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Not long ago, conference calls were challenging to set up and manage. Today, I can click a few buttons and hop on a call with my entire team from literally anywhere.
The best conference call services go beyond basic phone calls, offering a suite of collaboration tools that make coordination simple. Better still, sending invites, conferencing over video, or recording the call are all easy enough for your least technical user to manage.
And since so many communication platforms are cloud and VoIP-based, it’s not as expensive to set up as you might think.
But how do you find the best fit for your needs?
To make the process of finding the right one a little easier, I’ve put together a list of the top conference call services available and for what use cases they’re best.
Keep reading for my take on how find the option that’s going to help your team the most.
With Nextiva, you get generous participant and attendee limits on both voice and video conference calls. It all comes as a part of Nextiva One, the company’s full VoIP communications solution that includes faxing, texting, and team messaging alongside voice and video calling.
Handling large video sessions is where Nextiva really shines. You can accommodate up to 250 people on its cheaper Professional plan, which costs $22.95 per user per month for a team of 20 to 99 users. Pricing goes up for fewer users and down for more than 100.
For just $10 more than the Professional plan, you can move up to the Enterprise plan, which will let you have unlimited attendees on both voice and video calls.
But what I like most about Nextiva for conference calling is its flexibility.
Video calls in modern organizations assume many different forms—you might have a daily standup with your core team of 15, a regular departmental meeting of dozens, one-on-one training or coaching sessions, product demo calls with people both in and outside of your organization, ticketed public webinars, full-on virtual conferences…
The list goes on and on.
Not only can Nextiva handle the varying attendee counts of these events, but they also provide helpful features to make them easier to conduct or more productive.
These include standard collaboration features for video calls, like screen sharing, a whiteboard, and file sharing, that can be accessed with one click.
I’m a huge fan of the extras that support live streamed events. You can host a workshop, class, or other virtual event on Nextiva and live stream it on YouTube in a snap.
And, since you can allow up to 250 on the Professional plan (and have no limits on Enterprise), you can be as aggressive or ambitious as you’d like in attracting an audience and selling virtual seats.
Simply put, Nextiva’s video conferencing can handle anything you can throw at it. And, you get Nextiva’s best-in-class VoIP phone system to boot, so you have a huge opportunity to improve communication in every facet across your organization.
You can get started with Nextiva easily by reaching out to them today.
RingCentral is an all-in-one business communications platform handles instant messaging, video, and phone. So, it’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a communication tool that ties your whole office together.
Furthermore, it’s secure, easy to use, reliable, and accessible on any device.
Plus, you’re in excellent company with more than 400,000 customers worldwide.
And the best part? They offer an incredibly robust free plan for video conferencing. With it, you can meet with up to 100 participants (for up to 40 minutes) anytime from anywhere on any device.
The free plan also comes with incredible features, including:
Simultaneous screen sharingHost controls and user managementCustom meeting IDsHD voice and videoWhiteboarding and annotationsIn-meeting chat capabilitiesUnlimited file sharing Meeting recordings
And their premium plans include advanced features like phone support, reporting, single sign on, and advanced team messaging tools.
RingCentral’s all-in-one office pricing is a bit expensive, with plans starting at $19.99 per user per month. However, those plans come with a ton of extra features, including everything you need to streamline business communications.
So, it’s an excellent choice if you need everything from SMS messaging and video conferencing to business phones and internet faxing for your entire team.
Alternatively, you can upgrade to a paid conferencing-only plan with RingCentral Meetings. Their Meetings plans include:
Essentials — $14.99 per organizer per month (for small businesses)Advanced — $19.99 per organizer per month (for enterprise businesses)
Sign up for a free forever plan to get started with RingCentral today!
If you’re looking for online conference call software that’s easy to use, go with GoToMeeting. It’s an excellent option for both small and large businesses alike. Plus, it’s incredibly simple to set up.
You can host or join meetings in one click or tap from your phone, your laptop, or any remote location. Conduct voice, video, or interactive meetings with the same ease.
Attendees and hosts can share screens, chat, ask questions, and collaborate on calls. With tools like hand-raising and breakout rooms baked into the GoToMeeting interface, it’s wildly simple to transform a large web meeting into a full-on webinar or virtual event.
So, it’s easy for anyone to set up or join a call on GoToMeeting’s conferencing platform. But you also get these useful features on every paid plan:
Dial-in phone number, including toll-free conferencingDirectly call guests from the interface to have them joinUnlimited meetings and no time limitsSlack, Office, and Salesforce integrationsEasy Google Calendar syncHIPAA-compliant data protection24/7 support
Plus, meeting participants can join using commuter mode, which helps them save mobile data and provides a distraction-free experience on their mobile devices.
Unlike most of the other options on this list, GoToMeeting doesn’t offer a free plan. However, they make up for that by including unlimited conferencing and call lengths on their reasonably priced paid plans:
Professional — $12 per organizer per month (up to 150 participants)Business — $16 per organizer per month (up to 250 participants)Enterprise — Custom pricing only (up to 3,000 participants)
You get all that most users need on Professional, but Business unlocks a boatload of helpful extras. Key among those are the unlimited ability to record calls, automated transcripts, and in-call note taking.
