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The 5 best online meeting platforms for remote teams
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The 5 best online meeting platforms for remote teams

Want to know what’s the best way for your team to meet online? Check out our list of the 5 best online meeting platforms for remote companies.

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We’ve all been there. You’ve achieved the impossible and got everyone in the virtual room at the same time. The whole team is online and raring to go.

Until the first speaker says, “I’ll share my screen.” 

Cue glazed expressions across the board as participants’ engagement switches off faster than their cameras. Now you’re talking to a row of black boxes instead of real people.

That’s what happens when you run virtual meetings the old way—one person sharing and everyone else (barely) listening—instead of creating a spontaneous space designed for people to collaborate and be productive. And this just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Remote teams need to do more than just passively watch shared content on a screen. They need to be able to work side by side on a range of documents, apps, and browsers for effective, productive collaboration. Just like they would in person. 

The good news is, all virtual meeting platforms are not created equal—and choosing the right one can have a huge impact on how your remote team works together. 

Below is a list of well-known and newer virtual meeting platforms. Each product includes a list of what to think about when choosing the best option for your company’s needs.

Want to run more engaging team meetings?
Switchboard’s online meeting platform lets you share and collaborate as if you’re in the same room.
Sign up for free
Collaborative meeting in Switchboard
With Switchboard, meeting participants can collaborate in real time, creating a more productive remote work environment. 
Source: Switchboard

What to look for in an online meeting platform

Virtual meetings are important for keeping distributed teams aligned and on track. However, it can be difficult to run effective ones. 

One key to great remote meetings is choosing the right virtual meeting platform. There are plenty out there, but some can make it harder rather than easier to collaborate. For example, video conference software with screen sharing leaves only one person in control of the meeting, which can cause others to disengage until it’s their turn to speak. 

Luckily, there are alternatives to the usual suspects, many of which are designed to foster more effective collaboration. 

When you choose an online meeting platform, think about how your team operates and would ideally collaborate so you can crush your goals. Then review each platform’s features to find the best fit. 

Here are some key features to look for:

  • Compatibility with web-based apps. Make sure any solution you choose works with your existing tech stack, like Google Docs, Canva, or Figma. 
  • Persistent meeting rooms. Consider whether you need a permanent space for different teams, recurring meetings, and specific projects. Benefits of this include joining a call without setting up a new meeting or sending out a new link every time you want to collaborate with coworkers. 
  • Room permanence. After a meeting, it’s easy to lose track of the documents and apps everyone was working on. Room permanence fixes that by saving everything just as you left it, so your team can pick up again where they left off. 
  • Screen sharing and presenting. Sometimes it’s important for a colleague to share their screen. With screen sharing and presenting, you can walk colleagues through a product demo or present your new strategy to stakeholders.
  • In-room video and audio. Make sure videoconferencing and audio are integrated into your online meeting space, so participants don’t need to switch between platforms to access the resources they need. 
  • Chat functions. Ensure collaboration is ongoing, even while the presenter is speaking, by enabling real-time communication between team members.
  • Ability to use multiple types of content. Sometimes you need to use websites, images, PDFs, and apps side by side. Make sure you can see and share all the content you'll need for effective collaboration in one place. 
  • In-app support. Whether you need help figuring out a new feature or update, great support is essential to make the most of your meeting platform. Check that it offers in-app support to smooth out glitches, if they happen. 
  • Safety and security. Security isn’t a nice-to-have—it’s an essential factor in any software purchase decision. Make sure your meeting platform has secure hosting and stores minimal data to protect everyone’s privacy. 

Tips to find your ideal video conferencing platform

It’s also important to think about how you will use your virtual meeting platform. Here are a few tips on how to assess if it’s a good fit for your needs: 

  • Business type and industry. Always think about what type of business you run. If you’re a software development team, you need a virtual workspace software that facilitates dynamic, remote collaboration. By contrast, organizations that hold a lot of virtual events will need a solution that supports large webinars. 
  • Group size. Small businesses can work with a solution that caps meetings at 50 participants, but larger corporations need an enterprise solution that can host hundreds of participants. 
  • Meeting type. Keep in mind what type of meeting you’ll typically be running. Do you need project and design rooms with lots of space to add multiple apps? Or video conferencing with room permanence for regular sales calls with clients? 
  • Must-have features. Each platform has slightly different features and ways of integrating with the other tools in your tech stack. Make a prioritized list of the features and integrations and then check that against each option. 
  • Security. Your meetings need to be secure, especially if your business handles sensitive information. All the tools on our list meet high-security standards.
Recurring meeting room on Switchboard
 If you work on a highly collaborative remote team, a shared workspace is an essential feature for your online meeting platform.
Source: Switchboard

These are 5 great online meeting platforms for remote teams—and here’s why

With those features in mind, we’ve put together a list of five online meeting platforms for remote teams. We analyzed each platform’s top free features, who should use it, and its pricing model to make it easy for you to decide what option is best. 

