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I'm looking for a platform to provide webinars that...

  • Prevents attendees from knowing who else is attending, for privacy concerns. This can be done by letting people choose pseudonyms, or by hiding everyone outright. The presenter still needs to see who's connected
  • Still allows users to raise hands, send chat messages, talk or share their video if they choose to
  • Lets only people I allow in. That can be done with one time passwords, email registration or something else
  • Prevents people from joining before a set date/time or hang around after the meeting has ended
  • Has a whiteboard, or allows for screen sharing (so I can share a whiteboard app's window or tab)
  • Requires no software installation, so I guess web-based is the way to go
  • Allows for long meetings (more than two hours)
  • Can record the meeting
  • Be free of charge

The paid version of most platforms (Webex, BigBlueButton, Teams) allows for long meetings, with the exception of Google meet, which has free long meetings.

Most allow for whiteboards and/or screen sharing.

Some can restrict users (Teams, BigBlueButton).

BBB's demo site won't record and has a 1h limit

Skype allows users to choose their names, effectively enabling anonymity, but anyone can enter a chat.

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  • So what of those features is BBB missing? I've used it a couple of times: users can join anonymously, can raise hands (or mood), you can use an "ante-room" they have to pass and let only selected people in, the room can not be entered before you say so, has a whiteboard, allows screen sharing, requires no software installation (browser-based), allows for long meetings (my longest was around 3h). So meets all your requirements, and you named it – but still think it doesn't fit? Did I miss something? – Izzy Jan 18 at 21:19
  • @Izzy, it says "Due to increased demand, recordings are temporarily disabled and the maximum duration of a meeting has been reduced to 60 minutes on this server." – Gabriel Jan 18 at 21:32
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    Keyword is on this server – so choose another, or setup your own? It's FOSS software, not a centralized service. BBB the software offers all you need. It's up to the admin what features are enabled and to what extend. And as this site here is about recommending software (not hosting or service providers), the "perfect" answer to your question would be "BBB" it seems. Finding a matching provider is a different question, but not for this site (and I'm not aware of any other SE site where it would be). – Izzy Jan 18 at 22:45
  • @Izzy Oh I see. I wasn't aware BBB was software I can setup somewhere else. Thanks. – Gabriel Jan 19 at 0:54
  • Yeah, abstract idea with almost everything "in the cloud" nowadays, books "stop working" and such #D Be welcome to answer your own question then, as you already know BBB, earning some rep :D – Izzy Jan 19 at 1:36
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As of january 2021

                 |Google|  MS |     |     |BigBlue|       |Cisco
                 | meet |Teams|Zoom |Skype|Button#|YouTube|Webex
----------------------------------------------------------------
Anonymity        |  X   |  .  |  X  |  .  |   .   |   .   |  .
Audio questions  |  .   |  .  |  .  |  .  |   .   |   X   |  .
Exclusivity      |  X   |  X  |  X  |  X  |   X   |   X   |  X
Waiting room     |  X   |  .  |  .  |  X  |   .   |   X   |  X
Time restriction |  X   |  .  |  .  |  X  |   .   |   .   |  .
Whiteboard       |  X   |  .  |  X  |  X  |   .   |   X   |  X
Share screen     |  .   |  .  |  .  |  .  |   .   |   X   |  .
No installation  |  .   |  X* |  .  |  .  |   .   |   .   |  X*
Long meetings    |  .   |  $% |  $  |  .  |   $   |   .   |  $
Recording        |  $   |  $  |  $  |  .  |   $   |   .   |  X
Price            |      |96$/y|150/y|     | 7$/m  |       |13.5/m

. Yes for free version
X No
$ Requires paid plan

* Requires installation on mobile
# BigBlueButton demo is unstable
% MS Teams' free plan has long meetings "in the coming months"
  and will then revert to 60mn meetings
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  • Nice list! Do you happen to know how JITSI fits in there? – anpami Feb 21 at 9:54
  • @anpami no, but you could add it! (: – Gabriel Feb 22 at 13:48

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