Tools for the Virtual Meeting

Videoconferencing has become one of the most convenient ways to have meetings when participants are not in the same physical location. Two of the best tools hosting online meetings are Skype and Google+ hangout. Here’s a look at the features of both tools.

Group video chats

Skype: You can group chat with Skype, but you have to subscribe to a Skype Premium account in order to do so. With a free account, you can enjoy Skype-to-Skype video and voice calls—just not in a group setting.

Google+ Hangout: For free, you can turn a Google+ hangout into a video call with up to 10 people. You can also instant message and share your chat live on your Google+ page.

Group sharing

Skype: Group sharing allows you to share what’s on your screen with everyone else on your call. Like group chats, this feature is only available with a Skype Premium account.

Google+ Hangout: During a hangout, you can share photos with the entire group. GGoogle Drive is also integrated with hangout, which makes it easy to share things saved in the cloud service.

Platforms

Skype: Skype works on computers, smartphones, and tablets.

Google+ Hangout: Google+ hangouts work on computers, Android and Apple devices.

Price

Skype: Most features for video conferencing are only available with Skype Premium, $5/month for the first yearand $9.99/month thereafter. The free version features are fairly basic.

Google+ Hangout: Google+ hangout is free.

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