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Best Conference Call Services of 2021

Kiely Kuligowski
Business News Daily Staff
| Updated
Jul 23, 2021

Conference calls are a valuable tool for geographically dispersed teams. Here are the conference call services we think are best for businesses in 2021.
Best Overall
Reservationless and operator-assisted
Best Free Service
Best Within a Phone System
Best for Remote Workforce
Conference calls are a valuable tool for geographically dispersed teams. Here are the conference call services we think are best for businesses in 2021.
Updated 07/23/21

This page has been updated to include information about recent enhancements to RingCentral Rooms that expands its communication capabilities.

As the remote workforce grows in 2020, the ability to communicate with employees and colleagues around the country is critical. Conference calling services help facilitate that collaboration. The best conference call services can connect dozens or even hundreds of people at one time, offer features like call recording and screen sharing, and are affordably priced. As part of our process, we researched nearly 30 options to help you determine the best one for your business. You can see our recommendations below, as well as how much you should expect to pay for a conference call service, the different types of services and what features to look for in a service.   

Additionally, we've provide a comprehensive list of conference call services at the end of this page in case the options we recommend aren't good fits for your business.

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Our Reviews

Vast Conference: Best Overall Conference Calling Service

Conference Calling by Vast Conference is a robust service that offers everything businesses need, including the option of both reservationless and operator-assisted services. This gives you the freedom to host everyday meetings, as well as large formal conferences when the need arises.

The reservationless system, which supports up to 500 callers at a time, is available in both monthly and pay-as-you-go pricing plans. The monthly plans allow you to host as many calls as you want each month for one flat fee. Prices range from $14.99 to $39.99 per month. The plans vary in the number of people that can be on a call at once and cloud storage space. The pay-as-you-go plan costs 3.5 cents per minute, per caller.

The operator-assisted service, which is typically used for large formal conference calls, can handle calls with up to 6,000 participants. You have access to an operator who will help you plan and run the call; they go over itineraries, send out email invitations, greet callers and conduct Q&A sessions, among other things. Conference Calling offers a wide selection of valuable features, such as customizable greetings, dial-out options, call recording and web controls. You have access to HD video conferencing tools for video calls, which also allows screen sharing for presentations.

Read Vast Conference Review

FreeConferenceCall.com: Best Free Service

Reservationless service supports meetings with up to 1,000 callers at a time.
Features include web management, call recording and calendar integration.
Operator-assisted meetings are not available.

FreeConferenceCall.com has everything small businesses need in a conference call service, all for no cost. While the company requests that users "pay what you can," there is no obligation to pay anything. The reservationless service allows you to conduct conference calls with up to 1,000 attendees. Calls can be scheduled in advance or hosted spontaneously.

There is also a paid plan – StartMeeting – that costs $9.95 per month. The biggest difference between the two plans is that those using the free service are presented with ads for FreeConferenceCall.com when they join a call. Ads for the service are also included in email invitations that are sent to participants. The paid plan doesn't display ads.

Both plans include call recording, web meeting controls, keypad commands, and the ability for participants to leave a main conference to join a breakout room for a subconference call. FreeConferenceCall.com also lets you host online meetings with screen sharing, chat tools, drawing tools and recording options.

The service integrates with Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar and offers a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

June 2021: FreeConferenceCall.com recently released updated mobile and desktop apps. The mobile app features a new streamlined layout, easier access to your virtual phone, and an improved meeting lobby that helps you ensure your video is set up properly and meets your preferences prior to you joining a meeting. The desktop app offers an improved layout, the ability to turn on and off entry and exit tones, and whether you want to immediately let people into a meeting or place them in a waiting room to be approved prior to joining your meeting.

March 2021: FreeConferenceCall.com unveiled a new premium service, Huddle, this month. The company is currently letting users pick their price for the service. The suggested monthly fee is $7, but the company notes that choosing to pay $10 a month would help out tremendously. The premium service includes the ability to get notifications when participants join a meeting, eliminate access codes, and customize your on-hold music and greetings. You also have access to virtual backgrounds and a second virtual phone line with in-app voicemail.

