which let participants draw or write their thoughts easily.
The software has the ability to detect computer accessories such as your webcam. If you’ve decided to allow your camera during the meeting, all you have to do is click the camera button on the control panel which will make your video image appear every time your speaking. This feature (together with the live collaboration ability) really makes brainstorming and webinars feel more natural and encourages more participation with the attendees. Overall, the software is a great tool for you to have a boardroom feeling even collaborating remotely via the Internet. It has numerous useful features but not necessarily unique since some of it are very common with every online meeting tool in the market.
Where can you run this program?
The software is practically compatible with almost all of your devices. You can download it and run it in both of your Windows and Mac PCs, as well as in your Android and iOS mobile devices. It offers a free version which you can use by confirming your email address, but you can easily upgrade to its premium plans that include a 30-day free trial for you to explore. You can start with its Starter Plan which can be used by up to 9 hosts which can start unlimited meetings with no restriction on the duration and can be participated by up to 50 attendees. While Webex Plus is built for 1 to 50 hosts with a limit of 100 participants per meeting. More importantly, all of the features from the Starter Plan is also available to Webex Plus plus some upgrades.
If you’re going to use the software in your businesses and within a conglomerate enterprise then you’ll need to upgrade to Webex Business or Cisco’s Enterprise package. If you’re still not sure which plan suits your needs, you can ask for the company’s support by filling out a form on their official website or by calling them to start a friendly but informative chat.
Is there a better alternative?
Although the software’s features are common to its counterparts, its subscription rates are higher than the average price of other similar tools not to mention that there is also available freeware which offers the same (or better) services.
One of the best online meeting freeware in the market is Zoom. Even though it has premium paid plans, the free version allows you to use some indispensable features which include conferences that can accommodate up to 100 participants, unlimited one-on-one conferences, video and audio conferencing, and even some of premium group collaborations found in its commercial counterparts such as whiteboard and screen sharing. The only difference between the two is that the latter one has a limited 40-minute window for its online conferences while Webex’s free version lets you enjoy without the worry of time restrictions.
It is no surprise that Webex is one of the most used online meeting tools amidst the array of other similar software, as it provides users with various helpful features to experience the best online collaboration yet. It not only compatible with both Windows and Mac but also works perfectly fine with your Android and iOS devices. The software has a lot of interesting features for you to check out such as its function to create a personal meeting room and ability to join online meetings from other services including Skype for Business. Although you need to shell out a large amount first in order to use these premium features, when in fact these features are available and common to more affordable software like Zoom.
Should you download it?
Only if you’re willing to pay its higher-than-average subscription rates. The software’s interface is easy to master and at the same time intuitive enough to cater to first-time users. But if you’re thrifty enough, it’s gonna be hard to ignore the fact that even freeware like Zoom can be better than its pricey premium features.