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Alternative Video Conferencing Software

Here’s what to use instead of Zoom

Free (Compared to Free Zoom)

Skype Meet Now / Skype

Good for easy calls with friends

 

Features

  • No time limit on Calls
  • No download or Sign up necessary
  • Share meeting with a link
  • Record and save meetings
  • Blur background
  • Screen Sharing (Including on mobile devices)
 

Disadvantages

  • Only 50 people in a call (Zoom can go up to 100 for free)
  • Not as simple as Zoom
  • Focuses on Chat and Video Calling (Could be an advantage, depending on what you want)
  • Can’t change virtual background
  • Can’t join over phone call
 

Summary

Skype Meet Now would work fine for anyone trying to organize something with their friends because of the simplicity of creating and joining a call along with no time limit for calls. It could be used for small business meetings, but there are better options for that. The only real downfall compared to Zoom is the absence of custom backgrounds. It’s not a great option for education because of the chat and video focus and lack of restrictions. It’s worth pointing out that Skype is almost identical to Skype Meet Now and has the same benefits and missing features.

create_meetnow3.gif

Source: Skype Technologies

Source: Skype Technologies / Public domain

Jitsi Meet

Closest to Zoom

 

Features

  • No time limit on Calls
  • Encrypted Call and Chat
  • Chat when not calling (No Chat on Duo)
  • Blur background (In Beta and only on computer)
  • Join over phone call (There is an extension)
  • You can raise your hand
  • Share YouTube video (Only shows up on computer)
  • Join with link or name
  • Can mute participants
  • Screen sharing with very advanced options
  • No download or sign up necessary
  • Chat During meeting
  • Tile Mode
 

Disadvantages

  • Only 75 in a call, but it may not be stable over 35 (Zoom can go up to 100 for free)
  • Phone app is a little finicky but very simple
  • Can’t change virtual background
  • You can add a password, but you have to do it yourself
  • No option to schedule meetings
 

Summary

Jitsi is Open-Source so it is very trusted and secure and people can easily verify that. The software is actually incredibly easy to use. It’s very easy to use other than the lack of some of the features on the phone app. The meetings are incredibly easy to set up, join and participate in with most of the same features as Zoom. This is a really good option for most people who would use Zoom if they are willing to change a little bit to adapt to the different features of Jitsi.

Source: 8x8, Inc.
Source: 8x8, Inc.

Discord

Good for calls with friends if you already have it

 

Features

  • No time limit on Calls
  • Fancy features for gamers
  • Screen Sharing
  • Encrypted Call and Chat
  • Chat when not in call
  • Fully-featured browser app
 

Disadvantages

  • Only 50 people in a call (Zoom can go up to 100 for free)
  • Can’t change virtual background
  • Can’t join over phone call
  • Can’t join with link
  • Sign in is necessary
  • No option to schedule meetings
  • Can’t raise your hand
 

Summary

Discord is fully featured for gamers. So if you already have discord then it is a great option for fairly easy meeting. This could work for businesses, but is actually better for schools since it does implement text chats and more. This is probably the best free option for schools. Skype Meet Now has simplicity while discord has more features.

Source: Discord
Source: CaptainBlackburn / CC BY-SA

Signal

Most secure and least like Zoom

 

Features

  • No time limit on Calls
  • Fancy features for gamers
  • Screen Sharing
  • Considered most securely encrypted Call and Chat
  • Designed for calling and texting (Could be disadvantage)
 

Disadvantages

  • Only 50 people in a call (Zoom can go up to 100 for free)
  • Can’t change virtual background
  • Can’t join over phone call
  • Can’t join with link
  • Sign in and download is necessary
  • No option to schedule meetings
  • Can’t raise your hand
  • Designed for calling and texting (Could be advantage)
 
 

Summary

This is good for people who don’t really like Zoom because It’s designed to have groups that are used for the messages and calls. It’s good for when you want encryption because it is considered the most secure.

