17 Online Meeting Tools That Facilitate Collaboration

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laptopOnline conferencing tools are used for many reasons – sales presentations, webinars and training, to name a few. Plus, if you work from home, like many freelancers and small business owners do, you face the unique challenge of needing live meeting time with clients who may be located around the world.

There are many online meeting tools out there that offer a variety of features at varying costs. Here are a few tools you may want to consider, some of their notable features and the cost for using them.

1. adobeAdobe Acrobat Connect Pro

  • Share your screen
  • Customize the interface
  • Incorporate various training features (create content on the fly, track progress, reports)
  • Edit recordings
  • Manage the registration process

Cost: 30-day free trial with pay-per-use, monthly and annual plan options (pay-per-use is $0.32 per user per minute)

2. arkadinArkadin

  • Share desktop and individual applications
  • Create a shared work space
  • File transfer
  • Brand interface with your company information
  • Generate post-conference reports
  • No software download required

Cost: Free trial, contact for individual pricing info

3. beamyourscreenBeamYourScreen

  • Share your desktop with up to 20 people
  • Grant remote control rights to participants
  • Transfer files
  • Integrate login options into your existing website
  • Record and playback the session
  • Generate usage reports

Cost: 7-day free trial, monthly pricing starts at $30

4. dimdimDimdim

  • Share documents, webcams, websites, and whiteboards
  • Pass control to multiple presenters
  • Record your meetings
  • Send public and private messages
  • No installation necessary

Cost: Starts at $9.99 per month for 20 attendees, with annual commitment discounts

5. elluminateElluminate

  • Share interactive whiteboard and applications
  • Include audio capability
  • Instant messaging
  • Create content and use editing tools
  • Transfer files
  • Record sessions

Cost: Contact for custom pricing

6. ezmeetingeZmeeting

  • Share your desktop live for someone else to see or control
  • Collaborate, including the ability to mark up and redline documents
  • Transfer files
  • Instant messaging

Cost: 7-day free trial, monthly pricing starts at $99

7. gatherplaceGatherPlace

  • Share and view desktops
  • Chat
  • Record sessions
  • Integrate your website
  • Optional install for guests

Cost: 14-day free trial, monthly pricing starts at $29

8. glanceGlance

  • Share your screen with up to 100 guests
  • Allow control and control guests’ screens
  • Includes free phone conferencing
  • Add a button so guests can connect from your website
  • Customize the pages guests see when joining and leaving sessions

Cost: 7-day free trial, $49.95 per month (a one-day pass option for $9.95 is also available)

9. gomeetnowGoMeetNow

  • Share desktop (for presenter and guests)
  • Share one application at a time
  • Chat
  • Includes whiteboard and annotation ability
  • Record screen and voice
  • No downloads

Cost: Starts at $15.95 per month for 2 participants

10. gotomeetingGoToMeeting

  • Share/view desktop
  • Collaborate in real time
  • Instantly change presenters
  • Chat
  • Record and playback
  • Generate attendance reports

Cost: Starts at $49 per month for up to 15 participants

11. mikogoMikogo

  • Share your screen
  • Switch presenters mid-session
  • Transfer files
  • Record and playback
  • Voice conferencing

Cost: Free service provided by BeamYourScreen

12. livemeetingMicrosoft Office Live Meeting

  • Share a portion of your desktop or the entire screen
  • Broadcast visuals of any type
  • File transfer and storage
  • Participants can show their desktops
  • Chat
  • Whiteboard, text slides, web slides, annotation and polls included

Cost: $4.58 per user per month for 5-15 users

13. readytalkReadyTalk

  • Share your desktop, programs and files
  • Grant control to others
  • Manage your audio conference through the web
  • Record audio and web together
  • Chat to one or all participants

Cost: $34-49 per month, with annual commitment discounts

14. spreedSpreed

  • Share your screen
  • Remote control desktop
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Chat
  • Recording and archiving

Cost: Free for up to 3 participants, starts at $19 per session for up to 10 participants

15. voxwireVoxwire

  • Share your screen, desktop and files
  • Integrate video conferencing
  • Record and playback meetings
  • Customize screen layout
  • No downloads of any kind

Cost: 30-day free trial, starts at $39 per month for up to 20 participants

16. webexWebEx

  • Pass control to others
  • Get integrated phone conferencing
  • Add a face-to-face experience with video
  • Record, edit, and playback meetings

Cost: 14-day free trial, pricing starts at $69 per month for up to 25 participants, or pay-as-you-go for $0.33 per user per minute

17. yugmaYugma

  • Share your desktop
  • Free teleconferencing
  • Chat
  • Share mouse and keyboard controls with other attendees
  • Change presenters
  • Recording and playback

Cost: Free for up to 20 participants, pricing starts ay $14.95 per month for more than 20 participants

Have you used any of these online tools? What others should make the cut?

All prices in USD.
Image credit: Steve Woods

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  • Anlek

    You forgot Microsoft SharedView (www.sharedview.com) which lets you do screen sharing and chat, also some integration into Word for multi user editing of a document.

  • Anonymous

    Adobe acrobat connect has a free version too with a max of 5 participants. Another alternative is http://www.vyew.com

  • Jonathan Joyce

    http://colaab.com should make the cut!

    Real-time online collaboration and review over a wide range of resources including office documents, video, PDF, web pages and *very* large images.

  • http://www.artsassistance.com ArtsAssistance

    Having done a lot of research in trying to find a reliable web conference solution, I’ve tried several of the above mentioned offerings. What we rarely see online are actual comparison reviews which can be frustrating. Web Worker Daily fortunately covers new releases but not a lot of side by side comparisons.

