Webinars, also known as web seminars, webcasts, and web meetings are all examples of different forms of online conferencing and collaboration services. The phrase web conferencing is used as an umbrella term for these services. In an effort to differentiate it from the other sorts of meetings that are known as collaborative sessions, the term "web meeting" is often sometimes used in the more restricted meaning of the setting of a peer-level web meeting. The terminology that is associated with these technologies is precise and has been agreed upon, and it is based on the standards for web conferencing. On the other hand, certain organisations have patterns in usage that give also a term usage reference.
Internet technology, and more specifically TCP/IP connections, are primarily responsible for making web conferencing feasible. It's possible for services to facilitate both real-time point-to-point communications and multicast communications, in which one sender sends data to several recipients. It enables data streams of text-based messaging, audio chat, and video chat to be concurrently shared between places that are physically separated from one another. Web conferencing may be used for a variety of purposes, such as conducting meetings, training sessions, lectures, or presentations from a computer that is linked to the internet to other computers that are connected to the internet.
All of the participants in a web conference will, at some point, start the web conferencing programme. Some of these technologies include software and functionalities that are tailored specifically to either audiences or speakers. It's possible for software to function as an application for web browsers (often relying on Adobe Flash, Java, or WebRTC to provide the operational platform). Other solutions for web conferencing need the downloading and installation of software on the personal computers of each participant. This software is then used as a local application. The central connectivity and supply of meeting "ports" or "seats" is offered by many web conferencing suppliers as a hosted web service. Other web conferencing vendors, on the other hand, permit the web conference host to install and run the software on its own local servers. Use of a proprietary computer appliance that is placed at the physical site of the hosting firm is a further installation option that is offered by certain suppliers.
Participants may talk and listen to audio through regular telephone lines, or they may do so via the microphones and speakers of their computers, depending on the technology that is being utilised. Some systems permit the use of a webcam to display participants, while others may need their own proprietary encoding or an externally provided decoding of a video feed that is presented in the session (for example, from a professional video camera linked through an IEEE 1394 interface).
In most cases, a vendor-hosted web conferencing service is licenced as a product on the basis of one of the following three pricing models: a fixed cost per user per minute; a monthly or annual flat fee allowing unlimited use with a fixed maximum capacity per session; or a sliding rate fee based on the number of allowed meeting hosts and per-session participants (number of "seats").
The presentation of visual materials can most frequently be achieved through either one of these two major approaches. It is possible for the web conferencing software to display a picture of the presenter's computer screen to the attendees (or desktop). Again, this feature is dependent on the product and may either display the entirety of the area that is visible on the desktop or allow the presenter to pick a specific physical region or programme that is active on their computer. The second approach involves a procedure of uploading and converting the file (most commonly consisting of Microsoft PowerPoint files, other Microsoft Office electronic documents, or Adobe PDF documents).