The Definitive guide to Video Conferencing for Xmas 2020

Which video conferencing solution should I use for my Xmas meetup?

Evaluation Criteria in order of importance:

  • Simplicity for guests
  • Freeness for guests
  • Freeness for host
  • Simplicity for host

If you want a free solution without a time limit, MS Teams Personal (free) is your winner. Its as easy to use and feature rich as any of the other solutions. Google Meet might be one click less than MS Teams for a guest using a browser and is fairly feature comparable if 60 minutes is enough for you.

FeatureMS Teams
paid and free
Google Meet
paid and free
Zoom
paid and free
Facebook Messenger
free
Biggest issueheard complaints about linux clientfree has 60 minute limitEXE required AND free has 40 minute limit Facebook account required (not for Messenger rooms)
Big TipHost should run the app for more options   Messenger Rooms don’t require guest accounts
Time LimitNofree 60 minutes40 minutes 
PriceFree OR included in Office365 personalFreeFreeFree
Host URLTeamsMeet ZoomMessenger
Participant limit300 100/ 150/ 250  
Audio Sharing (Xmas carols!)YesOnly if source is a Chrome browser tab.  
Guest account requiredNoNoNoYES

 

Facebook account required (not for Messenger rooms)

Guest Client requiredNoNoYES – Stub handler EXE?
Telephone Dial in supportedYesNo/ Yes No
Android and IOS apps availableYesYesYesYes

Teams First Time Guest Experience

  • Receive link in email. Click link.
  • Click CONTINUE IN THIS BROWSER
  • Give permission for mic and camera
  • Input name and press Join Now.
  1. Await admittance (if host did not turn this feature off, which host can only do from fat Teams client)

Google Meet First Time Guest Experience

  • Receive link in email. Click link.
  • Dismiss Security popup.
  • Give permission for mic and camera
  • Input name and press ASK TO JOIN. Host must admit.

Zoom First Time Guest Experience

  • Receive link in email. Click link.
  • EXE downloads.
  • Run the EXE
  • Windows UAC prompt – Answer YES to give the app permissions. Or Answer NO and stop using zoom?
  • Give permission for mic and camera

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