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10 webinar platforms review

Vitaliy Shychenko

A leading software analyst in security, PC optimization and utilities.

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2020 became the best year for webinar technologies. Offices, teams, managers and staff found themselves in a dire need for remote communication due to the pandemic. Webinar platforms are cloud-based services that provide stable Internet broadcast for up to thousands of people at once. We have selected 10 best webinar software suitable for a range of businesses – enterprises, SMBs, NGOs, universities, marketing teams, etc.  

These are: ClickMeeting, Demio, GoToWebinar, Zoom, Zoho Meeting, ezTalks, LiveStorm, Cisco WebEx, BigMarker and LiveWebinar. We’ll talk about each with features, pros and cons, and have an FAQ at the end. But first, let’s start with the basics comparison.

1. Features

Scheduler Generating link for access Invites via email Mobile dial-in access Live social streaming Payment service integration API Team management
ClickMeeting Pro
Demio
GoToWebinar
Zoom Pro Pro
Zoho Meeting Pro
LiveStorm
WebEx Pro Pro
BigMarker
LiveWebinar Pro Pro Pro
ezTalks Pro Pro

2. Webinar tools

Drawing tools Polls Q&A Transcript Remote control Private chat File sharing Screen sharing
ClickMeeting
Demio
GoToWebinar Pro Pro Pro Pro
Zoom Pro Pro Pro Pro
Zoho Meeting Pro
LiveStorm Pro Pro Pro
WebEx Pro Pro Pro Pro
BigMarker
LiveWebinar
ezTalks Pro Pro Pro Pro

3. Pricing

Free Trial Platform Mobile app Min monthly plan Max monthly plan Attendees (Min/Max) Max recording storage
ClickMeeting 30 days Browser $30 $359 10 / 1.000 10 hours
Demio 14 days Browser $49 $234 50 / 500 8 hours
GoToWebinar 7 days App, browser $49 $399 100 / 3.000 Unlimited
Zoom App, browser $40 $6.940 100 / 10.000 3 TB
Zoho Meeting 14 days Browser $15 $63 25 / 100 25 records
LiveStorm Browser $99 $308 10 / 1.000 Unlimited
WebEx App, browser $15 $30 100 / 200 Unlimited
BigMarker 7 days Browser $99 $399 100 / 10.000 1 TB
LiveWebinar Browser $156 $119 5 / 1.000 8 hours
ezTalks 100 minutes Browser $10 $50 5 / 300 10 GB

ClickMeeting offers a free trial that does not require payment data, and lasts 30 days, which is pretty generous among webinar platforms. The basic plan lets run live webinars for up to 25 people. The maximum recording storage can contain up to 10 hours. The outstanding trait is automated events – schedule, upload a recording, set up timeline, chat, poll, etc, and let it run on its own. Very useful when one cannot go live.  

Check out the “getting started” tutorial and more guides on their YouTube channel.

ClickMeeting key features: live video/audio broadcasts, recording, screen sharing, surveys, private and public chats, question mode, social streaming, profiles, whiteboards, call-to-actions, statistics.

Pros

  • Lobby for attendees
  • Fully capable trial
  • Custom email invitations

Cons

  • Unskippable tutorial
  • No free plan

02 of 10

Demio

The Demio platform serves well for all kinds of webinars, from online courses to business meetings. Fast connection, on-demand presentations, integration with email services to start off. 14-day trial with all main features but limited to 25 participants and 1 hour webinar duration. To invite attendees, you can send out an event link or a social network invite (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). Customization options include registration page, waiting room, emails and notifications, etc.

Here’s a walkthrough for hosting a webinar on Demio by Jeff Thelen from TheFigCo:

Demio key features: desktop broadcast, text chats, attachments, surveys, CTAs, HD streaming, browser support (Safari, Chrome, Edge, Firefox), branding elements, contact management, integration with marketing apps (Drip, ConvertKit, GetResponse, etc.). 

Pros

  • Call-to-action elements
  • Series mode for webinars
  • Analytics available on-the-spot

Cons

  • No way to skip welcoming questionnaire
  • Inconvenient invitation system
  • Tests don’t support open-ended questions

03 of 10

GoToWebinar

GoToWebinar by the software vendor LogMeIn is geared toward the business segment. That’s why even the cheapest plan offers an impressive list of features: 150 attendees, up to 25 simultaneous video streams, unlimited cloud storage. Advanced plans cover transcripts for videos, video editor, marketing tools. Webinar dashboard contains many tabs with single features inside. Admin Center dashboard contains corporate tools such as team management and user rights. 

