Collaboration

11 best free video conferencing apps [with comparison]

Illustration of people on a video conferencing app

Is there a more important tool for companies these days than video conferencing? 

Even before the pandemic, video calls were an important way to connect teams, whether distributed or in the same location. Why wait for all meeting attendees to be physically present in an office when free video conferencing apps let you meet instantly?

In 2022, these tools are even more crucial to company infrastructure. Whether teams are remote, hybrid, or in-office, a huge chunk of work happens over video. 

Some of the most popular video conferencing apps for businesses include Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams — but there are also newcomers like Vowel. To help you pick from the wide variety of options, we’ve compared 11 apps in one place. Find out more about features, pricing, and more. 

Disclaimer: The information below is accurate as of Oct. 28, 2022.

Table of contents

  • What are video conferencing apps

  • Best free video conferencing apps: comparison table (with features and pricing)

  • Vowel

  • Zoom

  • Google Meet

  • Skype

  • Cisco Webex Meetings

  • Microsoft Teams

  • FreeConference

  • Slack

  • Dialpad Meetings

  • TrueConf

  • Whereby

What are video conferencing apps?

Video conferencing software allows people to connect and communicate with anyone around the world. 

What started as a hobby for nerds in the mid-90s, with apps like ICQ and AIM, has evolved, with apps now offering features like screen sharing, mobile access, and integration with productivity tools.

Modern consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to video conferencing apps. Yet, as anyone who’s ever tried to choose laundry detergent at the supermarket knows, too much choice can be paralyzing.

Let’s look at how each of the below video conferencing apps stacks up to help you narrow down the best options for you and your team.  

Best free video conferencing apps: comparison table (with features and pricing)

Too busy to read this whole guide? All the crucial info you need is summarized in this table, which compares features and pricing models.

Best free video conferencing apps: comparison table (with features & pricing)

Whether you’re a newly minted business or an established player in the market, you can use these leading video conferencing apps for 1:1s, team meetings, client calls, and more.

1. Vowel

Vowel is a next-gen video conferencing app with team collaboration features to make meetings more valuable and productive — before, during, and after.

Vowel homepage

Vowel’s main advantage is its all-in-one concept, which means that there’s no need to worry about add-ons to get extra functions like transcription, recording, notes, or clip-sharing. 

Who is Vowel for?

Vowel is built for remote teams who want to save time (and $$) by using only one app to power their meetings. The browser-based video conferencing tool helps you stay in the moment by automating many admin-related tasks like meeting notes and summaries.

Vowel features

  • Record and transcribe in one click, even on a free plan 

  • Collaborate on agendas and meeting notes 

  • Search through every word ever said, across all your meeting content 

  • Get instant meeting recaps with the recording, transcript, notes, shared links and action items in one spot 

  • Make meetings more inclusive with talk-time tracking, emojis, hand-raises, and more 

Vowel pricing

Annual and monthly pricing models are available, starting at $8.49 per member per month. There’s also a “forever free” plan.

A screenshot of Vowel's pricing page

The Business plan starts at $16.49 per month per member and offers unlimited meetings lasting up to 10 hours each.

2. Zoom

Zoom became a household name during the pandemic when a huge number of people and organizations used it to meet, teach, and collaborate online. 

Zoom homepage

Image Source: Zoom

Zoom offers an easy way to communicate with teams, especially because it’s one of the most popular video conferencing tools (which means almost everyone is familiar with it). 

Who is it for?

Zoom offers simplicity. You can have up to 100 participants in a free meeting, which is why this tool has become popular in the e-learning space. However, people use Zoom for online gatherings of all kinds, and its scheduling and invite features make organizing big meetings easier.

Zoom features

  • Interactive screen sharing

  • Up to 50 breakout rooms for separate discussions

  • HD quality video

Zoom pricing

Pricing for using Zoom is complex and depends on the functionality and number of "host" licenses you need. 

A screenshot of Zoom's pricing page

Image Source: Zoom

There are six different product categories: Zoom One, Zoom Phone, Events & Webinars, Rooms, Contact Center, and Zoom Whiteboard. 

For the most basic paid plan, Zoom costs $149.90 per year, which includes group online meetings for up to 30 hours for 100 participants, social media streaming, and recording features. Additional features come with the more expensive categories.

3. Google Meet

Google Meet is Google’s video conferencing app and part of the Google Workspace. Previously known as Google Hangouts, it has split into two different products: Google Chats and Google Meet. 

Google Meet homepage

Image Source: Google Meet

It’s built right into Google’s ecosystem, so it offers many cross-functions and integrations. You can have meetings with up to 100 participants in the free version.

Who is it for?

Anyone with a Gmail account can start using the platform to connect with others, even those outside of their workspace. That’s why Google Meet is often the choice for HR professionals who need to interview potential candidates (almost everyone has a Gmail account).

Google Meet features

  • Connect with anyone through the platform, even if they’re outside your workspace

  • Browser-based video, audio, and chat conversations all at the same time

  • Integration with the rest of Google’s product suite: Docs, Calendar, etc.