Read FreeConferenceCall.com Review

RingCentral: Best Within a Phone System

This cloud-hosted business phone system requires no special equipment or wiring.
RingCentral offers an array of calling, collaboration and mobile features.
Audio and video conferencing are not included in the cheapest service plan.

RingCentral is an impressive unified communications system with an equally impressive conference call service built into it. The conference call bridge comes standard on each user's extension and can support up to 1,000 callers at a time.

The system allows any user to host a conference call without scheduling it in advance. The Microsoft Outlook integration makes it easy to schedule a meeting, and it's free to record calls. RingCentral offers local dial-in numbers in more than 50 countries for meetings with callers located outside the U.S.

The conference call services are included in the RingCentral MVP platform, a unified communications system that offers everything businesses need in a phone system. It has a wide range of calling, collaboration and mobile features, including voicemail, voicemail-to-email, one-touch calling, call recording, auto-attendants, IVRs, and a softphone. It also includes video conferencing and a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

Costs for RingCentral MVP range from $29.99 to $59.99 per user, per month. You save $10 a month per user if you pay annually. There is a 30-day free trial.

July 2021: RingCentral recently announced new capabilities to RingCentral Rooms, which allows members of a company to connect, communicate and collaborate seamlessly from remote or in-office locations. The new enhancements seek to further improve its accessibility and ease of use. It now includes a voice-activated control that allows users to start and join meetings, as well as the ability to control meetings from a mobile device. The application will also now be compatible with Logitech Rally and Windows devices and appliances.

Read RingCentral Review

Webex: Best for Remote Workforce

WebEx gives users two platforms in one. WebEx Meetings allows for video conferencing, while WebEx Teams allows for internal collaboration.
No restrictions on meeting length on the free plan.
Limited customer support options with some service plans.

Webex from Cisco is a web conference service that includes conference calling. With this service, participants can connect to a meeting on either their phones or computers.

For anyone to join a meeting by phone, the host must join online by computer or change the meeting settings to allow everyone to connect from their phones. Those on the phone can participate just as if they had joined from a computer. Webex includes call recording and a Call Me tool that allows the system to call you when the meeting is set to begin.

Webex is available in three pricing plans that vary in the number of people who can attend a conference, how many host licenses you can have, the cloud storage space and the level of customer support. Prices range from $14.95 to $29.95 per host, per month. You save 10% by paying annually instead of monthly. Webex also offers a free plan with limited features.

A bonus of Webex is that all users have access to its Teams platform. This is a digital workspace designed to facilitate collaboration among employees. It includes group messaging, file sharing and whiteboarding.

May 2021: Webex has unveiled a new integration with Box, a cloud-based content management platform. The integration allows Webex users to connect Box folders within Webex's messaging function. Ultimately, any content shared is securely added to the same Box folder. This integration allows content to be securely accessed and shared while a user is on Webex.

February 2021: Webex has released some additional host controls to help meetings run smoothly. Hosts can now easily pass off control of the meeting to another participant should they need to leave the meeting. Webex is also trying to solve the ever-present "speaker on mute" issue. Instead of having to publicly embarrass someone who is muted and trying to talk, the host can now quickly send a private notification asking them to unmute themselves.

January 2021: Webex is rolling out a host of new features to its platform in 2021. For those using Webex's video options, you will be able to turn some real-life gestures into graphic emojis for others to see. For example, if you were to give a thumbs-up while on camera, Webex's artificial intelligence software recognizes the gesture, converts it to a graphical thumbs-up, and posts it to your screen for others to see. Additionally, to make sharing a more immersive experience, users can share their videos, presentations or other applications as a dynamic background with their video overlayed.

Read Webex Review

Conference Call Services Pricing

Conference call services typically have one of two cost structures. Some charge you on a per-call basis, while others charge a flat monthly fee for unlimited use. 

With pay-as-you-go plans, you pay a per-minute fee for each caller. For a reservationless service, these fees typically range from 2 to 10 cents a minute. Operator-assisted services are more expensive, with per-minute fees of 15 to 30 cents. Remember that these per-minute fees are for each participant on the call. For example, a 30-minute reservationless call with eight callers, including the host, would likely cost between $4.80 and $24. A 30-minute operator-assisted call with 100 participants would cost between $450 and $900. 

