The 6 Best Zoom Alternatives for Video Conferencing (Free & Paid)

Looking for alternatives for video conferencing other than Zoom?

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, people were forced to stay at home. And work, study, or connect with friends and family using technology only.

At this time, users rapidly opted for various applications to connect with each other effectively.

And one of them which saw a drastic increase in users was Zoom.

It was not just company employees using Zoom for working but a major section of users included educational institutions. Where students and teachers connected through Zoom.

But soon after, Zoom was also criticized for its security and privacy policies. This lead to many users and companies shifting from Zoom to other platforms.

Security is very important and therefore be sure to check out “Best Website Malware Scanner Tools” available.

best zoom alternatives

So if you are also seeking advice on which platform to shift to from Zoom, you have landed on the right page. The reason can be security and privacy concerns. Or it can be as simple as just wanting to try other platforms.

Therefore, here we have compiled a list of the best video conferencing tools to help you stay connected with your teams while working remotely. We have focused on privacy and security the most here, as this is the main reason for users searching for alternatives to Zoom.

Before heading straight to the topic we want to suggest you check out “The Best Work From Home Apps for You” as well. These include applications that can help you to connect with your teams and share information easily.

I am sure you will find it useful!

The 6 Best Zoom Alternatives for Video Conferencing

Let’s get the basics clear first!

This will make it easy for you to understand and choose an application that suits your requirement.

First lets talk about what Zoom offers and how it became so popular.

Next, we have listed the issues faced while using Zoom recently. And why some companies are banning its use for the employees.

Then we will head straight to its alternatives.

If you want to skip this part you are free to go straight to check out Zoom alternatives for video conferencing below.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a communications technology company based in San Jose, California. This company offers services such as setting up video and audio conferencing for online meetings, training, etc.

It also offers other features such as Video Webinars for marketing events and then hall meetings. Cross-platform file sharing and messaging are also part of its services. This is done by a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform.

Is Zoom free to use?

Yes, Zoom offers the basic plan for free. This includes unlimited one-to-one meetings. But limits the duration of video conferencing for more than three participants to 40 minutes.

Other than a free plan, Zoom offers three more plans. These are Pro, Business, and Enterprise. All these plans include different additional features.

Why is Zoom so popular?

There are many applications that offer Video conferencing services. Then why did only Zoom became so much popular?

One of the main reasons is that it is a free service that offers video conferencing for up to 40 minutes with more than three participants. Educational institutions, companies, etc are making use of it to stay connected with teams and students. And also to offer online classes.

Another reason is that it is very easy to use. You do not need a guide to walk you through the process of using it. All the main tools are on the screen and you can easily use them. Just like any messaging app.

What are the problems with Zoom?

The two main issues the users have faced while using Zoom are privacy and security.

Lately, hackers have used Zoom to gain access to users’ Mac because of a vulnerability that Zoom didn’t fix earlier. “Zoom Bombings” happened when hackers gain entry to chartrooms of users and dropped racist comments and threats.

These issues have made users think twice before continuing using Zoom.

Why is Zoom banned by some companies?

Because of the security issues, there are many organizations, companies, institutions that have banned or are restricting the use of Zoom.

Google, SpaceX, and Smart Communications are the major names who have banned the complete use of Zoom for its employees.

Other than this NASA, German Foreign Ministry, United Staes Senate, Australian Defence force, etc have also banned or suggested using alternatives of Zoom to its employees.

There are educational institutions too which are banning the use fo Zoom for its employees and students.

Now let’s take a look at its alternatives!

1. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams, best zoom alternatives

Overview

Microsoft Teams also known as “Teams”, is a powerful platform that allows communications and collaborations for users.

Our top choice when it comes to best zoom alternatives is Microsoft Teams. And the very first reason is that it is private and secure. Microsoft uses advanced Artificial Intelligence to monitor the chats so that bullying, harassment, etc can be prevented. Moreover, this company is completely transparent about how it handles the user’s data.

Pricing

Microsoft Teams offers both free as well as paid plans.

Free Plan. The free plan offers basic features such as unlimited chat and search, online meetings and video callings, limited storage for Team and personal use, real-time collaboration with office, etc. But these features have some limitations too which are upgraded with paid plans.

Paid Plans. There are three paid plans available. Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, and Office 365 E3.

Click here to check the pricing.

