We recently had reason to search for an alternative to the overpriced [read: not free] web conferencing solutions such as WebEx and GoToMeeting. A quick Google search revealed a relatively new service that claims to be “the world’s easiest web conference” and 10 minutes into our tests, we believe it.
Firmly grounded on an open-source platform, complete with GPL source code, Dimdim offers an enormously robust service at no cost. While other companies offer a time-limited free demo, Dimdim offers the their service for free for up to 20 simultaneous users.
The biggest problem with WebEx was the download. We’ve been on meetings where participants using Macs were left out in the cold, and we never even hoped – much less tried – to get it to work on Linux. Dimdim offers its service based solely on Flash and claims to support Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. We usually have bad things to say about Flash, but this application is a perfect use of the technology.
Not content with simple presentation sharing, Dimdim offers desktop sharing, chat, whiteboard and document sharing. That’s not all. Also included in the free plan is VoIP and a free teleconference phone number. To top it off, the free version allows the presenter to share his or her webcam to provide video to up to 20 meeting participants.
It’s tough for us to remember the last time we needed meeting software to support more than 20 participants, but if that’s necessary, Dimdim can certainly scale up to large enterprise needs at a fraction of the cost of the competition.
The features aren’t exactly easy to find on the website. Here’s the hookup to see features offered and a comparison between the free and paid plans.
Are you stuck with WebEx or GoToMeeting? Have you kicked them to the curb in favor of Dimdim or another service? Let us know in the comments.