1. HR Solutions
  2. Financial Solutions
  3. Marketing Solutions
  4. Security Solutions
  5. Retail Solutions
  6. SMB Solutions
Webex Review

Best Cloud-Based Video Conferencing Collaboration Software

A Business News Daily Review

Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

After conducting extensive research and analysis of video conference services, we recommend Webex as the best video conference service for cloud collaboration.

We chose Webex from a pool of dozens of video conference services. To learn more about our full methodology and for a more comprehensive list of video conference services, visit our best picks page.

If cloud collaboration is a critical component of your business's operations, there are video conference services that can help you with it. When searching for a video conference solution that supports collaboration, you first want to look for a service that allows everyone you are working with to participate in meetings. The video conference software should allow everyone, whether they are in your organization or outside of it, the ability to join a video conference and appear on video while attending.

With Webex Teams, you can host up to 200 people in each meeting, depending on the service plan you select. This software allows everyone in the conference to be on video at one time. Some of the other services we looked into limit the video feeds that you can access at one time.

While the ability to host meetings with anyone, in your company or not, is an important consideration when choosing a video conference service, organizations with an emphasis on collaboration also want features that allow staff members to easily work on projects together.

This is where Webex shines. In addition to the Webex Meetings platform, users of this service have access to Webex Teams. This is an added app for continuous teamwork with video meetings, group messaging, file sharing and whiteboarding.

This functionality gives businesses the best of both worlds: You get a sophisticated video conference solution for hosting large meetings with people outside your company, as well as a platform to facilitate collaboration within your own team.

For these reasons, Webex is a perfect video conference service for businesses looking to foster collaboration among employees.

Editor's note: Looking for a video conferencing solution? Fill out the below questionnaire to be connected with vendors that can help.

buyerzone widget

Webex offers three service plans that differ in how many host licenses you can use, how many participants each video conference supports, and how much cloud storage is included.

You need to purchase a host license for everyone you want to host meetings. If you want everyone on your team to have access to the Webex Teams app, each person will also need a user license.

Here is a breakdown of each plan:

  • Cost: $14.95 per host, per month
  • Host licenses: Up to 9
  • Meeting participants: Up to 50
  • Cloud storage: 5GB
  • Customer support: Available during business hours
  • Cost: $19.95 per host, per month
  • Host licenses: Up to 50
  • Meeting participants: Up to 100
  • Cloud storage: 5GB
  • Customer support: Available during business hours
  • Cost: $29.95 per host, per month
  • Host licenses: 5-100
  • Meeting participants: Up to 200
  • Cloud storage: 10GB
  • Customer support: 24/7 phone support

With each plan, if you choose to pay annually, you save 10 percent on each license.

Every plan includes all of the system's features, except one. There is an extra charge for the Call Me feature, where the software will call your phone to join the meeting instead of you dialing in. For domestic callers, the feature is $4 per host per month. For the international Call Me feature, the cost is $42.25 per host per month.

In our eyes, the biggest advantage of Webex is the two platforms you can access. With Webex Meetings, you get a sophisticated video conference platform that allows you to host meetings with up to 200 people at one time. In addition, everyone in the conference can be on an HD video feed at once.

In addition to all the functionality of a video conference service, you get a whole platform, Webex Teams, just for your employees, where they can host their own video meetings, message each other and share files.

Another benefit of Webex is the large amount of cloud storage each of the service plans includes. It is considerably more than the storage many other video conference services include.

Webex is also extremely secure. It offers end-to-end 256-bit encryption. Additionally, lock and moderation controls allow you to keep spaces private.

One downside to Webex is the host user license limits. If you have more than nine users but don't host meetings with more than 50 people, you still have to purchase one of the more expensive plans. Some businesses might prefer the Starter plan but have too many users and will be forced to spend a few extra dollars per user.

Another minor negative is that Webex's parent company, Cisco Systems, is not an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau. Despite that, the company has an A- rating. According to the BBB website, 18 complaints against the company have been closed in the past three years. However, not all of those complaints were about Cisco's Webex service.

Signing up for and using Webex is relatively easy. You can complete the signup process completely online. All you have to do is choose your service plan, how many host licenses you need and whether you want to pay monthly or annually. You then select a username and password and input your billing information.

Once you are signed up, you can start using the service. You can access Webex Meetings and Teams in various ways. There are desktop apps for Mac and PC, as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android. What's nice about Webex is that there is also a fully functional web app, giving you full access to the services from a web browser. This can be nice for those joining a meeting, because it allows them to sign in to a video conference without downloading anything.

There are several ways to schedule video conferences with Webex. One option is to log in to the system, go to Host Meeting and click the Schedule Meeting link. You then set the meeting details, such as the date, time and duration. Once you've determined all the details, you can invite those you want to attend. You can also schedule meetings using one of the built-in integrations with Outlook or other calendar apps, like Google Calendar. With these integrations, meetings automatically show up on your calendar after they are scheduled.

When hosting a meeting, you have total control of how your video feeds are laid out. You can decide exactly where the video feeds of the participants appear on your screen. The floating panel view lets you position any video panel where you want it, which could even be on a second monitor. You also have quick access to the meeting controls, such as the ability to turn your audio and video on or off, start recordings, and share your screen.

A nice aspect of Webex is that meeting attendees have much of the same control over their screen layout and meeting controls as the host. Anyone who joins a meeting can decide on their own layout and turn their audio and video on or off. They can also share their screens when they want to.

An appealing aspect of Webex is that every service plan includes all of the Webex Meetings and Webex Teams features. So, regardless of which plan you choose, you have access to everything Webex offers.

These are some of the most valuable features:

  • HD video: Webex offers high-definition video up to 720p.
  • Speaker view: In a video conference, Webex automatically switches the main screen to the person speaking. However, you have the option to lock the video feed of any of the other participants if you don't want it switching back and forth each time someone speaks.
  • Screen sharing: You can choose to share your entire screen, or just specific applications.
  • Dial-in: If you can't join a conference over video, you can call into the meeting by phone.
  • Recording: You can record all meetings and store them in the cloud.
  • Web app: Webex has a full-featured web application that gives you total access to the service via web browser.
  • Integration: The service integrates with various programs, including Microsoft Office, Office 365, Outlook, Google Calendar and Lotus Notes. You can also launch Webex Meetings from Microsoft Teams, Slack and Workplace by Facebook.

The Webex Teams app also has a number of valuable features and tools, including the following:

  • Messaging: The group messaging tool allows you to send messages back and forth with team members. Each user can also set notifications so that they only receive alerts to messages that matter to them.
  • File sharing: You can easily share files with members of your team. Those files are then saved in your workspace, able to be searched and sorted.
  • Whiteboard: All team members can draw on and contribute to the virtual whiteboard. You can make drawings and edits on top of existing documents.

We were pleased with the customer service we received from Webex. To test the level of support, we contacted the company by phone, posing as a business owner interested in their service.

Our call was answered immediately by a helpful representative who was able to answer all of our questions. We were especially impressed with how he easily and thoroughly explained how Microsoft Meetings and Microsoft Teams work in tandem and how to use each platform.

The Webex representative was also one of the only representatives we spoke with to follow up by email. He included more information on the system and how it compares to some of its competitors. Overall, we were very happy with the call and the overall level of service.

In addition to the personal assistance that is available, the Webex website has a number of helpful training materials, including user guides and how-to videos.

Ready to choose a video conference service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Editor's note: Looking for a video conferencing solution? Fill out the below questionnaire to be connected with vendors that can help.

buyerzone widget
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.