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Editor's note: On August 8, after this review posted, Conferral released version 1.1, which now includes two-way document editing and video streaming. These enhancements did not alter our rating for the service. (10/19/05)
Conferral is by far the most affordable Web conferencing program we've tested. Unlike better-known competitors such as Microsoft Live Meeting and WebEx Meeting Center, Conferral users don't shell out monthly fees to use the service, but rather pay a one-time purchase price of $299 to $4,485 (depending on the number of users, from 1 to 25). By comparison, Live Meeting 2005 costs from $180 to $4,500 annually, depending on the features and number of users selected. While Conferral is definitely a bargain, it has several shortcomings--no text chat, audioconferencing, or two-way document editing, to name a few--and that greatly limits its value. Our take: Conferral has potential but is still wet behind the ears. We'd like to see more features built into the product before we can recommend it.