Best free video conferencing SW that includes a phone in option?

With the whole COVID-19 issue I’m trying to find a way for the local Pub group that always got together to kibbitz and drink beer can hold a virtual happy hour. The problem is that some of the folks who came to the Pub regularly do not have either computers or access to the internet. So ideally I’m looking for something where those of us with internet, video cameras and computers can see and hear each other but the folks without can still phone in and hear and participate in the conversation.

Alternatively, would be a way to get those folks a temporary internet connection and a device. We’ve got plenty of devices that we could share around but the connectivity part is missing.


Nothing free as far as I know. Skype lets you call regular phone numbers but only using Skype credits or a subscription.

This is basically how we use GoToMeeting at work. It looks like you can get video conferencing with dial-in conference calling for $15/mo if one person always sets up the call (or you use a shared email address.). It’s not free, but it’s reasonable.

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If I have a GoToMeeting account, I can set up video conferences with a 150/250 participants and they can also call in. $15, that’s it.

Does it work through a browser (HTML5)?

It needs to install and launch the desktop or mobile app. They’ve got relatively stable software for all platforms.

I think Zoom does all this with the main limitation being a time limited cut off, which might ruin it for your activity.
Is Happy 40 Minutes enough?

Probably will work, I use Zoom already but have never played with the dial in option. I mat try to test it today. For the homebound no internet folks I think 40 minutes is better than nothing.

Update re zoom they have disabled the phone dial in for the free version due to high demand.

FYI, Zoom has CarPlay functionality so you can dial in to meetings on the road.

I use Zoom for leading online classes and conferences. Worked great last night. I have a University account that is free to me, but regular users have to pay.

Does anyone in the Pub group have a GSuite account — either paid for or through their employer? If yes, Google Meet might be an option.

“The problem is that some of the folks who came to the Pub regularly do not have either computers or access to the internet.” :man_shrugging:

Right. Sorry — I should have said more. Google Meet has a phone-in option.

Which I didn’t know until this week, when colleagues and I discovered it.

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