CHOICE membership

Online Conferencing - which tool

With so many of us having to work from home and generally be confined to the internet and our smart phones for communication, can I suggest a review of the online conferencing tools available to the average person at home, small businesses and families wanting to see their loved ones.
I have see a lot of the Zoom App advertised. There are also the usual players being Google Hangouts, Microsoft Skype/Teams, Facebook Messenger, Apple FaceTime and WhatsApp. Could Choice look into them and run through your thorough testing with some recommendations please.
Please keep up the good work.

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I think what needs to be considered is online conferencing which is truly cross-platform. Facetime is Apple only. Don’t think I would want to trust anything I say to facebook (So that’s both messenger and whatsapp) or google. Doesnt leave much. Zoom is currently being sued in a class action because of data given to facebook. That has stopped now, but…

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We use Line (app). It has a group voice chat function which works okay as well. Line is also one of the better ones for protecting data through encryption. If teleconference is for business purposes, strong end point encryption is important.

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Glad you asked. I am currently looking around for something to use.

The other thing that needs to be considered for those small businesses and independents working from home is how to charge $ when using online conferencing.

I agree that Zoom seems to be the current ‘go to’ by groups I know about.

[Edit: With a flurry of security alerts about Zoom, it also seems to be the ‘go from’ too!]

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During the recent online talk Choice staff said this was under active consideration.

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Stay Smart Online has just issued a warning regarding web conferencing.

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People should take a look at Signal. Its said to be the most secure messenger of all. It does do video and audio as well. I’ve only used it for text. Telegram is another but its becoming a bit too cutesie for me :slight_smile:

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A warning regarding using Zoom.

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I think it’s just a matter what you prefer than anything.Just try them out and see

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My church and my university use ZOOM. Personal just use FB Messenger

I had been requested to join a Zoom teleconference by a friend, BUT I didn’t like the look of their Privacy statements regarding theeir right to keep etc copies of transmitted content.
So I would welcome a Choice examination of teleconferencing apps with this aspect being an includeed consideration.

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It also currently gives them the right to share collected data with Facebook, which is even more concerning if one uses the software for personal or private use…there potentially is no confidentiality and poor security…

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Yesterday I received an unsolicited text spam touting Zoom. I did not follow the link to see if it had anything to do with Zoom or was a phishing site, and blocked the number. Funny how Zoom is in the news and suddenly in the spammers toolkits.

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An article advising how ro best use video calls.

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Skype? We used to use all the time but found the time a $10 recharge lasted was getting lower and lower. It appeared we were being taken for a ride so no more Skype. Gmail (Google) costs seem to last so much longer.
Certainly it would be good to get a professional opinion as why pay money for jam when you need a bit of a fair go.

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Good point. I refuse to use Whatsapp for the same reason as one has to agree to let emails amongst other things be read. Not in your life buddy. Some of my family however cannot accept this is an issue. It is!

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We have used Line and the costs are quite cheap both for local calls and international calls to land lines and mobiles (Line App to Line App is ‘free’ and uses data rather than phone call). Here are there rates:

They also offer for some countries, time limited and limited number of free calls, providing one watches an advertisement. The details are also in the above link.

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Most of the apps including Skype are free across the internet. I wouldn’t not use an app because its off net charges were high - just use a different solution for that purpose.

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We use Microsoft Teams. Works really well for co-working remotely, can share screens and/or work on files together whilst talking, as well as the video conferencing.

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