GoToWebinar key features: broadcasting, templates, automated webinars, recording, third-party services integration, screen sharing, desktop as a whiteboard, reports and source tracking.

Pros

  • Unlimited cloud storage
  • Remote control
  • Drawing tools

Cons

  • Difficult to manage
  • 7-day trial only
  • Installation

04 of 10

Zoom

Riding the success wave in 2020, Zoom is a potent tool for remote conferences and meetings. It can be used for free meetings with 100 attendees at the time, which on similar webinar software is possible only in paid plans. Web version, desktop or mobile application – it’s up to you. Pricing grid is quite confusing and most useful webinar features are paid, surely. The free version is basic: audio and video broadcasting, desktop sharing, files exchange and admin panel. 

Zoom 101 series on how to set up Zoom here:

Zoom key features: access by phone number, on-demand viewing, streaming (Facebook, YouTube), polling, chats, emails, integration with marketing tools (Salesport, Hubspot) and payment services (PayPal, CVent, Eventbrite).

Pros

  • Up to 100 attenders in Free
  • Cross-platform
  • Maximum possible attenders 50.000

Cons

  • Basic free version
  • Installed Zoom app for proper performance

Read also: How to uninstall Zoom.

Zoho Meeting positions itself as a tool for remote meetings, but it is also a webinar platform. It comes as a web service, desktop (Windows) and mobile app (Android, iOS). The maximum number of attendees is 250. Q&As and surveys provide direct interaction with users, pools support testing and rating questions. A speaker can share the entire desktop or a work area. There are no limits on webinar length/size, though no more than 25 meetings can take place at the same time. 

Here’s how to start or join online meetings on the go with Zoho mobile app:

Zoho Meeting key features: team management, email invites, access by phone, Zoho CRM integration, record/replay, registration forms, attendee moderation, VoIP, analytics.

Pros

  • Multifunctional polls
  • Integration with Zoho services

Cons

  • Costly
  • No whiteboard

06 of 10

ezTalks

ezTalks has been developing remote meeting software since 2008. And it has grown into a powerful and reliable software for webinars, remote conferences and meetings. Free plan includes webinars for 25 participants and a 100-minute limit, which is impressive. However, other features are blocked. To use ezTalks, one has to install the app (desktop or mobile), launch and manage broadcasting, while attendees just need to open a web browser and click on an invite.

Check out how to run a webinar on ezTalks:

ezTalks key features: live webinars, automated webinars, on-demand and paid webinars, scheduler, waiting room, email invitations, HD video and audio, whiteboard, screen sharing, chat, mobile app, streaming, thank-you page, reports. 

Pros

  • Discounts for new users
  • Mobile dial-in access
  • Multiple tools

Cons

  • Password policy
  • Limited free plan
  • No notifications

07 of 10

LiveStorm

LiveStorm is a relatively new player among webinar software. It is one of the few platforms with a really free package. Team member system allows you to invite other users to manage webinars too. Hosts can administer conversations, create and edit webinars, and moderators can manage ongoing events. For free webinars it can be only 20 minutes long and 10 attenders max. 4 hours and 100 people are available in Premium ($109/month). Every speaker or company gets a public page with an agenda. 

Here’s an insightful overview of LiveStorm by WebinarSoftware channel:

LiveStorm key features: pre-recorded broadcasts, iFrame mode (live streaming on social media), screen sharing, chats, Q&As, polls, guest presenter option, forms, source tracking, email invites and reminders, multi-language support. 

Pros

  • Potent free plan
  • Role system in team management
  • Speaker public page

Cons

  • No email invites in Free
  • No private chats

08 of 10

Cisco WebEx

Cisco WebEx is one of the oldest webinar platforms. It has a free plan and affordable plans, both for enterprise level and individual speakers. Basic WebEx capabilities comprise up to 100 attendees, 50 minutes session duration, screen sharing. Note that free version features do not correspond to vendor description and are much inferior. On the other hand, WebEx probably has the best user management system out there, with different levels of access and user rights.

