7 Videoconferencing Apps: Features to consider

February 18, 2021

Currently there is a wide range of applications or programs on the market that facilitate teamwork, improve interaction, and increase productivity.

The best videoconferencing app should not only allow you to see someone else through a screen but should be an optimal high-quality solution that allows the best possible collaboration between members, where distance is not a limitation to interact successfully.

Speed, security, tools, and ease of use are elements to consider when choosing which one to use, but it is also important to consider the number of people who will access the videoconference, since there are applications that limit calls to a minor group of guests.

An ideal videoconference app enables sharing screen with participants, seamlessly allows pass control of the meeting to someone else, records calls, and collaborates with team members as if they were all in the same room.

The intention of this article is to share the characteristics of popular videoconference apps/software’s, to help you choose the one that best suits the needs of your company without neglecting security.

1. Zoom

Zoom Meeting is an application for videoconferencing that stands out for specializing in the business environment. Its platform allows users to videoconference, chat, and give webinars easily and quickly.

Features:

  • It is capable of including up to 1000 people simultaneously.
  • Allows configuring different levels of visibility for participants
  • Creates a public or private channel for your team to collaborate and share files.
  • Schedules/records meetings.
  • It has the ability to tell you who attended the meeting.
  • Full featured softphone to make/receive calls from within the app.
  • Includes virtual whiteboard to draw or write in real time.
  • Allows share screen and webcam at the same time.
  • Allows customization of your background picture
  • Shares live conference with social networks like Facebook Live and YouTube.
  • It is multiplatform (Linux, Windows, Android, and iOS).
  • & more.

Security aspects

Communications are established using 256-bit TLS encryption and all shared content can be encrypted using AES-256 encryption, and optional end-to-end encryption.

Among Zoom new features, a new encryption (GCM model) stands out. This feature gives the option to report a user who misuses the platform or an icon that indicates that the meeting is secure.

2. Google Meet (before Hangouts)

Google Meet is a multiplatform that can be used on any type of device. To access all of its features, users are required to have a Gmail account. It is an ideal application for video conferencing and even for giving classes. It should be noted that Google Meet allows you to broadcast live and generates a link where anyone who has it can access the transmission.

Features:

  • Supports 10 users on Smartphones and 15 on PCs.
  • Allows video calls with multiple users.
  • Offers the ability to share screen
  • Can be connected to YouTube to offer content on that platform after making the video conference.
  • Sends files through its chat system.
  • Makes video calls or voice calls.
  • Can be connected to Google Voice to integrate calls, SMS, and voicemail.
  • Users that do not have a Google account can access the conferences as well.

Security aspects

Google Meet offers its users the possibility of contracting an APP - Advanced Protection Program, which has additional protection measures against account hijacking and phishing.

On Google Meet, the host has control of access to meetings. In order to join a Google meeting, the users must have previously received an invitation from the host.

Two steps verification option: hardware and security key, to ensure that only authorized users can manage and access the platform services.

Google Meet sends a unique video conference link for each person on each meeting, which is valid only for the duration of the videocall and is never stored on disk.

Google Meet meets IETF security standards for Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) and Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP), standards that every Google Cloud product must meet.

3. TrueConf

TrueConf develops video conferencing programs and applications for telemedicine, telecommuting and distance education. It is a local platform for large companies that value communication security. With TrueConf, users can make video calls and video conferences, exchange messages, organize/visit webinars, and broadcast their events.

Features:

  • Works on LAN and VPN without Internet connection.
  • Four videoconferencing modes, with various roles of participants.
  • Works on all platforms and browsers.
  • Up to 1600 simultaneous participants in a conference with multiple layouts available to each participant.
  • Built-in chat where participants can exchange messages and files.
  • Screen sharing and remote desktop control.
  • Integration with SIP / H.323 systems for conference rooms.
  • Conference scheduling and export of events scheduled in Google Calendars.
  • The ability to join conferences on other platforms (Zoom, Webex, BlueJeans, Lifesize Cloud, Skype for Business).
  • Users can broadcast their web conferences on YouTube, Facebook Live, or Wowza.

Security aspects

TrueConf video conferencing tools provide the highest level of security through AES-256 encryption, making it a perfect solution for government organizations, state agencies, and other businesses that require complete privacy and security. LAN prevents traffic interception and unauthorized access to your computer. Your video, audio, and content run safely on your machine and your administrator gets online monitoring and advanced reporting.

4. 8x8

8x8 is “transforming the future of business communications by integrating voice, video, chat, contact center, and enterprise-class API solutions into one global, secure, reliable cloud communications platform”.

Features:

  • High-definition video conferencing on any device for up to 100 participants
  • Rich content sharing and collaboration
  • Enterprise grade reliability and availability for a business of 5 or 50,000
  • 100% secured and encrypted
  • Advanced moderation controls including host delegation, meeting lock, participant lobby and participant permissions
  • Conference call-in, call-out
  • Call Log Reporting.
  • Call Recording.
  • Calendar integrations
  • Stream or share a conference to an unlimited number of participants over YouTube
  • Brand your meetings with a customized background, customized logo, and a vanity URL
  • Gain key insights into meetings usage
  • Individual users get their own dedicated meeting web link.

Security aspects

Data is protected against malware in attachments, accidental sharing in chats or files, and suspicious user activity. Information is protected through encryption, Multi-Factor Authentication, and device management.
Microsoft Teams is designed with the needs of the IT department in mind, providing management capabilities for collaboration, messaging, meetings, calls, and applications in one place with simple administration.

5. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a chat-based collaboration platform completed with document sharing, online meetings, and many more useful features for business communications to ease their company’s agenda.

