In 2020, Zoom took the world by storm. People that had never heard of it started using it for essential functions like board meetings and PhD dissertation defense.
With the sudden increase in adoption, people began to realize that there were also flaws or nuances of the platform they didn’t like. That’s why there’s so much emphasis on Zoom alternatives. They provide a different way to make the most of limited resources or just a different platform that’s more to your liking.
In this guide, we’ll dive deep into multiple Zoom alternatives. Some are free, some are paid, many are a combination of the two. You’ll get a clear idea of what the tools excel at and where they fall short. While you’re at it, be sure to check out our collection of the best webinar tools for one-to-many communication. Let’s dive in.
RingCentral is a popular VOIP solution and has developed Glip as a standalone and free tool for video conferencing and team messaging. It excels at smaller intimate meetings and allows participants to talk for up to 24 hours. This is a clear departure from Zoom which only allows free members to have meetings of up to 40 minutes.
Glip focuses on ensuring your communication is encrypted so that uninvited users can hijack the conversation. No downloads needed, built-in background noise reduction, and support for up to 100 members all come standard with Glip.
Of course, it probably doesn’t make much sense to have a 100-person meeting where everyone can chime in. When you consider everything that Glip brings to the table, it’s clear that it excels at video meetings.
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- Meetings up to 24 hours
- Up to 200 participants
- No downloads needed – it all happens in the application
- File sharing
- Can dial in
- Can call any phone from a meeting in progress
- Deep analytics
- Single sign on
- 10Gb of cloud storage per user
- There are connectivity issues at times
- Limited integration ecosystem
It has two core pricing plans. One is free with limited (but generous features) and the other one is $14.99/m/user.
GoToMeeting can be considered the elephant in the room. It’s from the same company that develops and markets GoToWebinar. GoToMeeting has an emphasis on smaller intimate meetings between a few people instead of huge meetings. With that being said, it can still support a large number of people.
You’re able to share your screen, record your meeting, get a transcript, annotate on the screen with simple drawing tools, use custom backgrounds, it’s HIPAA compliant, and much more. It has solid connectivity and can usually perform well even when there’s a relatively slow network (but there needs to be consistent connectivity).
It’s a mature solution from an organization that specializes in video conferencing across multiple products. It has knowledgeable support reps but they’re not the fastest support organization in the world so if you have some technical issues during a meeting, you may have to solve the problem yourself or instead of reaching out to the support team. Even with its drawbacks, it’s still a solid Zoom competitor.
- Conference calls
- HD video support
- Drawing and annotation tools
- Screen sharing
- Request call feature
- HIPAA compliant
- Unlimited recordings
- Meeting assistant powered by machine learning
- Automated transcripts
- Meeting reports
- Supports meetings on mobile devices
- Resource intensive application that requires a download
- Cannot store recordings to your local device
It has two public pricing plans that come with a discount when paid annually. The first plan is called Professional and costs $14.99/m/user and supports up to 150 participants. The other plan is called Business, costs $19.99/m/user, and supports up to 250 participants.
3. Zoho Meeting
Zoho is a jack of all trades when it comes to small business software. It has an entire ecosystem of tools from HR software to meeting software. Zoho Meeting takes from insights the company has gained developing other software tools to produce a solid platform.
It has the key features you’d expect from a meeting platform such as screen sharing, meeting recordings, a control center to manage participant activity, and the ability to sync meetings with your calendar. I like Zoho Meetings because it doesn’t require a download and it’ll work well in the browser.
It also gives you control over organizational settings to manage team members, branding, creating custom domains, and more.
- Simple screen sharing
- Recording meetings
- No app downloads needed (but optional for more advanced controls)
- Mobile application to start and join meetings
- Automated reminder messages
- Personal meeting room
- Strong moderation controls for larger meetings
- Customizable and embeddable registration forms
- Polls and Q&A
- Release hotfixes at poor times which often disrupt the functionality
- Audio occasionally cuts in and out
It has separate webinar and meeting pricing. Meeting pricing ranges from $3/m/user to $12/m/user. The webinar pricing ranges from $15/m/user to $79/m/user.
4. Google Meet
Google meet is a free tool from Google that allows you to quickly set up meetings between a few people or many. You’ll need a Google (GMAIL) account to access it and it’s tied to the rest of the Google ecosystem.
1:1 meetings can last for up to 24 hours on the free version while meetings with 3+ people have a limit of 1 hour. Participants can join from a browser without downloading additional software, hosts can share their screen or incorporate presentation slides, and participants can raise their hand to be acknowledged.
The premium version functions much like webinar software. It allows live streaming for up to 100,000 participants, smaller breakout rooms, polls & Q&A, noise cancellation, and 24/7 support.