Start your 14-day free trial to see if GoToMeeting is right for you!
Grasshopper is a bit different than the other options on this list. Their software is a simple way to turn your personal phone into a business phone without worrying about buying new hardware.
So, if you’re a solopreneur or small team looking for an easy way to set up business phones for your team, Grasshopper is an excellent choice.
However, I don’t recommend going this route unless you actually need a virtual business phone system.
The software is incredibly easy to set up. All you have to do is select your phone number, choose a pricing plan, download the app, configure your settings, and you’re good to go.
It seriously takes just a few minutes and is incredibly easy to use. Aside from conference calling, you also get access to powerful features, including:
Toll-free, local, and vanity numbersCustom greetingsPersonal extensionsCall routingMulti-call handlingInstant response text messagesSMS messagingInternet faxingVoicemail transcriptionAuto-receptionist
While most of the app features are incredibly easy to use, conference calling is a bit less traditional than the other options listed here. Rather than participants joining your call, you have to call them, making it more aligned with old-school conference calls.
But you get unlimited conference calls with up to ten participants and the added business-phone functionality all for an extremely affordable price.
Grasshopper’s paid plans include:
Solo — $26 per month for one phone number and three extensionsPartner — $44 per month for three phone numbers and six extensionsSmall Business — $80 per month for five numbers and unlimited extensions
Sign up for a free 7-day trial to see if it’s right for you today!
Webinars are an excellent way to demo products, deliver online training, and host online events. They’re useful for everything from marketing and sales to education and large meetings.
So, if you’re looking for a tool that offers webinar capabilities and conference call features, ClickMeeting is your best option.
However, it’s a bit expensive, so I only recommend it if you plan to use it for both purposes.
The software comes with a ton of excellent features for both conference calls and webinars, including things like:
Paid and automated webinar sequencesWebinar timeline viewsIndependent subaccountsCustom brandingCustomized invitationsRegistration pagesWaiting room with agendaWhiteboarding and screen sharingChat translationAdvanced analytics
Furthermore, they offer an extensive knowledge base so you can learn everything to make the most of your new software without calling customer service.
However, keep in mind that all plans cap conference calls to 25 participants.
ClickMeeting offers a free 30-day trial, but there isn’t a free forever plan. There are three options to choose from, including:
Live — $25 per monthAutomated — $40 per monthEnterprise — Custom pricing only
Start your 30-day free trial to take ClickMeeting for a test drive today!
As more people shift to remote work, Zoom has become a household name.
It’s one of the most popular video conferencing tools on the market—and for a good reason.
Their robust free plan is more than enough for most users, making it an excellent and budget-friendly option for individuals and small businesses alike.
Their free plan includes unlimited meetings with up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes and unlimited 1:1 meetings with a 24-hour time cap. Furthermore, you also get free access to features like:
Automatic calendar syncingRobust security encryptionRole-based user accessWaiting rooms and password protectionHD audio and videoUp to 49 videos on the screenScreen sharing and recordingHand raising and in-meeting chatVideo and audio settingsDedicated dial-in numbers
All for free. So, if you’re looking for a robust and intuitive conference call service without paying a penny, Zoom is definitely one of the best options on the market today.
However, if you outgrow the free plan and need something more advanced, you can upgrade to one of their paid plans, including:
Pro — $14.99/month or $149.90/license per year (up to nine licenses)Business — $19.99/month or $199.90/license per year (minimum of 10 licenses)Enterprise — $19.99/month or $199.90/license per year (minimum of 100 licenses)
Sign up for a free forever plan to see if Zoom is right for you and your team today!
Google Meet is the upgraded version (and replacement) of Google Hangouts.
And if you’re an avid Google fan and already use Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), Google Meet is entirely free for you to use, making it an excellent and affordable option for businesses of all sizes.
Furthermore, you don’t have to do anything to sign up if you already have a Workspace or Gmail account. All you have to do is head to the Google Meet page to open up a meeting room.
Doing so automatically pulls in your contacts and information, too.
The best part is that all of Google’s tools and software integrate seamlessly. So, you can quickly and easily jump straight into a video chat from their Chat tool, your calendar, or even your mobile device.
Plus, the free Google Meet tool includes intuitive features like:
US and international dial-in numbersSecure Google global infrastructureEncrypted video conferencingNo third-party plugins or software requiredLive captioningLow-light modeBuilt-in noise cancellation
On the Basic Google Workspace plan, you can host calls with up to 100 participants. Basic starts at $6 per month.
If you need more participants, you’ll need to upgrade to the Business Standard or Business Plus plans, which support 150 and 250 participants, respectively.
If you already use Google Workspace, head over to Google Meet to get started!
If you’re interested in hosting formal, assisted conference calls, Vast Conference is the way to go. While they also offer reservationless meetings, their assisted conference call features are where they shine.
Operator-assisted calls require a bit more planning in advance. However, all you need to do is call their reservation desk to set up a time and date.
From there, you can choose the level of assistance you need for your event.
Operators can help with the planning of your event, show up live during your event for technical assistance and call quality, and deliver call recordings and participant lists afterward.
