Interesting open source alternatives for handling online meetings, videos, screenshots, and files:

  • CamStudio, an open-source free limited AVI screen recorder and AVI-SWF converter
    (paid comparison: Camtasia Studio 6 by Tech Smith – $299) – See a wiki comparision – Click Here
  • MWSnap, a free alternative for basic screen captures (paid comparison: Snagit)
  • CutePDF, free print-to-PDF software (paid comparison: Adobe, Win2Pdf, etc)
  • FileZilla, open-source free alternative for FTP and sFTP (paid comparison: SmartFTP, WS_FTP, etc)
  • CrossLoop, free remote screen sharing app (paid comparison: CoPilot, GoToAssist)
  • TeamViewer – Like CrossLoop but allows point to point sharing (install required)
  • – open source CRM vs.
  • Freemind (wireframe/ vs. SmartDraw 2009

You get what you pay for: these free versions are far more limited than their full-featured commercial cousins.

Also for non-profits, check out the Tech Replubic whitepaper

The terms I’ve seen are screencasting, web casting,

What do you need?

  1. Needs to be free!
  2. Real-time collaboration with white board & annotation tools, mouse & keyboard sharing and instantly changing presenters.
  3. Schedule meetings and send invitations in advance.
  4. Record your webcast in order to share and playback at any time.
  5. Use the Shared File Space feature to distribute files securely.
  6. Video conferencing tools allow you to use your standard webcam and broadband Internet connection to have multi-party videoconferences.
  7. Save time, hassle, and money spent on travel
  8. Streaming feeds number (or number of participants)
  9. Text-chat, File transfer and Session Recording

There are a number of software applications that make web meetings and videoconferencing possible. These tools are effective for giving online presentations, as well as updating business partners, clients or team members about the status of any project.

Some of my favorites are:

Dimdim is a free web conferencing service where you can share your desktop, show slides, collaborate, chat, talk and broadcast via webcam with absolutely no download required to host or attend meetings. Limitations are that it only allows a few type of documents, and doesn’t share applications. Screen sharing, up to 20 users and 3 mics, camera avail, small download for sharing screen (host).

Vyew provides a virtual space to share information and work together. Get your point across visually. Host live conferences and interact in real-time. Post documents and presentations for review and commenting anytime. Vyew takes a fresh approach to web collaboration. With Vyew you can collaborate live and over time, anytime.

Seems to be evloving. No recording. No specific application sharing (like webex). VOIP phone is there and so is a regular toll number (nice touch). Screen share is a bit clunkie, but it  does work. Allows multiple types of documents to collaborate with though.


vRoom – Looks pretty neat. Need to take it for a test spin. But it was rated as one of the top 100 software solutions for District Administration Magazine (for education programs).

Yugma (Yoog-ma) is a Sanskrit word that describes the state of togetherness.

Yugma free web conferencing allows anyone, anywhere to instantly share their desktop and ideas online with others. To start hosting your own meetings, sign up today for FREE. Your Yugma Free web conferencing account allows you to invite up to 20 attendees – plus, receive a free 15-day trial of Yugma Pro. Attendees will all have to register…Unlimited Sessions, Unlimited Minutes.  Java based application runs in a browser.

In addition to the features available in the free version, a paid Yugma account offers a number of extra interactive features. With a paid Yugma account you can: change presenters, share mouse and keyboard, share files, record the webcast, use the annotations/whiteboard feature and schedule sessions.

Microsoft Shared View

Download and install for up to 20 participants. The install must be on a Microsoft OS workstation, but I hope the rest. Integrates with MS Office. It’s totally microsoft. Need a Windows ID – so I bailed on this install.

ooVoo is a free program that uses technology to bring high-quality video and voice communications to people all over the world. Because seeing is believing. ooVoo is a great way to connect with friends, family, and colleagues using full video and sound. Organize a family get-together, share breaking news, or heckle your friends during your favorite sporting event. It’s easy. Total social tool. No app or doc sharing.

WiZiQ is a platform for anyone and everyone who wants to teach or learn live, online. With a virtual classroom, educational content and a session scheduler, WiZiQ works best for anyone’s online teaching and learning needs. Try it out, it’s all free! Recorded sessions are availabe for 30 days online. Premium members can have .exe files created.

