Best Zoom Alternatives in 2020
Before we start our list, let us first discuss why we Zoom has become such a success overnight and why you should be looking for its alternatives:
Why We Need A Zoom Alternative
Since COVID-19 has forced millions of employees to work from their home, the need for a good video conferencing app became paramount. Zoom capitalized on this demand by providing a solution that works and has an easy-to-use interface. Another reason behind Zoom’s success is its generous free plan. You can make 40-minute conference calls with up to 100 attendees for free. Combine all these factors, and Zoom seems to offer a perfect product. This raises a question. If Zoom is so good, why are we looking for its alternatives?
Well, Zoom is the classic example of a product where its success became its downfall. Till Zoom was small and not so widely adopted, its underlying problems were not discovered. However, as millions of new users joined the service, the problems became apparent. Many users discovered that Zoom was secretly sending data to Facebook. In another case, Washington Post found that thousands of personal Zoom recordings were available on open web, some even uploaded to YouTube.
The researchers at Citizen Lab, found that the some Zoom calls were routed through China which is a big security concern in itself. Then there are cases of Zoom bombing where hackers were able to join ongoing Zoom calls and disturb the chats by using profanity, racial slurs, and NFSW content. Needless to say, the discovery of one security flaw after another is not looking good for the company.
Many companies and government institutions have barred their employees from using Zoom. Just recently, New York City banned Zoom from being used it schools citing its security concerns. And if you don’t have a complete disregard for your privacy, you too should be looking at Zoom alternatives. So now that you know the why, let’s get to our list.
1. Microsoft Teams
I would say if you are looking for a complete web communication solution like Zoom then Microsoft Teams would arguably be the best alternative. It comes with a range of features and in some cases, even exceeds Zoom’s capabilities. You can chat, make a video call to your teammates, access Office 365 documents, collaborate in real-time, and also call anyone from Teams Calling or direct Phone System. As I said, it’s a powerful tool for web communication either through video, audio or chat.
However, keep in mind, Microsoft Teams allows you to host a web meeting of up to 250 participants in comparison to Zoom’s capability to scale up to 1000 participants. Nevertheless, Microsoft Teams can handle up to 10,000 teammates in a web seminar which is equal to Zoom’s ability. Having said all of that, Microsoft Teams brings a lot of additional perks like screen sharing, access to 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, Office 365 access and more. To conclude, if you are looking for a capable Zoom alternative then Microsoft Teams is a suitable pick.
Visit Website (1-month Free Trial, Starts at $5/month)
I know Skype for Business has been replaced by Microsoft Teams and it’s no longer available. And that’s why I am talking about the free version of Skype which is for personal users. Skype can be very helpful for small companies to hold web meetings and seminars in HD quality and best of all, without any charge. In terms of participant limit, Skype can host up to 50 participants which is half of Zoom’s 100 participants offering under the free tier plan. However, you do not have any limit on group calls on Skype whereas Zoom has a 40-min limit if there are more than 3 participants.
So in a way, Skype is not bad at all and brings limitless features without any cost. You can chat and call with your teammates as well, but if you want to directly call phone numbers across regions then you will have to pay some charges. But other than that, everything is free and accessible including call recording, mobile screen sharing, live subtitles and more. I would suggest, if you are using the Basic plan of Zoom then you should give a shot at Skype.
And if you are satisfied by Skype’s free offering, you can also look at Skype alternatives to check out similar free video calling solutions.
Visit Website (Free)
3. Hangouts Meet
Hangouts Meet is Google’s new answer to Zoom and it seems the tech giant is finally into the race. At present, Hangouts Meet is only available to G Suite users and those who are enrolled in the G Suite for Education program. Now coming to features, it’s very much like Zoom in a sense, that you can just create a meeting and share the link with the participants. And they can easily join the meeting without creating any account whatsoever. And the best part is that, since it’s Google, you have dedicated apps for almost all the platforms so that is awesome.
Talking about the group limit, well, at this point, Hangouts Meet can host only up to 100 participants. However, Google recently announced that, from July 1, users will be able to create much larger meetings of up to 250 participants and can stream live webinars to 100,000 viewers. That’s great news, right? So, if you are looking for a Zoom alternative then Hangouts Meet is a decent pick right now. I would say, come July, Hangouts Meet will become a comparable rival to Zoom.