Google Meet pricing

Anyone with a Google account can start using Meet and invite up to 100 participants for an hour-long meeting, free of charge. 

A screenshot of Google Meet's pricing page

Image Source: Google Meet

Google Meet is part of Google's business-focused Workspace suite. The Basic paid plan starts at $6 per user, per month. Since it’s not possible to subscribe only to Google Meet, think about whether you need the other products in a Google workspace before you make a decision to pay. 

4. Skype

Skype is one of the original video conferencing applications and boasts about a million worldwide users. 

Skype homepage

Image Source: Skype

With Skype, users can host a free group video call with up to 25 attendees. Even though Skype for Business was discontinued in 2021, there are still some useful features people can take advantage of. 

For example, Skype’s real-time captions during HD video conference calls are a nice to have.

Who is it for?

While Skype for Business is now a legacy app, it’s bundled in the Office 365 subscription. If you have to call mobile or landline numbers often, it could be a good option.

Skype features

  • Support 25 people in a video meeting (free version)

  • Text translation support available for over 60 languages

  • Host webinars with Skype Meeting Broadcast

  • Offers VoIP (Voice over IP) to call mobile and landline numbers

Skype pricing

Pricing models for Skype depend on the user’s location. For every location, the pricing is different. 

A screenshot of Skype's pricing page

Image Source: Skype

For North American markets, Skype can cost $8.39 per month, per user. Globally, it can cost up to $16.79 per month, per user.

5. Cisco Webex Meetings

Cisco Webex Meetings have been a player in the video conferencing software world for a long time. Since its advent, Webex has undergone various overhauls and is still widely used in the corporate world. 

Webex homepage

Image Source: Webex

Webex Suite goes beyond video conferencing with a team productivity platform for remote work; there’s also a Customer Experience option which can power a support center.

Who is it for?

This video conferencing app is designed for larger organizations looking for a feature-rich software solution that can power all communication in their company.

Cisco Webex Meetings features

  • Includes 1GB of cloud storage in the free plan

  • Detects and reduces background noise

  • Allows users to record meetings 

Cisco Webex Meetings pricing

Cisco Webex features four different pricing models – Meetings, Calling, Webinars, and Events. The Suite model includes all four options.  

A screenshot of Webex's pricing page

Image Source: Webex

In the Basic package (which is free), you can host up to 50 participants in a meeting. The Premium packages allow as many as 3,000 participants to attend. The Meet plan is priced at $14.50 per user, per month; while the Meet + Call plan is priced at $22.50 per user, per month. An Enterprise plan is also available. 

6. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is available as a part of the Office 365 business suite. It’s essentially the successor of Skype for Business. 

A screenshot of Microsoft Teams' homepage

Image Source: Microsoft Teams

Users can chat with each other, connect, and collaborate through video conferencing, and other applications in the Microsoft suite of enterprise products.

Who is it for?

Teams is a good option for those who already use other Microsoft enterprise products because it integrates well with tools such as OneDrive, Outlook, and Microsoft Planner.

Microsoft Teams features

  • Unlimited number of meetings up to  60 minutes 

  • Up to 100 participants per meeting room

  • 5GB of cloud storage per user in the free plan

Microsoft Teams pricing

Microsoft Teams comes with two different pricing models: Home and Business. 

A screenshot of Microsoft Teams' pricing page

Image Source: Microsoft Teams

The free version in Business and Home comes with the ability to host meetings for up to 60 minutes with up to 100 participants. Other versions of the Business model are Essential, Microsoft 365 Basic, and Microsoft 365 Standard. The Essential tier for businesses will run you $4 per user per month.

7. FreeConference

FreeConference is a video conferencing app that works in your web browser. That means the tool doesn’t require any downloads and works smoothly through web browsers like Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.

A screenshot of Free Conference's homepage

Image Source: FreeConference

FreeConference only supports up to five participants in its free version, which can be a downside for meetings. However, it supports up to 100 participants in the audio/calling version via telephone.

FreeConference also comes with dedicated mobile apps on Android and iOS. 

Who is it for?

FreeConference is ideal for very small businesses with five or fewer members. It’s also good for personal use when you want to connect with a few friends or family members.

FreeConference features

  • Browser-based 

  • A moderator control feature, which allows the host to keep a check on the meeting’s progress 

  •  Live streaming functions with real-time messaging abilities

FreeConference pricing

Despite its name, FreeConference does have paid plans, but the pricing models are straightforward. 

A screenshot of Free Conference's pricing page

Image Source: FreeConference

The free plan allows users to have meetings with up to 5 members on video. The Starter packs allow you to host meetings for 100 participants and 15 attendees at $9.99 per month. The Pro pack, which costs $29.99, allows you to host a meeting for up to 250 attendees. 

8. Slack

Slack was originally designed as a professional chat platform. However, it now comes with video and audio conferencing capabilities for quick chats and ad-hoc meetings.

