Surely many know video conferencing tools from their workplace, but have you considered using them for other telephony needs?
What is video conferencing software?
A video conferencing software is above all a great tool and alternative to maintaining a live, face-to-face conversation between two or more people. The parties share real-time audio and video using an Internet connection. They also allow to share text messages/chat, files, whiteboards, voice notes and audio recordings.
Certainly, remote working is gaining more terrain every day. And likewise any other work meeting, good communication is a key factor for team success. In this modern working method video conferencing is a must as it is a very complete communication mean without geographic bounders. But it is not limited work purposes only. In fact, the use of video conferencing tools is widely extended for personal purposes as a way of bringing family and friends together.
Alternatives for video conferencing
Today we can say we have plenty video conferencing solutions. Cisco WebEx is probably the most renounced one as it was (one of) the first. However, it is an expensive service targeted towards companies, therefore not suitable for “normal” people.
There are many other free video conferencing tools we’ll be talking further about in upcoming posts. Today’s post, however, is dedicated to an amazing free alternative called Jitsi.
What is Jitsi?
Quoting their website:
Jitsi is a set of open-source projects that allows you to easily build and deploy secure videoconferencing solutions
Most importantly, Jitsi is a community of developers constantly working to create and improve their multi-platform video conferencing solutions. It is available since 2003 and in the sky of their countless projects, Jitsi Videobridge and Jitsi Meet are the brightest stars.
Jitsi Meet: secure, flexible and free video conferences
Jitsi Meet is a fully encrypted, 100% open source video conferencing solution that can be used between 2 to 200 users for free, anytime and as much as you want. We know this already sounds great, but this project also reunites excellent features, such as:
- No account needed to start. Simply go to their website and click on “Start A Call”. You can also download the server on your computer.
- Bring people together by just sending your customizable conference link.
- Let everyone gets you better. Share your screen and files with other users.
- Edit documents together using Etherpad.
- Enjoy the integrated chat during your conference.
How to start a free meeting with Jitsi Meet
Jitsi Meet has an instant meeting creator. In other words, people can simply create a spontaneous meeting room with one or two mouse clicks. It is for free and only requires a web browser. Firstly, start going to the Jitsi Meet site and click on Start A Call. After that, you’ll see the option of setting a name for your meeting. Once you pick one, click on Go.
That was it! You just created a meeting! Piece of cake! After that you have to invite other members to join in. Just click on the information icon on the lower right corner of your screen and then, you will find a customized link for your meeting.
There is also the option (available for some countries only) of accepting phone calls in your meeting. This is possible because you can share any of the dial-in numbers assigned to your meeting the same way you share its link.
Jitsi offers a telephony interface that allows users to dial into a conference or for placing dial-out reminder calls. You can try this for free on meet.jit.si. Self-installed Jitsi Meet deployments will need to setup and configure Jigasi with a SIP provider to connect to the phone network.jitsi. org
After that you just need to share any of these two and start your videoconferencing with your colleagues and beloved ones!