When you think of corporate meetings, you probably imagine a large room in an office. When you imagine your kids in class, you no doubt picture them in a classroom with the rest of their class and teacher. Before this year, it would have been hard to imagine the struggles of organizing a meeting or a class without being able to leave your home. When the pandemic forced us to find alternatives to face to face meetings, Zoom was all ears.
Zoom has been in the business for years, but it was only this year that everyone started noticing its importance. The video conferencing service started to become the venue even for company parties, game events, online classes, travel plans, bible studies, reunions and more besides. There has been a major influx to the Zoom community, for sure, and some of us are starting to worry about how much the service can handle.
The massive community that Zoom is currently trying to cater for may be too much for it to cope with, or it may not. Either way, it’s only a good idea to keep some alternative services in mind, just in case. The only question is what these alternatives are, and we've picked out our favorites right here.
- Also check out our list of the best business webcams for working from home
Best Zoom alternatives at a glance
- Cisco Webex Meetings
- Google Meet
- Skype Meet Now
- Microsoft Teams
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With Cisco’s reputation, it’s no wonder it’s one of the strongest in the competition. Cisco focuses on more engagement, meeting the needs of businesses across the globe with innovation, allowing participants to join meetings with a single click. Cisco enables video sharing and audio conferencing alike along with other tools you can use during meetings.
Cisco Webex Meetings also lessens background noise and lets you use video callback features with ease. That’s on top of being able to have a meeting with a thousand video conference participants who can enjoy a seamless communication with Cisco’s 22 optimized data centers. With over 10 languages supported including Simplified Chinese, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Turkish, you’re certain to reach anyone from anywhere across the globe without so much as a language barrier.
Cisco holds over 85 billion meeting minutes annually, which shows how their easy to use collaboration has become a household name when it comes to meetings. Their dashboard is easy to navigate and allows you to easily schedule any event and record any meeting, and they offer plans that can accommodate your corporate needs. For convenience, you can easily use your mobile phones and computers to link to conferences and schedule meetings with ease using a single link.
Google Meet revolutionizes the security of video meetings with its built-in protection, and even lets you use just your browser to join meetings instead of having to install plugins and apps. Inviting someone to a meeting is as easy as sending the link, so you don’t have to check their computers for the right apps and tools. Google Meet also lets you join from a calendar event shared to you, or one that you created.
The encrypted video meetings alone will help you narrow down your options when looking for alternatives to Zoom for video conferences. Trust your sensitive data when you’re meeting over Google Meet along with your information as the video meetings are kept secure using Google’s state-of-the-art anti-abuse security measures.
Meetings are kept simple, seamless and secure even on-the-go and the service makes it easy to join meetings from a simple single click, invitation or dial-in phone number. Need an external participant to show how something is done once or twice? Let them join only when you need them to.
One of the main selling points of Google Meet is Pexip, which offers interoperability that lets participants across different meeting platforms join your Google Meet meeting room. Pexip supports Skype for Business, Polycom and even Cisco.
Communication between colleagues who don’t share the same geographical location has been made not only possible but easier because of solutions like GoToMeeting and other options out there. This is exactly where GoToMeeting excels, as it doesn’t only provide a solution to make remote meetings possible, it also makes it simple and easier with tons of features.
Features such as a personal meeting room, screen sharing, calendar integrations, unlimited recording, up to 25 active webcams during meetings, video slides, an admin center, downloadable reports, meeting transcription, mobile applications, and holding meetings with up to 250 participants, among all the other awesome features, make GoToMeeting one of the best choices on the market today.
With GoToMeeting, you can organize meetings on a daily basis and include participants from across the globe. Its single sign on function allows you to join the meeting wherever you may be, while its 365 plugin allows for seamless scheduling and managing meetings from your calendar. Other features include voice commands, cloud recording for mobile apps to never miss important meeting details, and the on-the-go commuter mode.
Skype is probably the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to online meetings and video calls. With Skype Meet Now, the service stepped up its game by offering the same video calling features and adding much more to the list, making Skype Meet Now one of the best alternatives to Zoom.
When starting a meeting is as easy as starting a video Skype call, collaboration becomes a walk in the park. Making a Skype call sans Skype is also made possible as you can start a conference call directly from your browser. Once the meeting is concluded, you can get back to the link anytime for any important call recordings (stored in the cloud) and other meeting files.
Unlike group chats, Meet Now allows you start the call without setting up a group name or adding the participants first. That means participants can continue to join, signed in to Skype or not. Since Skype is Microsoft owned, Skype Meet Now has become one of the top choices not just for families and friends, but for businesses and classes looking for an affordable and secure choice.
Microsoft definitely does not let users down with the free version of Microsoft Teams that includes awesome features such as unlimited chat messages, personal and team storage of up to 10 GB, unlimited app integrations including Trello, Adobe, and Evernote among others, and being able to include people from outside your organization whom you might need to join your conference.