- Individual meetings can be up to 24 hours
- Up to 250 meeting participants (100 on the free plan)
- Participants don’t need to download software
- Comes with mobile apps for different OS
- Screen sharing and presentations
- Layouts can be easily changed to emphasize certain things
- Breakout rooms for more intimate conversations
- Simple reporting tools
- 24/7 customer support
- 100 GB storage per user (up to 2TB)
- Requires a very strong and stable internet connection
- Data and information shared in chat is lost after the meeting
There’s a free version that can be used indefinitely. Premium plans start at $8/user/month and expand the usage limits and the available features.
5. Cisco Webex
Cisco Webex has quietly transformed itself into one of the top video conferencing solutions on the market but it has a clear emphasis on enterprise clients. It can support up to 1,000 participants with HD video conferencing, provides the ability to dial in, share your desktop or a presentation during calls, and team messaging.
It’s simple to record calls or larger meetings and it syncs with calendars so you won’t have to worry about manually setting reminders. You can even create or use custom backgrounds so the focus stays on you and your presentation. All things considered, it’s a solid zoom alternative with enough flexibility to get the job done.
- Team messaging
- File sharing
- Whiteboard support for host and participants
- AI meeting assistant
- Integrations with major collaboration tools like Google Workspaces, Slack, Box, etc.
- Simple screen sharing
- Mobile compatible
- Supports up to 1,000 participants
- Calendar integration
- Transcription and meeting recording
- Pricing isn’t transparent
- Screen sharing glitches at times and you can’t reengage it while the meeting is ongoing
It doesn’t provide public pricing. Each plan is tailored to the organization that’s signing up.
6. BlueJeans Meeting
BlueJeans by Verizon isn’t as popular as many other tools on this list but it does have potent features that’ll make video conferencing more efficient. It doubles as a webinar platform but the video conferencing tools are more interesting.
You can show up to 25 people on the screen at once or switch to smaller breakout rooms for more intimate meetings. As long as your internet connection is stable and fast then you can get crystal clear audio and HD video.
It has an interesting feature that creates automated close captions in real-time. It’s not perfect but drastically improves accessibility. Of course, it has tools for screen sharing, annotation, and whiteboards.
- HD video
- Breakout rooms for participants
- Create virtual backgrounds
- Real-time captions creation
- Ability to join from any device
- Meeting analytics
- 24/7 support
- Mobile application for Android and iOS
- Difficult to play video or audio within BlueJeans for your participants.
- It has s limited app integration ecosystem
It has multiple pricing plans which can be paid monthly or annually. Standard is $12.49/m and Pro is $17.49/m. If those plans don’t meet your needs then an enterprise plan tailored to your situation is available.
7. Adobe Connect
Adobe Connect is a platform designed to make it simple for customers to host virtual 1:1 meetings and webinars with large groups. It has a few unique features, one of which is called Pods.
Pods are little pop-out windows that can be customized to your needs and incorporated with applications or various multimedia. Combining Pods creates unique layouts that help guide the attention of meeting attendees.
You can create always on meeting rooms that anyone can enter when they have the link. At the same time, quizzes, polls, etc. can be reused. Inside of meetings, drawings and annotations can be to aid comprehension.
Like many other platforms on this list, you also have breakout rooms. There’s a host and presenter area that allows you to control the front end of the meeting on the fly.
- Pods and custom layouts
- Customizable to match your brand
- Turn layouts into templates
- Always on meeting rooms
- Whiteboard, drawing, and annotations
- Breakout rooms
- Polls and Q&A
- Host and presenter control area
- Interactive recording tools
- A cloud-based content repository
- Email reminders
- PowerPoint slides don’t always translate well through Adobe Connect
- Participants occasionally get kicked out
It starts at $50 a month for up to 25 participants.
Skype is an old player in the video conferencing space that made waves years ago but has fallen into the background after the acquisition by Microsoft and increased competition. It still has a solid set of features for video meetings and voice calls.
You’re able to record calls, call directly to someone’s phone with a virtual number, share your screen, message team or family members, and use Skype on almost any device.
- Share location
- Background effects
- File sharing
- Raise a hand in larger meetings
- Forward calls to another number
- Caller ID
- Limited feature set when compared to some of the other solutions
It’s free to get started. If you want a business account then it’s tied to Microsoft Teams.
Zoom is a solid tool but it’s not for everyone which is why many people are looking for Zoom alternatives. This guide has walked through many options and you should have a clear understanding of what each tool brings to the table.
Glip by RingCentral is at the top of the list for business meetings and it’s followed closely by GoToMeeting. If those options don’t appeal to you then Skype is a solid free tool for quick and painless meetings but you do need to download software to get the best experience.
Daniel Ndukwu is the CoFounder of Growth Boost and the Founder of KyLeads. He brings extensive digital marketing experience to the table and enjoys helping people on their entrepreneurial journey. When not creating internet-first brands, he spends as much time as he can with his family.