Have you been searching for the best Zoom alternatives for videoconferencing? You are in the right place.
The popularity of video calling, both for business and personal use was already increasing even before the coronavirus pandemic.
But as COVID increasingly imposed restrictions on our movement, people realized that it could often be just as productive to come together virtually.
The platform most people turned to was Zoom. In March 2020, Zoom connectivity increased by 225% compared to the previous month.
While Zoom has many great features, it may not be technically sufficient for your business. For example, the free Zoom platform only allows 40-minute meetings, making it difficult to discuss important topics.
There were also security and zoombombing issues (this is the case when an uninvited guest joins your meeting).
Additionally, larger meetings for the free version don’t use HD videos (unlike competitors), which can cause screen freezing and lag issues. In a meeting with a 40-minute limit, such things can waste a lot of valuable time.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other free video conferencing options available to you, and there is one that meets your needs. If you plan to continue using online meetings, it’s worth taking a close look at other video conferencing platforms, which we’ll do here.
Today we’re going to give insights at the eight best zoom alternatives for small businesses:
- Cisco Webex
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Meet
- Jitsi Meet
- Meet Now
Table of contents
8 Best Zoom Alternatives for Video Calls and Conferences
To prevent you from viewing the data yourself, we’ve put together a list of our eight best zoom alternatives, along with their pros and cons.
1. Cisco Webex
Webex’s free plan is among the most comprehensive, enabling up to 100 participants per meeting for up to 50 minutes.
The cheapest paid plan increases the meeting length to 24 hours, but you must skip two more levels before the attendee allocation rises to 200. The premium plan allows up to 100,000 unlimited attendees and hosts.
It’s suitable for collaboration, with a free layer that offers screen sharing, an interactive whiteboard, and messaging. However, you will need to upgrade your recording and storage capacity, modem calls, and international calls.
All paid plans include transcripts, file transfers, chat, “raise your hand”, and voting options. Live customer support is available in all versions except free, unlike others, which offers support in all directions.
Webex is committed to security, offering support for firewalls, SSOs, and secure deployment capabilities.
The minimalist design can make it challenging to find specific user controls, and there have been complaints of slowdowns, especially in screen sharing mode.
It has mobile apps for Android and Apple smartphones and integrates with Google Drive, Microsoft 365 and Salesforce.
2. Microsoft Teams
Considered an excellent way to map the desktop experience, this shared workspace combines chat, meetings, file sharing, and business apps. It is best suited for a Microsoft centric environment.
An account is not required to join the meeting, and there is a browser-based option, but it is only fully functional in Edge or Chrome.
All plans offer video calling with up to 300 members, but you can only see nine participants at a time. The high-cost plan allows you to host events online with 100,000 people.
Microsoft Teams comes with standard video conferencing tools, such as screen sharing and chat features, and customizable wallpapers and web versions of Microsoft products. Other valuable features include participant lists, live captions, and sharing of recordings.
The free variety has limited functionality, while the paid plans provide security, management, and compliance tools. However, higher tiers are only available with Microsoft 365 Business Premium or Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3.
Audio conferencing is only available in addition to paid tiers, meaning guests can join meetings by phone (which is standard with some others). Project management tools can also be added.
It’s valued noting that current Skype for Business users will automatically switch to Microsoft Teams soon.
This videoconferencing program has been around for some time and offers scalable solutions, although it caters to many participants.
The cheapest plan allows 150 participants, with the unlimited meeting time. The next level (which you can try for free for 14 days) has 250 participants, including 3000 at the premium level.
It’s easy to set up and collaborative, with shared hosting and interactive whiteboard capabilities and screen sharing.
The lowest tier also offers a remote access feature, while the two more expensive plans give you unlimited cloud recording, along with transcriptions, drawing tools, and an intelligent assistant.
Other valuable tools include live notes during the meeting that can be shared later and “Slide to PDF” for faster presentation sharing. There is also a PIN-based entry system and voting and ‘raise your hand’ functions.
It can be used on Android, iOS, PC, Mac devices and add-ons for Microsoft 365 and Google Calendar.
However, the trade-off is that GoToMeeting lags in terms of sound quality and uses more bandwidth than other similar platforms.
The webinar feature does not exist if you do not choose to add a GoToWebinar sister product. But if you need a professional VoIP solution, you’d better go to GoToConnect.
Over 2 billion connected devices and over 40 million sessions worldwide make TeamViewer one of the best players to maintain active communication and collaboration between teams.
Face-to-face meetings are more than possible with TeamViewer and are enhanced by the ability to share screens, chat instantly, transfer files, and, as TeamViewer is known for, access screens remotely.
Not only can you organize meetings remotely with TeamViewer, but you can also make presentations, record a meeting for future reference, share files, share documents seamlessly and even secure your meeting so that unnecessary and unwanted participants cannot pass.
Because TeamViewer has been in the game longer than most video conferencing services, seamless participation has long been available for various operating systems.
TeamViewer makes online meetings very easy, from scheduling to attending participants, every meeting hassle-free and without security.
