GoToMeeting vs. Cisco WebEx Meetings

How to determine which of these online meeting tools works best for you

Video Conference
Frank van Delft/Getty Images

If you’re looking for an online meeting tool, you’ve probably noticed that there are several options available. Two well-known web-conferencing tools are GoToMeeting and Cisco WebEx Meetings. These two web-conferencing tools are similar. You can evaluate the two options in terms of features, reliability, and safety, usability and price to decide which one would work best for you and your remote workers.​

Feature Comparison

GoToMeeting is an easy-to-use web-conferencing tool that lets users meet at any time, from anywhere. It is a browser-based tool, so it doesn’t require any downloads to be used. It works with both PC and Mac computers, and it offers a useful iPad app that makes it easy to meet when you're away from your computer. GoToMeeting features include:

  • Simple and intuitive interface
  • Easy instant messaging
  • Scheduled meetings (both one-time and recurring)
  • Outlook integration
  • Audio conferencing via phone and computer
  • Screen and application sharing
  • Meeting recording (only for PC users)
  • Maximum of 15 attendees with the basic plan
  • Attendance reporting

Cisco WebEx Meetings, in comparison, has many more features than GoToMeeting, making it a better choice for those who want to host advanced web meetings. It also has an iPad/iPhone app, though it seems to be slower than GoToMeeting’s app. WebEx features include:

  • Instant messaging
  • Ability to invite participants to a meeting that has already started via email, voice conference, or instant messenger
  • Video support (showing up to six participants at a time)
  • File transfers
  • Ability to assign privileges to individual participants
  • Screen and application sharing
  • Meeting recording (for PC and Mac)
  • Maximum of 25 attendees with the basic plan
  • Support for PC, Mac, Linux, Solaris, and Unix

Reliability and Safety

GoToMeeting is highly rated for reliability and performance. However, screen sharing isn't always robust when transmitting video. It has data centers all over the world, and audio quality is consistently high. Its security measures include:

WebEx, like GoToMeeting, is extremely reliable, providing both high-quality audio and video. Sharing video via screen sharing is reliable although it suffers occasional slight delays. Its safety features include:

  • Switched architecture. The session information from the presenter’s machine going to the attendees’ computers is switched, so it’s never permanently stored.
  • SSL-encrypted website

Usability

GoToMeeting is incredibly user-friendly and easy-to-use. Even people who have never used an online meeting tool before can quickly learn to use it. Getting a user account is quick and done in two simple steps. It is also easy to invite attendees to a web meeting, especially since the tool integrates with Outlook with no need to install an add-on for that to work.

Cisco Webex Meetings is the least intuitive of the two tools and, while still appropriate for beginners, might take some time to learn to use. However, it is still user-friendly, although not as much as GoToMeeting. This is due to its many features and the fact that it takes some time to locate them all and become fluent in using them. Registering for and installing the tool is easy, although it takes a few more minutes than GoToMeeting. Once the Outlook add-on is installed, it is easy to plan meetings.

Price

Both services offer several different plans. As of mid-May 2018, the prices for the most popular plans are as follows:

GoToMeeting: The GoToMeeting Starter plan is $19 per month, billed annually. Its $29 per month Pro plan is it's most popular and is most comparable to the WebEx Meetings plan. GoToMeeting's largest plan accommodates 100 participants. A 14-day free trial is available.

WebEx Meetings: Of the four plans, the Premium 25, which costs $19.95 per month for up to 25 participants, is the most comparable to the GoToMeeting Pro plan. A 30-day free trial available. Other plans are available for 8, 200, and up to 1,000 participants.

Both WebEx Meetings and GoToMeeting are dependable and work as promised. Your choice may depend on whether you need something dead simple to use or one that offers more controls.