A screenshot of Slack's homepage

Image Source: Slack

Slack provides features like screen sharing, file sharing, and integration.

Who is it for?

While Slack offers the standard approach to video meetings (schedule in advance, send out invites), its standout idea is the Huddle. With a Huddle, users can quickly have an audio or video chat with whoever happens to be present on the channel. It’s great for coworkers who collaborate remotely.

Slack features

Slack isn’t a dedicated video conferencing tool. It’s a communication channel for shared workspaces with options for video conferencing and screen sharing. Here are its key features: 

  • Channels dedicated to any function – team, department, or project 

  • Team Huddles for live coworking

  • Video conferencing for up to 50 people (in the Pro version and higher)

Slack pricing

Slack boasts a simple pricing model consisting of 4 categories: Free, Pro, Business+, and Enterprise Grid.

A screenshot of Slack's pricing page

Image Source: Slack

The Pro plan costs $7.25 per user, per month, while the Slack Business+ plan can cost $12.50 per active user, per month.

The free plan is not suitable for video conferencing as it only allows 1:1 conversations.  Starting with the Pro tier and onwards, the number of participants goes up to 50.

9. Dialpad Meetings

Formerly called UberConference, Dialpad Meetings is a video conferencing platform with built-in AI. This app doesn’t require downloads and offers great basic functionality in the free version.

A screenshot of Dialpad's homepage

Image Source: Dialpad Meetings

Dialpad is designed for enterprises — you can use it as a full replacement for the desk phone and video communication. It can also power call centers, and has AI-powered sales outreach capabilities.

Who is it for?

If you need a tool to replace face-to-face meetings with web conferencing and messaging, Dialpad is an option to explore. Its free plan is a good video conferencing solution for small teams (up to 10 people), but there's a time limit of 45 minutes. 

Dialpad Meetings features

  • Schedule meetings in the app through the Outlook and Gmail integration

  • Real-time file sharing and whiteboard

  • Integrations with Salesforce, Slack, LinkedIn, HubSpot, Twitter, Intercom, and Evernote

Dialpad Meetings pricing

Dialpad comes with a free basic plan, where users can join via web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. 

A screenshot of Dialpad's pricing page

Image Source: Dialpad Meetings

The paid plan starts at $15 per user, per month and unlocks additional features such as meeting transcription and action item capture.

10. TrueConf

TrueConf is a video conferencing and collaboration tool aimed at remote workers and students participating in distance education. 

A screenshot of TrueConf's homepage

Image Source: TrueConf

It isn’t just a video conferencing tool, though. TrueConf comes with several different modes that target specific use cases. For instance, you can use webinar features such as live streaming to other platforms or classroom features that let you have a separate teacher and student view. 

Who is it for?

Just like Zoom, TrueConf is ideal for students and educators, but also other remote teams. Businesses and students can come together, edit documents and files, collaborate on projects, and conduct polls and tests.

TrueConf features

  • Screen sharing, slide viewing and sharing, co-editing of documents, polling, real-time communication, group chat, and recording meetings

  • Meeting hosts can manage attendees’ cameras, microphones, video layouts, and other features 

  • Live streaming to YouTube and other social media platforms

TrueConf pricing

There are two different plans:

  1. TrueConf Server Free: users can host meetings with up to 12 participants

  2. TrueConf Server: up to 49 speakers, 1,000 participants and 1,000,000 streaming viewers

A screenshot of TrueConf's pricing page

Image Source: TrueConf

11.  Whereby

Whereby is a video conferencing solution that focuses on speed and simplicity.

A screenshot of Whereby's homepage

Image Source: Whereby

Starting a meeting on Whereby requires only a shared link and team members can jump into the meeting room from a computer or phone, as Whereby is a web-based tool needing no installation.

Since it lets you add up to 100 people, it can comfortably host your next all-hands meeting.

Who is it for?

While ease-of-use is the core benefit, Whereby offers a few advanced features for business. The integration with the whiteboard software Miro allows for coworking, while the breakout rooms mean you can host webinars and e-learning lessons. 

Whereby features

  • Integration with Google Drive, Trello, YouTube

  • Breakout meeting rooms

  • Personalize your meeting room with custom names, URLs, and branding

Whereby pricing

If quick group meetings and unlimited one-on-ones are all you need, the free plan has you covered, as it allows 100 participants for a group meeting with a time limit of 45 minutes.

A screenshot of Whereby's pricing page

Image Source: Whereby

The Pro plan starts at $6.99 per month for one host and provides you with three different meeting room URLs and no time limit on group meetings. 

The Business plan costs $9.99 per month, per host and allows up to 200 participants.

Ready to find the best video conferencing app? 

Video conferencing and virtual meetings are a fact of life for today’s teams. With so many great options, your decision will come down to pricing and which features you need most. 

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that can turn your meetings into searchable, shareable knowledge — with live transcription, instant recording, shared notes, and more —  sign up for Vowel for free or see how it compares to Zoom.