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Videoconferencing application: see how to choose the best one for your need

Even the Cruzeiro players got together to chat by video conference.

Even the Cruzeiro players got together to chat by video conference.

From business talks and meetings with employees to casual chats with friends, all face-to-face social gatherings are suspended due to isolation measures to combat new coronavirus. It is still possible to talk to friends or hold work meetings remotely for video calling applications and programs.

This market is full of different products and brands, from technology giants to independent names dedicated only to this type of service. And, in the midst of complaints and investigations data leaks and security breaches in some of them, it is increasingly important to select well which to use. In addition, each application has its own technical benefits and limitationsIt is essential to consider depending on the type of virtual meeting you need to do.

So the state selected ten video call applications and brought their strengths and weaknesses, such as the number of people online simultaneously, resources, integration with other tools and cases of security breach, if any. Check out:

Skype

Skype is one of the most famous apps for making video calls.

Skype is one of the most famous apps for making video calls.

O Skype one of the oldest video calling programs, either in pairs or in groups. The application has always been very versatile, used both for casual and personal conversations, for work meetings or even for Distance Learning (EAD). Skype has versions for computers and mobile devices (phones and tablets), but it also has a version for browsers, which works on Microsoft Edge and in Google Chrome.

A call is limited to up to 50 participants simultaneously and has several features, such as screen sharing, sharing chat files common, call recording by the application itself and real-time subtitles. It is also possible to use Skype even without an account or the installed application. Just create a personal link that does not expire and invite whoever you want to the call, even if people don't have Skype too.

Despite having a paid version, it does not directly affect video calls. With a subscription or when purchasing credits, the user can use Skype to call landlines or cell phones, both in Brazil and abroad. Credits for prepaid calls start at R $ 15 and specific subscriptions for certain countries start at R $ 12.60 per month.

With regard to security, image and video files, in addition to messages, will be protected by cryptography in conversations between two people. Despite this, in general, a very secure platform, since even the biggest problems discovered j have been resolved update patches.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has been made available to replace Skype for Business.

Microsoft Teams has been made available to replace Skype for Business.

O Microsoft Teams was made available for the first time in 2017, at first only for users of the Office 365. More recently, however, he received an independent free version and will replace the Skype for Business, which will be completely discontinued as of July 31, 2021.

This program totally focused on group work and productivity, unlike Skype, which has greater appeal for personal use. Group video calls can have up to 250 people simultaneously and has screen sharing. The caller can also invite someone who does not have the program installed. Just send the link by email.

Teams, in its free version, provides some tools for collaborative works, such as team chats and storage up to 2GB for each user and 10GB for each team. The biggest differential, however, integration with Office 365 suite applications, that complete and natural. This allows team members to work together on the same file through the Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, etc. The program is also integrated with several other productivity-oriented applications.

However, the free version does not have features such as call recording and meeting scheduling, in addition to organizing events for up to 10,000 spectators. In addition, only users of paid versions, linked to Office 365 packages, have access to administration tools and technical and financial support. In the matter of security, the Microsoft promises, with the free version, a cryptography for data at rest and in transit and there has been no major data breach or leak reported so far.

Hangouts / Google Meet

Classic Hangouts will be replaced by Google Meet, a more professional version of the app.

Classic Hangouts will be replaced by Google Meet, a more professional version of the app.

O Hangouts one of the several communication applications developed and made available by the Google. The basic app, available for free to all Google account users, allows group calls to up to 10 people. It works 100% on the internet browser, you just need to download an application in the mobile versions. It also has file and screen sharing, but basically that. Call recording, for example, is not present.

The version aimed at the common user, however, has its days numbered. Google itself reported that after the second half of 2020 until the turn to 2021, classic Hangouts be discontinued and all users will migrate to the professional versions of the application, Hangouts Chat it's the Google Meet.

O Meet, despite being part of G Suite, Google?s suite of professional programs, will be the first app in the suite to be made available to the general public. Video calls can have up to 100 simultaneous participants and, until September, maximum duration of 24 hours. After that timeout will fall for an hour. Meet has full integration with all G Suite applications, such as Agenda, Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, among others. The most expensive version, R $ 112 per user per month, allows meetings with up to 250 people in video.

Meet also has links to meetings even if customers or guests do not have an in-app account and have call recording. A differential integration of Google Meet with other video conferencing programs, such as Skype for Business, Polycom and Cisco.

Google offers the security of video encryption during calls and all server infrastructure of the technology giant to prevent data leaks.

Facebook Messenger Rooms

Rooms will be a new feature of Facebook Messenger.