Unlimited monthly plans are usually only available with reservationless services. With these plans, you can host any length of meeting as often as you want. Unlimited monthly plans tend to range from $7 to $60 per month. Many conference call providers offer multiple pricing plans that vary in how many people can join a call at one time. 

Depending on the service provider you choose, there might be some extra fees. Some providers charge extra for things like call recording, translations, transcripts and custom greetings.

Free Conference Call Services vs. Paid

Free conference call services are a budget-friendly way to communicate with clients and employees. Although they tend to provide fewer features than paid services, there are plenty of powerful free conference call providers that get the job done.

If you are looking to save money by choosing a free service, make sure you know which features are must-haves and which you can live without. While most free services offer basic features that enable you to conduct conference calls without difficulty, you may find yourself wishing you had the ability to host more callers or save call transcripts.

Free conference call services are just as safe and secure as paid plans. The only difference is that paid plans provide more features and can support more call participants.

Types of Conference Call Services

There are two main types of conference calling services: reservationless and operator-assisted. While the two cover the same basic function of allowing multiple people to be on one conference call at a time, they vary in how they are used and how many people they support. 

  • Reservationless service: This type of service allows you to host conference calls 24/7, with no advanced scheduling needed. Your conference line is always available to you. This type is used for everyday conference calling and generally supports anywhere from 50 to 1,000 callers at a time. It includes valuable tools such as call recording and online host controls. 

  • Operator-assisted service: If your business holds formal conference calls that need a personal touch, choose a provider with operator-assisted services available when you need them. With this type of service, a dedicated representative helps you plan the meeting ahead of time by sending out invites and ensuring the call's itinerary makes sense. During the call, the representative greets callers, gathers their contact information, and manages speakers and Q&A sessions. After the call, they can give you the participant list and a recording and transcript of the call. 

Conference Call Service Features

When you choose a conference call service, it is important to ensure it offers what your business needs. These are the most important features to look for: 

  • Caller limits: Choose a service that can support the number of meeting attendees you have, whether that's five, 10, 50 or several hundred clients. Many reservationless services support several hundred callers, while most operator-assisted services can handle several thousand callers at a time. 

  • Secure calls: Many conference call service providers offer security measures to help keep your business's information safe and secure, such as passwords, encrypted data, and manager permissions to grant or deny access to meeting participants.

  • Call controls: With some services, the host can manage the call from their phone's dial pad; other services allow the host to control the call from an online portal. Both options give the host the ability to mute callers, start call recordings, share their screen, lock the call and end the call. The web controls give the host the added benefit of seeing who is on the call. 

  • Call recording: Most services allow you to record each conference call, but they differ in how the recordings can be played back. Some providers store them in the cloud so those who missed the meeting can listen online or by calling in and accessing a recording over the phone. Other providers allow you to download the recording so you can play it back or email it to others. Some services burn the recording to a CD and mail it to you. 

  • Mobile conference call app: Some conference call services offer a mobile app for iOS and Android devices that makes it simple to schedule, host and participate in conference calls from a mobile device. 

  • International access: If you plan to host conference calls with participants located overseas, make sure the conference call service you choose makes it easy for them to join the call. Many services offer local dial-in numbers in countries around the world. 

  • Calling tools: There are two main calling tools that you may find valuable. One is a dial-out feature that allows you to put your conference on hold and add someone to the meeting by calling them directly. The other is the Call Me option, which has the service call participants when the meeting is scheduled to begin. This removes the necessity of holding on to the dial-in and access numbers.

  • Ease of use: Your conference call service should be easy to use for everyone in your company and anyone else you will be conferencing with. You should be able to schedule a call, invite participants, and use basic features like call recording without difficulty.

  • Call quality: If there is a free trial, use it to determine the call quality. Does the sound come through clearly? Is there any lag time? Is your connection stable throughout the call? If you're using video conferencing, look at the video quality, sound quality and lag time.

  • Integrations: Some conference call services integrate with email and calendar services. These integrations, such as with Microsoft Outlook, simplify the process of scheduling conferences and sending out meeting invites. 

  • Online meetings: Many conference call services include online meeting tools, such as HD video streams and screen sharing. These tools allow you to see everyone who is in the meeting, make presentations visual, or discuss specific documents that everyone can view. 