For lots of helpful video guides go to Webex YouTube channel, for example learn about user on-boarding:

WebEx key features: text chats, HD broadcast, invitations, file sharing, Q&A mode, 100K attendees max, connectivity with Google Drive, Github, Gmail, Salesforce, etc., branding options, recording, real-time tech support.

Pros

  • Powerful and comprehensive
  • Advanced text chat
  • Team collaboration tools

Cons

  • Low number of participants
  • Enterprise-oriented

Read also: How to uninstall Webex.

09 of 10

BigMarker

BigMarker is a browser-based webinar software solution, described as a platform “by marketers for marketers”. In the minimal plan, up to 100 attendees are available, and the most costly plan will host events for 1.000 attendees. A 7-day trial is available. Along with standard and automated webinars, there’s a Series mode allowing to create several sessions for pre-registered user groups.

How to set up an online event on BigMarker:

BigMarker key features: multiple webinar types, video transcripts, live streaming, data collection, recording, email reminders, whiteboard, SEO tags, anti-spam for chats, pop-up notifications, event widgets, dial-in, etc.

Pros

  • Exclusive features
  • 7 types of webinars
  • Up to 10,000 attendees

Cons

  • Overwhelming menu
  • Only 7-day trial

10 of 10

LiveWebinar

Unlike other platforms, LiveWebinar was originally created especially as a webinar software. A quick registration on the home page provides access to a free plan that is recommended for small groups of 5 persons. Regardless of a plan, all customers have guaranteed broadcasts in HD quality, file sharing, polls. Their API can be used to embed broadcasts into websites.

Pricing policy is quite liberal towards users: 4 plans available, each for a specific group. Speaking in webinars can take place in three modes: discussion, presentation and Q&A. Their difference being the number of possible speakers, for example, discussion supports up to 25 simultaneous speakers. 

See how the branding tool by LiveWebinar works:

LiveWebinar key features: web service, code embedding, recorder, streaming (YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo), CMS, templates for registration, forms for polls, file storage, marketing tools, API.

Pros

  • Convenient and plain interface
  • Easy tests and surveys
  • Full HD

Cons

  • Only 50 MB file storage in Free
  • 6 interface languages only

P.S. We didn’t include some other popular webinar platforms in this list, as they require payment to access the trial. Whether such an approach is deliberate or not, we don’t know, but it contradicts the definition of a trial/demo. 

FAQ

Q: What is a webinar?
A: It’s a remote audio and video meeting between people with elements of education or business presentation. As a rule there is only one speaker who also moderates a conversation with attendees.

Q: What is an on-demand webinar?
A: It’s a pre-recorded webinar available by the link. It is often used for lessons, product presentations, etc.

Q: What is an automated webinar?
A: This is a scheduled webinar which uses a previously recorded live webinar. It starts automatically at a scheduled time and can contain actions (for example Q&A) which make it more realistic for attendees.

Q: What is toll-free mobile access to webinar?
A: It’s access to webinar via phone numbers starting with 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844 and 833 which are free to call from any phone. These codes are typical for the USA, to use this feature in other countries, check webinar platform info.

Q: What is mobile dial-in access?
A: It gives the possibility to connect to a webinar audio channel from an ordinary phone number. Unlike toll-free numbers this call will be charged according to your mobile operator pricing. This feature is available mostly in the USA and Europe.

Q: What is an evergreen webinar?
A: It’s a webinar with highly-popular content. For example, “How to improve online sales”. As a rule, such webinars are published on-demand.

Q: What is screen sharing?
A: It’s a possibility to show your attendees what you see on your screen. Most webinar platforms provide full screen sharing. It is a popular tool, as it is always easier to explain something, when you can show it.

Q: How attendees can get access to webinars?
A: By email invitations and/or a direct link. Some webinar apps also provide access by password and unique links.

Q: How attendees can join webinars?
A: A speaker can allow participants to speak, share screen and webcam. Yet in most cases, attendees use text chats.

Q: What is the host?
A: It’s a person who created a webinar. He/She is called a host because he provides his own PC as center connection point for attendees and main audio/video source.

Q: How to monetize webinars?
A: Use call to action elements to ask for donations. You can also run paid webinars on a platform that supports payment processor integration.

Q: What’s the difference between online meetings and webinars?
A: Main difference in fact that in online meetings every attendee can be the speaker at the same time. In webinars there is only a single speaker at a time.

Q: What is a webinar agenda?
A: It’s a list with scheduled tasks. In cases with webinars it can be available in two ways: as a list of all webinars planned for some period, or as an agenda for a current webinar.

