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Party Chief

Six Free Open Source Web Conferencing Tools

With all of the new excitement over broadcasting live presentations to the state boards and chapter meetings about LSU, I've been doing quite a bit of thinking and experimenting with ways to make face-to-face communication via webcams.  And like you, i have very little cash to burn on subscriptions to services like GotoMeeting paid web conferencing services, so i decided to research and compile a list of free, open source web conferencing services so that we can all start communicating as a true-to-life community. Below you will find 6 open source and free-as-a-bird web conferencing tools to try out and hopefully provide feedback for below in the comments so that we can all decide as a group which one is worth a surveyor's time.  This way we can all eventually utilize the same service and accomplish the same things as the big dogs.  All of these work on multiple platforms like Windows, Mac and Linux.

By the way, I also took the time to hand-pick some of the most affordable webcams on the web and have them ready for you to browse in the Quick Shop in the webcams category, if you are in need of a descent camera for your desktop or laptop. 

 

Mikogo (Absolutely Free!)

This one is just terrific-- Mikogo is an easy-to-use cross-platform desktop sharing tool, ideal for free web conferencing, online meetings or remote support. And it’s FREE for both commercial and private use.  Everything looks amazing but Linux support seems to be missing altogether. Mac is mostly supported. So, Mikogo works good on Windows. We feel that it may soon support Linux and that would be a thing to wait! 

Features:

  1. Desktop Sharing (for Mac/Windows)
  2. Multiple Meeting Participants(for Mac/Windows)
  3. Switch Presenter(for Mac/Windows)
  4. Remote Keyboard and Mouse Control(for Mac/Windows)
  5. Meeting Scheduler(for Windows)
  6. Meeting Recording and Playback (for Windows)
  7. Whiteboard (for Windows)
  8. Transfer Files(for Mac/Windows)
  9. Application Selection(for Windows)
  10. Back Monitor(for Windows)
  11. Pointer(for Mac/Windows)
  12. Copy/Paste/Email Meeting Info(for Mac/Windows)
  13. Pause Transmission(for Mac/Windows)
  14. Voice Conferencing Service(for Mac/Windows)

Vyew (Free but with Limited features)


 

Vyew is a new and powerful platform for real-time and always on interaction between people and content. It is a great way to do free web conferencing and lets you have unlimited meetings, SSL Secure login, 10 real time participants and more.

Features:

  1. Browser based, No download is needed. It works on Windows, Mac as well as Linux.
  2. Hundreds of Active/Archived Meetings per User
  3. Flexible, PowerPoint-like Authoring
  4. All meeting content is auto-saved in real-time, always available to authorized users.
  5. Publish your meetings via direct URL or embedded in a webpage/email.
  6. Customizable interface with colors and your logo.
  7. Built-in Voice over IP )VoIP, Webcam and Free teleconferencing that use standard phones within the USA to call into a conference call system.
  8. and much more

Vyew is always free, but additional capacities and features exist for low monthly fees. Here is the pricing details.

OnWebinar (Free)

 

OnWebinar is a free web conf service that allows you to organize distance learning, business meetings, online coaching, videoconferences and interactive communication. The service includes video broadcasting, private chat, public chat, shared resources area (whiteboard, slide show presentation, desktop sharing, files and links), polling tools, videoconferencing etc.

BigBlueButton (Free and Open Source)

 

BigBlueButton is an active open source project that focuses on usability, modularity, and clean design — both for the user and the developer. The project is hosted at Google Code

Yugma (Free with Limited features)

 

Yugma offers free, pro and enterprise service for desktop sharing, web conferencing, online meetings, and web collaboration for Mac, Windows, and Linux users. Yugma has solutions for individuals, organizations, and small or large businesses. Yugma is perfect for web conferencing, online meetings, webinars, web meetings, web collaboration, desktop sharing, sales presentations, online training, and remote support. Yugma for Skype is also available and provides instant desktop sharing and interactive collaboration tools for Skype users. Yugma is free web conferencing solution with limited features.

Features:

  1. Yugma Free allows 20 attendees host a meeting (premium versions support up to 500 attendees)
  2. Desktop Sharing
  3. Free Teleconferencing
  4. Public and Private Chat
  5. Customizable Widget
  6. Works on Windows, Mac and Linux
  7. Skype Integration
  8. and more…

Adobe ConnectNow (Free with Limited features)

 

Adobe ConnectNow, one of the Acrobat.com services, is a great way to share ideas, discuss details, and complete work together — all online. Reduce travel costs, save time, and increase productivity with a web conferencing solution that’s easy to access and simple to use.  Use screen sharing, chat, notes, audio, and video to conduct meetings online that can be as interactive and productive as in-person meetings. Adobe ConnectNow is free web conferencing solution with limited features.

Features:

  1. Screen sharing
  2. Whiteboards
  3. Remote control
  4. Integrated audio choices
  5. Meeting URL
  6. Video conferencing and more…

YuuGuu (Free with Limited features)

 

Yuuguu offers cross network instant messaging, instant screen sharing, real time collaboration, free web conferencing and remote support. YuuGuu Free is good for starters with Screen Sharing support up to 5 participants and features like;

  1. Integrated chat and real time collaboration
  2. Screen sharing in real time
  3. High Quality Global Audio Conferencing

YuuGuu has premium paid versions too that support more features.

OpenMeetings (Free)

 

OpenMeetings, an Open Source Free Web Conferencing tool that is worth trying. It supports a lot of features…

Features:

  1. Video/Audio
  2. See Desktop of any participant
  3. Whiteboard with drawing, write & edit, dragNDrop, Resizing, Images (DragNDrop from Library), Symbols
  4. Safe/export Drawings from whiteboard and load it next time, edit and resave
  5. Document Importing
  6. Send invitation and direct links into a conference room
  7. LDAP-Connector
  8. Remote SOAP-Gateway for Single Sign On, integration and remote administration
  9. Moderating System, User-/Organisation-/Moderating- System
  10. Private and Public (Organisation only) Conference-Rooms

WebHuddle (Free)

 

WebHuddle (free web conferencing tool) makes it easy to meet with the people you need to, when you need to — all it takes is a web-enabled PC and something to say. Using WebHuddle, you have options and flexibility. Meetings can be conducted either in conjunction with an enterprise’s existing teleconferencing service, or utilizing WebHuddle’s optional voice over IP. WebHuddle also offers recording capabilities — presentations can easily be recorded for playback over any web browser for those who missed the live meeting. WebHuddle is Open Source.

 

 

Which one did you try out first?

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