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What is Zoom?
Zoom is a video conferencing software provider for web conferencing, webinars, and screen sharing. It is a communications platform that connects people through video, voice, chat, and content sharing. The software has been around since 2011, but it’s popularity exploded since the start of the pandemic. Last year, it reached 300 million daily meeting participants, which resulted in occasional meeting interruptions due to capacity overload.
The severity of the present health situation continues to wax and wane. Employees remain working from home and continue to rely on digital platforms for vital team communication. The need for a Zoom alternative stays as a business priority for all.
Read also: Best Collaboration Software & Tools in 2021
Pros and cons of Zoom
Zoom Meetings is a software tool that enables people to build professional relationships and collaborate effectively on a platform that offers high definition video and clear audio. Users are from a broad array of industries such as education, finance, government, healthcare, and technology.
Zoom is flexible in the number of meeting participants it can connect. It works well for a small number of participants. It’s good for polls and surveys as well as for large groups such as webinars and conferences. The quality of the video and audio is high, and it has an option for downloading previous video meetings.
Zoom is easy to use during meetings but some users wish it would be easier to schedule the meetings. Sub account management is tedious for some, while others encounter problems due to hardware incompatibility, particularly with Chromebook.
Top Zoom Alternatives
When teams who rely heavily on Zoom for virtual meetings and office conferences suddenly experience connection or security issues, they should be ready to use an alternative. It is a good strategy to avoid a single point of failure by having backups and additional options. Here is a list of the top Zoom alternatives.
Google Meet is a free video meeting platform that is easy to use. You can quickly add and see more people during a meeting with a simple change of layout. Communicate via messages, voice, or video for up to 100 participants if your device has the resources. Scheduling a meeting is easy through Google Calendar integration and email invites. For security, a participant can only join a meeting when invited or admitted by the host. You can preview how you appear and sound before a video call. For education meetings, the host can mute all and end the meeting for all.
Microsoft Teams is a software for video conferencing, meetings, and callings. It is an easy-to-use, all-in-one communications software that lets you switch from group chat to video call in a single click. Use it for remote work, school, and at home. Teams is capable of video conferences from two to 10,000 participants with the right hardware. It also has Chat that allows GIFs and stickers, group calling, cloud voicemail, and call transfers. Collaboration tools include finding, editing, and sharing files using Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
Skype Meet Now
Skype Meet Now is a free online meeting feature within Skype that you can use for conference calls, webinars, or work interviews. The video collaboration space works with both existing Skype contacts and others without Skype accounts. With a click of a button, get a call link and a Share invite button for your targeted participants. You can also create a meeting directly from the Skype website. Invite up to 99 people and enjoy free video calls of up to 24 hours per call. You can also record your call, blur your background before the call, and share screens.
Discord is a popular Slack alternative, but it can also be a viable Zoom alternative. You can create your secure place or server and share it only with the people you invite. Topic-based channels let you organize your meeting and team agenda. When present in a voice channel, you can easily create a voice or video call. Call and video quality is decent for up to 50 users. The service is free and is compatible with many desktop platforms as well as on a web browser.
Cisco Webex is a video conferencing, online meetings, and screen share software. The software is introducing a new experience with new features such as a more consistent collaboration experience with any device, AI capabilities to help productivity, and easier phone system integration. New hardware devices let you bring video to more types of work desks. Start a video conference call for up to 100 participants. Other features include a new Contact Center with text, chat, social, email, and call communication channels, AI-powered assistance, advanced analytics with visualization and actionable insights, and stronger encryption across meetings, devices, and content.
GoToMeeting is an online meeting software ideal for video and web conferencing applications. Features include HD video conference quality, integrated VoIP conference calls, webcam preview as a host or participant, and screen sharing across devices. The software also lets you change presenters or hosts to share their screens, direct attention using drawing tools while sharing the screen, and customize backgrounds so you can work from any location. It can support up to 250 participants.
TeamViewer is a remote connectivity software with a free video conferencing tool for online meetings. TeamViewer Meeting (formerly Blizz) lets you connect to your contacts and teams through secure VoIP conference calls. It also has instant chat and screen sharing features that works across devices. Users can also save meetings and video conferences using the screen recording feature. The software is downloadable with different license options for up to 25 meeting participants and up to 10 video conference participants at a time.
RingCentral Office is an all-in-one business office communication solution that includes video conferencing capabilities. It is a Zoom alternative that also has messaging and integrated phone tools for managing calls, voicemails, faxes, and texts. Video meetings are HD quality that up to 200 participants can join using their browser or app. Messaging lets you prepare before and continue the discussion after the video conference. You can invite via SMS, email, or chat, and connect other productivity tools.
Ready to choose a Zoom alternative?
Zoom offers free and premium plans. Its free plan will let you use the service for up to 40 minutes. If your team needs more time but premium plans are not an option, feel free to check the list above for a more affordable Zoom alternative. In this case, having more than one online meeting software is a good strategy as long as employees work remotely.
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