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Webex Meetings Review

By Chad G. Brooks, Business News Daily Writer | Updated May 01, 2020

After conducting extensive research and analysis of video conference services in 2020, we recommend Webex as the best video conference service for cloud collaboration. With Webex, you can host up to 200 people in a meeting, and everyone can be on camera. In addition to the Webex Meetings platform, users have access to Webex Teams – an additional app designed for continuous teamwork with video meetings, group messaging, file sharing and whiteboarding.  

Webex Meetings

Webex Meetings

Best Video Conference Services 2020

The Verdict

WebEx is our choice as the best video conferencing service for collaboration because it has two platforms: one that allows for traditional video conferencing and a second that facilitates communication among your team via video and messaging.

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. 

We chose Webex from a pool of more than 30 video conference services. To learn more about our review methodology and for a comprehensive list of video conference services, visit our best picks page

 

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

Webex Pricing  

Webex offers four service plans that differ in price, the number of participants each video conference supports, the included features 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:  

Free

  • Cost: No cost
  • Meeting participants: Up to 100
  • Cloud storage: None
  • Features: Unlimited meetings and meeting lengths; call-in for audio; desktop, application, and whiteboard sharing; HD video; active speaker, grid and floating views; calendar integrations; instant and scheduled meetings, interactive whiteboards; Q&A, polling and raise hand options; unlimited messaging and file sharing; and host meeting controls
  • Customer support: Online support only  

Starter

  • Cost: $14.95 per host, per month
  • Meeting participants: Up to 50
  • Cloud storage: 5GB
  • Features: Everything in the Free plan, plus recording transcriptions, MP4 recordings, customizable personal room links, 18 additional integrations, and the ability to join from a video system
  • Customer support: Available during business hours  

Plus

  • Cost: $19.95 per host, per month
  • Meeting participants: Up to 100
  • Cloud storage: 5GB
  • Features: Everything in the Starter plan, plus the ability to assign alternate hosts, the option to have others schedule meetings for you, customizable URLs, an administrative portal, and analytics and troubleshooting
  • Customer support: 24/7 

Business

  • Cost: $29.95 per host, per month
  • Meeting participants: Up to 200
  • Cloud storage: 10GB
  • Features: Everything in the Plus plan, as well as branding and customizations, single sign-on, and Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory sync
  • Customer support: 24/7 

With each plan, if you pay annually, you save 10% on each license. In addition, at the time of our research, Webex was offering annual plan subscribers four months of free service. 

There is an extra charge for the Call Me feature, where instead of you dialing in, the software calls your phone when it's time to join the meeting. 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.  

Webex Features  

Webex offers a wide selection of features and tools. Some of the most valuable are: 

  • 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 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 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 a 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.

  • Interactive meetings: Hosts can create a poll, ask questions and let meeting participants click on a "raise hand" button so they can be called on to contribute. 

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

  • Messaging: The group messaging tool allows team members to send messages to each other. Each user can also set notifications so 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, and can 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.

  • Hosts:There are no set hosts, which means anyone can start meetings, set up whiteboards and share screens.

  • Security:Webex Teams features end-to-end encryption, so all messages, whiteboards and files are completely secure. 

Webex Pros 

The biggest advantage of Webex is the two platforms you can access: Webex Meetings and Webex Teams. With Webex Meetings, you get a sophisticated video conference platform that allows you to host meetings with up to 200 people, inside or outside your company, at one time. In addition, everyone in the conference can be on an HD video feed at once. And with Webex Teams, you get a platform 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 storage than what 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.  

We were also pleased with how easy Webex is to use. You can access Webex Meetings via desktop apps for Mac and PC, and there are mobile apps for iOS and Android. Webex has a fully functional web app, giving you full access to its features from a web browser. This can be nice for those joining a meeting, because it allows participants to sign into a video conference without downloading anything.  

There are several ways to schedule a meeting 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, and send an invitation to attendees. 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 displayed and where each participant's video feed appears 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 who join a meeting have much of the same control 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. 

Webex Cons  

One potential downside for Webex is that if you choose the Free or Starter plans, you have limited customer support options. Free users can only access help online, while Starter plan subscribers are restricted to receiving help during business hours. For some, this might not be a major concern, but if you are a business without an IT department, you may want to consider whether having limited customer support is a risk you want to take. 

Webex's parent company, Cisco Systems, is not an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau, and it has a B- rating. According to the BBB website, as of April 2020, only 23 complaints against Cisco had been closed in the past three years. However, not all of those complaints were about the company's Webex service. 

Webex Customer Support  

We were pleased with the customer service we received from Webex. 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 answered all of our questions. We were especially impressed with how he easily and thoroughly explained how Webex Meetings and Webex Teams work in tandem, and how to use each platform.  

The Webex customer service agent was also the only representative we spoke with who followed 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 level of service.  

In addition to the personal assistance that is available, the Webex website has several 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: 

Best Video Conference Services of 2020
Choosing a Video Conference Service: A Buyer's Guide
Best Video Conference Service for Smaller Businesses
Best Overall Video Conference Service
Best Video Conference Service for Integration 

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

Webex Meetings

Webex Meetings

Best Video Conference Services 2020

The Verdict

WebEx is our choice as the best video conferencing service for collaboration because it has two platforms: one that allows for traditional video conferencing and a second that facilitates communication among your team via video and messaging.

Chad G. Brooks: Writer
Chad G. Brooks,
Business News Daily Writer
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer with more than 20 years of media experience. A graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff as a senior writer. Currently, Chad covers a wide range of B2B products and services, including business phone systems, time and attendance systems, payroll services, and conference call services. Before joining Business News Daily and business.com, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. Chad's 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.