Rooms will be a new feature of Facebook Messenger.

Although not yet available worldwide, this is the new bet of the Facebook to compete with other big video call apps on the market, like the Skype it's the zoom. O Rooms be a new feature of Messenger, Facebook's instant messaging app.

To create a virtual room, simply enter the Messenger application, enter the tab People, Click in Create group and choose friends to include in the call. The service will also allow people with no Facebook account or application to join the conversation with a shareable link. At first, even 50 people can attend a conference through Rooms no time limit.

The new function, according to Facebook, will be completely free and gives the room creator control over who is on the call, how prevent new people from entering or simply expel some.

As it has not yet been launched worldwide, there have been no reports of security breaches. However, as it has already suffered from major data leak scandals, Facebook says it has been working on Rooms with a special focus on this aspect.

In the service announcement post, Facebook says it does collect data from Rooms, but just to improve the product experience. They say they do not use audio and video to advertise advertisements. Rooms will use the same Messenger encryption, but Facebook says it?s working to add end-to-end encryption to the service. It remains to wait and see.

zoom

Zoom Meetings has been accused of leaking user data. The company has been trying to improve the security of its services with application updates.

Zoom Meetings has been accused of leaking user data. The company has been trying to improve the security of its services with application updates.

O zoom became very famous in the first month of Quarantine, as it has (or had) several advantages over competition in the video call application market. The main advantage is the number of participants in a single call: the limit of 100 people even in the free version. The main limitation is group call time up to 40 minutes, but it is possible to get around this by creating a new room, since the unlimited number of meetings.

The application offers several features, such as screen sharing, virtual background (present only in paid versions of some competing programs) and waiting room for those who have not yet been allowed to enter the meeting. It is also possible record the meeting on audio or video.

The user can create a personal and permanent meeting room to invite whoever you want and start a conference at any time. For more professional use, Zoom also offers a extensive for Google Chrome and Microsoft Outlook, which allows integration between the Outlook It's from Google Calendar to arrange a meeting, for example.

It also offers collaborative work, how to divide the meeting into 50 simultaneous rooms for specific discussions in smaller groups and shared whiteboard, for example.

Paid versions, starting at $ 14.99 per call host per month, add new web conferencing features and increase the limit of simultaneous participants to a maximum of 500 or 1,000 depending on the plan. These versions are generally intended for more professional use.

These resources generated a massive migration of users to the platform, which led to the discovery of a serious security breach that allowed data to leak to other sites, such as Facebook itself. At the end of April, the company released the application's 5.0 update, which adds two encryptions to the program, SSL and AES 256-bits, in addition to a number of resources to prevent (or at least discourage) the unauthorized sharing of content from within the meetings. Now it is also possible expel a participant of the call or close the room for new members. Users can also choose which server of the service your data will be stored.

FaceTime

FaceTime is Apple's exclusive video calling app and is already native to several company devices.

FaceTime is Apple's exclusive video calling app and is already native to several company devices.

For users of Apple, this application doesn't even need a presentation, after all native to these devices. O FaceTime, at least for now, exclusively for users of iPhone (4 or later), iPad (2 or higher), iPad Pro, iPad Mini, iPod Touch from the 4th generation up to devices Mac, whether it's the desktop or Macbook.

The program connects with the Apple ID or the phone number and allows group video calls up to 32 people. Unlike most of the applications mentioned above, FaceTime is mostly personal use. This is evident from the various resources available, such as stickers, Animojis (virtual versions of users) and other games. This does not prevent the service from being used professionally, if all participants have an Apple device.

The fact that it is a native and exclusive application for Apple devices has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, exclusivity adds a extra layer of protectionafter all, anyone who has access to the application. In return, to contact people who do not use Apple devices, you will need to another video call program. It also does not have features present in other programs, such as call recording, for example.

Discord

Discord started as a voice chat aimed at the gamer audience, but has expanded to other areas since then.

Discord started as a voice chat aimed at the gamer audience, but has expanded to other areas since then.

O Discord best known within the gaming fan community, as it appeals a lot to friends or teams that want to talk during an online multiplayer game. Since it was launched, however, the program has evolved to cover several other audiences and has become a community chat.

His main function, however, remains the calls between friends. The program's video calls support up to 10 people at the same time. Participants can also share screen, even simultaneously. Through text chat, it is possible share files of at 8 MB.

The paid version of the application, Discord Nitro, does not add any new functions to video conferences, but it brings some improvements, such as increased file size limit which can be sent via chat, higher video quality during screen sharing and live streaming also with better image quality.