Here are five to choose from:

  1. Switchboard
  2. Zoom
  3. Skype
  4. Microsoft Teams
  5. Google Meet

1. Switchboard

Switchboard is a browser-based collaboration platform that allows you to collaborate on documents and apps inside a virtual room—without having to share your screen. It’s designed to foster team connection, collaboration, and productivity through intuitive meeting rooms. 

It's an interactive meeting tool that lets you communicate in real time with video, audio, and chat. You can also work side by side allowing everyone to scroll, type, and browse the same document at the same time. 

You can create cloud-based virtual rooms for brainstorming, host spontaneous meetings with your team, and connect with clients in an interactive space. 

Throughout the meeting, you can explore any file in the room, moving around and viewing whatever you want without getting in the way of others. Best of all, Switchboard saves all your files after every meeting, so you never need to download anything or repopulate the room again.

Virtual office on Switchboard
Switchboard lets you go beyond just hosting online meetings to create a dynamic virtual office where everyone can collaborate in real time.
Source: Switchboard

Key free features of Switchboard

  • Shared online workspace and rooms for recurring meetings
  • Web-based canvas to add multiple apps, websites, PDFs, and images side by side
  • Persistent rooms that save your work
  • In-meeting video, audio, and chat
  • Secure, fast cloud browsers for instant collaboration
  • Screen sharing for native apps
  • Presentation mode
  • In-app support
  • Google Calendar integration
  • Unlimited rooms for 1:1s, meetings, and projects
  • Meeting recording
  • No integration required for web-based apps—they all work
  • Room permissions for members and guests
  • Sections to organize documents and apps
  • Host not required for members to enter a room

Who should use it? 

Switchboard is ideal for highly collaborative, small to medium-sized remote or hybrid organizations (50 employees or less). It’s ideal if you’re looking for a comprehensive and all-inclusive solution to traditional video conferencing tools. 

Switchboard is perfect for different use cases like recurring internal team meetings, from all hands to virtual huddles to 1:1s. Software and design teams can work together on product updates and new features. It’s also suitable for agencies, freelancers, and contractors that work directly with clients. You can also use its custom client-specific rooms to create a centralized, interactive space for meetings, sales demos, and training. 


Switchboard is currently free with all features included. It plans to introduce pricing tiers in mid-2023 and there will always be a free option.

2. Zoom

Zoom is one of the most recognizable online meeting platforms out there today. It offers online meeting solutions for various industries, from education to healthcare.

Online meeting on Zoom
Zoom is useful for large teams that want a basic, reliable online meeting tool.
Source: Zoom

Key free features of Zoom

  • Meetings of up to 40 minutes and 100 participants
  • Built-in online whiteboard
  • In-meeting chat
  • Automated captions
  • Call recording
  • Screen sharing
  • Breakout rooms

Who should use it? 

Zoom can accommodate a large number of participants, which makes it ideal for large companies that need a reliable web conferencing tool. Its built-in whiteboard and messaging features help make more meetings interactive. You can invite up to 100 attendees on the Basic and Pro plans, up to 300 on its Business plans, and up to 1,000 on its Enterprise plan.

But if you’re a small, highly collaborative team, Zoom meetings lack the functionality you’ll need for true side-by-side collaboration. 


  • Free version with limited functionality and attendee numbers
  • Pro: $149.90/year per user
  • Business: $199.90/year per user
  • Business Plus: $250/year per user
  • Enterprise: custom priced  

3. Skype

One of the original virtual meeting platforms, many people will remember making their first video call using Skype’s popular audio and video conference software. You can host up to 100 participants on a single video call and call phone numbers across the globe when you buy Skype Credit. 

 Online meeting on Skype
Skype is a great option for global teams that want free and reliable video conferencing.
Source: Skype

Key free features of Skype

  • Audio and HD video calling
  • Smart messaging
  • Screen sharing
  • Call recording
  • File sharing
  • Live subtitles and real-time translation

Who should use it? 

Skype lets you make calls with up to 100 participants and is ideal for small and medium businesses with remote international teams. If you work with colleagues or clients in different languages, its real-time translation feature also lets you communicate naturally even when your teams speak different languages. 

However, it lacks collaboration tools that let you work on a document simultaneously or brainstorm with colleagues. That makes Skype better for meetings or presentations that rely on verbal communication rather than smaller collaborative gatherings. 


