Zoom became the most Famous video conferencing app this lockdown. Although, with the growing fame came a lot of backlash in security loopholes and data mismanagement. Therefore, much so, that many countries had to ban usage in internal meetings. Zoom being scalable and intuitive, people still stuck with it.
We recently had two big announcements. First is, Google made its premium video conferencing service free, and Second is, Facebook announced its web conferencing system, Messenger Rooms, for creators. Hence with these announcements, we are finally staring at Zoom Alternatives in the most real sense. Here are all of them.
Best Zoom Alternatives
Before we begin with the Alternatives, three main things led to Zoom‘s popularity.
- Scalability – Zoom not only permits you to host meetings with 100 people but looked quite while doing it. Now, At the time of lockdown, how many apps allow you to organize meetings with 100 people for free?
- Ease – This is the ease with which you could hold meetings with around 100 people for free of cost.
- Moderation – However, Zoombombing was a huge issue. I felt Zoom had enough meeting reductions AND roles.
So, while looking at ideal Zoom Alternatives, we didn’t include Discord, Microsoft Teams, and Riot IM, because they are more Collaborative and Communication tools. Now, Let’s get to the first one.
Participant Limit: 49 people
Skype wasn’t recognized in recent times as Zoom Alternatives. It was hard to make a video conference for non-Skype people. Now To add to that, Microsoft abandoned Skype in pursuit of Microsoft Teams. However, until recently, it has introduced Skype Meet. It is a simple web application that requires no sign-up to either host or to join a meeting.
Skype Meet is also united into the Skype app wherein you will see this “Meet Now” button on the home page. Aside from this, you also get group polls which are paid in Zoom. Furthermore, on Skype, anyone can record the meeting, and the recording is shared at the end of the call. There is no host or delegation of responsibilities. So, You can unmute people, and that is pretty much it.
- Option to host and also join a meeting without Skype ID.
- Up to 49 participants.
- Enables was the cloud recording of the session.
- Other features like file sharing, group polls, screen sharing, etc.
- No moderation for the meeting.
- It doesn’t need awaiting.
2. Google Meet
Participant Limit: 100 people
Google was the most advanced to enter the video conferencing battle. On May 8, 2020, it became convenient for everyone who has a Google account. Until Sept 30, 2020, there would be no time-limit on meetings or limits of any sort. Video calls have a time limit of 60 minutes.
Now, Compared to Zoom, Google Meet has a more honest UI. There are simply two buttons on the web page. So, One is to start a meeting, and the second is to join one. Presently, unlike Zoom, you need to have a Google account to join or host a meeting. By default, the host requires to permit everyone to join a meeting. Aside from this, you can unmute and disconnect other participants from the meeting.
However, Google Meet is an ideal alternative when compared to the ease and scalability of Zoom. Though, it lacks the meeting recording feature. It is available only for GSuite users. Furthermore, there is no inbuilt whiteboard, breakout room, waiting room, and more.
- Very Easy to host meetings for up to 100 participants for free of cost.
- No meeting time-limit as of soon until Sept 30, 2020.
- No choice to record the meeting for primary Gmail users.
- No breakout rooms, waiting room, and others.
- No native whiteboard for collaborations.
3. Jitsi Meet
Participant Limit: 75 people
Forthwith, Facebook, and Google both have their fair share of privacy issues in the past, therefore in case you are watching for something open-source – Jitsi Meet is the answer. It is similar to Zoom, and another open-source video conferencing application called BigBlueButton. Nevertheless, there are three essential reasons to choose Jitsi Meet over any other open-source video-conferencing application.
- Jitsi Meet has Dedicated Mobile Apps.
- Its Similar to Zoom, Jitsi Meet is very easy to use and requires little-to-no onboarding.
- This enables you to live stream on YouTube from within Jitsi Meet directly.
Aside from this, Jitsi Meet supports video conference with up to 75 people, and there is no time-limit on the meetings. The main problem with Jitsi Meet is that there is no moderation. Also, No one’s host and no one’s participant. Interest, anyone can kick you out of the meeting or mute you. So, In our testing, the video quality wasn’t as good as the previous two apps or even Zoom. Though the development is currently a lot active, and you can read more on their blog.
- You Can hold up to 75 participants and unlimited meetings.
- Option to record meetings and share screens.
- Ability to hold YouTube live streams from within the application.
- Dedicated iOS and Android apps, unlike other open-source alternatives.
- No moderation whatsoever in the meetings.
- Video quality is lightly average as per our testing.
4. Cisco Webex
Participant Limit: 100 people
This final Zoom Alternative we have is Cisco Webex. This was one of the first applications to go free to help people working from home. Therefore, the perks you get in the free variant are as follows:
- First, you can schedule meetings with 100 participants, and sessions can last as long as you want
- WebEx supports screen sharing and recording of meetings locally.
- Compared to the other applications in this list, Cisco WebEx does have better moderation. We will get to that in a bit.
Presently, similar to Zoom, Cisco WebEx also has a private meeting room. If you are holding a meeting with random people, don’t use your meeting ID. This doesn’t have a password. Here, You would be better off scheduling a conference that has a random password by default.
Unlike Zoom, there is no waiting room in WebEx. Accordingly, a person who clicks on the link would be directly redirected to the meeting room. Nevertheless, by default, WebEx locks the meeting room after 10 minutes. Therefore, once the meeting is closed, you will have to allow everyone personally to the meeting room.
- Capacity to host meetings with 100 people.
- Local recording and Group polls of meetings.
- Option to delegate host and leave the meeting.
- A personal meeting room doesn’t have a password by default.
- No option to enable the waiting room in meetings.
- No Linux Application.
- The web app doesn’t recognize the recording of meetings and group polls.
Participant Limit: 50 people
Next Zoom Alternative we have on the list is the recently launched – ‘Messenger rooms’ from Facebook. Now, it hasn’t rolled to every Messenger user, yet we were lucky to have early access. Messenger Rooms, as of now, provides 50 users to join Facebook video conferences. Unlike Google Meet, you don’t want to have a Facebook account to join a video conference.
Into the messenger app, just below your Profile, you have a link called “Create a Room.” This will instantly create a video conference which can be joined by others from even a web browser without a Facebook account. So, We have used it for a while, and the video quality is excellent.
Presently, coming to moderation, you can select whether the person needs to have a Fb account to join the meeting. Altogether, Rooms is a good Zoom Alternative where most have a Facebook account. Also, it plans to integrate with WhatsApp, Instagram, and Portal in the future. Meanwhile, in the case of FB, the issue might not be outside but within the app itself. However, let’s give the service a fair share of time and see how things roll out.
- Video conferences with up to 50 participants.
- Participants want not to have a FB account or messenger application.
- Included AR emojis from Fb Messenger during video chat.
- It has No real collaborative or moderation tools.
Final Words :
Finally, Google Meet and Facebook Rooms are the real Alternatives. Also, in case you want super privacy, then do try out Jitsi Meet. It works great! These are the only ones that perform flawlessly in our weeks of testing. In case most people in your team are already Skype users, and only a few don’t have an account, go for Skype meetings.