GoToMeeting vs Webex: Why I Love GoToMeeting

For years I have tested various online collaboration tools but never found one that made meeting online essentially effortless – until I discovered GoToMeeting by Citrix.

Just before trying GoToMeeting I had signed up for a free 14 day trial of Webex MeetMeNow and was fairly satisfied. After all, Cisco’s Webex is still used by corporations all over the world as the web conferencing tool of choice. I now think this is so because of Cisco’s trusted name as well as the Webex brand. People assume it must be the best and never even try any other screen sharing software.

That is because they have never had the pleasure of using GoToMeeting. After you try GoToMeeting, I guarantee you will never go back to Webex.

Don’t get me wrong, Webex MeetMeNow has a lot going for it: Once installed it passes through corporate firewalls and the quality of the video is very good. It also has proprietary audio so the quality of the sound is high. MeetMeNow even has built in video conferencing capabilities, so if you want to see who you are talking to you can. (You’ll need a webcam, of course.) And it does have the reputation and reliability that comes with Cisco products.

So why do I love GoToMeeting?

In addition to doing almost everything better than MeetMeNow does, GoToMeeting makes online meetings flow flawlessly in three ways:

Setup is a Cinch: If you can’t get connected, you can’t have the conference. With MeetMeNow I often had complaints that the software plug-in would not install properly and in my own experiments, it seems to take unusually long to get up and running. Sometimes it only worked after two or three tries. Not so with GoToMeeting. With few exceptions, people just clicked on the link I sent and connected. Effortlessly. A good start is important to keeping people’s attention, so this is crucial.

Easy Recording for Future Reference: Whereas you have to upgrade to the corporate version of MeetMeNow to be able to record your online meeting sessions, GoToMeeting gives you that ability straight “out-of-the-box.” And it is simple and it works – and the quality of the recording is EXCELLENT. Did I mentioned that I love GoToMeeting?

An additional awesome feature of GoToMeeting that Citrix recently introduced in its latest version (v4) is built in VoIP audio. That means you can use your PC or laptop mike and speakers to join the audio portion of the meeting – or you can call a regular phone number and everyone will be able to hear and speak to everyone else regardless of the audio option they use. This can mean significant savings since you won’t have to spend money on long distance and/or international calls. Total audio? Totally awesome. The quality is mostly great, by the way. I actually meet regularly with a counterpart in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and we can usually hear each other as well as in a normal local phone call.

Both MeetMeNow and GoToMeeting offer free trials. MeetMeNow offers a 14 day free trial and GoToMeeting offers a full thirty day trial. I suggest you sign up for both and take them for a test drive and make your own decision about which is best for you. Don’t worry, both allow you to easily cancel your trial any time before the end of the trial period.

MeetMeNow takes GoToMeeting seriously as a competitor since the pricing currently is the same. If you choose to pay month-by-month you will pay $49/month and if you are willing to pay for a year in advance you save about 20%.

After you tried them both, I am convinced you will understand why I love GoToMeeting.