Features:

  • Invite anyone with an email address to join your meeting.
  • Host secure online meetings with the ability to mute, remove uninvited attendees, and designate presenters and participants.
  • Hold large meetings and conferences live with up to 10,000 attendees.
  • Record your meeting in the cloud and share with participants later.
  • Chat functions.
  • View and download the participant list so you can follow up after the meeting.
  • Document storage in SharePoint.

Security aspects

Data is protected against malware in attachments, accidental sharing in chats or files, and suspicious user activity. Information is protected through encryption, Multi-Factor Authentication, and device management.

Microsoft Teams is designed with the needs of the IT department in mind, providing management capabilities for collaboration, messaging, meetings, calls, and applications in one place with simple administration.

6. Go To Meetings

Features:

  • Direct attention with different drawing tools sharing your screen.
  • Give control of the keyboard and mouse to any attendee.
  • Brainstorm with a blank virtual whiteboard that all participants can see (Mac only).
  • Broadcast a view of your desktop or of a specific application.
  • Personal meeting room
  • Get your permanent custom URL.
  • HDFaces video conferencing
  • Share up to 25 high-definition video streams per session.
  • Submit recordings after meetings.
  • Choose between VoIP and payment options at no additional cost.
  • OpenVoice makes it easy and manageable to set up a free conference.
  • Bring GoToMeeting to the conference room with built-in support for Lifesize, Cisco, and Polycom devices.

Security aspects

GoTo Meetings uses robust encryption mechanisms and protocols designed to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity for data that is transmitted between the LogMeIn infrastructure and users, and data is stored within the LogMeIn systems on behalf of its users for cloud recordings, transcriptions, and meeting notes.

7. Webex

  • See everyone with grid view or re-size as you wish.
  • Virtual, customized, or blurred backgrounds keep everyone focused on you and not what is behind you.
  • Breakout rooms allow for discussions with smaller groups within the same meeting.
  • Share a single doc or app, such as a Microsoft PowerPoint, or easily screen share your whole desktop.
  • Whiteboard together as a group and draw your ideas for all to see.
  • Screen share
  • One-on-one and group messaging
  • File sharing supports
  • Webex Assistant useful to take notes and meeting highlights for you
  • Automatically create post-meeting recap emails with highlights and action items, to keep work moving after the meeting.
  • Schedule meetings in a snap and automatically add them to your calendar, with integrations into Outlook, Office 365, Google, and more.
  • Launch video meetings from Microsoft Teams, Slack, popular learning management systems like Canvas and Moodle, and even from your car with Apple CarPlay and Ford AppLink.

Security aspects

All communication between Cisco Webex applications and Cisco Webex Cloud occurs over encrypted channels. Cisco Webex uses the TLS 1.2 protocol and uses strong encryption (for example, AES 256).

For businesses that require a higher level of security, Cisco Webex also provides end-to-end encryption. With this option, Cisco Webex Cloud does not decrypt media streams. As in normal communications, it establishes a TLS channel for client-server communication.

Conclusion:

It is important to analyze what each tool has to offer and what you want to achieve with it, whether it is for work, for more informal conversations between friends, or to hold conferences with many participants. Each of these tools has its advantages, but it is up to you to decide which is better for your company.

At THETA432 we understand the risks these tools entail and how important they are due to remote working. Companies must examine the tools their team will use to ensure all shared information is handled with appropriate security measures.

To help on this process and ensure secure communication, we created HELIOS, a new operating system, installed on Google phones that ensures that all communications are encrypted and not traceable. Whether you use your cell phone to video conference, text, or make calls, with HELIOS your conversations and information will always be safe. Contact us and see how you can benefit from it!

Sources:

  • Zoom. (N.A.). What’s new. Retrieved 2021, February 02; from: https://zoom.us/whatsnew
  • Google Meet Help. (N.A.). Answer. Retrieved 2021, February 03; from: https://support.google.com/meet/answer/9545619?hl=en
  • TrueConf. (N.A.). Features. Retrieved from: https://trueconf.com/features.html
  • 8x8. (N.A.). Additional Features. Retrieved 2021, February 04; from:  https://www.8x8.com/university/free-online-training/account-manager/additional-features
  • Compete 366. (N.A.). What is Microsoft Teams and who should be using it? Features. Retrieved 2021, February 04; from: https://www.compete366.com/blog-posts/microsoft-teams-what-is-it-and-should-we-be-using-it/
  • Go to Meeting. (N.A.). Features. Retrieved 2021, February 08; from https://www.gotomeeting.com/es-mx/features
  • Webex. (N.A.). Videoconferencing. Retrieved 2021, February 08; from: https://www.webex.com/video-conferencing
  • Armer, M. (2020, April 04). Encrypted Video Meetings: How Secure Are Your Organization’s Communications? Retrieved 2021, February 12; from: https://www.8x8.com/blog/encrypted-video-meetings
  • SCC. (N.A.). LAS VENTAJAS DE CISCO WEBEX MEETINGS. Retrieved 2021, February 11; from: https://www.sccenlared.es/ventajas-cisco-webex-meetings
  • Microsoft. (N.A.). Privacidad, seguridad y cumplimiento en Microsoft Teams. Retrieved 2021, February 11; from: https://www.microsoft.com/es-mx/microsoft-teams/security
  • Vives, J. (2020, April 29). Zoom responde a las críticas con nueva versión que mejora la seguridad. Retrieved 2021, February 11; from: https://www.lavanguardia.com/tecnologia/20200429/48818469716/zoom-responde-criticas-nueva-version-mejora-seguridad.html

Authored by
Jorge Daniel Tejeda