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Netviewer Meet Business Edition review

Netviewer Meet Business Edition is an online meeting service bursting at the seams with features. But are they worth the £17 a month fee?

To get around this, everyone's VoIP function is muted when they login. As moderator, you can choose who should get the available channels. If someone who hasn't got a channel wants to talk, they can let you know by right-clicking on the Netviewer window. A speech bubble then appears on the moderator's screen with that participant's name on it, letting the moderator know the person would like to speak.

This is part of a system of alerts, which include emoticons for things such as "I agree" or "slower please". It's a great idea, but the problem is that with the exception of the speech bubble the alerts appear in the "session" module of the control panel, next to the participant's names. It's easy to miss someone who is trying to get your attention.

If VoIP isn't enough, you could go the whole hog and use Netviewer's video conferencing facilities. With more than two participants, however, each individual's video window quickly becomes too small for you to be able to see what they're doing. The only way around this is to undock each participant's video window, drag it to the desktop and resize. However, given that most of your main monitor's screen area will be taken up with screen-sharing, this is only really possible if you have more than one monitor. For the most part, you'd be best to save video conferencing for smaller meetings.

Of course, if that all sounds like a bit of a faff, you could just use the text chat. It works fine and allows you to talk to everyone in the meeting or to specific participants.

Meetings are secured with 256-bit AES encryption. Your session number is unique, so only those people who know it can join your meeting. You can also password protect your meetings, block them once all the participants have logged in and eject anyone who shouldn't be there. The software is also digitally signed with a VeriSign certificate. You can verify the authenticity of the certitifcate by right-clicking the installation file, choosing properties and checking the details in the Digital Certificates tab.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

Despite the odd glitch, this program comes packed with useful features and is generally easy to use. At only £17 a month – cheaper than the comparable Join.me Pro – it’s a great bargain. However, if you don't need all the features, the basic version of Join.me is still perfectly usable and doesn't cost a penny.

Memory: 1GB minimum Processor: 1GHz minimum; 2GHz minimum for VoIP Operating system: Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, Server 2000, Server 2003 or Server 2008 (32-bit and 64-bit) Internet connection: 64Kbit/s minimum for desktop sharing; 2Mbit/s minimum desktop sharing with VoIP, video and three participants in a session Optional hardware: Headset, webcam

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