A side-effect of the global pandemic has been that meetings are now mainly online rather than in person. This has led to a surge in popularity of video conferencing tools and also a surge in privacy concerns on the platforms.
Over the last 6 months, Microsoft Teams use has risen more than 50% and Zoom has reported now having 300 million daily active participants on its video calling software.
With at-home workers now becoming the norm for many Colorado companies and the need to meet with clients by video, it’s important to choose a platform that’s going to work well. This often requires the help of a good IT consultant, since so much more is riding on video calls than in the past.
Some common traits of a good video conferencing platform include:
- Easy to use
- Easy for those outside your company to connect to
- Integrates with your other applications
- Has high-quality voice and video transmission
- Has good packet delivery (i.e., not prone to frozen calls or dropped voice/video)
- Has strong privacy controls to keep out “Zoom-bombers”
One 2020 phenomenon that has plagued offices is “Zoom-bombing,” which is when an uninvited trouble-maker joins a video call for the purpose of disrupting a meeting. This has caused many video application developers to add more and better default security settings to their platforms this year.
We’ll go through some of the top platforms below and compare their advantages and drawbacks. Then, we’ll review practices to keep your video conference calls secure.
Teams vs Zoom vs Cisco Webex vs Google Meet
Four of the most popular video conferencing platforms are Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco Webex, and Google Meet. You may wonder, “Should I use a Microsoft or Google platform or one of the others?”
Some of these platforms were not known in the mainstream until the pandemic forced everyone online for meetings. Each offers important video conferencing and security features, but they do have several differences.
Zoom is by far the most popular among the video conference applications. Besides the zippy name, it’s been adopted widely by businesses and consumers alike because of its ease of use.
It’s one of the easiest platforms for non-techie users and offers free calling for up to 40 minutes. For longer, calls and more features, there are paid plans.
Unfortunately, since Zoom is so popular it’s been the platform most targeted by meeting crashers, hence the name “Zoom-bombing” being given to this nuisance.
Microsoft Teams Review
Teams is a fully integrated part of Microsoft 365 and is also offered as a stand-alone application. There is a free version without the 40-minute calling limit of Zoom. Having more features requires an upgrade to a Microsoft 365 plan.
This application is much more than just a video conferencing software, it’s a full team chat and collaboration tool, akin to a mashup of Zoom and Slack. Plus, it’s fully integrated with Microsoft applications.
A drawback is that it’s not quite as easy to use as Zoom, since it is part of a larger platform.
Cisco Webex Review
Cisco Webex had been exclusively a paid business platform until the pandemic arrived. The company then brought out a free version that allows 1 host and up to a 50-minute meeting length.
The interface is fairly easy to use, but the interface does require a download of the Webex client, where the other three can be done via web.
Cisco Webex can have voice and video quality issues and controls are slightly more complicated.
If you use G Suite productivity tools, then Google Meet may be your best option because of its native integration with Google tools.
The interface is web-based and is easy to use. The free version allows a maximum meeting length of 1 hour. There is also a handy captions feature.
Drawbacks include that the video controls aren’t quite as intuitive (e.g. it’s harder to see your own video image in a meeting).
Tips for Keeping Your Video Meetings Secure
Each of the platforms above has incorporated increased security this year due to the rise in use and the need to keep out meeting crashers. They’ve also beefed up defaults, so meetings will tend to default to more secure settings than they did previously.
Here are some of the best practices for keeping your online meetings safe and secure:
- Always use a meeting password
- Use a unique meeting link (not your personal link that stays the same)
- Put users in the waiting room as a gate-keeping measure
- Lock the meeting after it begins, which keeps out any new people
- Never post meeting links online
- Have users enter with video and voice off
- Don’t allow anyone to screenshare without permission
Get Help Setting Up Successful Video Meetings
Video meetings have now become a vital part of business operations. B-Comp Services can help your Denver area company ensure your meetings are set up right and you’re using the best tools and workflows.
Contact us today for a consultation. Call at 303-282-4934 or contact us online.