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Video Conferencing 101: A Guide to 20 Free Solutions

March 19, 2020

By Laura Stotler - Virtual PBX Contributing Editor

As the COVID-19 pandemic transforms the entire world, remote work has never been so pervasive. And while many companies and organizations are well equipped to handle a remote workforce, many more are completely unprepared.

Beyond work, people are increasingly turning to communications and collaboration tools to socialize and stay in touch as they shelter at home to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Many conferencing companies are looking at the pandemic as a time of opportunity to gain new users and introduce a whole legion of future workers to their products.

While many free videoconferencing and collaboration solutions already exist, additional companies are now offering free versions of some of their premium tools to help out businesses who otherwise would not be able to afford them. Below we have compiled a list of some of the best free enterprise-grade videoconferencing and collaboration tools available right now.

1. 8x8

Cloud communications and business video and VoIP company 8x8 is offering a free version of its 8x8 Video Meetings solution. The offering provides workers and businesses with location-independent access to an unlimited number of meetings via any mobile device or internet-connected desktop. It includes HD audio and video conferencing, team collaboration functionality and free dial-in with toll-free numbers.

2. Avaya Spaces

Avaya's cloud meeting and collaboration solution, along with audio and video conferencing equipment was already used be relief workers in China during the coronavirus pandemic. Now the company is offering it for free to educational institutions and non-profit organizations throughout the world. The solution supports video conferencing for up to 200 participants, including voice, chat, content sharing and online meetings.

3. CallTower

Cloud-based unified communications and collaboration solutions provider CallTower is offering free services to businesses already using Microsoft Teams. The company is providing 90 days of free Microsoft Teams Direct Routing, which enables organizations to connect Teams to a PSTN network.

4. Cisco Webex

Cisco is offering a free version of its Webex conferencing solution globally. The offering includes support for meetings with up to 100 participants, HD video, screen sharing and a personal room. The solution features unlimited usage and no time restrictions. Cisco is also working with partners to provide free 90-day licenses to new business customers.

5. Dialpad Talk and UberConference Pro

Dialpad has been in the conferencing and collaboration space for decades, providing businesses tools to support remote work and productivity. The company is now offering its DialpadTalk and UberConference Pro solutions free to businesses throughout North America and Japan. Free access will be available for at least two months.


DTEN, which provides collaborative displays for Zoom conferencing, recently unveiled its Stay Connected program. The initiative is designed to help educational institutions, healthcare providers and other companies stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations can take advantage of a month of free access to the DTEN for Zoom Communications solution, as well as a free 30-day subscription to Zoom Rooms.

7. Google Hangouts

A free version of Google Hangouts is readily available, but the company has announced free access to advanced features to support new business customers. Businesses will have access to features for Hangouts Meet for G-Suite and Education through July 1. That includes support for up to 10,000 meeting participants or 250 visitors in a single domain. Google is also offering an option to record and save meetings to Google Drive.

8. Lifesize

Cloud video conferencing company Lifesize is offering free services for six months globally. The offer includes no limits on the number of hosts businesses can have and support for an unlimited number of meetings with no time restrictions. Existing customers may also add as many full-featured users as they want to their accounts for free during this challenging time.

9. LogMeIn GoToMeeting

Conferencing and collaboration company LogMeIn normally offers a free 14-day trial of its GoToMeeting services. But the company is now offering front-line service providers, healthcare providers and educational institutions free access to its solution for three months. In tandem with the announcement, the company has launched Emergency Remote Work Kits, which provide collaborative communications tools for up to three months. They're designed to help businesses stay connected through video, webinars and virtual events.

10. Meetupcall

Conference Call provider Meetupcall specializes in helping businesses securely connect with each other globally. The company is also focused on supporting remote work and is offering a free extended one-month trial to new business customers. Meetupcall offers HD quality audio, 24/7 customer support and ISO certified security.

11. Microsoft Teams

In addition to its already free version of Teams for small businesses, Microsoft is now offering a free six-month trial for the premier tier of the solution. The trial is available globally and includes meeting scheduling as well as team collaboration features.

12. Modality Systems OneConsultation

The OneConsultation service from UK company Modality Systems is specifically designed to support healthcare organizations. In the wake of coronavirus, the company is offering all NHS Groups free access to OneConsultation, with integrations for Microsoft, this month. The solution includes everything required for cloud-based communications and collaboration as well as virtual conferencing.


The video conferencing system has been and remains a free-to-use service, albeit with a few restrictions. The solution provides a platform for assigning tasks, managing workflow and supporting collaboration. Color-coded work boards are also included to facilitate worker productivity.

14. Nextiva

Nextiva offers a comprehensive business phone and collaboration system in support of remote workers. The company is offering a free three-month trial including a free phone when businesses sign up for a contract. The solution enables chat, conferencing and sharing anywhere using a computer or mobile phone.

15. PGi GlobalMeet Collaboration

Communications and collaboration provider PGi provides video conferencing and webcast solutions to enable remote work. The company is providing their GlobalMeet Collaboration offering for free as part of a special offer for their basic package. The solution includes an intuitive interface, HD audio and multilingual support.

16. RingCentral Meetings

RingCentral's Meetings software facilitates collaboration and includes features like HD video and screen sharing, recording and text-based chat. The company is offering a no-commitment free trial of the solution, with limits of 40 minutes for group conversations. There are no restrictions on one-to-one meetings in the free trial. Healthcare providers, educators and nonprofits have access to the full features of RingCentralOffice for free to combat the coronavirus, including 100 participants per video meeting.

17. Slack

Businesses already using Slack for remote collaboration can now receive free upgrades in the wake of the coronavirus. The upgrade is available for customers using paid plans, and the company is also offering consultations and information on remote collaboration best practices. Organizations can email the company to get set up. Slack also offers a free version that enables access to basic features as well as one-to-one video calls and two-factor authentication.

18. StarLeaf

A free version of StarLeaf's conferencing software is now available globally. The company is also allowing existing customers to add more licensing flexibility in the wake of COVID-19. StarLeaf's offering includes free video meeting and messaging from anywhere and any device. It also integrates with business apps like Microsoft Outlook, Teams, Slack and Google Calendar.

19. Zoho Remotely

The collaboration platform Remotely from Zoho is available for free until at least July 1, as the company does its part to facilitate remote work during the coronavirus. The solution provides collaboration, productivity and project management applications as well as tools to automate data migration into the Zoho cloud platform.

20. Zoom

Conferencing and collaboration giant Zoom has had a free version of its software available for a while, but it included a 40-minute time limit for all video conferences. The company removed these time limits to help facilitate remote work and combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Zoom meetings can host up to 100 participants and the software also includes free one-on-one meetings.

Edited by Maurice Nagle



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