  • Skype video conferencing for non-business users: Free 
  • Skype for Business is included in Microsoft Teams (see below) 
  • Skype Credit offers a range of pricing plans for calling phone numbers around the world

4. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Teams Rooms are online meeting platforms that let you host webinars, video conferences, and collaborative work sessions for your team. The free version works well for simple virtual meetings, while paid versions allow for advanced remote collaboration.

Online Q&A session on Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams lets you host webinars, collaborate with colleagues, and create private spaces for your team members.
Source: Microsoft Teams

Top free features of Microsoft Teams

  • Unlimited group meetings for up to an hour
  • Up to 100 participants per meeting
  • Unlimited chat
  • Wireless sharing
  • Real-time collaboration

Who should use it? 

Microsoft Teams works well for all types of businesses that need to host webinars and create collaborative meeting rooms. It’s particularly convenient for organizations that already use Microsoft products, like Microsoft 365. 


  • Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Teams Rooms with limited functionality: Free   
  • Microsoft Teams Essentials: $4/month per user
  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $6/month per user
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50/month per user 
  • Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro (without Audio Conferencing): $40/month per room 

5. Google Meet

Formerly known as Google Hangouts, Google Meet is a straightforward virtual video meeting platform that lets teams using Google Workspace meet easily and efficiently.

Team meeting on Google Meet
Google Meet’s automated captions help make meetings more accessible for all members of your team. 
Source: Google Meet

Top free features of Google Meet

  • Up to 500 participants
  • Live captions (in English)
  • In-meeting whiteboard capabilities and Miro integration
  • Screen sharing
  • Event live-streaming
  • Seamless integration with Google Chat

Who should use it? 

Google Meet is a convenient solution for companies that already use Google Workspace. But it’s not the best option for highly collaborative teams since it doesn’t let people work together on the same documents and apps.


  • Google Meet is free to use with access to premium features when you sign up for the Google Workspace. 
  • Business Starter: $6/month per user
  • Business Standard: $12/month per user
  • Business Plus: $18/month per user
  • Enterprise: custom priced  

Online meeting platforms: The key to making remote collaboration better than face-to-face

Virtual meetings are essential for remote collaboration. But between cluttered calendars and unhelpful meetings, they’ve gained a bad reputation. This is because participants are often limited to sharing screens and presenting one at a time, which can cause others to switch off, in both senses of the word. 

The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way. 

There are a number of online meeting platforms out there that go beyond screen sharing and enable interactive collaboration, which can transform your meetings, operations, and performance. Tools like Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet are all solid options for teams to meet online, present ideas, and host large-scale webinars and events. 

For true engagement though, you need to feel like you’re actually working in the same room. That’s why Switchboard provides a dynamic virtual space that gives your teams the tools they need for meetings where you actually get things done together. Teams can also collaborate on projects together in real time and build relationships and community by enjoying the kind of spontaneous interactions you get in a physical office.

Want to run more engaging team meetings?
Switchboard’s online meeting platform lets you share and collaborate as if you’re in the same room.
Sign up for free

Frequently asked questions about online meeting platforms

What are online meeting platforms?

Online meeting platforms are software tools or web-based applications that allow users to host and attend virtual meetings. These can be collaborative meetings in which participants simultaneously work together while communicating via video, audio, or chat. An online meeting platform can also be used to host a virtual webinar or conference.

What is the best platform for online meetings?

The best platform for online meetings will depend on the specific needs of your organization. However, some good features of an online meeting platform include collaborative workspaces, in-meeting chat functionality, screen-sharing capabilities, and reliable audio and video. 

What’s the difference between a temporary video call vs. a virtual meeting room?

While a temporary video call is only used at one specific point in time, you can access a virtual conference room any time. When you close a temporary video call, you lose all the resources that were shared during that call. But when you exit a persistent meeting room, all your resources are saved there for the next time someone enters the conference room. 

What are the different types of online meetings?

There are a few different types of online meetings. Teleconference meetings are audio-only meetings,  similar to a traditional phone call. Video conference meetings allow you to see other attendees and, in some cases, work in a collaborative shared workspace. Webinars are a less interactive type of online meeting in which attendees typically listen to a presenter and don’t actively participate in the conversation. 

What is the difference between an online meeting and an online video?

An online meeting is a live event in which a presenter and/or attendees actively participate and collaborate in real time. An online video, on the other hand, is a pre-recorded video that can be viewed at any time.

How do I host a virtual meeting for free?

To host a virtual meeting for free, there are a number of specialized platforms you can use. For example, Switchboard allows you to host collaborative virtual projects and meetings for your remote team. Other examples of virtual meeting platforms include Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.

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Want to run more engaging team meetings?

Switchboard’s online meeting platform lets you share and collaborate as if you’re in the same room.