Zoom usually comes to mind whenever video conferencing is mentioned. However, it is currently bombarded with privacy issues. Good thing is, there are Zoom alternatives available on the internet today.
The California-based software is one of the fastest-growing video conferencing app since the workforce lockdown was implemented globally. Despite that, users doubted Zoom after reports of cybercriminal attacks using the app surfaced on the internet. Hence the search for Zoom alternatives went high.
There are a lot of video conferencing apps available on the internet. Some of them have premium features but are very pricey.
Some apps strike a balance between features and value. Here are some of these apps. All four of these can be a Zoom alternative without the privacy risks.
1. Cisco Webex
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Webex has been around for quite some time. It has been serving companies around the world and providing them with video conferencing features.
Cisco is the best video conferencing software so far due to its freemium version. Webex has updated its free version from 50 participants to 100. That is a huge plus already.
Besides the increase in participants, Webex also removed the 40-minute limit on meetings. An in-call ability is now available on the free version.
If there is a free version, there is a paid version as well. But what do users get when they pay US$13.50[AU$20.92] a month?
The premium plan offers features that are not available on the free version such as cloud storage, video conference recording, transcript recording, customized meeting links, and many more.
If these features are not convincing enough then maybe a humanitarian reason will. Cisco recently donated $225 million for COVID-19 response. That $13.50 a month goes a long way in helping others in need.
2. Skype Meet Now
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Yahoo Messenger was the best video conferencing app more than a decade ago until Skype came in. Skype has been a staple when it comes to video calling. Now, Skype introduced Skype Meet Now as its Zoom alternative.
Meet Now offers several features for free. Users can keep the call recording for up to 30 days. This feature is perfect for those who create their presentation weeks after.
There is also presentation sharing available. These are basic features for any video conferencing app, however, Skype’s edge is its crystal clear audio and video capabilities.
For users who have the mobile app installed, background blurring is available. A neat add-on for people with no quiet place to go.
Skype is also offering free conference rooms on its website. No additional apps needed.
Both Zoom and Skype are great video conferencing apps with their own pros and cons. Comparing the two before choosing is a great way to decide.
3. Jitsi Meet
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Unlike other apps mentioned, Jitsi Meet is an open-source platform and is one of the easiest to navigate when creating video conference rooms. Just head on to the website and click “Go” and a conference room is done.
Jitsi Meet allows 75 participants in one video conference. That is 35 more than the allowed people in Zoom. It also has an option for a public or private chat.
The workforce usually uses productivity apps such as Slack, Google Calendar, or Office 365. Jitsi Meet has built-in integration for all those apps making it easier to share files.
There is a mobile app available for iOS and Android. However, the web app itself is more than enough for regular video conferencing. There is even an option to remove troublemakers inside the group chat.
The best feature of Jitsi Meet is its price. Other software offers a free version but skimps on features. Jitsi Meet is totally free. For users who might do video conferencing rarely, this app is one of the Zoom alternatives to look at.
4. Google Meet
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Google Hangouts was Google’s video conferencing app before it transitioned to Google Meet. This newly launched Google Meet introduces new features that were not available on Hangouts before.
The free Meet version allows up to 25 participants while the premium version can go up to 250 participants. It also allows live streaming of the video conference for up to 100,000 viewers.
Google has created Meet and it is only natural that the integration of the Google Media Suite should be seamless. Right now, Meet supports access to Google Drive. It also records the video conference and saves it directly to GDrive. The saved video is ready for sharing as well.
Comparing Zoom and Google Meet should focus on security and Meet has the better option so far. Meet uses a 25-character string ID for verification. Google also claims that Meet has end-to-end data encryption.
As the pandemic continues to disrupt regular work, the premium access for Google Meet is open until September 30. However, it is most likely to be extended to lure more users amid the pandemic. The free premium access makes it one of the best Zoom alternatives.
Featured image courtesy of Edward Jenner/Pexels