In our last blog post, we discussed some of the technical and legal implications for organizations holding meetings electronically. You may wonder what video conferencing solutions look like for meetings, so let’s examine some of the most commonly used options, and some recent updates to them:
Google Meet can conduct live stream events that are view-only to guests in your organization. Full participants can start or stop a stream and record. Google Meets used for school or work can enable view-only live streaming for up to 100,000 people. There are no download or software configuration requirements, making access easy for organizations with large memberships. Till September 30 of this year, Google has enabled premium features – large meetings with up to 250 participants, live streaming, and recording – for all G Suite customers. A comprehensive guide to setting up a live streaming event for Google Meet can be found here.
Organizations with YouTube channels can easily set-up live streaming events. Private access can be enabled for live streams, but Google accounts are required, and limited to 50 users. Events can be made ‘unlisted’ to allow for unlimited viewers, but there is no immediate privacy protection. This could be partially mitigated if your organization has protected sections for users on your website, where you could provide a link to the stream. A guide to setting up live streams for YouTube channels can be found here.
Zoom has exploded in popularity, but one important consideration is it only allows 100 max. users – even at the Pro level. They have addressed practically all recent security concerns, and have been enforcing meeting passwords and waiting room features since April 5. A guide to getting started on Zoom for Windows and Mac can be found here.
Skype has a free conference call site that is extremely easy to use. Video conference calls from this site can be accessed by up to 50 people, and there are no sign-ups or downloads required – though meeting creators will need a Microsoft account to launch the meetings. You can generate a unique link to a video call in one click and invite people even if they do not have Skype. The site for launching these meetings can be found here.
Webex is a enterprise-level video conferencing solution from Cisco. Webex meetings can be easily integrated into Outlook, Google Drive, and Gmail apps. In response to Covid-19, Webex’s free personal accounts are offering unlimited usage (no time restrictions) and support for up to 100 participants, among other features – details can be found here. Additionally, Webex is providing free 90-day licenses to businesses who are not pre-existing customers. Of the five video conferencing solutions provided here, Webex likely has the most robust security and privacy features.
Our next post will look at online voting solutions.