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From the moment you arrive at the Hot Conference web site you get the impression that this is an amateur organisation and perhaps not one that you would want to trust with your web conferencing requirements. The product itself works, although not brilliantly, and this is one of the poorer quality services we have reviewed.
The fact that the main page of Hot Conference has a big 'sale' countdown sign across the top of it does not inspire the consumer with confidence. At the time of our review there was an offer to receive 500% more seats in your meeting rooms for the standard price, although we’ve a feeling such offers are provided on a regular basis. The service itself allows you to share your desktop with a small number (just 25) of meeting participants and communicate with them in a few different ways, so it’s not ideal if you are looking to meet with larger groups and share your desktop.
Hot Conference supports video and audio conferencing as well as straightforward text chat facilities. However, unlike a true VOIP application, conversation is restricted a bit by the fact that you have to click a button on screen each time you want to talk - a bit like trying to use a walkie talkie! This certainly isn't conducive to the kind of flowing dialogue most of us would probably like from our meetings.
The reliability of the application seemed to be OK, but the quality of service was quite poor when compared with other services we have looked at. The desktop sharing feature was very slow and clunky and seemed to struggle to synchronize everyone's screens. The sales information states in one place that communications are encrypted at 128-bit and another at 256-bit so we aren't entirely sure as to the security features of Hot Conference. Although you can password protect your meeting room.
Hot Conference does not seem like a serious competitor that you would want to consider for a web conferencing solution. The whole business seems to be run very amateurishly with the flashing sales information and uppercase lettering everywhere, as though the site is shouting at you. This is one service we would probably recommend giving a miss, though it does allow you to host several rooms at once with a decent number of attendees in each. However, for better options take a look at some of the products in our top 10 list.
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