Top 10 totally free team communication tools for SMBs

Team communication is essential for any business, no matter how big or small. Of course, for smaller companies pricey communication tools may not seem worth the investment when there are only a few employees involved.

Luckily, there are plenty of free tools out there that make team communication a breeze. We take a closer look at some of the best free tools on offer.

Skype – for a very familiar feeling

For many, Skype is the go-to tool for all things video chat. As far as free tools go, it offers excellent quality without using up too much of your mobile data while on the go.

Key features: Video-calls, private and group IM, group video chats, file sharing and management, screen sharing and more

What’s so great about it? Most people will already have it installed, so you just need to swap usernames and you’re ready to go. You can also use it for group video chats for up to 10 users at once.

Google Hangouts – easy, hip team communications tool

Google’s chat and video messaging service, Hangouts, is a popular tool for many. It provides users with an easy way to converse with others, either with a single person or groups of people.

Key features: Voice calls, video calls, chat, multimedia messages, videoconferencing, live-stream meetings and events

What’s so great about it? You can connect with up to 10 people worldwide regardless of devices and messages can be archived for future reference. It recently got a dedicated website, so you can now use it in any web browser, without having to run Gmail or Google Plus.

You are limited to 10 users in a video call and 100 users in a chat, but paid subscriptions are available to increase that limit.

Slack – team communications on the go

If you need a chat app to send direct messages and create private groups, then Slack has the answer. It offers multi-team support, with free native apps for Android, iOS, and Mac and Windows desktops.

Key features: Real time messaging, one-to-one and group conversations, file sharing, powerful search and archiving (up to 10,000 most recent messages in free plan), dozens of integrations with tools such as Google+ Hangouts, Dropbox and Asana

What’s so great about it? Slack is one of the most widely used team communications apps available for all major mobile and desktop platforms. It’s quick to set up, well designed and allows you to embed social media posts and download and store images.

Advanced plans include features such as guest access, user groups, custom profile fields, unlimited service integration and a searchable archive with unlimited messages.

Bitrix24 – communication AND collaboration

Think of Bitrix24 as a social network for business. This free collaboration tool can be used by up to 12 users and offers free iOS and Android apps.

Key features: Instant messaging and group chat, email collaboration, telephony, videoconferencing, email connectors, unlimited tasks/subtasks, unlimited projects/workgroups, daily planner, multiuser editing, document sharing, calendars (personal and shared)

What’s so great about it? The free plan has plenty to offer, with up to 5GB of online storage. With a like button, interactive update feed and IM services, it’s incredibly user friendly.

Upgrade to increase storage space, participants and gain additional features such as backup storage, trigger emails, CRM record conversions and much more.

Fuze – high definition team communication 

Fuze offers you a better meeting experience through the use of high definition audio and video conferencing. It provides a consistent experience across all supported devices, which include OSX, Windows and Linux for the desktop and iOS and Android for your mobile.

Key features: Cloud content, HD screen share, HD VoIP, HD video streams

What’s so great about it? Not only can you use it to hold meetings with someone across the country, but you can also use it to share documents such as animations, multimedia or other types of rich content.

Paid plans are available to increase participants, and receive additional features such as webinars, meeting recordings and unlimited dial-in (US only).

GoToMeeting – easy basic communication 

Citrix’s free GoToMeeting platform is ideal if you’re just looking for something easy and basic. The free plan allows you to video-conference up to 3 users and is compatible with Mac and Windows computers. A mobile app is available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

Key features: Screen sharing, unlimited VoIP, application sharing, private and group in-meeting chat, customizable meeting link, one-click meeting entry

What’s so great about it? The free plan is perfect for consultants and freelancers looker for an easy to use screen-sharing app with high-quality audio.

Starter, Pro and Plus plans are available for increased number of participants, as well as additional features such as recording, keyboard and mouse sharing, video conferencing and drawing tools.

HipChat – beyond mere communications 

HipChat is built for business and it shows. As one of the most competitive priced team communication apps on the market, it offers excellent value for money.

Key features: File sharing, group and private chat, IM, secure guest access, unlimited integrations

What’s so great about it? You can run it on everything, with Mac, Windows, iOS and Android apps available. With custom emoticons and bots and animated GIFs, it offers a social networking aspect that adds a little fun to your team conversations.

HipChat Plus offers unlimited file storage and searchable message history, as well as 1-to-1 screen sharing and 1-to-1 voice and video calling.

Glip – tool for a productivity surge

Not only is Glip great for communication, but also it is ideal for increasing productivity as it keeps everything from task management, calendars, to-dos, files and notes in one place. With Glip you get unlimited teams and projects, as well as iOS, Android, web and desktop apps.

Key features: Real-time messaging, video conferencing, shared calendars, integrated task management, link sharing, extraction and archiving, and more

What’s so great about it? The free version offers unlimited users, storage, posts, free guest users and external integrations, as well as 500 minutes worth of video chat

Upgrade for additional support and video chat minutes.

Zoho – any time, any platform

If you’re looking for a way to host an instant web meeting, then Zoho is the answer. While the free option only allows one host and one participant, it is easy to use and set up, ideal for freelancers and small businesses. It supports Android, Linux, Mac, Windows and Web-based.

Key features: Audio conferencing, embed meeting in website, remote desktop control, secured web meetings, instant chat collaboration

What’s so great about it? The great thing about Zoho is that you are allowed unlimited meetings and durations in their free option. You can schedule meetings, or hold instant ones, with the ability for instant messaging and shared mouse and keyboard controls.

Upgrade your plan to gain more participants and additional features such as meeting reminders, changing presenters and dial-in audio conferencing.

Avaamo – a secure team messaging tool

Avaamo is a simple team-messaging tool that allows you to send an unlimited amount of messages to an unlimited number of business contacts. It offers free native iOS and Android apps.

Key features: One-to-one and group messaging, file and screen sharing, secure and searchable messaging, send and receive voice memos, dozens of integrations

What’s so great about it? With a delightfully simple interface, this instant and secure messaging service allows you to contact co-workers, partners, customers and vendors without having to worry about security.

Upgrade to the Premium version to receive increased customer support, data compliance and more.

 

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