Visit Website (14-day Free Trial, Starts at $6/month)
4. Jitsi Meet
If you are looking for a free alternative to Zoom then Jitsi Meet is the best option available. It’s an open-source video conferencing platform where you can host group calls of as many users as you want and without any charge. On top of that, it’s encrypted, does not need an account, and there is no time limit as well. That’s awesome, but what’s the catch? To be frank, there is no catch. Jitsi is fully funded by 8×8 company that uses Jitsi’s products like Virtual Office and other open-source projects.
In my brief usage, Jitsi Meet performed really well mainly because of its lightweight interface. You can just type the meeting name and hit enter to start the video conference. Further, you can set a password to your web conference or simply share the link to as many participants as you want. Surely, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, there has been a huge surge, but Jitsi still manages to pull through and you will get decent quality without much issue. Simply put, if you want a free solution to Zoom without compromising on security then Jitisi Meet is an apt choice.
Visit Website (Free)
5. Cisco Webex
You can consider Cisco Webex as another complete solution, similar to Zoom and Microsoft Teams. It’s packed with features and caters mostly to corporations and large-scale companies. However, if you are a small company then you can take advantage of its free plan. It allows you to host a free Webex meeting with 100 participants and members don’t need to create an account to join the meeting which is great. Similar to Zoom’s Basic Plan, you get HD video, screen sharing, and password-protected personal room.
However, Cisco Webex has a limit of 40 minutes just like Zoom so keep that in mind. If you opt for the paid plans then you can make group calls and host up to 200 participants. Apart from that, Cisco Webex offers Event Center for webinars, Training Center for online training, Support Center for remote support and more. Basically, you get everything as you would expect from a corporation-focussed video conferencing solution.
Visit Website (Free, Paid Plan Starts at $13.5/month)
Bluejeans is another great Zoom alternative that you can take a look at. Similar to Zoom, it offers video conferencing, personal rooms, events, and some really smart features. For instance, you can access Microsoft Teams Meetings from BlueJeans using its Cloud Video Interop technology. That’s really cool, right? Other than that, you can collaborate using audio and video using any device you have and in real-time. Having said all of that, the best part about BlueJeans is that it improves your productivity by highlighting meetings, creating transcription, automated alerts and a lot more.
I would say that you will have to use BlueJeans to understand how it’s much more than a video conferencing tool. As for the participant limit, it can host from 25 to 100 members which is quite good. Overall, if you want some smart management on your side then try out BlueJeans. It’s quite comparable to Zoom on the UI/UX front.
Visit Website (Free Trial for 7 days, Starts at $9.99/month)
7. Zoho Meeting
Zoho is quite popular for its online office suite and the company has been making some of the best tools for account management, word processing, and of course, web conferencing. It’s basically a one-stop solution where you can schedule meetings, create documents, invite participants, and discuss the project — all in real-time. Another best feature about Zoho Meeting is that it’s completely web-based. While apps offer you a broad range of features, you can still join calls and web conferences through a browser even without an app installed. That’s awesome, right? Apart from that, you get all the standard web communication features like screen sharing, audio calls, video conferencing and project collaboration. As for the limit, Zoho Meeting can host up to 100 participants at one time which is nowhere near Zoom, but if you have a small team then it’s pretty good.
Visit Website (Free Trial for 14 days, Starts at $10/month)
GoToMeeting is one of the oldest video conferencing platforms out there and it’s packed with features. The company primarily deals with corporate clients, but even if you are a small company then GoToMeeting has you covered. To begin with, you can host video and audio meetings from any device and from anywhere. And the best part is that GoToMeeting supports up to 250 participants for video conferencing and 1000 attendees for Webinars. Apart from that, GoToMeeting also brings direct call, cloud recording, Office 365 plugin for integrating all your Office documents, screen sharing and more. Overall, GoToMeeting is a complete web communication solution and you can reliably opt for it over Zoom.
Visit Website (Free Trial for 14 days, Starts at $12/month)
Top Zoom Alternatives Sorted For You
So those are our picks for the best Zoom alternatives that you can pick right now. As we went through the list, we can see that some companies offer a fully-featured video conferencing tool and some offer limited features. Nevertheless, based on your requirements and company size, you can pick a tool from the list. I am pretty sure, you won’t be disappointed. Anyway, that is all from us. If we missed out on your favorite Zoom alternative then do let us know in the comment section below.