Adobe Connect Now

Adobe Connect Now is part of the new of online collaboration tools. This one lets you create online meetings where you can do videoconferencing, VoIP conversations, whiteboard, share files, chat, and share your screen. You can change a person’s role at anytime, and move the activity pods as you wish during the meeting. The service is free to use, as the rest of the suite, after a simple registration.


VSee is a free videoconferencing and application sharing service, and it allows you to talk with multiple people on your computer. You can remotely edit and annotate documents, share applications and desktops, transfer files, record and share videos, pan, tilt, and zoom remote cameras. Vsee is free to use for an unlimited number of people.


SightSpeed is the award-winning provider of Internet video chat and voice calling for friends and family, and video conferencing solutions for businesses. We make it easy to install and set up so you can… is a video conferencing system, that has just launched a new version of the product. It lets you set up video meetings with up to 10 people, who can all whiteboard, upload PowerPoint presentations, record for one hour anything that happens in the conference and publish it as a video on YouTube. The service is completely free to use.


MeBeam is an easy-to-use Flash-based video conferencing tool that you can use to have video calls with people without having to install anything on your machine. To start a video conference, you just have to type a name for your room, share it with your friends, and click connect. It is completely web-based and free to use with no registration needed.


FlashMeeting is a video conferencing application based on the Adobe Flash ‘plug in’ and Flash Media Server. Running in a standard web browser window, it allows a group of people to meet from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Meetings are pre-booked by a registered user who just needs to share a URL. Users are provided with video and audio conferencing, along with the ability to perform web tours.


MegaMeeting is simply the best multipoint web based video conferencing system out there. What makes it superb for instruction is the two way video and audio capability that outpaces other platforms that only offer essentially one dimensional systems. Mega Meeting allows students to communicate with their instructor instead of having the feeling of isolation at their end. This allows for the creation of ‘real’ virtual classrooms.


Wengomeeting is a flash web-based service that allows you to video conferencing meetings without any software to download. You just need to register, add your colleagues email address and automatically your webconferencing room is created.


ekko’s goal is to work with great sites and communities to enhance the interaction between users around content. We accomplish that through building the best the Web has to offer in synchronous interaction modules and aligning our goals with yours. Take a look and touch base with us today.



Tokbox is a web-based video conferencing application that anyone can use to have video meetings online with 20 or more people.


Communicate face-to-face for free from your mobile phone, desktop or laptop. iVisit enables you to host or attend a live online meeting with up to 8 participants from anywhere.


Free calls, video calls and instant messaging over the internet. Plus great value calls to phones anywhere in the world.


SnapYap is a video communication tool that allows you to participate in live video calls, record video messages, and send and receive video emails with absolutely no downloads. Designed to be as straightforward as possible, the applications on make video technology available to anyone with a webcam and an internet connection.

AT&T Connect

Traditional voice, Web and video conferencing tools are too expensive and too limited to meet company-wide needs. AT&T Connect changes that with a highly-scalable native IP software architecture, centralized management, efficient network performance and a full breadth of communication and collaboration features—all for a fixed price with unlimited usage. AT&T Connect turns conferencing into an integral workplace application that is used internally by executives, employees and teams as well as externally with customers, partners and suppliers.

Make it easy for your global employees to work with colleagues over the web like they do in person. Count on Cisco WebEx solutions to connect them across firewalls, across platforms, and across the globe.


Sending video messages with Eyejot is as easy as sending email. There is no software to download or install. Just login to your account, record or upload your video, and send! The recipient gets a friendly email message telling them they have a new video message, and they can watch it with a single click. No registration required.


Ekiga (formely known as GnomeMeeting) is an open source VoIP and video conferencing application for GNOME. Ekiga uses both the H.323 and SIP protocols. It supports many audio and video codecs, and is interoperable with other SIP compliant software and also with Microsoft NetMeeting.


Vidivic offers easy-to-access free web conferencing that helps increase your productivity and will save you a lot of time and money.

6 thoughts on “Free Online Collaboration Tools

  1. Hey, you forgot to mention RHUB web conferencing appliances. It is very economical; as it is only one time cost and provides better security as compared to hosted services.

  2. Much more cost effective than Camtasia, My Screen Recorder is one of the best screen recording software. It records your screen and audio from the speakers or your voice from the microphone – or both simultaneously. The recordings are clear and look great when played back on your website, uploaded to YouTube or used in your presentation. One thing often overlooked – It will record directly to standard compressed format that works with any video editor or any tool, no conversion required. And, the file sizes are small, making them easy to upload or distribute.

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