Q: How to protect webinars from unauthorized users?
A: Use password access and send invites to trusted contacts only.

Q: Can I use remote control in webinars?
A: Yes, but attendees must confirm remote access first.

Q: Can I use webinars in a commercial sense?
A: Yes, marketers and salesmen often use it for presentations.

Q: Why is it important to record my webinars?
A: You can use a successful webinar as a source for automated webinars. Also re-watching recorded webinars helps to find possible errors or ways to make future webinars more productive.

Q: Can I advertise products during webinars?
A: Yes, but you should warn and make it clear to participants beforehand in webinar description.

Q: Can I use webinar software for work meetings?
A: Yes, but use only protected webinars rooms with password access and email identification for all invited attendees.

Q: Are webinar platforms free to use?
A: Not all. Zoom, LiveStorm, LiveWebinar and WebEx have free plans.

Q: How to create a popular webinar?
A: There are three key segments in creating popular webinars. Topic, promotion, storytelling.

Q: Can I use webinar platforms for remote education?
A: Yes, webinars are the best solution for remote education. Most of them include drawing boards, built-in testing and Q&A.

Q: Can I download / upload my webinars?
A: Yes, every platform provides access to file storage.

Q: What is a Q&A feature in webinar?
A: Full name of this feature is Questions and Answers. It allows attendees to ask speaker questions in a chat.

Q: How does webinar work?
A: It works like a usual lesson but only on the Internet. A speaker schedules a webinar and invites attendees. Attendees connect on a given date and time, where a speaker tells and shows webinar content. If it’s a live webinar, attendees can also ask additional questions, a speaker can add polling, etc.

Q: Can people see other participants in a webinar?
A: Only if you start a video stream from your webcam. Also on all webinar platforms you can switch video on/off.

Q: Can I use webinars for marketing purposes?
A: Yes, all necessary features are in place.

Q: Can I add attachments in webinars?
A: Yes, all apps support text files, presentations, PDFs and images.

Q: Why do I need to specify a webinar time zone?
A: Because some attendees can be from a different timezone. So it’s important for them to have a possibility to convert it to their local time and not miss the event.

Q: Can I make money with webinars?
A: Yes, you can organize promotional campaigns during it, ask for donations and create paid access to your webinar.

Q: What is the best webinar software for training?
A: Use Demio, because it supports running multiple webinars, live and on-demand.

Q: What is the best webinar platform for free?
A: LiveStorm offers a lot of features in a free package.

Q: What are the best webinar platforms for events?
A: Zoom is the best choice for events and remote meetings because it supports up to 10,000 attendees at the same time. Also Bigmarker and GoToWebinar are worth considering.

Q: What are the best webinar platforms for teachers?
A: Depends on how teachers build their lessons. GoToWebinar gives unlimited cloud storage for recorded webinars, Zoom is free and provides discounts for educators. And ezTalks has a multifunctional whiteboard.

Q: What is the best webinar app for businesses?
A: Cisco Webex is a webinar platform specially created for enterprise clients. For sales oriented businesses BigMarker will be the best solution, because it has exclusive features for it.

Q: What is the best webinar app for small business?
A: LiveStorm, Cisco WebEx and ClickMeeting provide webinar software with built-in collaboration and team management features.

Q: What are the best webinar platforms for 1000 attendees?
A: ClickMeeting, LiveStorm, LiveWebinar propose packages for webinars with up to 1000 attendees.

Q: What is the best webinar software for China?
A: ezTalks, Zoho Meeting, Zoom - these and any other platforms can be freely used in China.

Q: What are the best webinar platforms for nonprofits?
A: There are few free platforms like LiveStorm and LiveWebinars.

Q: What are the best webinar platforms for education?
A: ClickMeeting provides all important features for webinars and has very flexible testing and Q&A systems. Also Zoom has special plans if you use it for education.

About author

Vitaliy Shychenko
Vitaliy Shychenko

A leading software analyst in security, PC optimization and utilities.

Vitaliy Shychenko is engaged in a fully-fledged software research, performance testing, market research, business R&D. He explores interfaces for convenience and practicality for end-customers. Vitaliy is actively developing modern testing methods for antiviruses, anti-malware, video editors & converter apps, uninstallers, based on scientific analysis and the “level playing field” principle.

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