Let's start off by saying that there are a lot of very good inexpensive video conferencing services on the market. So good, in fact, that choosing the best was very difficult to do. But here we are and RingCentral was our winner. Here's why:

To start, RingCentral's free service is pretty robust, offering video conferencing with up to 100 participants, unlimited one-on-one meetings and desktop- and application-sharing. Finding the link for its free service isn't particularly easy, though. Click the "Pricing" link on the RingCentral homepage and you won't see it among the available packages. You have to go here to get the free version.

One drawback to the free version is that meetings are limited to 40 minutes. Go over and you'll be disconnected and have to start another meeting. So, while not a big deal, it's probably not something you'd want to mess with if you're trying to win and woo potential clients.

Another potential drawback for Mac users is that RingCentral's free version has not been updated to use 64-bit processes. You can run the 32-bit software just fine but it won't be compatible with macOS in the future if it isn't updated.

But we're focused on saving you money, so here's what else you need to know:

RingCentral is available across devices and operating systems, plus it can easily integrate with Google and Microsoft products as you grow. You'll also get team messaging and collaboration software, in-meeting private and group chat, recording capabilities and meeting security (secure web access [HTTPS] and Secure Socket Layer [SSL] encryption).

If it's important to find a video conferencing service that can grow with your business, know that RingCentral is also highly scalable and you can upgrade easily.

The next tier of service starts at $14.99 per month per user and adds basic reporting, 24/7 phone support and 1,000 call-me minutes per license, a feature that lets you join or invite participants using phones into a RingCentral meeting. One minor hassle with this, though, is that you'll have to contact customer support to activate this feature.

RingCentral's "Ultimate" package offers very robust services -- including unlimited users, 10,000 toll-free minutes per month, 75-person video conferencing, unlimited internet faxes, auto call recording and voicemail-to-text -- starting at $49.99 per month per user.

When it comes to customer service, there are some significant complaints floating around. One customer wrote "I have a small business and have been using RingCentral for just over a year. They have the worst tech support of any company I have ever encountered and as if that weren't enough their customer service is equally as bad. They are overpriced and we have issues with their applications daily."

As scathing as that is, we found the free service to be easy to use and experienced no technical issues. Also, our interactions with its  customer service were efficient and, while not as friendly as some chat interactions with other companies, they answered our questions and even provided links for further details.

So, if you're looking for a completely free video conferencing service that has more bells and whistles than a lot of free services and allows for significantly more meeting participants, RingCentral is worth a look.

See all the best video conferencing systems.
 

 

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