Reviews - Web Conferencing

Adobe Connect Meetings Review

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Adobe Connect Review

Adobe Connect

If you are looking for web conferencing software that does it all and then has some nice additions like mobile support (and you don’t mind paying for a quality product), then Adobe Connect is your safe bet.

$55/month

Web Conferencing

Adobe Acrobat Connect is an easy-to-use web conferencing application with video conferencing, screen sharing, chat, notes, and an advanced whiteboard for collaboration. This fully-featured web conferencing solution is suitable for larger meetings that require video conferencing and user polling. The browser-based service does not necessitate downloads.

Adobe Acrobat Connect is organized into several different pricing schemes – each designed to accommodate different types of individuals, businesses and agencies.



PROS:
  • Supports all platforms
  • Available on multiple devices
  • Save files, documents, and layouts
  • Unique, permanent meeting room URL
  • Record, edit, and republish meeting videos
  • Full Outlook and Lotus Notes Integration
  • Sophisticated whiteboard
  • Supports large meetings
  • Mobile support
  • Multiple/customizable layout options
  • Browser-based interface
CONS:
  • Upscale prices
  • Confusing invitation process
  • Add-in needed to share screen
  • Desktop Sharing and Chat mutually exclusive


Meeting Setup: (Rating: 6/10)

The invitation process for Adobe Connect is confusing, since contacts have to be imported before you set up the meeting itself. Other than this setback, meeting setup can be done quickly once you have everything setup and contacts imported. It should be noted, however, that most web conferencing programs don't require a similar hassle to setup a meeting. Attendees, luckily, do not have to download or install any software to join a meeting. Instead, they just accept and enter.

Features: (Rating: 10/10)

There are plenty of great features with Adobe connect Meetings. Their instant access across all devices is perfect for those on-the-go that still need to collaborate, host and present their information. They also allow iOS and Android attendees and there's no download for mobile users either. They also offer recordings, editing for recordings, and the ability to anonymity participants, hide functionality, formalize training, etc.

Unlike others, they also offer functionality and extendability options – such as using APIs to integrate Adobe Connect with your UC enterprise system. You can also build custom features to enhance your own unique collaboration experience.

Video: (Rating: 9/10)

Unlimited, high-quality webcam streams, give Adobe Connect some of the best video conferencing features out there. If you get overwhelmed, you can always focus on a single person instead of viewing all of the webcam streams at once. Everything is also delivered in superior video quality, but not HD.

Audio: (Rating: 10/10)

Adobe Connect’s Universal Voice feature accommodates integration with an array of teleconferencing platforms and audio providers. The audio is high quality, with little lag and clear sound.

Security: (Rating: 10/10)

Security is taken seriously with Adobe Connect. You can deploy your own solution as well using advanced security or enjoy their industry-leading solutions that are also used by the U.S. Department of Defense. They also offer Section 508 accessibility standards, encryption and secure socket technology for all users.

Ease of Use: (Rating: 8/10)

While the interface is not the most user-friendly we’ve seen, it is because they leave it fairly open-ended for those that want to utilize the customization options via API and other outlets. If they weren't so customizable, this would be more of a drawback. But, you can truly make Adobe Connect your own; therefore, it is expected that the interface would be more complicated – right down to setting up meetings and creating your profile.

Everything with Adobe Connect requires a learning curve, but it may be worth it for companies that want more unique conferencing solutions.

Help and Support: (Rating: 8/10)

Contact support through telephone, chat, or an email service. You can also set up an Adobe Event Services partner to test the system beforehand and moderate online events. We didn’t give support full marks simply because the chat function is often not available, even during “active” hours.


Adobe Connect Pricing

Individual Pay Per Use: 32¢ per minute per user

Individual Per Host: $55/mo/host, or $45/mo/host ($540/yr/host) for a year’s subscription.  Includes 25 participants per meeting.

Adobe Connect for Businesses: Varies – Customized per business needs. Include 100 participants with 10+ hosts per account.


Specifications

Specification

Pricing

Monthly Price: $55

Pay as you go

Free Trial

Attendees

25

100

Help and Support

24/7 Support

Phone

Live Chat

Email

Social Media

Online Tutorials

Meeting Invitation

Schedule Meetings

Recurring Meetings

Ad-Hoc Meetings

Meeting Calendar

Invite Attendees After Meeting Started

Expel Attendees

Collaboration & Sharing

Change Presenters

Desktop Sharing

Specific Application Sharing

File Sharing

Whiteboard

Annotation & Drawing Tools

Chat

Polling/Surveys

Video

Video Conferencing

HD Video

Max # of Video Streams: 25

Audio

VoIP Support

Local Toll Dial in #'s

Mute Participants

Additional Features

Meeting Recording

Outlook Integration

Participant Reporting

Security

High Security help

Limited Login Attempts help

128-bit SSL encryption

128-bit AES/Blowfish encryption

Platforms

Windows

Mac

IOS Iphone/Ipad

Android


What We Like About Adobe Connect

Support for all Platforms: Adobe ConnectPro supports Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris operating systems. Full feature parity between PC and Mac users lets Mac users share individual applications and enjoy all of the same perks as PC users.

