1. Computing

Top Up-and-Coming Webinar Tools

The best new tools for large web conferences

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Meeting online is gaining traction in companies everywhere, and software developers are taking notice, releasing many web conferencing tools every month. This means that companies of all sizes have more choice when looking for a tool that suits their purpose perfectly.

Below, I have named some of the top webinar newcomers. The webinar tools below not only have packages that allow for hundreds of attendees, but they are also reliable and easy-to-use. This is a growing list, so if you have any suggestions of great new tools, let us know. ~ March 25, 2011

1. GatherPlace

Screenshot of GatherPlace.
GatherPlace.

This is a web conferencing and webinar tool that allows for up to 2,000 guests, depending on the package chosen. For the price of GoToMeeting ($49), it's possible to hold a meeting with up to 100 people (although VoIP comes at an additional cost), so GatherPlace could prove a competitive choice for those who are looking to host larger web seminars. This tool works with both PC and Mac, and it's browser-based for participants, so they don’t have to download anything to attend your web conference. The major drawback with this tool is that VoIP is available only in the premium plan. On the basic plan, there is a toll-based teleconferencing service. Other features of the tool include session recording, screen sharing and remote control.

2. Nefsis

Screenshot of Nefsis.
Nefsis.

One of the most expensive up-and-comers, this tool also has the most comprehensive list of features, so it is great for those who plan on hosting webinars on a regular basis. The selling point of this tool is that it has ‘acoustic echo cancellation’, which means that if any webinar participant with an open microphone has audio problems such as scratching or feedback, that is automatically removed so the sound does not disrupt the web meeting. Video conferencing is also possible with Nefsis, and hosts can also share HD media in real time. It’s possible to stop and pause movies during the conference, so there’s no need for participants to download the video themselves.

3. InterCall

Screenshot of InterCall.
InterCall.

A flexible tool, InterCall allows for online meetings with up to 125 participants at a time. As it has a pay as you go plan, it’s perfect for those who don’t plan on hosting regular webinars. It costs $.17 per minute, per participant. There are also monthly plans available for smaller web conferences. One great feature with this tool is the ability to start, join and manage meetings from a cell phone, so users can meet even when they’re on-the-go. It allows for video conferencing, desktop sharing and application sharing. One downside to this tool is that it is only Mac compatible for attendees.

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