Premium versions offer even more awesome features such as up to 1 TB of additional storage, integration with 365, and use of third party applications among others. Teams is among the top choices for small startup companies because of its flexibility, along with academic institutions, classes and non profit organizations. With up to 500 thousand active users of Teams, it’s hard to doubt its efficiency.
With its dedicated Google Chrome extension not the only perk of the free version, you’re less likely to need to try the service's premium features. Teams is also user-friendly, intuitive, and simple. Your company’s hub can even easily include the tools you need with over 250 integrated apps available at your disposal.
BlueJeans is a feature-rich and cross-platform video conferencing app which benefits from a range of impressive features. That includes the ability to hold meetings which can be split into breakout sessions as needed (in fact, up to 20 such sessions can be implemented).
This software is strong on the collaboration front, letting users easily share their screen, or facilitate remote desktop access for another person. Meetings can be recorded too, and those recordings can be split into chapters for easy navigation (it’s also possible to pick out meeting highlights). A further benefit is that BlueJeans is very easy to set up and get going with.
There are various advanced features for admins as well, who have the ability to enable or disable features for different groups (or across the whole company). The service is solid when it comes to security, too.
BlueJeans offers a Standard plan that allows for unlimited meetings for up to 50 participants, going all the way up to custom enterprise plans that cater for up to 100 users, and offer additional perks like your firm’s own branding in the software, and unlimited recordings.
The main downside we found in our review is that this video conferencing solution suffered from a touch more lag than some rivals, but as ever, your organization’s mileage may vary. The good news is that BlueJeans offers a 7-day trial which means you can test the service, and how responsive you find it, before you commit to a purchase.
Join.me was one of the first to understand the need for businesses to move forward amidst the pandemic that left hundreds, if not thousands, of companies trying to stay afloat. Their solution is a simple yet reliable video conferencing platform to keep the productivity and collaboration flowing. With a personalized URL, you can easily invite your team to participate in your meeting with just a single click.
The interface of Join.me’s audio and video conferencing is labeled as ‘ridiculously easy’, and rightfully so. You can use it on any device to start or join a collaboration, schedule meetings from Outlook or Google Calendar and jump into the meeting with just one click. Join.me also offers plans from $10, $20 and $30, offering tons of premium features that make it even more ridiculously convenient.
Join.me’s advanced audio and video features make each meeting more engaging, with local conference numbers, audio controls for hosts, live video bubbles for up to 250 participants per meeting, personal backgrounds, no time limits, up to 1TB cloud storage (Business plan exclusive), there’s absolutely no way Join.me hasn’t made meetings easier. What’s better than being able to use your iPad, mobile phone, Android devices, or computers anytime for a meeting?
Over 2 billion connected devices and over 40 million sessions worldwide makes TeamViewer one of the top players in keeping communication and cooperation active between teams. Face to face meetings are more than possible with TeamViewer and they’re also enhanced with the ability to screen share, instantly chat, transfer files, and, what TeamViewer is famous for, remotely accessing screens.
Not only can you hold meetings remotely with TeamViewer, you can also hold presentations, record the meeting for future reference, share files, exchange documents seamlessly, and even secure your meeting so no unnecessary and unwanted participants can get through. As TeamViewer has been in the game longer than most video conferencing services, seamless participation has long been available for various operating systems.
TeamViewer makes online meetings seem super easy from planning them to authorizing participants, to making each meeting seamless and secure. With different licensing options that can allow up to 25 participants and up to 10 video participants at a time, TeamViewer helps improve productivity, efficiency, and even time management among corporations and individuals alike. Organizing a meeting is as simple as creating the meeting, sending the meeting ID to the participants, setting a password to make the meeting room secure (this is optional) and starting the meeting.
UberConference offers an intuitive interface to make each team meeting run as smoothly as possible. It also has a number of advanced features for web conferencing including screen sharing, voice intelligence to transcribe meetings and capture important details, and even the ability to send a post-call summary with the call transcript. Every video conference is also in full HD.
While waiting for the participants, Uberconference gives you the option to customize the hold music or remove it altogether and wait in silence. iPhone and Android apps are available, and there’s also a Chrome extension- all of which are designed to make dialing in and joining meetings as easy as possible. Joining calls requires no PINs or passwords, and screen sharing is super easy.
Big companies like Wework, DOMO, Square and HubSpot are satisfied users of UberConference, making it one of the most sought-after hosting platforms for video conferences and meetings. Other features include Hubspot integration, muting conference participants, group call invites, the ability to use Outlook to send invites to participants, Slack Integration, management controls, and many others. Premium features that include having up to 100 participants in a conference are made available for only $15 per month.