    There are few solutions that can a) offer VOIP & telco so international folks can join in, b) full screen sharing (try showing Adobe Illustrator), c) allow more than a couple of people to talk at once, and d) offer for Mac/PC/Linux.

    I’ve tried DimDim (which allows up to 4 talkers) but could be spotty, Yugma (VOIP is frustrating w/Skype), WebEx (best communication but info is hard to come by and VOIP not for lower solutions), and GoToMeeting which was pretty easy. GTM was the easiest for people to use but occasionally needs screen refreshing.

    I have heard of Adobe’s offering but had heard its hard to use in past reviews. Hoping someone will comment hear about their experiences.

  • Mike

    The best product, the one I use now all the time for online meetings is TeamViewer -> http://www.teamviewer.com/index.aspx

    Business versions are priced reasonably, but there is also fully functional FREE version for personal use.

    If you need to speak with the person you are meeting… just use Skype.

  • Steve

    Thanks for your valuable listing of web meeting services. It really give a good overview about the best solutions available.

    I personally like and use spreed.com, since they also put a strong focus on non-Windows users. Their offering for free 2 user meetings is pretty good and gives a excellent impression about their offering (http://www.spreed.com).

    spreed perfectly fits for webinars and sales events since there’s no software installation required for anyone and it also supports any operating system. So you don’t have to care about your attendee’s rights or environment at all.

    Steve

  • Yuuguu fan

    I use Yuuguu, http://www.yuuguu.com because:

    Really easy to use
    It’s cross platform – so PC, Linux and Mac screen sharing
    Really fast
    Free
    Integrates all big instant messaging systems so I can screen share with all my buddies from GTalk and MSN very easily via my instant messages
    Pass control
    No downloads

  • Steve

    Thanks for your valuable listing of web meeting services. It really give a good overview about the best solutions available.

    I personally like and use spreed.com, since they also put a strong focus on non-Windows users. Their offering for free 3 user meetings is pretty good and gives a excellent impression about their offering (http://www.spreed.com).

    spreed perfectly fits for webinars and sales events since there’s no software installation required for anyone and it also supports any operating system. So you don’t have to care about your attendee’s rights or environment at all.

    Steve

  • Andrew Donnelly

    Hi Alyssa,

    Thanks for including both BeamYourScreen and Mikogo in your list of online meeting tools. Btw, we just released the possibility to have up to 200 participants in a BeamYourScreen meeting.
    If you would like further info on our online meeting solutions, feel free to contact me.

    Cheers!

    Andrew Donnelly
    The Mikogo Team
    andrew(at)mikogo.com
    Twitter: @Mikogo

  • http://www.j9consultants.com jef2904

    DimDim!!!

  • adamalfia

    How about drop.io’s new present.io service? I checked out the screencast yesterday and it looks really nice. I’ve been using GoToMeeting for a while but it’d be nice to be able to load up videos and sound clips like present.io has.

    http://drop.io/presentation

  • John Brandt

    Thanks for doing my homework for me. I have been trying to come up with a similar list. You have a number of agents I had not heard of. My goal is to find one – or any – that are accessible to people with disabilities. Most of the ones that use Flash, Java or other plug-in are not accessible to screen reader applications like JAWS or VoiceOver. Thanks again for the list and review.

    ~j

  • academic

    Elluminate offers free use for up to three users. (No recording in free version.)

  • Bopar

    Thankyou, thankyou, thank you!
    I’m trying to evaluate what’s out there, and move our Qld based organisation’s culture to an on-line collaborative one. You’ve all done me a great service by publishing comment with “extra’s”(and the original article of course!)

  • Georgina

    Great article. Working in a rural area where I am often trying to run meetings or trainings with f2f and remote participants I am looking for much better tech options-this gives me great tips and suggestions to explore. I like thinking about “what are we trying to achieve” each time we bring people together and whether the intention to collaborate is ruined by bad technical experiences.

  • QualityEcommerce

    Persoanlly we use VoxWire.come for our webinars, sales events, and client meetings. It allows up to six video and audio feeds. We have not had a capatability issue with any operating system or browser yet. We have alot of clients who use mac, windows xp, and vista.

    From our stand point we love how easy it is to record and and play back the meetings. Plus, its unlimited storage and playback.

  • Anonymous

    Cisco Webex support 2000+ participants in one, across many platforms – Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris and any Unix OS.
    Webex is the best in all online meeting tools definitely.

  • Jacob

    You missed HyperMeeting (http://www.hypermeeting.com) from HyperOffie

  • Jacob

    oops, the link is HyperMeeting Online Meetings

  • Anonymous

    Great post with really good and useful information, but I noticed that you did not mention Comapping for collaboration. For me it’s the best tool for collaboration online, mind mapping, group projects and business process planning.
    If you still did not explore it, give it a try. ;)

  • Tanya Karchevskaya

    Great post with really good and useful information, but I noticed that you did not mention Comapping for collaboration. For me it’s the best tool for collaboration online, mind mapping, group projects and business process planning.
    If you still did not explore it, give it a try. ;)

  • Ozman

    You may also evaluate a fully functional, 30 days free trial of Banckle Online Meeting http://banckle.com/products/online-meeting/default.html. It supports all advanced features for web conferencing, webinars, audio and video conferencing. You can also share an application, PowerPoint presentations or whiteboards with anyone from anywhere. The pricing is very flexible and subscription starts from just $9/Month http://banckle.com/pricing/online-meeting/

  • http://www.telecorp.com/services/idrivemeetings Meeting Tools

    Nice piece of collection of online meeting tools…thanks for sharing..!!!!