Budget Video Conferencing: Nine Services for the Value-Oriented
WebExOriginally an online meeting and webconferencing tool, WebEx has expanded to include video communications in addition to its online collaboration and meeting capabilities. Probably the most well-known of business video communications services, WebEx offers everything from whiteboarding to text chat to multi-way video chat.Cost: $49 per month per meeting host (or free if you're not the host)
Video phone calls may have been promised decades ago as the technology of the future, but it took the most recent generation of the Internet to make it IP video conferencing possible for the masses and bring new meaning to the term "obscene phone call." Now everyone from business travelers phoning home to telecommuters connecting with the home office to friends and family members looking to stay in better touch are using the technology to connect with those at a distance. And while companies such as Cisco and Polycom and HP and LifeSize offer HD video conferencing equipment and services to companies that can pay for them, there are plenty of options available for the budget-conscious person as well. And while the quality can't compare to those telepresence systems and rooms provided by HD video conferencing vendors, even lower quality video conferencing that can be accessed from any PC with a webcam can make a difference in the quality of communications. From free to just under $50 per month, there's something for every value-oriented user. Here are Channel Insider's picks for the best video conferencing offerings for those on a tight budget.