Features

  • Live Events such as meetings, webinars, presentations can be held easily with up to 1000 people attending it.
  • When it comes to online meetings Microsoft Teams has some great features you can use. Apart from having the audio, video calling, and conference options, users can now make use of options such as meeting recording, note-taking, screen sharing, messaging, etc. This will help to keep a record of the meeting later so that you don’t miss out on anything.
  • Invite any external guests with an email link having a valid business or consumer email id to join a meeting.
  • Check out the old meetings recording and content with Microsoft teams to prepare for the next meetings easily.
  • Background blur is another great feature to use when participating in video calling so that background distractions can be minimized.
  • Integration with Microsoft 365 allows users to easily collaborate by sharing content.
  • With the use of Automatic Transcription, users can easily play old meetings and find important information.
  • Teams Chat feature allows users to stay connected by sharing content through messaging.
  • Upcoming meetings can also be scheduled in advance to save time and be efficient.

2. Skype

Skype

Overview

Skype is a well-known name when it comes to video conferencing. Skype free plan is best suited for small groups. And if you are looking for business then you can check out Microsoft Teams which has replaced Skype for Business.

Skype is one of the best Zoom alternatives when you are looking for simple and quick Video calling.

Skype is used worldwide for free audio and video calls, group calls, messaging, sharing files, etc.

It is one of the very few services which offers great features in its free plan.

Meet Now is a great feature on Skype which allows users to invite other Skype users or even those not having an account on Skype to collaborate and communicate.

The best part about this feature is that users don’t necessarily need to Sign up to Skype to attend a meeting. Users do not even need to have Skype downloaded on their devices. Skype for Web allows users to join meetings through a web-based application.

Meet Now has additional features and an intuitive interface which makes it a great choice for video conferencing and collaborations.

Users can connect to Skype with any of the devices such as phone, desktop, tablet, web, Alexa, and Xbox.

Pricing

Skype is completely free for users.

Features

  • Skype allows users to set up voice or video calls in HD quality. This can be a one-to-one call or a group call. You get the best quality.
  • Messaging is also very fun and easy, using Skype. You can add creative reactions to your texts. Or you can also tag someone specifically mention them in a comment.
  • Screen Sharing is also another great feature. Using this you can share anything with your team, friends, and family. This makes communicating more efficient.
  • Subtitles are another feature that you won’t get in many applications. But with Skype, you can use this feature to easily read what another person is saying.
  • Recording your Skype call can also be done at any moment. You can choose to record an entire conversation or just a part of it.
  • You can also you Skype to directly call friends on mobile phones and landlines but for additional calling rates.
  • Skype ensure the end to end encryption for conversations so that your privacy is not violated.

3. Google Duo

Google Duo one of the best zoom alternatives

Overview

Next on our list of the best Zoom alternatives is Google Duo.

Google Duo is developed by Google LLC and is simple audio and video calling application. Unlike other such applications, its upside is that it is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

Users can also access it from laptops and computers using the Google Chrome web browser.

We would recommend this application for mostly personal use and small businesses. As it supports video calls for groups having no more than 12 members.

Pricing

Google Duo is completely free to use.

Features

  • Google Duo keeps users’ data secure and safe as it uses end to end encryption.
  • Up to 12 members can join a video call with no time limitations.
  • The family mode in Google Duo is fun to connect with families and use various functions such as Doodle while video calling.
  • When you are not video calling you can use note, voice, or video messages and add effects to them to make it more fun.

4. Cisco Webex

Cisco Webex

Overview

Cisco Systems acquired Webex in 2007 and formed the Cisco Webex. This company offers web conferencing and video conferencing services.

It offers both free and paid plans. But its free plan has a number of features we usually don’t get to see in freemium services.

The free plan allows 100 participants to join in each meeting with a time frame of up to 50 minutes.

Users can also enjoy HD video quality video calls. And can also record the meetings for later reference and save it on their devices.

Free users can also access Webex Teams collaboration features such as interactive whiteboards, file sharing, etc.

Pricing

There are both free and paid plans available.

The free plan is limited to basic features for an unlimited time.

Apart from the free plan, there are three paid plans available.

  • Starter. This plan is great for small businesses and is billed for $13.50/month per host.
  • Plus. This pan is billed for $17.95 and is great for mid-sized teams.
  • Business. Last comes the business plan billed for $26.95/month per host and is suitable for large teams and businesses.