With a variety of licensing options that can allow up to 25 participants and up to 10 video participants at a time, TeamViewer helps improve productivity, efficiency and even time management between businesses and individuals.
Organizing a meeting is as easy as creating a meeting, sending a meeting ID to participants, setting a password to secure the meeting room (this is optional) and starting a meeting.
- Secure web conferencing
- Cross-platform connections
- Several licensing options
- Screen sharing
- Screen recording
5. Google Meet
Google Meet (previously Hangouts Meet) is video conferencing software for business users, while the Google Hangouts app is more suitable for chatting with friends.
It’s part of Google Workplace (previously G Suite), whose users can tap Meet directly. Guests can access directly from a calendar event, email invitation, or Gmail.
The simple version is free for up to 100 users who can meet for an hour, while the higher Enterprise level allows 250 participants and 300 hours (plus 100,000 viewers for live streaming).
Google Meet is fully integrated with all Google Workspace products. Although mainly used on desktops, it is optimized for Android and iOS mobile apps.
Attractive features include a familiar Google interface and top-notch security features, which integrates seamlessly with Google Workspace.
Screen sharing, customizable layouts, and live captions are available even in the free layer, with custom wallpaper and grid view. Paid plans let you record video conferences on Google Drive, while premium customers can take advantage of low light mode and noise cancellation.
Small businesses can benefit from using the free layer but may find that there aren’t enough advanced features or integrations as the business grows.
Another takedown is that all users will need to create a free Google account to host or even join the meeting. This could be a barrier to smooth use, especially if you plan a conference with stakeholders and customers using other platforms for their emails and calendars.
This cloud-based software is suitable for small businesses and those that operate in a combination of telecommuting and office work.
It provides vital communication features, but its team collaboration functionality is not as powerful as some others platforms.
The most striking feature of BlueJeans is Dolby Voice, which provides clear audio – an obvious bonus for online meetings. It also has a safe driving mode for mobile apps.
The lowest price plan can accommodate up to 50 participants with no time limit, while the second and third levels allow 75 and 100 participants, respectively.
Small businesses can complain that there is no free version, although you can sign up for a seven-day free trial with unlimited access and features.
And the most affordable layer offers all the standard features like screen sharing, notes, and recording, along with bandwidth management and some standard security features.
The premium plan has variable rates and various additions.
BlueJeans is available for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and there is a Linux version. Higher levels integrate with teams like Microsoft Teams, Splunk, Gong, and Zoho.
However, it does not support Windows touch screens, and there was a video lag issue.
7. Jitsi Meet
Using Jitsi Meet is entirely free, with no need to open an account, which will surely attract tiny businesses and startups.
The problem is that all meetings have a maximum of 50 participants, with no option to upgrade to a paid level with additional features or functionality.
Jitsi Meet is best regarded for its security, with various privacy features, including control of which devices you can access.
The software provides basics like screen sharing and live streaming and a built-in chat app for groups and individuals during video conferences.
You can also see a list of the last appointments, link your calendar to schedule the next one, and create a user profile. At the same time, other handy features include “presentation gateway” and file editing via Etherpad.
Since it is open-source software, users can fully customize their platform and add various advanced features. However, those without development experience may prefer a platform with access to plugins as part of a paid plan.
Jitsi Meet is compatible with Android & iPhone mobile applications. There is also support for WebRTC, an extension for Google Chrome, and integrations with Microsoft 365 and Slack.
8. Meet Now
This Microsoft offering arrived on Skype earlier this year to enhance your video conferencing experience. While the fun is a bit late, it does come with features that help it compete with established platforms.
Like Jitsi Meet, it’s accessible for up to 50 people in a meeting. Each video call can stay up to 24 hours, although the tech meeting never expires.
Meet Now is similar to Zoom: Hosts can set up and share a free meeting with just three clicks. It’s built into Windows 10, so the icon will appear on the taskbar for easier use.
Hosts or guests do not need to install or register for an account. Even the host does not need to install Skype, as it can be started from their website.
If a guest has Skype installed, they will open the app directly on call; otherwise, it will open a web client in Chrome or Edge. (So far, only these browsers are officially supported. This means that platforms supported by all major browsers take priority.)
Meet Now lets you share screens, built-in chats, and emoji reactions, and appointments can be recorded and stored for up to 30 days.
Wallpapers cannot be customized, but you can make them blurry (useful if you work where people go!)
Since there is no payment tier, you won’t upgrade to additional features, although there is a payment option if you need to make international calls.
Best Zoom Alternatives to Professional Videoconferencing: Who Wins?
When choosing an alternative to zooming, take the time to research and decide which software best meets your needs. Don’t be fooled by attractive prices: check out all the features and read customer reviews.
If you ask us, we think Google Meet is the best option for its overall value, although we are somewhat biased. Meet is a powerful video conferencing solution that offers free features that other companies charge for. And when the time comes to scale and has the largest capacity and most comprehensive administrative tools, you’ll need for a smooth transition.