This is an interesting tool for those who need to have meetings with people far from away without having them make the displacement. Free Conference Calling offers voice calling in conferencing mode with up to 1,000 users for free. Note that there is no video here, only voice. This somewhat limits the capability of the conference, but having video would be quite expensive and would consume a lot of bandwidth, which often is the case for many meetings not to take place, due to bad video quality.
The most interesting thing with this service is that it is completely free. This means that you get to hold meetings with your whole workforce or group of friends for no cost at all, unless it be the cost of the phone call you make to participate in the conference.
It is not a VoIP company like Skype or Vonage, but uses any phone network that can connect, mostly the traditional phone network. However, there is the possibility for participants to use VoIP to connect to the conference.
It is easy to organize a conference. When registering, you get a conference call dialing number and a conference code. You share these pieces of information, along with your scheduled date and time of conference to your participants. At the given time, they have to dial that number, at which they will be asked for the code. Once they provide it, they are allowed into the conference.
Each conference session can last for a maximum of 6 hours, which is quite a lot for a free service. Note that while you can have up to 1000 participants in a conference, only 25 can be given to speak at any point in time.
What does it cost participants? It costs them only the price of the phone call they make to the call. Every participant will dial a toll number, which is however noto a 1-800 number. Depending on your long-distance plan or phone service, you may be charged long distance fees by your telephone provider for the call. You are not charged anything by Free Conference Calling ever in conjunction with use of this conference call service.
Now they can make that cheap if they use any of the free VoIP services. There are even ways of making it free with VoIP – like if you are using unlimited subscription (e.g. with Vonage or Ooma), or are using services that give free calls to the US and Canada.
For security, a four-digit host code is provided to the account holder for a much higher level of security than other conference services which only distinguish between host and participant by a * or # sign. You can also view your call online, disconnect callers and lock your conference as needed. Access to your online account is protected by username and password.
You can record your conference call by selecting 5* from the telephone during the conference call. The conference call recording (MP3) is posted in the "Recordings" section of your account once you login. Listen, download, podcast and make public for others easily. There is even a custom player that allows you to review the conference at any time. You can post your conference calls, teleseminars and recorded audio presentations online anytime. Simply copy and paste our ready-to-use html script to add streaming audio to your website, blog, wiki or intranet. You can also save and store all your conference call recordings on your own PC.
There is also a manager interface that allow the following features:
- Dialed From: Displays each participant by their telephone number
- Participant Status: Identifies your host, guest speakers and participants
- Speaking Rights: Graphic icons will identify callers that can speak or are muted
- Raised Hand: View as participants raise a hand for questions
- Name: Add names to caller's phone number for reference
- Join and Leave Time: See when participants come and go on your call
To organize a call, you need to sign up there.