  • Customer service: Make sure the conference call service provider you choose is available to answer your questions when you need it to be. In addition to offering phone, email and live chat support, some services allow you to contact an operator for help in the middle of a conference call by dialing *0.

Conference Call Frequently Asked Questions

How does a conference call service work?

Conference call services are used to host multiple people on one call at the same time, regardless of where those people are physically located. While most modern communication systems already offer conferencing services, purchasing an additional conference calling service provides you with a dedicated local or toll-free phone number for your conference line.

There are two main types of conference call services: reservationless and operator-assisted. Reservationless calls do not require previous scheduling and are used for everyday communication. Operator-assisted calls are generally used for more formal calls or calls with a large number of participants, with a live operator who helps run the call.

How do conference call services benefit remote workers?

Conference call services provide several benefits to remote workers, mainly easy communication with everyone in their company and anyone else they work with. A good conference call service makes it simple for workers to connect with each other and increase their productivity.

How many people can join conference calls?

The number of participants you can have on a conference call depends on which service and which of its plans you choose. Some companies can support thousands of attendees, usually on operator-assisted calls, and most reservationless calls can at least support hundreds.

How do you organize a conference call?

The process of setting up a conference call varies by the service you use and the type of call (reservationless or operator-assisted). However, the basic steps are to schedule the call, invite participants, and send out the information they will need to join the call, such as time, date, and link or dial-in number.

Are there free conference call services?

Yes. Vendors that offer free services include FreeConferenceCall.com, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts and UberConference. However, some of these free services don't offer all of the extensive features and tools that many paid services do. In addition, many free services only offer reservationless services and not operator-assisted conferences.

How secure are conference call services?

With many employees working remotely and spending more time using these services, there have been significant efforts by conference call service providers to bolster security. Among the security measures conference call services use are call encryption, access codes, passwords and privilege assignments.

Does your business need a conference call service?

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly increased the number of companies using conference call services to get work done. Companies with remote workers, or employees that work from different locations around the country (or world) also benefit from using a conference call service. While every business's needs differ, if your company conducts routine meetings and some of your employees or clients are remote, a conferencing solution is a convenient, effective way to stay up to date on current work projects and companywide communication.

Is a conference call a video call?

While many conference calling services do offer video support, they are technically separate, one referred to as conference calling and the other video conferencing. Video conferencing is generally offered as its own service.

How much do conference call services cost?

While conference calling service pricing varies by provider, most providers follow one of two main pricing structures: pay-as-you-go and monthly plans. Pay-as-you-go plans generally cost 2 to 10 cents per minute, and monthly plans range from $7 to $60 per month.

How can you improve your conference calls?

There are many ways to make the most of your conference calls. You should create and share an agenda for the call with all participants beforehand so everyone knows what to prepare for. You should also set a time limit, and make sure all participants have accurate dial-in information so they can easily access the call. During the call, ask everyone who is not speaking to mute themselves (or do it for them, as some systems allow) to reduce background noise and interruptions.

What to Expect in 2021

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic forced many companies – and their employees – to adjust to working remotely. Companies across the country invested in video and conference calling systems to keep business running as smoothly as possible, despite the huge impact the pandemic had across virtually every professional sector.

While video calls became the norm through the pandemic, many began to experience "Zoom fatigue." Now, many professionals are scheduling audio-only calls to reduce the effects of "Zoom fatigue" among staff members. Many experts, including researchers from Stanford University, recommend spacing out video calls, turning your camera off during a portion of your meetings (or not using the full-screen option), and turning away from your screen.

In addition to a resurgence in audio-only calls, conference calling services are using artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which will likely expand throughout 2021. Many companies use AI during conference calls to take notes and capture the key points of the call.  

One phone system and conference call service provider, Dialpad, has introduced this technology with its services. In 2019, Dialpad acquired TalkIQ, a provider of speech recognition and predictive analytics technology. With this tech, Dialpad (which also offers UberConference) unveiled Voice intelligence. The new feature provides real-time call transcriptions and end-of-call summaries that include action items, follow-ups, and important moments. 

