When coronavirus engulfed the globe and people could not come together to conduct business transactions, making remote work a thing, we turned to video calls. The go-to platform for virtual meetings was Zoom. Its usage sky rocked. In March 2020, Zoom saw a 225% increase in connections compared to the previous month, and data usage on the platform increased by 877%, according to a Wandera survey.
Although Zoom has many great features, it may not be technically effective enough for your business. For example, the free Zoom plan allows meetings of only 40 minutes, which could obstruct conversations on crucial matters.
Also, most meetings held in the free version do not use HD video, and that can cause problems with screen freezing and lagging. For a meeting capped at 40 minutes, these hiccups are a waste of valuable time.
Fortunately, there are many other free video conferencing options available to you. Searching carefully, you will find one to suit your needs. If you currently use video conferencing, you might be interested in looking at these zoom alternatives.
Let us walk you through some of them.
7 Zoom alternatives for businesses
1. Google Meet (free and paid)
Google Meet is the most widely used Zoom alternative. Previously, Meet was only available to G-suite customers, but the company has added a free tier. You can make video calls with up to 250 participants, make presentations, record meetings, and save them to Drive. Meet also allows you to send a meeting link to parties outside your organization.
Meet has some zoom-like features such as grid view and custom backgrounds. Recently, Google integrated Meet into Gmail to allow you to start a video call directly from the left column of your email browser window. You can expect more from Google.
Is Google Meet better than Zoom?
When it comes exclusively to video conferencing features, Zoom edges Google Meet. Also, Zoom supports an enormous number of participants compared to Google Meet. And the company gives a free plan that could be useful for smaller businesses.
That aside, if you are looking to integrate a collection of apps with your video conferencing service, then consider Google Meet. The platform comes with other Google services as part of their G-Suite subscription.
Also, with Google Meet, you can easily and quickly start a meeting with 10 colleagues. But zoom, on the other hand, is best for larger-scale meetings.
For some, features aren’t everything. They might find the 40-minute Zoom call limit to be very restrictive. The 60 minute Google Meet timeline is much better because many meetings and events last that long.
2. Microsoft Teams (paid and free)
With Microsoft Teams, paid users can host video conferences for up to 300 people. Teams provide essential video conferencing tools such as screen sharing and meeting recording. Teams have two different Office 365 plans, which also work with Office apps, one terabyte of OneDrive storage, and more.
Teams have a free plan, but it comes with limited features.
Is Microsoft Team better than Zoom?
Both Zoom and Microsoft offer basic video conferencing features like screen sharing, meeting logging, file sharing, and more. But Zoom has a slight advantage over Microsoft Teams. Going a step further, Zoom offers participant connectivity details, a user-friendly interface, and people counting capacities.
However, Microsoft Teams has its advantages. While Zoom is primarily a video calling application, Microsoft Teams offers more in terms of team collaboration. It serves as a general chat and organization application very similar to Slack.
In addition, it integrates well with Microsoft 365 apps. These include all-time favorites such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. The collaboration between team members is made very easy with Microsoft Teams. Because several companies are already using these applications, Microsoft has a significant edge over Zoom.
Zoom has recently been the focus of privacy issues. The company has more than 500,000 stolen accounts sold online, prompting businesses to seek other zoom alternatives.
The platform is much more stable now. But if you are security conscious, you may prefer Microsoft Teams.
3. Skype (free)
Skype is a well-known video chat software and widely used. Its recent Skype Meet Now feature is here to rival Zoom. Conference calls on Skype can accommodate up to 50 users. Guess what? Users no longer need an account to log in, just a link.
Is Skype better than Zoom?
Now let’s talk about some key features.
As you already know, the free Zoom Meetings plan lets you start video calls with up to 100 participants. Going pro can take this number up to 1,000. That is cool if you have a large company, and you need video calls with more than 100 people.
Zoom and Skype offer a very similar set of functions. Both include basic video conferencing features like screen sharing, meeting recording, cloud storage, file sharing, dial-up sharing, etc. However, Zoom is an overall better service in terms of integrated features. The business version of Skype is in tandem with Microsoft Teams. This provides users with more value as Microsoft Teams comes with Microsoft Office collaboration and productivity apps.
Also, Skype does not have meeting organization tools like the other Zoom alternatives. But it is free.
Zoom is a better solution for business owners and remote workers because of its features. But if you are not very interested in the few additional features that Zoom has over Skype, then the real difference will be in the price.
4. Facebook Messenger Rooms (free)
Facebook recently improved video chat options with Messenger Rooms. This new feature lets Facebook members create public or private video chat rooms that can accommodate up to 50 people without any time limit. In comparison, free zoom calls can hold precisely 100 participants for 40 minutes. Surprisingly, Facebook allows people without an account to join the Messenger Room through a link.
