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Guide to Videoconference Services

Consumer Reports – How to choose the right platform for work-from-home meetings or more casual virtual get-togethers: “For many of us, videoconferencing has morphed from an occasionally used tool into part of our daily routine, for both work and staying in touch with family, doctors, teachers, and friends. When we were in the office, the decision about which platform to use was often made by the IT department. Now, increasingly, it’s our call. The first step to picking a service is to get real about how you want to use it. If you’re just holding small, simple group meetings, try a consumer-grade video chat app, such as Apple FaceTime, Google Duo, or Facebook’s new Messenger rooms. But if you’re hosting larger meetings that require presentation features like document-sharing or whiteboarding, the next step up is a free version of the major business-oriented platforms, such as Cisco Webex, Google Meet (a replacement for Hangouts), Microsoft Teams (which will replace the company’s Skype), or Zoom. The host (or the host’s organization) is the only one who needs to register with a service and pay, if there’s a fee. We discuss the pros and cons of major services below, but you shouldn’t discount the importance of familiarity. If you’re used to a particular platform from the office, it’s likely to work for you at home, too…” [h/t Pete Weiss]

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