Web conferencing software can be – what’s the right phrase? – dang expensive. Especially if you’re someone who works on your own and has to pay somewhere in the vicinity of $50/month just to do some effective communication with colleagues, clients, and co-workers. Hey, it might not sound like much, but if your business counts on running a low overhead, then you’re in quite the pickle indeed.
The good news is that there are a number of free web conferencing tools out there that allow you to bypass the cost altogether and skip straight to the meetings. Yugma is one of them, and in this Yugma review, we’re definitely going to make sure that you understand why some web conferencing products allow a free version to be published at all.
The secret is that the free versions of web conferencing programs are free because they essentially act like extended trials – by giving you a limited range of options as well as a limited amount of attendees, they’re counting on the fact that you’ll probably end up wanting more in the long run. But if you don’t have any need for more, a product like Yugma might be exactly what you’ve been Googling for.
Let’s take a look at Yugma’s features and see if it’s worth your curiosity.
The Options: Free and Not-So-Free
Like other web conferencing tools with a “free” version to entice you, there really are two main options at Yugma: you can go with their paid options or with their unpaid options.
If you don’t want to go with a mainstream option like Fuze Meeting or GoToMeeting, there’s a chance that you’re interested in Yugma because of the unpaid version. So let’s take a look at their unpaid features first and see if they’re worth – well, not our money, but our time, at least.
A free Yugma meeting allows you to invite up to two attendees – see, that’s that “limited” stuff I was talking about before. This is great if your company is comprised of three people, but once you get to four you suddenly need to upgrade. It’s not such a bad thing, however, if most of your online business interactions are simply face-to-face meetings, in a manner of speaking, that only require two people – or at least two computers – total.
Heck, the free option at Yugma is better than some other programs, allowing you only a maximum of one other attendee. We’re surprised Yugma doesn’t advertise “50% more free attendees,” misleading as it may sound.
Signing up for the free Yugma meeting software is a snap, which is good news especially if your clients or business partners haven’t set it up themselves. And while there are other options for web conferencing online – say, a video chat on your iPhone – it’s the business meeting nature of software like Yugma that really sets them apart.
Sharing files, sharing desktops – all those goodies are present here at Yugma.
And what about the paid version of Yugma? Advertised as Yugma’s “P” series (hmm, I wonder what the “P” stands for), the prices are pretty reasonable, switching predictably between the monthly and annual payment structures.
The most expensive version of the P series will cost you about $160/month, which is definitely on the higher end of all the web conferencing tools we’ve seen here at Clickfire.
With prices that range from relatively cheap to relative expensive, I couldn’t find much to differentiate all of the different payment options at Yugma. In web conferencing software, there’s usually a small degree of variance within prices – say, three different prices total, depending on what you end up buying from their service.
Yugma, however, seems to offer all of its basic paid feature packages to all of these pricing options, meaning it’s hard to tell what you get when you pay for more…stuff. Of course, being able to invite more attendees usually comes with the higher prices, which is a trick the web conferencers employ that I’ve never been a fan of.
Why not charge a flat rate and allow us to use the software as we will? At the very least, you’d differentiate yourself from the competition and would get reviewers like me to recommend you to others.
Yugma’s got some nice features, though, including Skype integration and the normal online collaboration tools you should expect. Being able to tap into each other’s computers like you’re working right next to each other – even if you’re on different continents – is the main attraction of web conferencing software, after all, and it’s certainly part of what makes Yugma so attractive. But should you end up choosing the paid or the unpaid version?
Who Should Use Yugma?
Given the crowd of other web conferencing programs out there – and heck, you’ll even find a bunch of them reviewed at Clickfire – it can be hard to figure out what makes one stand out over another.
But, thus far, Yugma’s free web conferencing option is probably the most attractive because it allows the most collaborators (three total) and there aren’t any weird pricing attachments or requirements that would make you want to steer clear of it.
Is Yugma trying to get you to sign up for its paid version? Of course, but that’s not a major fault. And, heck, you may find up that you like Yugma enough that you don’t mind paying them a paltry ten dollars a month to use their software at a higher level. If you’re running a business successful enough to require frequent online collaboration, then there’s a good chance that you’re going to be able to afford Yugma as it is.
So, while I can recommend Yugma’s free version, we’re not sure you’ll want to choose its paid version of something more mainstream – something that other people (like your clients) are more likely to use themselves.
Even so, a startup company would be insane to ignore a good offering like Yugma’s free web conferencing software.