WebEx is a web conferencing service that lets you host or attend video conferences on multiple devices. WebEx also provides a 14 day free trial offer so you can try before you buy. The service provides you multiple features like accessing webinars, sharing your desktop, schedule meetings, sharing files, collaborate with colleagues and conducting video conferences anywhere in the world. WebEx is a Cisco company which simply allows you to connect to online meeting with anyone, anywhere, at any time.
The Trial Offer
The WebEx offer is only valid for first time users. The free trial period will be for 14 days and you will NOT need a credit card to access it. Once the trial has expired your account will be switched to the free account. If you decide to continue with the online meeting tool you will need to subscribe to a plan. As usual you can cancel at anytime whether it be on the 14 day trial period or on regular account. If you decide to continue to use WebEx you will be charged accordingly (monthly or yearly) based on the plan you sign up for.
Features on WebEx
This web conferencing service is pretty straight forward. If you want to host an online meeting you can do so but they also have plenty of features that are worth a mention. Not only can you share your desktop screen, instant message (chat) with other attendees, share files or applications and store them on Ciscos cloud storage but you can also use WebEx for multiple other purposes.
For example, you can coordinate a webinar, have online training sessions, provide remote technical support, schedule meetings, have a video conference (actual faces) and access the conference on multiple portable devices. Also the video conferencing is in 720p HD resolution for a crisp and clear feed.
If you are hosting conference meeting you can attend in multiple ways. You can use VoIP (voice over IP) or you can call a toll-free 1-800 number to join the meeting.
In a nutshell WebEx allows you to invite, share and collaborate on an online meetings from anywhere.
Here is a quick demo on how WebEx meetings look like:
Sharing Video on your Mobile Device
When using WebEx you are not limited to only accessing meetings on your desktop but you have various ways to participate in the meeting. You can easily share video from a variety of smartphones and tablet devices. You can attend mobile meetings with face-to-face video conferences. Once you join a meeting you can view any participate in full screen by tapping on their video window and adjust the screen size by pinching. You can also share your own video by tapping on the webcam icon. You can also enhance the meeting experiencing by sharing what’s around you by switching to a rear facing cam. This is ideal when there’s something being drawn a board or physical presentation is taken place.
Many people are constantly on-the-go, especially if you are travelling for business. When it comes to having meetings, you can’t have the attendees scattered throughout the world so that’s how WebEx can help.
Compatible Devices: WebEx app is available on iPhones, iPads, Android Phones, Android Tablets, Windows Phones and Blackberry phones.
Some apps have more functionality – for example, the WebEx app for iPads allows you to share documents while hosting or attending an online meeting, while Windows app does not. You can read more about the various app features here.
Who is WebEx for?
The online meeting service provides tools and features that is ideal for online marketers, sales representatives, small business owners, colleagues working on projects, corporate businesses, school mates, companies that need to train employees living abroad, someone who would like to hold a webinar, internet based collaborating startups and everyone in between. If you’re curious about the service use the free trial offer and determine if it meets your needs.
Plans and Costs
There are 4 plans to choose from: Basic, Premium 8, Premium 25, and the Premium 100. Each plan is catered to different groups of people based on their needs. WebEx costs are also included so you will have better understanding of the value of each plan.
* All plans include unlimited meetings, file sharing, instant messaging and a 14 day free trial offer.
For the Basic Plan you can host a meeting up to 3 people for $0 a month. With this free plan you can share your desktop, whiteboard and documents but won’t include the premium features.
Premium 8 costs $24 a month per host or $19 a month if you want to be billed yearly. On this plan you will be able to conduct a web conference for up to 8 people. You will also have access to the premium features like phone call-in, HD video, remote control access and access meetings through the WebEx app. The plan also comes with 1GB of storage, 24/7 live support and user guides.
Premium 25 plan allows you to conduct an online meeting for 25 attendees. This plan is one of the most popular and will cost you $49 a month or $39 billed yearly. All the features are the same as Premium 8, the only difference is the number allowed attendees.
Premium 100: At $89 a month this plan is catered for people who would like to host large online meetings for up to a 100 attendees. This plan has pretty much the same features as Premium 8 and 25. If you would like to save yourself some money you can always be billed on a yearly basis at the cost of $69 x 12 months.
For enterprise inquiries (500 people) you will need to get in contact with the WebEx sales department.
There are plenty of other web conferencing services online but WebEx stands out of the bunch due to the backbone of Cisco and the name-brand it holds. When you think of online meeting tools and services two names come to mind: GoToMeeting and WebEx. Out of the bunch these are most likely the two services that get compared the most.
I’ve attended and hosted online meetings using both services and in my opinion I found using the interface on WebEx to be more simple and user-friendly. I was a presenter for the online meeting and I found navigating through the features and using the conferencing tools to be straightforward – no confusion. I would suggest using the 14 day free trial and if you are satisfied with their services I would stick with it.