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Vyew - Webinar and Collaboration Tool

Free Web Conferencing and Online Work Groups

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Vyew is an integrated tool that allows you as a professional or a trainer to collaborate with your colleagues, partners of students online, and also organize webinars. It has several interesting and fundamental features for complete collaboration, especially the possibility to hold online meeting using VoIP and to have video conferencing sessions. Vyew is free for a limited number of persons per session, precisely 10. Paid versions come with more participants and without ads.

Pros

  • Free for limited use.
  • A quality product rich in features.
  • Complete set of tools for total collaboration.
  • Web interface, eliminating the need for downloading and installing apps.
  • Paid plans for much cheaper than other products of the same type on the market.

Cons

  • The free version is ad-supported.
  • The learning slope is quite steep, given the complexity of the tool. Might be intimidating for novice participants.
  • Presentation and collaboration is rather one-way, without possibility for real concurrent involvement of participants.

Review

Vyew integrates a series of applications into one tool, that runs in a web browser. This makes it very convenient for organizers and participants alike, not having to ‘get prepared’ and have apps installed before joining a meeting. Also, it allows it to be cross-platform – it works on Windows, Mac and Linux.

What can Vyew do? You can have a web conference with it, using PowerPoint documents or simply PDF files. You can upload it and everyone will find it real time on their screens. Since collaboration also involves sharing, the tool offers a repository for uploading and storing files, like office documents and images, that everyone else can read and modify and then re-share.

Meetings can take place in real-time while some people may collaborate in their own way at any other time. It would then not really be collaboration, but thing is that the session is still open (like that of a project) and collaboration can still carry on at any time.

The tool offers a whiteboard on which you can draw and add other graphical and text objects; the whiteboard can of course be shared over all participants’ screens. This feature is particularly good for teachers and tutors. You can also take snapshots of your screen and have them shared in your meetings.

There is a video conferencing feature, in which 5 people can communicate simultaneously, but that limitation of the number of people may be quite restrictive for some. One configuration in which this can be used is in cases where there are a handful of people who are the only ones to be broadcasting their video frames to the other participants, like speakers. There is the possibility of holding voice conferences through VoIP for free among the participants.

The price makes Vyew an interesting option. While being the cheapest of its kind, it offers all the great features other products have. It is free for 10 real-time participants, that is 10 people can participate at any point in time. If someone leaves, someone else can enter. But no more than 20 participants can enter at all times in a session. The features stay the same, except for some details, for the paid versions. Only the number of participants accommodated increases. Ads also disappear with the paid version.

How does it work? Consider a free user. He will need to register for an account, to which he will log in and create a new room for each collaboration project. The different attributes of the room can be changed so as to give a more sensible appearance and appeal. Then the communication mode has to be chosen, between text chat, VoIP and video conferencing. All around the interface are tools that you have to explore and get acquainted with. Inviting people is an important step. It is done through invites, where your participants receive emails and links.

Vyew compares quite favorably with the other tools of its range.

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