It’s like hiring the assistant you never knew you needed. On top of that, operator-assisted calls may also include:
Welcoming and identifying callersContinuous assistance from staffUp to 6,000 participantsA pre-conference room meetingTriple-checked event transcriptions
These types of conference calls start at $0.16 per minute per line for a standard event and $0.19 per minute per line for premium events. Plus, there are no contracts or obligations as these are managed separately from their reservationless meeting services.
Vast’s reservationless plans are quite expensive compared to other options on this list. So, I don’t recommend it unless you’re using their operator-assisted services.
Choose your plan to start planning your operator-assisted event today!
If you need meetings with crystal clear sound quality, Bluejeans Meetings is definitely the way to go. Every plan includes Dolby voice audio with built-in noise reduction, spatial audio, and dynamic leveling.
Plus, you also get HD video, so you never have to worry about low quality.
Besides excellent sound and video quality, you also get access to a ton of influential conference calling features, even on the lowest-tier, including:
Unlimited 1:1 and group meetingsNo time caps whatsoever5 hours of hosted meeting recordingsMeeting highlight reels and action item taggingOutlook and Google calendar integrationsVideo pinning and content sliderDesktop and application sharingRemote desktop controlWhiteboarding and annotationsAdvanced host controlsSafe driving mode
Bluejeans is one of the most feature-rich options on this list. However, that comes with a steeper price point and fewer meeting participants allowed on each plan.
Plus, keep in mind you get excellent crystal-clear audio and video quality, making it feel like everyone’s in the same room. It also helps reduce dialog delays and ensures everyone speaks at the same level.
So if that’s something you need, the extra price is well worth it. Their pricing plans include:
Standard — $9.99 per month billed annually (for up to 50 participants)Pro — $13.99 per month billed annually (for up to 75 participants)Enterprise — Custom pricing only (for up to 100 participants)
Try it free for seven days to see if Bluejeans is right for you!
The best conference call service for you and your team depends on various factors, including the size of your business, the level of security you need, and extra features you’re interested in.
Some of the products I’ve reviewed like Zoom and GoToMeeting are great ways to give your team conferencing calling capabilities. Others, like Grasshopper and RingCentral, are much more comprehensive options–these will function as a business phone system.
One of the first things you have to decide is whether or not you want to pay a small amount for conference calling, or if it makes sense to pay a little more to get voice, video, texting, and call handling features that come with communications platforms like RingCentral.
It may help to start with a comprehensive list of everything you need. Then, you can use that as you go through the decision-making process.
As you create your list, don’t forget to include the following considerations.
A conference call with ten people is vastly different than a conference call with hundreds of participants.
So, it’s essential to consider your team’s size and the number of participants you expect for any given meeting. Some service providers include low limits, while others allow thousands of participants depending on the plan you choose.
Whether your meetings are confidential or not, security is an important feature to consider. It should be a priority, not an afterthought, so make sure you consider:
The level of control over who can join the call256-bit TLS encryption to make sure the line is secureSecurity policies of the service provider
Furthermore, pay attention to how the provider stores your data and what they’re allowed to do with it if you use their services.
Giving employees and other meeting attendees the ability to join using their mobile device is convenient for everyone involved.
Employees who work on the road or in the field will really appreciate the freedom to hop on a call wherever they are.
Having mobile access decreases the chance of someone having to cancel or move a meeting simply because they aren’t at their desk.
A conference call with low audio and video can be incredibly frustrating. So, it’s crucial to choose a service provider with top-notch video and audio quality.
Of course, your internet connection plays a role. But you should carefully consider choosing a conference call service with HD video and audio capabilities for a smoother experience all around.
If you need other features, like a virtual phone system or the ability to host webinars, you can bundle conference calling services with software specializing in something else.
You may also want to consider other features, like:
Call recordingHold musicAuto-assistantInternal communicationCall forwardingExtension numbersCustom greetingsText messagingInternet faxingWaiting rooms
It’s also important to consider if you need to buy new equipment to handle a conference call service you’re considering. Some software integrates directly with the hardware you already have, making setup and everyday use a breeze.
However, others may require special equipment or something newer than what you currently use. And they may require professional installation, as well, depending on the number of users you need.
Some may work with your employees’ personal phones, mitigating the need for separate business phones.
Nextiva and RingCentral are my top recommendations for most people because they’re all-purpose solutions that come on a full VoIP communication platform..
Plus, they include a ton of intuitive and powerful features that make connecting with coworkers and colleagues more straightforward than ever.
But that doesn’t mean they’re the perfect choice for you. To recap all of my top picks, and who they work well for, here’s the full list:
Nextiva – Best for handling any large video conferenceRingCentral – Best all-inclusive communication softwareGoToMeeting – Easiest conference call software to useGrasshopper – Best virtual business phone systemClickMeeting – Best for hosting webinarsZoom – Best for video conference callsGoogle Meet – Best for Google Workspace usersVast Conference – Best for instant conference callingBluejeans Meetings – Best for video and sound quality
So, don’t forget to consider the features and must-haves we talked about as you go about finding the best conference call services for you and your team.
Which conference call software do you prefer?