I was not planning to write something about this subject, unfortunately I’m forced to talk about collaborative tools, videoconference and file sharing.
The easiest way to avoid face to face meeting is by using one of the apps we are already very familiar with: Facebook Messenger, Whastapp, Facetime, (Apple users only) Skype.
If you need something more, not just the video call, in particular if you are working with documents on computer, you should look into the collaborative solutions available out there.
Some of you might already be using Microsoft Teams, or Skype for Business, but both these solutions require a paid license.
In my opinion the 2 most common, multi-platform and free of charge, with some limitations, are Zoom and Webex.
Here following a quick overview of the two.
Very easy to use, audio and video conference, from computer or smartphone.
- Sharing: it is possible to share the entire screen, one single window or a
selected portion of the screen.
While sharing, remote control can be granted to another participant. (not
available when sharing from smartphone)
- Chat and file transfer: during the meeting a chat window allow
conversation either one-to-one or with all the participants. Chat can
be used to initiate a file transfer, option available only pc-to-pc.
- Meeting recording: the entire meeting can be recorded on the host computer.
The basic version for personal meeting is free.
- Host up to 100 participants
- (A Participant is an invitee in a meeting scheduled by someone with a
Host license. Participants can join your meeting for free from their
phone, desktop, mobile and tablet devices. A participant does not
require a Zoom account in order to join a meeting.)
- Unlimited 1 to 1 meetings
- 40 mins limit on group meetings
- Unlimited number of meetings
(Zoom offers a full-featured Basic Plan for free with unlimited meetings.
Try Zoom for as long as you like – there is no trial period. Your
Basic plan has a 40 minutes time limit on meetings with three or more
total participants. Need your group meetings to last longer than 40
minutes? Sign up for a Pro Account.)
CISCO WEBEX Meetings
Very similar to Zoom, a free of charge plan includes up to 100
participants in each meeting, no time limitation and unlimited number
I found Webex Meetings a little less user friendly than Zoom and I was not able to start a file transfer between 2 Pc.
My understanding is that there are some extra tools available but I
haven’t checked them out yet.
Stay tuned for more info.