Zoom in has risen to the top as one of the most used video call applications because coronavirus has spread throughout the world. It’s cross platform, it’s free, and it’s easy to manage calls for businesses and individuals. However, he has seen some serious security and privacy weaknesses (now corrected). For those who are looking for some good Zoom alternatives, follow along after the break for various choices for business and personal needs.
Update 5/14: We’ve seen video call spaces change significantly over the past month. Specifically, Zoom has followed up on its plans to improve security and privacy but there are also more choices than before.
Zoom in: After announced plans to fix the problem, Zoom has followed up by providing important security and privacy renewal in April and Maybe. The company takes the previous error seriously and overcoming it may be enough to regain the trust of some users.
Facebook Messenger Room: Previously only available as a limited release and only for up to 8 people at once, Messenger Room now available for everyone and supports video calls for up to 50 people.
FaceTime Update: One of the criticisms that FaceTime has gained over the past few months is that floating user interfaces can be very annoying, especially for fast-paced conversations or meetings.
With iOS 13.5 (in beta with a public release expected soon) it’s possible to stop moving faces. Read more in our tutorial here.
FaceTime offers a great experience and full end-to-end encryption but unfortunately, it’s limited to Apple devices. My colleague Ben Lovejoy actually just wrote a good opinion about now being the right time for Apple expand FaceTime to Android and Windows.
So, even though FaceTime is the preferred option for small group calls between all Apple users, FaceTime cannot provide a viable solution for business calls or larger calls between friends and family.
The FaceTime group on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac supports video calls for up to 32 people.
And if you are looking for ways to eliminate background noise from whatever application or service you are using, see my colleague’s review of Krisp.
Skype & Microsoft Team
If you are looking for a solid alternative to calling up to 50 people, Skype is a good cross-platform option. It’s free, has a much better track record than Zoom for security and privacy, and is owned by Microsoft.
Update 4/3: Skype has been updated so there is no account or download required and users can start link-based video calls in one click.
If you need a business-focused solution that integrates more than just chat, Microsoft Teams is a viable option.
Here you get chat, video calls, and other Microsoft software product integration to collaborate. Naturally, this is most conducive for businesses that already use other Microsoft software products such as Office 365.
The Microsoft team starts at $ 5 / month per user. check in more detail on the Microsoft website.
Google Hangouts Meet and Google Duo
If you are a business that invests in Google software, Hangouts Meet is an alternative to Zoom or the Microsoft Team that you want to check.
Specifically, Google made changes because of the global pandemic giving all G Suite users a premium version of Hangouts Meet for free:
Starting this week, we will begin launching free access to Hangouts Meet our advanced video conference capabilities for all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally including:
- Larger meetings, up to 250 participants per call
- Live streaming up to 100,000 viewers in a domain
- Ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive
Beyond the free temporary increase, Hangouts Meet for businesses and organizations is included with the G Suite package which runs from $ 6 / month per user.
On the consumer side, Duo will be a free FaceTime / Skype competitor from Google.
Cisco Webex, TeamViewer, GoToMeeting, open-source Jitsi, and others
This option will be more comparable to Zoom because it does not depend on software sets from Google or Microsoft.
Specifically, Cisco Webex has just updated the rate is free and is doing two more offers for paid packages:
- An enhanced free package
- The first month is free when you register for a paid monthly plan
- Four months free when purchasing an annual plan
Some other options from smaller developers that are worth a try include:
Have another good Zoom alternative that we didn’t mention? Share in the comments below!
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