In terms of security, Discord provides a fault system, in which programmers and hackers are encouraged to look for security problems and inform the company. There was no notification of major data leaks from the application.

Houseparty

Houseparty has the premise of bringing friends together for a "virtual home party", but has also been accused of data leakage.

Houseparty has the premise of bringing friends together for a "virtual home party", but has also been accused of data leakage.

Although it has existed since 2016, the Houseparty gained much more popularity with the new coronavirus pandemic. The name of the self-explanatory application: a program focused on video calls with friends for a virtual home party.

The application allows eight people connect by video at the same time and works with an account with email and mobile number. This allows the program to find your friends who also use Houseparty through the contact book.

When someone enters the app, friends receive a notification. This makes it easier for everyone to meet, since there is no need to ask about each other's availability. You can invite friends to your call. By default, parties are open to all your friendsbut you can lock the call to prevent people from entering without being invited.

The application does not have many features of other applications, such as call recording, screen or file sharing, precisely because focus on direct and live interaction among the participants. So it has several games within the application itself so that members can have fun with each other.

In terms of security, there was a controversy in which several users complained on Twitter that their accounts on other social networks and even bank apps were hacked after installing Houseparty on their cell phones. Despite this, there is no proof that the application has leaked personal data. The program's developer pointed out that the secure application and that does not collect or access passwords and credentials from other social networks or apps. In its blog, the company claims that it has assembled a team of experts to check any security problems and claims to have found none.

ezTalks

EzTalks, despite having a free version with collaborative working tools, is far behind competitors in terms of simultaneous participants and call time.

EzTalks, despite having a free version with collaborative working tools, is far behind competitors in terms of simultaneous participants and call time.

O ezTalks another application aimed at professional use. So much so that the free version is well below the competitors in terms of available resources and mainly call time.

The free version allows up to three people join a group video call, even if the two guests do not have an account or application installed, but in addition to the reduced number of participants, the duration of the conference call maximum ten minutes.

In the cheapest version, which costs US $ 10 per month for the annual payment, the maximum number of participants rises to 100 and the call has no time limit. The most expensive subscription plan, aimed at companies, costs US $ 50 per month per call host (who can invite new participants to the conference) and allows calls with up to 300 participants.

In all versions, the application offers collaborative work, as screen sharing, interactive whiteboard, meeting scheduling or instant meetings and Microsoft Outlook plugin, as call recording in local MP4 format. In paid models, there is also the possibility of storage in the cloud.

The program also has the option of conducting a webinrio, with one presenter and up to 25 participants in the free version and maximum duration of 100 minutes (one hour and 40 minutes).

As a security, the program provides control functions who may or may not join the call, expelled from members of the meeting and 256-bit AES encryption.

Webex

Cisco Webex has an almost total focus for professional use and business meetings.

Cisco Webex has an almost total focus for professional use and business meetings.

O Webex another program is also more geared towards professional use. The company is the pioneer in this area, inclusive. Because of the global pandemic, the Cisco, the company that owns Webex, increased free access with the personal account to its videoconferencing platforms and collaborative work.

Currently, with the free personal version of Webex Meetings (program aimed at online video meetings), you receive an organizer license and a personal meeting room. You can schedule meetings with unique URLs, which can be shared even with those who do not have Webex, or start a meeting instantly in your personal room.

In total, they can participate in the meeting until 100 people simultaneously per unlimited time. You can also record your meetings and save the content on your device, share screen in real time or just one of the open apps, send files or share in the meeting one interactive whiteboard.

Webex Meetings too has full integration with some professional applications that we quote here, like Outlook, Google Calendar, Microsoft Teams and Workplace.

In terms of security, Cisco Webex promises multilayer encryption, including SSAE-16 and ISO 27001 certification, in addition to allowing you to lock your personal meeting room if you don't want anyone else to enter.

The paid version, however, brings even more features offered by Cisco. a monthly subscription with prices starting at US $ 13.50 per user.

D to make a group call via WhatsApp?

The new WhatsApp update allows group calls with up to eight people, double the previous limit.

The new WhatsApp update allows group calls with up to eight people, double the previous limit.

Yes the Whatsapp you have the possibility of group calls, but they are very limited. Even with the new update that increases the number of people from four to eight per call, it is below most competitors, with the exception of Houseparty. Also no d to record the call or share the screen with other call participants.

In compensation, the end-to-end encryption, which already existed in both text conversations and calls from up to four people. This ensures greater safety also for those who want to use it.