by Alex Well
Amidst the Covid-19 outbreak where the world is taking social distancing quite seriously, the video conferencing app Zoom gained massive traction in a short period.
Not only professionals, but people suddenly started using it for face-timing with friends, family, and even school authorities came onboard. The number spikes from around 10 million daily active users per month to 200 million.
The reason for this sudden fascination is Zoom, allowing video-conference with up to 100 people for free and 500 in the paid version.
However, despite the growth trajectory, Zoom is now under scrutiny, and many nations have opted to discontinue the popular video conferencing app under security concerns.
For users who want to shift to other free video conferencing apps, we have a list of the popular zoom alternatives available in the market.
Skype and Microsoft Teams are the two kinds of video conferencing teams by Microsoft. In contrast to the past, now Microsoft allows you to use Skype without creating an account. You can accommodate up to 50 people in a video conference and 150 in group text chat. It supports group video chat too.
Skype is free to use, and you do not even need to download the application to use it. Features include documents and screen sharing, but conversations are not end-to-end encrypted.
Microsoft Teams is a new favorite for many enterprises. It offers 2FA security and data encryptions. Furthermore, the tool also practices international privacy compliances and integrates well with other products of Microsoft (including Office 365).
Google pulled out a great initiative with Hangouts Meet. To help people fight the pandemic, Google allowed the premium version of Hangouts Meet available for free. For G Suite users, it offered a price cut to $6/month/user.
Hangouts Meet supports up to 250 participants in a call, which makes it one of the free best video conferencing tools for enterprises in the current time. It also allows you to live-stream meetings to up to 100,000 people.
However, the only red flag about Meet is it does not support end-to-end encryption.
The Cisco Webex portal too, has a free version that is worth checking out for. The company has increased the number of participants from 50 to 100. They have also levied off the 40 minute limit on meetings, plus they have allowed a toll dial-in and Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) abilities to support the work from home module during the pandemic.
Discord is popular among gamers. Recently, it has emerged as a good alternative to Zoom. For video conferencing, Discord lets you connect up to 50 participants at once. This means it can be used as a tool to communicate in a small office and even with friends and family.
The app version is also available where you can connect with your contacts while on the go. Other features include sharing screens and connecting voice calls.
Not to forget, Discord is also a free alternative to Zoom that does not charge for video conferencing. All you need to do is register, and you are good to go.
If you are a small business and on a tight budget due to the pandemic, Join.me can be incredibly helpful. It allows audio-only meetings with screen sharing for free for up to three participants.
If you still want to go for the paid version, you can get the Lite package. It costs $10/host per month with no time limit, five meeting participants, screen and window sharing.
We hope this small collection of zoom alternatives will help you arrange perfect video conferences for online meetings.
About Alex Well