5 Best Free and Open Source Meeting Software

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These meeting tools can help your teams collaborate remotely. What’s better? You can start using them for free.

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Although there is no substitute for face-to-face business meetings, virtual meetings have proven to be a competitive replacement in times of need. They help businesses remotely collaborate to discuss critical issues and plan strategies.

There are several specialized tools, called meeting software, that can help businesses simplify scheduling and conducting virtual meetings.

However, not all businesses have an IT budget big enough to accommodate expensive meeting solutions. For businesses that wish to avoid large upfront costs, we’ve created a list of the best free or open source meeting software available on the market.

What do we mean by “best”? We call them “best” because these tools have user ratings higher than 4 (out of 5) on Capterra and rank high on Google’s search engine results pages. Further, these offer the key features of meeting software and are available free of cost.

You can view the complete selection methodology here to learn more about how we shortlisted these products.

Here’re the tools we’ll cover in this article, listed alphabetically.

5 best free and open-source meeting software


Bitrix24

5 best free and open source meeting software
User rating: 4.0/5.0
Ease-of-use rating: 3.7/5.0
Customer service: 3.9/5.0

Bitrix24 is a collaboration platform that has software tools for CRM, project management, and document management. It also includes a tool for managing meetings.

The free version of the meeting management tool offers features for recording minutes, holding video calls, and creating meeting-specific groups. Each call supports up to 12 attendees per session; they can dial-in from their phones or through the mobile app.

What users like

What users would like improved

  • Built-in telephony feature that allows users to dial-in and dial-out.
  • Ability to view meetings and events throughout the company
  • Better visualization of data.
  • Faster and more comprehensive responses from the technical support team.

Cost of upgrade

The tool offers two business plans: Standard, which costs $51.48 per month for 50 users, and Professional, which costs $103.48 for unlimited users.

Most suitable for

72% of Bitrix24’s users hail from small businesses, while 13% and 15% belong to midsize and large businesses, respectively.

Virtual meeting window in Bitrix24

Virtual meeting window in Bitrix24 (Source)



Cisco Webex Meetings

Cisco Webex Meetings
User rating: 4.4/5.0
Ease-of-use rating: 4.2/5.0
Customer service: 4.2/5.0

Cisco Webex Meetings is a tool for scheduling, hosting, and attending meetings. Its free version allows users to create personal meeting rooms and invite up to 100 attendees, who can join a meeting either through an online link or by dialing-in from their phones.

The free version helps users collaborate during meetings through screen sharing and a virtual whiteboard. Users can draw or annotate on the whiteboard simultaneously or annotate on shared documents, files, and images.

This version also offers the flexibility of scheduling meetings via Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Google Calendar, Slack, and Workplace. However, the support options are limited to raising tickets, as on-call and chat support are available only to paid-version users.

What users like

What users would like improved

  • Automatic adjustment of meeting timings as per the time zone.
  • Short implementation period that does not require any downloads or additional plug-ins.
  • Better voice quality while using the computer’s speaker and mic instead of earphones/headphones.
  • Fewer lags while sharing screens.

Cost of upgrade

The starter plan of Cisco Webex Meetings is available for $13.95 per month, per host, and supports up to 50 users.

Most suitable for

Large businesses make up 48% of Cisco Webex Meetings’ users, while 36% and 16% come from small and midsize businesses, respectively.

Creating a personal room in Cisco Webex Meetings

Creating a personal room in Cisco Webex Meetings (Source)



FreeConference

5 best free and open source meeting software
User rating: 4.5/5.0
Ease-of-use rating: 4.8/5.0
Customer service: 4.7/5.0

FreeConference is a cloud-based tool that helps users hold meetings through personal meeting rooms. Its free version supports up to 100 attendees on audio calls and 5 on video calls, per session.

The free version offers many features for in-meeting collaboration, such as screen sharing, text messaging, document sharing, and a virtual whiteboard. Attendees can draw and annotate on the whiteboard or drag and drop documents (including PDF files and images) onto the whiteboard and annotate on them. If needed, the whiteboard can also be saved as a PNG file for future reference.

What users like

What users would like improved

  • Ability to join meetings through the web and dial-in channels.
  • Hassle-free implementation.
  • Fewer technical issues during calls.
  • Compatibility with browsers other than Google Chrome.

Cost of upgrade

The Starter plan costs $9.99 per month and allows 100 attendees on audio calls and 15 on video calls.

Most suitable for

93% of FreeConference’s users come from small businesses, while midsize businesses make up the remaining 7%.

Video Conferencing in FreeConference

Video conferencing in FreeConference (Source)



Jitsi

5 best free and open source meeting software
User rating: 4.1/5.0
Ease-of-use rating: 4.4/5.0
Customer service: 4.4/5.0

Jitsi is a free and open source tool for conducting virtual meetings. Its key features include video conferencing, recording, messaging, screen sharing, and password-protected conferencing.

Jitsi integrates with Google and Microsoft calendars to help users schedule meetings. Upon integration, calendar events appear on Jitsi’s homepage from where users can access meeting links.

Jitsi, being a fully open source platform, can be developed by users as needed. Some of its key open source projects include Jigasi (for telephone dial-ins), Jibri (for recording and streaming video calls), and Jidesha (for screen sharing).

What users like

What users would like improved

  • Option of using the tool without registering, signing-in, or sharing any personal details.
  • Strong session initiation protocol.
  • Glitch-free video calls and fewer scheduling issues.
  • Shorter implementation period.

Cost of upgrade

Jitsi is completely open source and free, with no paid version. Developers can work with the tool, free of cost.

Most suitable for

Small businesses are the most represented in Jitsi’s user base at 70%, while large businesses comprise the rest 30%.

Sending meeting invites in Jitsi

Sending meeting invites in Jitsi (Source)



Zoho Meeting

5 best free and open source meeting software
User rating: 4.6/5.0
Ease-of-use rating: 4.6/5.0
Customer service: 4.5/5.0

Zoho offers a range of software tools targeted at business functions such as finance, CRM, and sales. Zoho Meeting is the one designed to help users schedule and conduct meetings.

Zoho Meeting’s free version allows users to request RSVPs, send email reminders, and have meetings reflected in their calendar. During meetings, users can share their screen or a separate application window with the attendees. However, this version limits the number of attendees to two per session.

What users like

What users would like improved

  • Audio and video quality of video calls.
  • Ability to send direct links and reminders to participants.
  • Analytics feature to gain insights, such as the number of users, duration, and interactions.
  • Grid view where all attendees can be seen simultaneously.

Cost of upgrade

The paid version of Zoho Meeting costs $8 per host, per month, billed annually, and $10 per host, per month, billed monthly. The maximum number of attendees under this version is 100.

Most suitable for

Small businesses make up 91% of Zoho Meeting’s user base, while midsize and large scale businesses represent the rest 6% and 3%, respectively.

Creating a meeting invite in Zoho Meetings

Creating a meeting invite in Zoho Meeting (Source)



Next steps

After gaining a general idea about these products and their features, some additional steps should be taken to select the right tool. Let’s take a look at these:

  • Read reviews: Read user reviews on third-party websites, like ours, to get an idea about the tool’s performance and the experience users have had. This will help you identify any particular challenges associated with the tool or features that might be particularly useful for your business.
  • Speak with the vendor: It helps to speak with the vendor before finalizing a product as you might learn about newly launched features that may not be listed on the website yet. If you have any unique feature requirements, you can also discuss these with the vendor.


Product selection methodology

To identify the products featured in this article, we used the following methodology:

We searched for free and open source meeting software tools in Google’s incognito mode and gave preference to products that ranked higher in the SERP rankings. We judged these products on the criteria mentioned below to arrive at the five listed in the article:

  • The tools had to offer a free, stand-alone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
  • The tools had to have a user rating of 4 or higher (out of 5) on Capterra and 10 or more user reviews as on March 13, 2020.
  • The tools had to offer all the core features and at least half of the common features of meeting software. The core features include scheduling meetings and attendee management, whereas the common features include two-way audio and video, screen sharing, messaging, and meeting recording.

Disclaimer: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users. It does not represent the views of Capterra.

Looking for Project Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Project Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Bandita Awasthi

Bandita Awasthi is a content analyst specializing in accounting and financial services markets. She enjoys studying how technological developments shape the business ecosystem and has contributed content to leading IT and consulting firms.

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