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Technology should make our lives easier
• Shared screen technology
• Integrated VoIP conferencing
• Browser-based system
• Brandable interface
• Pre-set limit on number of participants
• Complicated plan structure
MegaMeeting represents a reliable, value for money service that allows you to host your own meetings or conferences online. The browser-based service is scalable and can be hosted, appealing to both big business and smaller companies. We found the system to be easy to use and appreciated the integrated VoIP and simple access for participants.
MegaMeeting, in operation since 2003, provides online meeting solutions to large and small companies. A variety of plans offer something for every size of business. We checked out the MegaMeeting features to see what this web conferencing system has to offer.
The range of plan options available can be a little overwhelming at first glance and you need to know how many people will be sitting at your meetings before you can really know which plan to choose. The Webinar plan offers teleconferencing and VoIP audio for online presentations and meetings. VideoConferencing is for unlimited audio as well as video conferencing, with up to 16 live video streams per meeting. You also get access to technical support 24/7 with this plan. The Enterprise package is for a higher-quality video conferencing service that is hosted on dedicated servers, or your own servers. With this package you create custom meeting rooms using your own colours and logo. The Private Branded plan is primarily for people wanting to make money from their own private conferences and online events, with all the MegaMeeting branding removed and the ability to sell seats at your set rate. For all the professional videoconferencing plans there is a different price depending on how many people will participate – from $45 per month for three people, up to $499 a month for 100 to 200 people. If you need more participants there is a custom price plan available.
The MegaMeeting system is browser-based so participants don’t need to download anything prior to attending an online meeting – an internet connection is all that’s required. Join a meeting through an email link or by directly accessing the website. One of the benefits of an online conferencing service is the ability to share documents in real time, allowing participants to offer comments and make changes without having to send and resend versions by email. With MegaMeeting you don’t need to upload documents before you can share them, which makes looking at files simple. The MegaMeeting service includes a public and private chat system that allows you to interact with other meeting participants while online. With the higher-priced business packages you can brand your conference with your logo and colours (great for creating a more professional impression for training and sales pitches) and create different meeting rooms – participants can move between rooms while at the online conference.
Presenters are able to handle a multi-party conference call or web presentation from one interface, controlling file sharing and application sharing, plus who is speaking at a certain time. The chat option can be private if the presenter wants to share ideas “offline” with participants. Presenters can take control of a participant’s computer remotely in order to demonstrate applications or ideas, or choose a participant to take control of their own desktop.
Video & audio
We like the VoIP audio aspect of the service which allows participants to join the conference through their computers using headphones and a microphone, thus cutting down on the confusion and expense of telephone call-in numbers. The videoconferencing plans include high quality (though not HD) video feeds to enable participants to see each other. You can also choose which language you want to see the interface appear in. Recording capability is available with external plug-ins only.
To create a tighter, more secure meeting add user authentication for people signing into a MegaMeeting. Once everyone is in the presenter can lock-down a meeting to prevent unauthorised access, and can also remove people from the meeting if necessary. Because the system is browser-based it is easier to use than a downloadable system but you need to watch out for security threats – MegaMeeting has encryption in place and doesn’t collect any financial or personal information from participants’ computers. There is in-built protection against malware and viruses which is created by utilising the existing security features in participants’ computers.
Ease of use
The browser-based system scores points for ease of use – there’s nothing to download so participants can just turn up at an online meeting or conference and use their VoIP system as they would for making a regular call. The MegaMeeting interface is simple for presenters to understand and manage, making handling multiple participants easy. One thing that could be simplified is the array of plans and the confusion as to whether you are paying for an all-inclusive service or per- participant.
Help & support
MegaMeeting provides a full product manual for technical enquiries including how to set up a meeting and how to troubleshoot any problems, as well as a Technical Support Wiki. The MegaWiki is regularly updated by experts and contains a large amount of information relating to issues users face when running online meetings and conferences. For the Professional plans you can take advantage of 24/7 technical support via email or telephone.
The MegaMeeting service is simple for participants to join, easy to navigate and comes with a comprehensive user manual and technical assistance. MegaMeeting provides a range of plans for casual and business users, with the option to brand your conferences and handle more than 200 participants.
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