In your search for a good conferencing solution, you have likely found more options than you know what to do with. If you are not very familiar with all of the different services and the various types of conferences available, then choosing the best internet conferencing services can be a confusing job.
The basic conferencing services will offer you a virtual meeting room where each individual calls into the same phone number and uses a number to log into their seat at the virtual table. All you need to set up and attend these online conferences is a good internet connection and a phone line to deliver the audio to your computer.
If you simply want to reach someone far away without paying an outrageous phone bill, or need to connect with several people all in different locations, this very basic conferencing service could be all you need. Yet, there is a lot more out there for those who have more dynamic business or personal situations where more interaction is required.
If you need others to see you, or you require seeing those you are conferencing with, then you will simply need to add in a webcam and find a service that supports these visual communications. Finding a service will not be an issue and webcams can be found relatively cheap at any computer store these days. You will not be able freecam to see one another instead of just hearing audio. For most personal uses that should be all you need, unless you decide to go with a recording service which can take the meeting and save it into a permanent form (such as.mp3 files) so that you can burn it to a CD or DVD or upload it to a website or email to share with others.
Many businesses, however, will need to look for more advanced internet-conferencing services which will support advanced features that enhance the online working environment. These services include private chat options where conference attendees can message one another on the side without disrupting the flow of the overall conference.
Other services allow actual work to be performed as if everyone were in the same room together. A document on one computer can be changed and adjusted by other users on other computers, making it possible for people in different states or even countries to collaborate and create documents together in real time. This eliminates the need of emailing documents back and forth and exchanging endless phone calls trying to do this same task. Tremendous amounts of time and money can be saved by these more advanced services.
Which type of internet conferencing services you will need depends on what you want to use it for. If you just want to hear the voice of a loved one who lives far away, you may just need a very basic service, but when you want to reach a client in Tokyo to make changes to an urgent document, you will need to seek a very reliable service that will make your desktop accessible to the client with a secure internet connection.