Web conferencing is a very general term for various kinds of technologies that allow two or more people from different locations to hold a live conference over the Internet. The history of Web conferencing since the 1990s is part of the history of technological advancement in general, with many aspects of these technologies relying on other bigger advances, such as the Internet and improved processing power for hardware.
Web conferencing generally takes place over the Internet using TCP/IP connections. Early Web conferencing tools relied on the Internet to send text messages, then audio and, eventually, high-resolution video. Today's technologies include tools for different types of webinar, webcasting and videoconferencing uses. These may be based on point-to-point or multicast systems. Many are based on VoIP technologies.
Although a number of Web conferencing tools have proliferated over the years, some companies like Skype, which offers free long-distance video calls via the Internet and which was acquired by Microsoft in May 2011, have been around much longer. Many other popular brands have been developed for enterprise Web conference. Many of these offer specific features such as call monitoring, multiparty collaboration and more.