appear.in PRO vs FREE
PRO is designed for professional users that want to have support for larger groups of people in their rooms, as well as company branding. On the other hand, FREE is perfect for users that want to have small conversations (max of 4 participants), and don't need the additional features that are offered with PRO. If you plan to have more than 4 participants in your room, we recommend upgrading to the PRO plan. Below are some of the key differences between the PRO and FREE plans.
The FREE account has support for up to 4 participants, while the PRO plan supports up to 12 participants on both on desktop computers and mobile devices. Also, PRO is better suited for group calls on mobile devices as it requires less CPU usage, which means less battery drain for you on certain devices. Join a conversation from anywhere with our apps for iOS and Android.
Room size control
The Small room can reliably support up to 4 people, and is the only size that's available with the FREE plan. The main reason for these restrictions is because the Small size is based on a peer-to-peer system, where all video and audio is sent directly between each of the participants. This can give very good quality in 1:1 calls, but does not scale to more than a few participants before quality can start to suffer (especially for more than 3 users in a room). This model is also more susceptible to quality issues from participants having a poor network connection or experiencing high latency with their internet, because of the number of connections that need to be managed. This situation can even affect the quality for everyone in the room.
The Large room uses a different server infrastructure which routes videos through a global network of servers, and is available in all PRO rooms. This makes it possible to support larger groups in a conversation - up to 12 at the moment - and also reduces the CPU load of encoding and decoding videos. While both sizes still require an adequate internet connection, the Large room handles the bandwidth you use to send and receive video more efficiently once you add more people to the room.
If you're only using appear.in for 1 on 1 calls, feel free to stick with a Small room size on the FREE plan. However for standups and team meetings, we strongly recommend having a PRO account so you can have a Large room to access the higher participant limit. To find out how to switch to a Large room, check out instructions
Branding of rooms
PRO also gives you the possibility to brand your room with a custom logo, and change the background image both inside the room and on the Knock Page that welcomes people when the room is Locked. This is a great way to extend your brand if you're using appear.in to talk to customers!
Better screen sharing
Screen sharing is one of the most used features in appear.in, and we've had lots of requests to improve it. With FREE accounts, the shared screen will replace your video feed. With a PRO account, people will see both your shared screen and your video, making for a more professional presentation!