While Dialpad is one of the first services to build AI into its core platform (AI is becoming more prominent in a wide range of B2B services and software), we expect other providers to follow suit, as competition among conference call companies is fierce.


To help you find the best conference calling service for your business, we extensively researched and analyzed a wide pool of companies. Here's how we arrived at our best picks.

Locating the Best Services

To determine the best conference calling services, we started by looking at a comprehensive list of nearly 30 conference call service providers. We pared that list down by focusing on vendors that have solid online reputations, such as services with consistently high rankings on other websites. 

Choosing the Best Services

We visited each company's website from our initial list of 30. If a company stood out to us, we added it to the short list. We eventually narrowed the pool of contenders to 17 service providers: Arkadin, AT Conference, ConferenceCalls.com, ConferenceTown.com, FreeConference.com, FreeConferenceCall.com, FreeConferencePro, Infinite Conferencing, InterCall, No Cost Conference, PGi, RingCentral, Totally Free Conference Calls, UberConference, Vast Conference, Webex and Zip Conferencing. 

Researching Each Service

We continued to research each contender by investigating its services, watching tutorials and how-to videos, testing out the service when possible, and reading user comments. After narrowing the list down even further, we contacted the customer support team of each finalist, posing as business owners to gauge the service each provider offers its users.

Analyzing Each Service

Ultimately, we analyzed each system based on its type of services (reservationless, operator-assisted or both), call controls, call recording, features, integrations, mobile apps, cost and pricing structure, customer support, international access, and Better Business Bureau complaints and rating. 

Kiely Kuligowski
Kiely Kuligowski
Business News Daily Staff
Kiely Kuligowski is a business.com and Business News Daily writer and has written more than 200 B2B-related articles on topics designed to help small businesses market and grow their companies. Kiely spent hundreds of hours researching, analyzing and writing about the best marketing services for small businesses, including email marketing and text message marketing software. Additionally, Kiely writes on topics that help small business owners and entrepreneurs boost their social media engagement on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Other Services Considered

AnyMeeting: AnyMeeting by Intermedia is a web conferencing service that includes conference calling for up to 200 callers. Your AnyMeeting account includes a conference call number and PIN codes for you and your attendees. Pro subscribers can provide their attendees a U.S. toll-free number to call for their meetings. As a conference call host, you'll have full call controls, including the ability to mute and unmute attendees, lock the call, and control entry and exit chimes. anymeeting.com 

Arkadin: Arkadin offers both reservationless and operator-assisted conference calling services. Arkadin Anytime, the reservationless service, hosts meetings with up to 100 participants and features call recording, one-time PINs and phone keypad controls. The operator-assisted service provides a dedicated representative who helps plan and manage your conference call. arkadin.com 

AT Conference: AT Conference is a completely on-demand conference call service that allows you to conduct calls 24/7 using any landline or mobile phone. It has an easy-to-use platform with cloud conferencing tools. AT Conference also offers operator-assisted conference calling services. atconference.com 

Civicom: Civicom offers both on-demand and operator-assisted conference calling services. The on-demand service supports up to 2,500 callers, while the operator-assisted service can host meetings with as many as 5,000 callers. Features include call recording, full host controls, secure entry, pre-conference green rooms, hands-free conference entry and instant call summary reports. civi.com 

ConferenceCalls.com: ConferenceCalls.com's audio conferencing is easy to use, and its reservationless conference calls require no contracts or commitments. It has local access coverage in over 20 countries, along with toll-free access and global dial-out options. The reservationless service supports calls with up to 50 people and lets you record calls. Operator-assisted conference calling is also available. conferencecalls.com 

Conference Calls Unlimited: Conference Calls Unlimited provides phone conferencing, web conferencing and operator-attended services. The company offers custom pay-per-use and monthly pricing. The on-demand service is available 24/7 and includes call recordings. conferencecallsunlimited.com 

ConferTel: ConferTel by Civicom offers on-demand, unassisted audio conferencing for everyday use as well as operator-assisted services for large-scale, high-profile conference calls that require special attention and white-glove concierge services. Features include call recording, custom greetings and transcripts. confertel.net 

ConferenceTown.com: ConferenceTown.com was developed to offer free conference calling to both corporations and casual users. It allows you to start a free conference instantly, without registering or signing up. The service supports up to 5,000 callers at a time and records calls for no charge. conferencetown.com 

