Once upon a time, all internal business operations were conducted either in person or over the phone. With the former option, communicating with colleagues bounded you to a specific physical location. Working remotely was more commonly referred to as “telecommuting,” as in administrators would check with employees over the phone with little room for collaboration.
Because so much of our communication is done not with our mouths but with our eyes and our hand gestures, tone is difficult to convey over the phone. Without seeing someone face-to-face, we’re severely limited in our understanding of what they’re trying to say.
But seeing as we now live in a world where cameras are embedded on virtually every device that we own, it no longer makes sense to confine ourselves to office spaces and analog telephone services. Instead, thanks in part to an acceleration of internet speeds in recent years, it is feasible now more than ever to rely on video conferencing software for team- and even company-wide meetings.
These applications make it easy – and, if you’re lucky, affordable – to arrange seminars with other employees, whether or not they’re stationed in the same building as you. After all, it’s the 21st century: commuting and moving around for work only waste time that could otherwise be spent on more productive matters.
Enter join.me, a video conferencing service from LogMeIn whose name conveniently (and perhaps eye-rollingly) doubles as its website domain name. Naming conventions aside, join.me was clearly built for the modern workforce, for those accustomed to personal video chat services like Google Hangouts and WeChat but with the collaboration utilities and professional grade security found in enterprise software such as RingCentral Meetings.
For what it’s worth, join.me sits among our top video conferencing software choices. Particularly in the small business sector, we think you’ll find that join.me is one of the more affordable ways to get the features your company needs and that, moreover, you won’t have to worry about combing through a complicated assortment of pricing tiers to decide which one you want.
Rather, every join.me feature is included with a subscription to join.me Pro. So while it’s not the most cost-effective video conferencing suite on the market, join.me is one of the most accessible. Despite the fact that RingCentral Meetings and Zoom both have lower starting prices, join.me is a simple and contemporary take on video conferencing unlike anything we’ve reviewed before. It helps that it has a free tier, albeit with limitations on its features.
Pricing and key features
As we mentioned before, should you choose to pay to use join.me, you’ll be faced with just one option. At $19.99 (£15.40), join.me Pro is the one and only plan that you can purchase from LogMeIn. Be that as it may, there is a free trial that runs for 14 days and includes all of the “premium features” that join.me Pro has to offer, including video chats held in private meeting rooms and meeting recording.
Unlike a lot of free trials for Windows and Mac applications, taking join.me for a test drive doesn’t require that you first enter your credit card information. Simply sign up for an account, or log into an existing LogMeIn account if you have one, and you’ll be set to start video conferencing. After your 14-day trial is over, you never have to think about join.me again. Since it doesn’t ask for any billing information before you start, terminating the trial is as effortless as removing the app from your desktop.
With join.me Pro, you can expect a generous catalog of features for the price, especially when pitted against video conferencing juggernauts RingCentral and Zoom. For instance, join.me Pro supports up to 250 simultaneous participants, whereas the same-price RingCentral Advanced package – the most high-end video conferencing suite the company offers – only allows for up to 100 users at a time. Meanwhile, Zoom’s top-shelf Enterprise plan also sells for $19.99 (£15.40) and supports a total count of 200 participants on call.
Furthermore, join.me Pro lets your company host up to 10 webcam-based video streams, though meetings, on the other hand, are completely unlimited in quantity and length. Interestingly enough, the service gives users the ability to call into meetings using their preferred VoIP providers as well. The defining feature of join.me, however, is its customizable meeting rooms that each user can dress up with a unique image of their choosing that displays whenever participants are waiting for their call to begin.
Other, more customary traits of join.me include a mobile app for Android and iOS, one-click scheduling with support for Outlook and Google Calendar, a virtual whiteboard and screen sharing. In addition to the cosmetic personalization of their private meeting rooms, users can create custom links such as “join.me/techradar,” for example, with a custom image in the background of your meetings to represent your personal brand. A presenter swap function, as its name suggests, gives administrators the chance to switch up speakers.
In comparison to other video conferencing applications, join.me isn’t as much of a viable option for enterprises as it is for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). There are some glaring omissions from join.me’s singular subscription package that simply cannot go unaddressed. Admin controls are limited, there’s no single sign-on (SSO), no annotations or reporting. Join.me is frankly very basic. If that’s what you’re searching for, it’s a painless way to introduce video conferencing to employees and clientele. If not, don’t bother.
- We've also highlighted the best video conferencing