Is Facebook better than zoom?
Zoom was popular among businesses, but consumers grabbed it during the pandemic. Messenger rooms are consumer-focused and aimed at connecting friends and family. However, you can share a screen, schedule meetings in advance, and see participants in grid view. You can also leave a room open for a specific group of people or your entire list so that everyone can join at any time.
So if you need an app for business meetings that require video conferencing features, Zoom is it then.
5. Discord (free)
You should look up Discord if you want a free Zoom alternative. Discord is popular with gamers. But if you are looking to send encrypted chats, messages, and video calls, have a look at Discord. Users can create a dedicated server organized into rooms that host video and text chats.
Discord recently raised the Go Live video calling limit from 10 users to 50.
Is Discord better than Zoom?
Both platforms offer file sharing and screen sharing. But Zoom is still the topples Discord in video conferencing. One area is that Zoom offers whiteboards where you can make notes or draw on the screen.
Another thing is that Discord wants you to download it, create an account, and set up your credentials. Once you have done that, you can join the server, or if you already know someone with a server, ask them to send you an invite. With Zoom, it is different. You can join a meeting using an invite. You do not need to download the software or create an account.
But Discord whacks Zoom when it comes to privacy. Discord is well-known for honoring users’ privacy. It is a different story with Zoom. Although they have made progress, there are still concerns.
6. Zoho Meeting (paid)
Zoho is an open-source video conferencing service that lets you host encrypted end-to-end video conferencing for up to 100 people. Like some Zoom alternatives, participants only need a link or dial-in to access these meetings. Zoho has even provided a helpful chart that compares their product to Zoom.
The video conferencing tool offers different meeting tools, such as screen sharing, call recording, and monitoring (for example, you can mute participants). And you can easily import documents, spreadsheets, and presentations from the Zoho Office suite. But keep in mind that there are different pricing plans for webinars, making Zoho somewhat expensive.
Is Zoho better than zoom?
First off, Zoho is a paid software, but they offer a 14day trial where you can enjoy the whole package. Zoom, on the other hand, gives a free version that is not time-bound. But here is the thing, Zoom meetings on the free plan can not exceed 40mins and 100 participants while Zoho lasts as long as you want it.
Zoho Meeting does not integrate third-party apps for any of its functionalities. It uses the Zoho suite. However, Zoom integrates with over 3000 apps which might be appealing to you.
When it comes to user privacy, Zoho is uptight. It does not share users’ data with any third party.
Here is a small catch. Zoho Meeting allows you to store a particular number of recordings based on your plan, not on storage size. So you do not have to worry about exhausting your storage while recording.
7. GoToMeeting (paid)
GoToMeeting has been around for a longer time than most. This feature-packed Zoom alternative starter plan allows up to 150 participants, while the business enterprise plan can include up to 3,000.
GoToMeeting offers all the fundamental video conferencing tools, such as meeting recording and screen sharing abilities. You can also have multiple meeting moderators.
Is GoToMeeting better than Zoom?
Zoom and GoToMeeting, which can accommodate thousands of participants in real-time meetings, are reliable options for larger companies. Both providers give clear video and have competitive capabilities that make them top competitors.
Both Zoom and GoToMeeting have options for local recording, HD Video Conferencing, Screen Sharing, Scheduling Meetings, and more.
However, Zoom offers a more robust whiteboard experience. During an online presentation, participants can point, highlight, circle, and comment on specific information on the screen for clarity. GoToMeeting also offers these drawing capabilities, but they are very restricted compared to Zoom.
Also, the GotoMeeting interface is a bit static, giving Zoom an edge with its easy-to-use UI.
One good thing about GotoMeeting is its unlimited storage. Starting at its mid-level Pro plan, GotoMeeting offers unlimited cloud storage against the 1GB storage Zoom offers.
If you run a large organization that regularly needs to accommodate 150 to 250 attendees, need unlimited cloud storage, and a no-minimum-host requirement, GoToMeeting may offer better value for you.
Pick a Zoom alternative that meets your video conferencing needs.
With businesses having remote teams scattered around the globe, the right video conferencing tool is essential now.
True, Zoom is still a good tool compared to others- there is no doubt about that. But it has its shortcomings. There are tons of Zoom alternatives available.
When choosing an alternative, take some time to do some research and decide which software is best for your needs. Don’t just steer towards attractive prices – check out all features and read customer reviews.
Just look at the list of video conferencing software in this article to find the perfect solution for your business needs.