Support for Larger Meetings: With their individual version, Adobe Connect supports up 500 attendees. If you go with the Business plan, you can host up to 1500 attendees.

Lots of Features: Adobe Connect is a high-end product with plenty of features. Add a video presenter/speaker from a remote location, use the chat function, record meetings, it’s all here.

Custom Meeting URLs: You can use the same custom URL for ongoing meetings that are always available. This allows you to save templates and whiteboard layouts from one meeting to another. It also encourages your attendees to remember and connect to your meetings.

Mobile Support: Adobe provides a free application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that allows attendees to connect to meetings anytime from anywhere and watch live presentations, including video and screen-sharing demonstrations.

Full Outlook and Lotus Notes Support: Schedule, start, and join Adobe Connect meetings right from your Microsoft Outlook or IBM® Lotus Notes email and calendars. Adobe ConnectPro allows you to easily use integrated address books, availability lookup, and recurrence features for increased efficiency and productivity.

Multiple/Customizable Layout Options: Adobe Connect lets users switch between different layouts. The sharing layout minimizes webcams in favor of screen sharing; the collaboration layout features a large whiteboard; and the discussion layout promotes communication with large whiteboard screens. You can also create your own customized layouts.

Browser Based: There is no client software required for attendees to download, so they are not waiting to attend meetings while attempting to download and install client software. The only requirement is Adobe Flash, which 98% of internet connected computers already have installed.

Attendees simply click on the meeting URL and they are instantly connected to their meeting.

Sophisticated Whiteboard: Adobe’s whiteboard is much more advanced than others we’ve seen, providing annotation tools and letting users create custom annotation shapes. You can annotate over content or blank whiteboards, and then save those whiteboard overlays in your persistent meeting rooms so that you can add to them in future meetings.


What We Don't Like About Adobe Connect

Complex Invitations: To invite users to join a meeting, you first have to import or physically add their contact information to your Adobe Connect contact list. If you create a meeting and do not have the proper contacts imported, there is no way to add email addresses to the meeting after the fact. You have to cancel the meeting, go to the contact book, and add your prospective invitees there before creating a meeting. This process is cumbersome and not at all intuitive.

Interruptive Add-in: In order to share your screen, you need to download an add-in. Instead of letting you know about this beforehand, the add-in prompt occurs when you try to share your screen, right in the middle of a meeting. This is disruptive and wastes time for anyone involved in the meeting.

More to Learn: With all of the additional bells and whistles comes the additional effort to learn them. However, if you are in need of these advanced features, the additional effort is well worth it.

Upscale Pricing: Adobe’s new pricing scheme includes several options. The pay-as-you-go plan may be a viable choice, only for those who only have short meetings with few participants. At 32¢ per person per minute, a weekly one-hour meeting with three participants comes out to $230 – over quadruple the price of a monthly plan. The per-host plan also adds up: if you need three hosting licenses, that’s a minimum of $135 per month.

Not as Collaborative as Competitors: In our testing we found that you are not able to have desktop/application sharing going on and be able to chat at the same time. We found this a hinderance to collaboration in situations where attendees may be muted but will be asking questions via chat. For a larger provider, such as Adobe, we found this to be a large downfall.



9.1 Total Score
Web conferencing from a name you trust.

Connect is backed by software industry giant Adobe, and has a proven track record of stability and feature rich functionality. If you are looking for web conferencing software that does it all and then has some nice additions like mobile support (and you don’t mind paying for a quality product), then Adobe Connect is your safe bet.

Meeting Setup
6
Features
10
Video
9
Audio
10
Security
10
Ease of Use
8
Help and Support
8
PROS
  • Supports all platforms
  • Available on multiple devices
  • Save files, documents, and layouts
  • Unique, permanent meeting room URL
  • Record, edit, and republish meeting videos
  • Full Outlook and Lotus Notes Integration
  • Sophisticated whiteboard
  • Supports large meetings
  • Mobile support
  • Multiple/customizable layout options
  • Browser-based interface
CONS
  • Upscale prices
  • Confusing invitation process
  • Add-in needed to share screen
  • Desktop Sharing and Chat mutually exclusive

Adobe Connect

If you are looking for web conferencing software that does it all and then has some nice additions like mobile support (and you don’t mind paying for a quality product), then Adobe Connect is your safe bet.

$55/month

Web Conferencing


Shailynn is a word slinger, chef, Pinterest addict and adult coloring book collector. As our Operations Manager and Senior Researcher/Editor, you will find Shailynn busy finding new companies and topics to research, but also handling the crazy day-to-day on the backend – and by crazy…we mean all of us. She attended the International Culinary Institute, where she studied pastry arts and she worked as an executive pastry chef before hanging up her chef’s hat and decided to work from home as a writer. She is a fanatic for a great cup of coffee or wonderful glass of wine! Shailynn is a mother of three and married to a handsome firefighter.

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