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News and thoughts from the Cohub community

Meet online like a pro


Cohub is home to 75+ independent and remote workers, many working with clients and distributed team members around the globe.

As a result, a lot of our time is spent in online meetings and video calls, working through problems with colleagues or presenting to customers.

We use a variety of tools. Here’s our view on a few of the bigger players.

Zoom

Zoom put video front and centre of their offering.

Cohub members using Zoom like the ease of use and rock-solid reliability.

The ability to record meetings, either locally on your computer or in the cloud for distribution to your team or future reference, is a nice addition.

Skype

Skype’s ubiquity makes it a great choice for hosting ad hoc meetings as well as staying in touch on a one-to-one basis with team members, clients, and business partners.

Most features are free, including meetings for up to 25 people.

Screensharing is easy, with great support for dual- and multi-screen setups.

You can also make Skype your portable business line by adding credit to make outbound calls and registering one or more real phone number to receive inbound calls from anybody.

Skype for Business

Formerly known as Lync, and now dressed in the same branding as Skype, but less use-able in many ways.

Popular with enterprises due to the integration with Outlook and Office 365 applications, as well as the ability to control permissions centrally (like who users can screen-share with, for example).

Generally poor video quality compared with Skype proper.

If you also use Outlook, your online status in Skype for Business can be updated based on entries in your calendar.

Google Hangouts

Completely free, and 100% web based meaning participants don’t need to download or install anything before joining a meeting.

Some users experience regular issues configuring audio, and screen sharing can be fiddly.

If you’re already invested in Google apps for email, calendar, docs, and the like, then Hangouts is an easy choice.

If you use Google Calendar, it can automatically add a link to a Google Hangout when scheduling your meetings.

GoToMeeting

A stalwart in enterprises and small businesses alike, GoToMeeting makes screen sharing very simple.

The audio connection is generally reliable, whilst video can be of a low quality is certainly not as big a part of the experience as with other options we list here.

GoToMeeting is popular with techies working on software installation projects, in part thanks to its easy screen sharing, including the ability to give other attendees control of your computer.

Appear.in

A relative newcomer with an outstandingly simple way of bringing video meetings to remote teams.

Simply register a “room” and get your own URL to share with team members and clients. No apps to download, no plugins to install (except those joining from an Apple mobile device).

Definitely worth a try – there’s literally nothing to lose!

Very nice branding and customisation features in the paid version. One of the slickest browser-based video tools.

Join.me

Join.me offers a very compelling free offering, and a low price point for premium features if you need them.

They also have a neat integration with group messaging app, Slack

Webex

A stalwart amongst corporate types, and backed up by the know-how of networking infrastructure giant Cisco.

That said, it is hard to see why you would choose Webex over lower cost and more convenient options.

Generally stable, although initial install can be bothersome for attendees. UI looking clunky compared to newer options.

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