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Whereby: Accountants’ Best FREE Alternative to Zoom
Whereby might be a tool that you’ve never heard of before. It’s a very viable replacement for Zoom whose free version only allows one-to-one calls for up to 30 minutes. Even without a paid plan, Whereby lets you enjoy this service with no time limit. Here’s everything you need to know about the accountants’ best free alternative to Zoom.
Aside from holding discovery calls or one-on-ones with high-quality clients, Whereby is also a great way to host virtual parties for your accounting firm. There’s a lot of preset decorations to choose from to give your space a festive makeover. With its YouTube integration, you can as well seamlessly transform your Whereby room into a virtual karaoke bar or dance club.
Last holiday season, Whereby gifted everyone free unlimited meeting rooms that can accommodate 50 participants. If you’re planning to hold a virtual year-end celebration, you might want to check their website from here onwards.
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What Is Whereby?
Whereby is a browser-based video conferencing service. It doesn’t require you to install any app or software on your computer, so joining or setting up virtual meeting rooms is quick and easy. With it, you can also rest assured that your conversations are well-secured and your privacy is protected.
To start using Whereby, you first need to click Try for free. Next, sign up for an account to Get Started. You may do so using your Google account, Apple ID, or email address. Then tick the checkboxes and click Continue. Shortly after, you should be able to create a group or one-to-one meeting room with ease.
What Are the Key Features of a Free Whereby Account?
1. Customizable Short Link for Sharing a Meeting Room
Most video conferencing services, such as Zoom and Skype, requires you to first install their software before you get to share a meeting room with a lengthy and hard to recall link. With Whereby, there’s no hassle of installing anything first. You simply go to their website, create a meeting, customize then share the short link, and launch on any web browser.
2. QR Code to Share a Meeting Room
You can also share and access Whereby meeting rooms through QR codes. Whereby is available as an Android and iOS mobile app. With a QR reader, you will simply need to focus your camera on the meeting QR code to quickly hop on a video call. This feature can save you time by removing the need to memorize anything or copy-paste any URL.
3. Lock Room for Private Meetings
To prevent unexpected guests from barging into your meetings, Whereby has a Lock Room feature that is enabled by default. This requires everyone to Knock first before being able to join a meeting room. Hosts will be able to see the camera and microphone feeds of those in the “waiting room”, then get to decide whether to approve or reject participants.
4. Share Screen to Collaborate Better
If you need to remotely deliver a presentation or collaborate on a project, Whereby has a Share Screen feature. The button for this can be found in the bottom toolbar of an ongoing meeting. You may either choose to share your entire screen or select a specific window of an application such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Excel.
5. Chat With the Meeting Participants
Whereby also has a chat feature that lets you message everyone in a meeting room. If you’re in a breakout room, only those people in that group can read your chat unless you tick the Broadcast to all groups checkbox. Do keep in mind that all messages will be automatically cleared when everyone leaves the meeting.
How to Set Up a Whereby Room
To set up a Whereby meeting room after signing up for an account, just go to whereby.com and log in. Then enter your preferred room name and click Add. Next, hover your mouse to your room button and click the Copy Link button. Finally, click Join Meeting.
1. Open your web browser and go to whereby.com.
2. Next, click Log in. You will find this beside Try for free in the top-right corner of your screen.
3. Then choose how you want to log in. You can log in with your Google account, Apple ID, or email address. If you want to sign in with your connected phone number, click on Use phone instead.
4. Next, enter your preferred personal room name. You are not allowed to use spaces or special characters for the room name. If you don’t want random people to bomb or raid your meetings, make sure that the Locked room slider is turned on.
5. Then click Add. Your personal room is now ready to hold video calls.
6. Next, hover your mouse over your personal room button. Two buttons should then appear on the right side of your room name.
7. Then click the Copy Link button, and paste the link into your message for team members or clients. Copy Link is the rightmost button beside the More settings icon that has three horizontal dots. Clicking Copy Link will copy the customized link to your clipboard, and you can paste it into any text field. Send the invite link to your team members or clients over Slack, Microsoft Teams, or email.
8. Finally, click Join meeting. Right before joining the video call, click the gear icon on your camera preview to make sure that Whereby is using a working webcam, input microphone, and output sound device. You can still share your room link and invite more people to join during a meeting.
How To Join a Whereby Meeting Room
To join a Whereby meeting room as a guest, launch the meeting room link through your web browser or use a QR code scanner. Then enter your display name, and click Continue. Next, click Request Permissions, and then click Allow. Finally, click Knock or Join Meeting, and wait until you’re in the room.
1. Launch the Whereby meeting room link or QR code. If you have the shared link, copy and paste or enter that to your web browser’s address bar, and then hit Enter on your keyboard. If you have the meeting QR code instead, you first need to launch a QR reader app or software on your device. Focusing on the image properly should then redirect you to the Whereby meeting room.
2. Next, enter your display name.
3. Then click Continue.
4. Next, click Request Permissions. A pop-up will appear on your browser.
5. Then click Allow. This will let Whereby use your microphone and camera during the meeting. Turn these on for the host to verify if you’re an invited meeting participant.
6. Next, click Knock or Join Meeting. If the room is locked, you first need to Knock and wait for the host to let you in. Right before joining the video call, click the gear icon on your camera preview to make sure that Whereby is using a working webcam, input microphone, and output sound device.
If you have a small to midsize business and you’re interested in using Whereby as your video conferencing solution, you might want to check their Pro and Business monthly plans priced at $6.99 and $9.99 respectively. Both of these offer unlimited meeting rooms, unlimited recordings, increased maximum number of participants, and customized company branding.
Even in the $14.99 Pro version of Zoom, you and another team member can’t be on separate video calls with different clients at the same time. However, with Whereby’s Pro plan, you will be able to host two meetings simultaneously for less than half the price.
If you want more free tools for your accounting firm, check out our article on the most effective free tool for accountants.
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