Features

  • Webex Meetings. This solution allows users to connect with video conferencing. Users can either host or join any meeting with just clicking on a link.
  • Screen sharing is another great feature of Webex. Using this other users can see what you are sharing easily.
  • The host can record the meeting so that it is easy to take notes later.
  • Webex Teams. It is easy to collaborate with having Webex Teams as a solution. There are a number of tools available to make collaborating easy on Webex such as Chat, schedule, files, meet. whiteboard, etc.
  • In case you need to switch to another device, it is a one-click thing. You don’t need to end the conversation for it.
  • Webex Events. Webex makes it easy to host a webinar for large companies and teams in which up to 3000 participants can join. Moreover, you can also easily send a message to a large group of people up to 100,000 so that it reaches a wider audience.

5. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts a free tool for video conferencing

Overview

Our next choice is “Google Hangouts” another popular software developed by Google LLC.

If you are looking for a simple yet effective tool to easily connect with small teams you can use Google Hangouts.

As soon as you open Google Hangouts, all the basic features are there on the main screen to access. The Chat section is right in front, next to Video and voice call options.

Towards the left, you get a Menu with other basic functions such as contact, conversations, phone calls, invites, etc.

Google Hangouts lacks advanced functions but if you are looking for quick access to video calls, voice calls, conferencing for a small group, this tool will not let you down.

Pricing

Google Hangouts is a completely free service and only requires a Google account to sign in.

Features

  • Easy access to messaging other people or having a group messaging up to 100 people.
  • Include pictures, maps, emojis, GIFs, stickers, etc to make your messages more informative or fun.
  • Start an audio or video call with one to one calls. Or add up to 10 members to a group for video conferencing.
  • No matter which device you are using such as Android, iOS, or connecting through the web you can sync all your devices to be able to switch devices without any issue.

6. Google Meet

Google Meet

Overview

Google Meet is one of the best Zoom alternatives available. And another video communication service which is developed by Google LLC.

In April 2020, Google ended all its paid versions of Google Meet and made it available to all the users for free till 30 Sept 2020.

This is the best time to make use of this application and test all its features for free. Google Meet comes loaded with some of the very best collaboration tools such as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms.

Moreover, it also offers Google Drive storage up to 1 TB per user for the G Suite Enterprise Essential plan. And for the free plan, the storage is 15 GB per user. For G Suite Essentials Plan the storage is 100 GB per user.

Pricing

Google Meet offers three main plans.

  • Free Plan. The free plan allows 100 participants for video conferencing with a time frame of 1 hour for each meeting. Right now this time frame is extended to 24 Hours till 30 Sept 2020.
  • G Suite Essentials. (Free till 30 Sept 2020) The original plan is billed for $10/active users per month. But during the days of the pandemic, this plan is made free for everyone till a time frame of 30 Sept 2020. This plan allows up to 150 participants for video conferencing with a meeting length of up to 300 hours.
  • G Suite Enterprise Essentials. (Free till 30 Sept 2020) Originally this plan is billed for $20/active user per month. This plan allows up to 250 participants to join a meeting. Users can access all the advanced features using this plan.

Features

  • For security, Google Meet includes 2-step verification options for users.
  • Google Meet also includes anti-hijacking features and safe and secure meeting controls.
  • When it comes to security and privacy Google makes sure than all the video meetings are encrypted by default.
  • Google Meet also claims that it does not use any of the user’s data for advertising or selling it to third parties.
  • Live captions feature is available in English for users. Google’s speech recognition technology provides live captions in real-time. This makes it easier for users to follow the meetings.
  • This software is compatible across various devices such as Desktop, Laptop, Android, iPhone, iPad, etc.
  • Watch a preview of video and audio before starting a meeting.
  • Hosts have a number of controls such as pin, mute, remove participants, or add new ones.

Conclusion

We hope you found this article useful on the Best Zoom Alternatives available.

We have listed the most relevant and useful video conferencing alternatives available right now. The list could have been long but we decided to include an application that is most suited, efficient, budget-friendly, and also free.

It is important to note here that the limited time free version of Google Meet is one of the most efficient tools that we recommend for users to try. As it is completely free till 30 Sept 2020. It is the best time to make use of this opportunity and if you like it you can continue to use it later too.

Let us know in the comment section below, which one of the above-listed applications is your choice. We would also like to know if you want us to add any more of the alternatives to this list of the best zoom alternatives.

For now, most of the people are working remotely so we have also compiled “Tips for Working from Home Effectively“.

Make sure you check it out!

2 thoughts on “The 6 Best Zoom Alternatives for Video Conferencing (Free & Paid)”

  1. Thank you for your valuable feedback!
    I’m glad you liked the content of the page.
    I will definitely work on adding more images and make it more easily readable.

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