5 Great Alternatives to Zoom for Video Conferencing
As the world continues to be affected by Covid-19, many businesses are turning to web video conferencing for team meetings during this time of social distancing and quarantine. Due to Zoom’s benefits of allowing up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes with a free account, many businesses and organizations eagerly opted to adopt Zoom for their video conference needs. However, over the past month, many users have grown wary of Zoom’s ever growing list of security and privacy issues. This list of issues includes, but not limited to, leaking of email addresses, unencrypted calls, a flawed installer that allows a malicious version to install, and the now infamous Zoom bombing.
All of these aforementioned issues and many others have raised so much concern, that as of writing this article, in April, 2020, many companies, educational institutions, and countries have banned Zoom for official or business use.
With all of this being said, it may leave you wondering which video conferencing platform you should be using instead. While we can’t outright tell you what to use, we can suggest a handful of other popular and trusted video conferencing platforms. In no particular order, here are five great alternatives to Zoom for video conferencing.
1. Cisco Webex |
Formed in 2007, when Cisco Systems acquired Webex, Cisco Webex is a cloud-based suite of dedicated communication and collaboration tools to assist in keeping teams connected. While the platform is more known for its use in the corporate sector, its free version currently offers plenty benefits for a short term solution. The primary benefits are: complete end-to-end security, record meetings, file sharing, screen sharing, and an unlimited meeting time limit for up to 100 participants.
2. Google Hangouts & Google Meet |
If you have a Google account, there’s a high chance that you’re already somewhat familiar with Google Hangouts. However, if you’re not, Google Hangouts offers HD video and voice calls for up to 10 participants on a personal account and up to 25 on a business account. Additional notable features are instant messaging, screen sharing, and Google integration.
For those who have a G-Suite account, Google has just recently extended its free access to Google Meet until September 30, 2020. Google Meet is essentially a more robust version of Google Hangouts video conferencing features. However, Google Meet allows video conferences to have up to 250 participants, dial in numbers for every meeting, record meetings, and the option for participants to join with a meeting code regardless of whether they have a Google account or not.
3. Skype Meet Now |
Skype, the platform that easily dominated personal video conferencing in the mid 2000s, has quietly been updating and improving its offerings. Skype Meet Now allows users to have up to 50 participants in one video conference and up to 600 in a group chat. Additionally, Meet Now allows conference calls to be set up or join via a browser without having to sign in or install the app. Skype will also store conference call recordings for up to 30 days and any media shared for longer.
4. GoToMeeting |
Ranging from 150 to 3000 participants, GoToMeeting is loaded with all of the features you’ve come to know and need from a video conferencing platform. Unlike the other alternatives mentioned above, GoToMeeting doesn’t offer a free version, but it makes up for it with some additional worthwhile features. Starting at $12 per month, some of the unique features it offers are: automatic meeting transcription, unlimited recording, and a call me feature to call participants to join at the scheduled meeting time.
5. Microsoft Teams |
Formerly known as Skype Business, Microsoft Teams allows up to 250 participants in a video conference for the two paid subscriptions. With the Business Basic set at $5 per month and the Business Standard set at $12.50 per month, this is one of the better bang for your buck deals from a bigger company. In addition to the standardized meeting recordings and screen sharing, you’ll also get access to 1 terabyte of cloud storage, access to web versions of the Microsoft Office suite, and 24/7 technical support.
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