FreeConference.com: FreeConference.com offers a complete set of free audio and web conferencing features, including international dial-ins, moderator controls, call summaries, screen sharing, call recording and SMS notifications. The reservationless service can host calls with up to 400 participants at a time. freeconference.com 

Free Conference Calling: Free Conference Calling is a reservationless conference call service that allows you to host meetings on demand with up to 1,000 callers. The service features call reports and an online conference manager. freeconferencecalling.com 

Free Conference Pro: Free Conference Pro is a free, full-featured audio conferencing service. You can make unlimited conference calls without paying for any bridging time. Both on-demand and scheduled conferencing is available, and both options can support up to 800 callers at one time. freeconferencepro.com 

Infinite Conferencing: Infinite Conferencing offers reservationless and operator-assisted conference calling services. The reservationless service, which supports up to 100 callers, includes dual passcodes, international dialing, dial-out, call recording and mobile apps. infiniteconferencing.com 

InstantConference: InstantConference is a reservationless conference call service that can support up to 150 participants on each call. The web-based moderator controls let the meeting host monitor attendance and activate call features, such as recording the call or changing the muting configuration. An online control panel displays available caller ID information, and you can ping individual participants to take roll call. instantconference.com 

InterCall: InterCall's Reservationless-Plus service does not require reservations or operators. You control the conference commands from your telephone keypad, and you can select English, Spanish or Portuguese for your system prompts. In addition, you can use the Conferencing Center to manage your account and conference calls online. InterCall also offers customized features and operator-assisted services. intercallonline.com/ResPlus 

No Cost Conference: No Cost Conference provides instant, unlimited, automated conference calls that are free and take place over regular telephone lines (including cell phones) – no computer or internet access is required. The conference call services are available 24/7 with no scheduling. Callers may also access conferences via VoIP services like Skype. The service can host up to 500 callers at one time. nocostconference.com 

OnConference: OnConference is a conference call service with toll-free access in more than 100 countries. No reservations or advanced bookings are required, and you can host up to 96 participants. You get your own dedicated access codes, and the service features call recording. onconference.com 

PGi: PGi's GlobalMeet offers both reservationless and operator-assisted options. The reservationless service features call recording and web controls. The operator-assisted service helps you plan and run the conference calls. Customer support is available 24/7. pgi.com/globalmeet-audio-conferencing 

QConf: QConf is a reservationless conference call service that features unlimited conferencing minutes, call recording, Outlook and Google integrations, branded welcome messages, custom invitations, real-time controls, and SMS reminders. qconf.com 

Toll Free Conference: Toll Free Conference offers both reservationless and operator-assisted conference calling services. Reservationless meetings can host up to 300 callers, while the operator-assisted service can support up to 6,000 participants at a time. The service features call recording, web-based call management and a conference call reporting platform. tollfreeconference.com 

Totally Free Conference Calls: Totally Free Conference Calls allows you to host a conference whenever you want, no reservations required. Free calls support up to 500 callers at a time; for a nominal fee, you can increase the limit to 10,000. Features include an echo canceler, full web controls, call recording, scheduled replays, presentation mode, Q&A mode and reports of the call's details. totallyfreeconferencecalls.com 

TurboBridge: TurboBridge provides a conference calling service where all parties dial in to the system. No special equipment is required, and most callers dial in with a standard landline or mobile phone, though you can also connect through a computer. The service can host meetings with up to 300 callers at one time. Call recording is available for no extra charge. turbobridge.com 

UberConference: UberConference by Dialpad is a reservationless conference calling service that allows you to launch meetings from the office, at home or on the go with any device. It features screen sharing, call controls, custom hold music, Call Me tools, call recording, dial-out options, international calling, and mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. uberconference.com 

Zip Conferencing: Zip Conferencing offers reservationless and operator-assisted conference calling services. The reservationless service, which can host meetings with up to 300 callers, includes call recording, customizable settings, call blocking and multiple-presenter controls. The operator-assisted service can host meetings with up to 3,000 participants. zipconferencing.com

Image Credit: AndreyPopov / Getty Images
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