Online Meeting

Updated 03-18-2014

Need to meet with distant coworkers or clients? Online Meeting software can help you share presentations, audio and even video with just a few people or a large group. We've reviewed a variety of online meeting solutions, highlighting the best features of each provider so you can choose the right one for your meetings.

Online Meeting Reviews & Ratings


Services: Our Ratings: Bottom Line:
Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro Rating:stars
Fluid functionality with nice collaborative tools; great for sales professionals and companies of all sizes
WebEx Rating:stars
A pricey but robust and full-featured solution for larger workgroups; great video chat and iPhone app
Fuze Meeting Rating:stars
A great choice for multimedia collaboration; has iPhone support; robust file storage
GoToMeeting Rating:stars
With a slim feature set but very clear audio through VoIP, it's a web-enabled teleconference solution
Voxwire Rating:stars
Good feature set, but bad UI, frustrating setup and control

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Online
Meeting
Overview

Online Meeting Benefits

Online meetings save time, money, and the environment. Even the most expensive online meeting solution is a bargain compared to airplane fares and hotel bills. Online meeting company DimDim estimates that "a typical 30 minute virtual Dimdim web meeting with 5 attendees can eliminate about 1.3 metric tons of CO and save $810 in expenses required to attend face-to-face."

VoIP vs Bridge

Online meetings are one part visual and one part audio. The audio part is accomplished with either VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or a bridge teleconference number. Some services even offer both. VoIP transmits voice data over the Internet and uses the computer's speaker and microphone, or a headset. A bridge number allows your participants to call in to a central number using a regular telephone. Each has its advantages. VoIP is cheaper for your participants, since most bridge numbers are toll numbers. A bridge number, on the other hand, can be called from nearly any phone (including mobiles), and doesn't depend on the speed of your network for performance. For the most flexibility, look for a web conferencing service that offers both.


Whiteboards

Real whiteboards have replaced chalkboards in most meeting rooms and many schools and universities. Now virtual whiteboards are beginning to replace real whiteboards as more companies go virtual with online meetings. An online meeting solution's whiteboard allows you to draw with your mouse or trackpad right on a space viewable to all participants. It's a great way to illustrate ideas.


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Disclosure: NextAdvisor.com is a consumer information site that offers free, independent reviews and ratings of online services. We receive advertising revenue from most of the services we review. Our editors thoroughly research and whenever possible test each service we review and offer their honest opinions about each one. We are independently owned and operated and all opinions expressed on this site are our own.