5 features your next video conferencing system should have

Angry woman on video conferencing call
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Antonio Guillem)

Whether you were an early adopter of video conferencing or your only experience so far is FaceTime with your family, the landscape is changing and features are being added or improved with every new release.

With the rise in hybrid working models, all office-style workers will undoubtedly encounter a video call during their career whether that’s to connect with colleagues hundreds of miles away or even to talk with others outside of the business. 

Don’t settle for a substandard video conferencing system that doesn’t work for your business. Finding a system that satisfies these five features can be a challenge, but taking that extra time to make the right decision could mean fewer problems in the long run and a better overall experience.


We’ve put together plenty of guides on what makes a good professional webcam and how to choose a video bar, and if you’re buying smart you’ll want to future-proof your purchase with a high-resolution video and a high frame rate. 

As well as checking whether your computer can handle these pretty intense graphics, you will also want to consider whether the platform you intend to use can support your equipment. 4K resolution is fast becoming the norm, and with widespread adoption of this format, more video conferencing suites are beginning to add support.

This, along with the rollout of superfast 5G networks globally, means it’s only a matter of time before apps offer support for high-res video if they don’t already.

It’s also worth considering how many participants can stream simultaneously. Be aware that many platforms claim to be capable of hosting hundreds - sometimes thousands - of participants, but not all are able to stream video at the same time. If you’re looking to actively engage with a certain number of people, it’s best to check that the video conferencing system you have in mind can support this.

Extra features 

In years gone by, video meetings will have been simple if not somewhat boring. Vastly consisting of a live video feed, they left little room for interactivity. Today there are plenty of additional features that you should look out for when considering a video conferencing system that will work for you.

Consider the virtual space: whether there is support for rooms that allow users to be separated within one call. This can be useful for getting down to the nitty-gritty in smaller teams. 

On some platforms, hosts can even set up the meeting with the relevant settings before guests even arrive. This includes a fixed speaker view and limited microphone access for a company-wide announcement, or a more interactive tile layout perfect for a Q&A session.

Software with screen sharing capabilities can be invaluable whether you want to make a presentation or just show a colleague a page that you’ve been looking at, but be careful because while most suites have support for this, not all allow screen sharing from a mobile device like a tablet.

Other features include the ability to share documents and links from inside the call, instant messaging-like chat rooms, AI and software tweaks like sound and echo cancellation and background blurring, just to name a few.

In essence, there are two things you should bear in mind when assessing the viability of any video conferencing system. You should know the types of devices your staff will be using, and their reasons for using it.

Ease of use and adoption 

As head of the company or the person in charge of technology or procurement, you may think nothing of logging on and starting a call. Not all workers will share your expertise, though, so thinking about how accessible the software is to less savvy workers is well worth doing.

If you are already using a package of apps, it could make sense to stick to something that is familiar. Not only will this prevent some confusion, but related pieces of software are also more likely to better integrate with one another, too.

Pay attention to the user experience of any software you’re willing to adopt. Home workers may be more likely to use laptops with limited screen space, while commuters often rely on mobile devices to remain connected. Trial any software on every type of device your company uses to be sure.

Inexperienced users may struggle with even the simplest of new interfaces, so be sure to put some time aside prior to implementing the new software to train everybody and answer any questions.


Any person making a purchase will be familiar with the concept of searching for the best value tool, and video conferencing suites are no exception.

Consider the cost to implement this new system, and whether it is paid for as an organization or on a per user account basis. If the latter is true, does every user need access to the premium version? Is this a one-off cost, or a recurring payment? Sometimes paying a large sum upfront can be more cost-effective.

Maybe there are different tiers of membership or subscription, so consider whether every user needs to have the same access. If there is a free version of the software, this could suffice for some employees.

Security and privacy 

Last but by no means least are the security and privacy features that you can guarantee. Some calls are purely a catch-up or an informal conversation, but others will disclose company secrets, embargoed information and performance statistics. You’ll want to be sure that any video conferencing system you’re considering promises high levels of security.

Pay attention to whether it is end-to-end encrypted. This prevents prying eyes from reading or otherwise modifying your call and any other data shared at the same time.

Recording a meeting can be useful to go back and create minutes or to check what was said, but check whether this gets stored locally or whether the system uses a cloud storage space. The only eyes that should see this recording are yours and those that you have authorized; once finished, consider locking the recording with a password.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!