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Review: Free Online Meetings with Mikogo

When developing a web design for a client’s site, it’s often helpful to walk through images or website options together over the phone. Screen sharing applications are a great way to look at websites together.

There are plenty of online meeting services out there, like gotomeeting.com and webex.com. There are even free services available now, like yuuguu.com, dimdim.com and even skype.com offers screen sharing.

My favorite free online full-featured desktop sharing tool by far is Mikogo (www.mikogo.com). You can easily share any screen content or application across the web with up to 10 participants. During the meeting, you can switch presenters (to allow a different participant to share their screen), you can allow other participants to access your keyboard and mouse and you can schedule sessions ahead of time.

Mikogo is currently available for PC and Mac… though I believe the Mac version is still in beta. I have been able to share my screen with a Mac user, but was not able to successfully give keyboard or mouse control, or switch presenters to the Mac. I haven’t tested it again recently, so it’s possible this functionality is now working.

I use Mikogo for training and technical support via remote control which saves both me and my customers time and money. I have also used it for web presentations and group collaboration among my software developers…. and did I mention it’s free? That’s right… no subscription fee, and no credit card needed.

It also has a full set of features, including:

  • Session recording (which requires downloading a separate session player – I haven’t tried this feature yet, but it could come in very handy for recording live training sessions)
  • Whiteboard
  • Transfer files up to 200 MB live
  • Application Sharing (so you can keep part of your desktop “private” during a meeting)

See http://www.mikogo.com/en/product/features/ for a list of additional features.

While Mikogo also has voice conferencing, (there is a US number you can call), and if your phone or cell has nationwide coverage, this is also free.

If you’re worried about security, Mikogo uses 256-Bit AES Encryption.

The installation of Mikogo for a meeting “host” is very straightforward. Novice computer users will be able to start their own online meetings. Your participants will not need any special software… they simply use their Internet browser, go to www.mikogo.com and click on “Join Session”. They will run a small browser plug-in and enter the session ID.

For full featured, no cost, online meetings… I highly recommend Mikogo.