Meeting online has become an important tool for being productive and efficient, be it for businesses, clubs, academic groups, religious and political groups, social groups or simply friends. There are a number of issues
that you have to manage when organizing and holding an audio conference, so the service you choose for that will have to minimize these problems. But the most important factor is the price, and we like what is free, because there is a lot of nice free service out there. Note that we are focusing on audio conferencing, without video.
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This tool has a difference; it allows you to manage your participants visually. That is, you get to see, through their iconified pictures, a series of attributes that give you information on whether they are talking or silent or whether they are doing anything else. UberConference has an interesting list of features for the management of professional audio conferences and even has apps for iOS
. The main limitation is the maximum number of participants, which is only 5 for each new freely registered user. You can bring that to 17 if you do certain simple things here and there. If that is still not sufficient, you need to upgrade to Pro version, which costs $10 a month, and which gives you room for 40 users, a local number of the area code of your choice, and some other features. Note that you cannot record your conferences for free, as this feature comes with the Pro plan.
The name says it all, but there are so many services with that name, only conjugated differently. But this one is really something free. You get to host 96 persons on one conference. The use is simple and everything is free, including call recording and some other stuff. There isn’t many features, though. But it does have some by-services like the HD version which is also free and is available for the iPhone and Android. This version can accommodate up to 1000 participants in a call, and all calls can last up to 6 hours. Conferences may be reservationless, i.e. without any scheduling, and they can start on the spot.
Wiggio is not primarily a conferencing tool, but it does offer conferencing among its many features, which include mass message sharing through email and text, polling, to-do-lists, collaboration through whiteboard and document sharing, etc. The conferencing tool can be made with voice and video, and can have up to 10 people. All the collaboration tools can be integrated in a conference call. Wiggio works in the browser and there is not mobile support yet, except for an app for the iPhone. What strikes most here is its versatility and the fact that it is completely free.
Speek shines by the simplicity with which someone can organise an online meeting or conference and for participants to join in. There is no need to download and install any software - it is completely browser-based - there is no PIN or access code, just a simple URL with the name of the organizer. It is also free for up to 5 participants.
Rondee is an audio conferencing tool that gives a lot of features for starting and managing conference calls for free. It is suitable for businesses, educational groups and individuals making family and friend meetings. The two major things about Rondee are: it allows you to initiate a non-scheduled conference at any time; it offers many features for free. Among those features is the number of participants per call, 50, which is a lot compared to other tools of the like on the market. There is no app for mobile devices.
Don’t confuse this one with the one above, their names are similar. Here too, there are many features for free, with up to 150 participants per session. This is a scorer feature. It also has apps for the different popular mobile platforms. There is the possibility of scheduling conferences or have them starting without reservation. Some features like call recording, come only with the paid premium plan.
JoineMe is a very simple tool for collaborating online, especially through screen-sharing and file sharing. It works using your browser and can even work on the iPhone, iPad and Android phones. It shines by its simplicity and ease of use. Its main feature is screen-sharing. It also allows file sharing and other features for collaboration. JoinMe is also a decent free webinar and online meeting tool that allows up to 250 participants for free. It uses VoIP for the Internet calling in conferences and also allows chat.
You can have audio conference calls with Google Voice
as well, but you are very limited: you can have only 4 participants, including you; there is no management tool or any other feature. You should not be expecting much from GV, but just be happy that this conferencing service can save you at times.