Source: Signal
Source: Signal

Microsoft Teams (Free)

Best for Office365 Users

 

Features

  • Integration with free office programs
  • Full chat system outside of meetings
  • Full collaboration/working/teaching platform
  • Send link to join meeting
  • Screen sharing
  • Desktop, Mobile, and Web options
  • Blur Background
 

Disadvantage

  • Only 50 people in a Meeting (Free Zoom can go up to 100)
  • Can’t change virtual background
  • Complex UI and setup (Zoom is much easier to use)
  • Sign in is necessary
  • Can’t record meetings (Available for Schools)
  • Can’t do screen sharing for multiple monitors
 

Summary

Teams is good for teams that are familiar with Office or are interested in becoming familiar with it. This would be good for schools and could be uses as an alternative to Zoom, but it is more complex and not as easy, although that could be good depending on your needs. This is a really adequate free business and school option options because it integrates a lot of collaboration through Teams and the whole Office system with other features like 10 GB of team storage. It also has special schooling options and integrations with a TB of storage and 10 GB per student.

Source: Microsoft Teams
Source: Microsoft

FaceTime / Google Duo / WhatsApp

Great for calls with friends using your phones

 

Features

  • No time limit on Calls
  • Works very well with phones
  • End-to-End Encrypted Call and Chat
  • Chat when not calling (No Chat on Duo)
 

Disadvantages

  • Only 32 people in a FaceTime call, 16 for WhatsApp, 12 for Duo (Zoom can go up to 100 for free)
  • Can’t change virtual background
  • Can’t join over phone call
  • Can’t join with link (FaceTime let’s you do group calls in iMessage group chats)
  • No option to schedule meetings
  • Can’t raise your hand
  • No Screen Sharing
  • FaceTime doesn’t have Windows support
 

Summary

These phone exclusive platforms work really well on phones. If you just want to talk to your friends, then all you need is an app on your phone. That’s what these are good for: talking to your friends—not business and not schooling.

Source: Apple Support
Source: Google

Paid (Compared to Paid Zoom)

Microsoft Teams

Best for Office365 Users

 

Features

  • Office365 integration
  • Full chat system outside of meetings
  • Full collaboration/working/teaching platform
  • Join via phone call
  • Send link to join meeting
  • Screen sharing
  • Record meeting
  • Desktop, Mobile, and Web options
  • Blur Background
  • 10,000 user online events
 

Disadvantage

  • Only 250 people in a Meeting (Paid Zoom can go up to 1,000)
  • Can’t change virtual background
  • Complex UI and setup (Zoom is much easier to use)
  • Sign in is necessary
  • Limited Webinar options
  • Can’t do screen sharing for multiple monitors
 

Summary

Teams is good for teams that already have Office365 or are interested in getting it. Many schools have teams and could use this as an alternative to Zoom, but it is more complex and not as easy. This is one of the best business options because it integrates a lot of collaboration through Teams and the whole Office365 system.

Source: Microsoft Teams
Source: Microsoft

GoToMeeting / GoToWebinar

Best for Users dedicated to Conferencing

 

Features

  • Use link or ID to join meeting
  • Screen sharing
  • Join via phone call
  • Sign-in and download optional to join meeting
  • Webinars with up to 1,000 Attendees and fairly advanced features
  • Record meeting
  • Desktop, Mobile, and Web options
 

Disadvantages

  • Only 26 people in a Meeting (Paid Zoom can go up to 1,000)
  • No breakout rooms
  • Can’t change virtual background
  • Complex setup (Zoom is easier to use)
  • No screen sharing for multiple monitors or presenters
 

Summary

GoToMeeting has most of the features as Zoom, if not all the features that matter to most. GoToMeeting is a good option if your business needs a conferencing platform a lot. It’s definitely for businesses much more than personal or education use. They also have a lot of good niche features. GoToWebinar is also a fully featured platform for Webinars. So, GoToMeeting is a well known name in the industry and great for businesses looking for Video Conferencing.

Source: LogMeIn, Inc.
Source: LogMeIn, Inc.

Google Meet

Best for G Suite users and education

 

Features

  • Use link or code to join meeting
  • Screen sharing
  • Join via phone call
  • Integrates with other G Suite products
  • Sign-in and download optional to join meeting
  • Mobile and Web options
  • Record meetings
  • Simple UI and Easy to Use
 

Disadvantages

  • Only 250 people in a Meeting (Paid Zoom can go up to 1,000)
  • No option for webinars
  • Can’t change virtual background
  • No screen sharing for multiple monitors or presenters
  • No annotations for screen sharing
 

Summary

Google Meet is a great option for small sized teams of business or education users who already have G Suite. It’s also good for users both business and educational who need some video conferencing but not super advanced features. The best parts of Google Meet are it’s easy to use UI and average feature.

Source: Google
Source: Google

Do you know of other software or did I get something wrong? Let me know here: