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The best free conference call service providers let you host basic teleconferences and video meetings.
Here are 4 top options. Our picks include the overall best free online conference call service, along with the best free conference call number service providers for online, audio and international calls.
How We Evaluated Free Conference Call Service Providers
What’s the best free conference call service? It all depends on what you need. We looked at contenders in 5 categories:
Best overall free provider for all types of call media, including online, video and audio calls
The best free provider for online calls
Best free provider for teleconferences with app integrations
The best free provider for international calls
The best free online teleconference provider for remote teams
Within each of these categories, we considered 3 major criteria when selecting providers:
What features does the provider offer?
Which features are free?
Which features aren’t free?
Based on these criteria, here are our picks for the best free conference call line in each category.
Did You Know?
The teleconference market grew by 500% after the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. forced several businesses to switch to remote work, according to a TrustRadius 2021 report. According to an Owl Labs report, 79% of respondents think video conferencing is equally, if not more, effective compared to in-person meetings.
Free Conference Call wins as the overall free conference call service on the strength of its range of free features, support for up to 1,000 participants, accommodation of mobile users and user-friendliness.
Free Conference Call supports a wide range of features:
High-definition audio conferences for up to 1,000 participants using domestic or local in-country dial-in numbers, U.S. toll-free numbers or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
International calls for select countries
Keyboard commands for functions such as mute
Breakout rooms for participants who want to start small groups
Call control features to facilitate lecturing, allowing questions and answers and muting participants
Settings that let you control features such as whether a tone sounds when participants join or leave meetings
VoIP support for desktops and mobile devices
Keyword search capability for reviewing meetings and automated transcripts
Video conferencing support for up to 1,000 participants
Screen sharing with drawing tools for visual aids and remote desktop control for user interaction
Storage space, including 1 gigabyte of free storage and premium upgrade capability
Ability to play back recordings as presentations
Built-in chat tools
Meeting wall tools for sharing broadcasts and documents and chatting
Reports on call details sent to your inbox
A mobile app for managing meetings on the go
Calendar tools for scheduling meetings and inviting participants using Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar
Integration with popular tools such as Slack, Dropbox and Evernote
The premium version features paid upgrades for participants to join without access codes, a toll-free conference call number, custom greetings and hold music
This expansive array of options makes Free Conference Call one of the most versatile free tools available.
One number service, which doesn’t require U.S. participants to use an access code, costs $3.95 a month
Providing a toll-free 800 number for U.S. participants to call costs 2 cents per person per minute
Adding a custom greeting or custom hold music costs $2 a month
Additional storage for up to 40 GB of recordings starts at $3 per month
The enormous range of free features that Free Conference Call provides helps make it our top overall choice.
2. Best Free Online Conference Call Service: Skype
For free online conference calling, we picked Skype.
One of the easiest and most versatile free tools available, Skype is a strong contender among free teleconference services and a great tool for small businesses.
Skype packs various features, including:
Audio and high-definition (HD) video calling
Smart instant messaging with search capability
Ability to send short message service (SMS) messages
File sharing up to 300 megabytes
Ability to call phone numbers of users who aren’t online, with affordable international rates for calling mobile numbers and landlines
Ability to get a local phone number
Call management features such as caller identification, voicemail and call forwarding
Security with end-to-end encryption
Support for most popular methods of connecting, including phone, desktop, tablet, web, Alexa and Xbox
The Skype app is free to download, and most features are free. Video and audio conferences are free for up to 50 people, including the host.
What Isn’t Free?
Using Skype for calling mobile numbers and landlines starts at $2.99 per month in the U.S., with additional fees per minute after 2,000 minutes a month. Companies that require more features or users or integration with an Office 365 environment can get Microsoft Teams.
If you need free conference call software with video capabilities and other program integrations, Microsoft Teams could be the solution for your small business. In the wake of COVD-19, Microsoft Teams temporarily increased its number of meeting and free online conference call participants from 100 to 300 and the maximum meeting length to 24 hours from 1.
Other features for the free conference line and video service include the following:
Online video and audio meetings
100 participants (temporarily increased to 300)
1-hour time limit for meetings (temporarily increased to 24 hours)
10 gigabytes in storage for all teams
Access to web versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint
Custom backgrounds for video conferencing
Guest access to chats
Real-time collaboration in Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps
Microsoft Teams is included in 2 Microsoft service bundles — Microsoft 365 Business Basic for $5 per user per month and Microsoft 365 Business Standard for $12.50* per user per month. It includes many features in the free version as well as additional aspects, including 1 terabyte of storage space per user, meeting recording and customer support.
For companies seeking solutions for international conference calling, we recommend FreeConference.com. The range of free features includes free dial-in for international callers.
The free version of FreeConference.com includes:
Support for up to 100 participants on HD audio calls
Support for up to 5 online meeting participants
Free international dial-in numbers
Mobile app availability
The Pro version allows support for more web participants, plus additional features such as:
Premium international dial-in numbers
Limited premium minutes before overage fees kick in
Premium and toll-free numbers with brand-free greetings
Audio and video recording capability
YouTube live video streaming ability
Auto transcription of meetings
One-time security access codes for callers
FreeConference.com is free for up to 100 audio participants, including international dialers and up to 5 web participants. Video conferencing and screen sharing are also free. However, the free version doesn’t include security access codes, so anyone who has the number can call in.
What Isn’t Free?
The Starter plan is $9.99 a month and the Pro plan is $34.99 a month and respectively allows up to 15 and up to 100 web participants. Premium packages include access codes for better call security. Higher pricing tiers also allow progressively higher monthly premium minutes and lower costs for overages, along with additional conferencing features.
5. Best Free Teleconference Services for Remote Workers: Webex by Cisco
Webex by Cisco’s features can help your team connect and collaborate outside of a central office. Up to 100 people can teleconference and utilize breakout rooms, notes and whiteboarding to enhance the meeting experience.
Unlimited messaging and file-sharing
50-minute time limit for meetings
Up to 100 participants
Save recordings to hardware
Chat, notes and polling
Supported across wearables, iOS and Android devices
Schedule meetings from Google or Microsoft calendars
Call anyone with a Webex VoIP account
End-to-end encryption option
The Basic plan will cover nearly hour-long meetings with up to 100 participants across any platform or device. In addition, the service integrates with Google and Microsoft calendars, allowing Webex users to schedule meetings from either app.
What Isn’t Free?
The free Basic plan offers more features for video conferencing than conference call services. With the Call plan ($17 per month) and Enterprise plan (custom pricing), options include 6-way conference calling, unlimited local and long-distance calling, call waiting and a phone menu. The Enterprise plan can also stream meetings from Facebook Live and offers MP4 recordings and meeting transcription.
What to Consider When Choosing Free Teleconference Services
The best conference call service for your business should provide value. While our recommended programs offer comprehensive features, free conference call services aren’t worth the savings if they don’t offer what you need.
Keep the following things in mind:
The number of participants: Do the free options offer enough spaces to allow all key personnel to participate in the call?
The amount of time you have: What’s the time limit for free online conference calls? Weigh this against how often you need to hold conference calls and your meetings’ typical lengths.
Key features: In addition to a teleconferencing call, what will you need to host a group meeting successfully? Will a chat function help you better address questions? Will breakaway “rooms” further conversations and sidebars? Is a virtual whiteboard necessary for a brainstorming session? Will you want to record these meetings, and how long will you need them for review?
Contributing Writer for Fast Capital 360
Roy is a respected, published author on topics including business coaching, small business management and business automation as well as an expert business plan writer and strategist.