Due to the COVID-19 case, we have experienced some unexpected situations that we never thought in our dreams. We have seen nationwide lockdowns for a very long period of time. Educational institutions and work places were closed too. But in this era of technological advancement, this wasn’t going to stop the regular activities as the educational institutions launched online classes and work places allowed work from home. Their initial medium to take classes or attend office from home was Zoom and it has been there to aid us ever since.
Zoom was founded in 2011 but was used rarely and known to only a few people. But ever since the lockdown, Zoom had a huge boost in the number of their users. Although Zoom has faced some issues with their security, they came back with a good update and has been strong in the market ever since. But in this world of competition, there are multiple software companies coming in the market to compete with Zoom. Some of these have gained quite popularity as an alternative to Zoom. Let’s have a look at some of them who could be a good alternative to Zoom in the coming year 2021.
Here is the list of Top alternative of Zoom
As we all use Google in our daily life, some companies specially most schools and universities uses Meet to do their work. It is completely free opposing to the only 40 minutes free video call in Zoom. Although the number of participants is same for a meeting in both Zoom and Meet, but you can get 250 participants if you have G-Suite subscription. Although the video and audio quality of Zoom is far better than that of Meet, we still see Meet being used in many institutions as a medium to connect.
Microsoft Team was released in 2017 but they came in as a competitor during the lockdown period. It is not completely free, but it has 3 kinds of plans for the user to choose from. In healthcare and educational institutions in the USA, Microsoft Team has seen great success. The best part of Team is that it can have 250 participants in a single meeting without its quality dropping that much. That is a huge number and some institution which might require over 100 participants can surely switch to Team at any time. Another amazing fact about it is that a person can join a meeting without even requiring a download. This surely gets the attention of some users on a tight space. Also, Microsoft has been lenient about Skype as they made sure that a person no longer requires an account to use it. They have a business plan if the users take that offer, Skype users will automatically migrate to Teams.
Facebook Messenger Room:
Another tech giant Facebook also responded in this competition. They came up with their own Messenger Rooms. Though it has a limited number of participants, only up to 50 people can join in a meeting. And anyone with a Facebook account can create a room and let others join in a meeting. To make sure meetings don’t become boring, Messenger Rooms offer a variety of games that participants can play during a meeting. This is an attention getter for most of the younger generations as they wouldn’t mind having a fun time during a meeting.
Moving onto a few more alternatives which comes from rather smaller tech companies. Let’s start with Zoho Meeting. It prioritizes on its security issues. We can say it has one of the strongest securities in the market now. It requires an account to join a meeting, and 100 participants can join over a meeting. One thing someone might not like about Zoho Meeting is that despite having a free version, it is quite weak comparing to those with free features. It allows a meeting between only two people and the number is 10 when it is a webinar.
Next, we have GoToMeeting. This is also similar to any other video conferencing software available. This also has a good security and can have a maximum of 150 participants in a meeting. But for best experience, it is suggested to keep the number limited to 25 participants. Also, it has the ability to switch control of mouse and keyboard to any attendee during a meeting which is quite unique in its own way. The drawback of GoToMeeting is that is takes up relatively more bandwidth and in order to use the webinar function, purchasing of the GoTo Webinar tool is necessary.
Now we come to an alternative who has no free plans. Eyeson is in the market without any free features, you have to pay to use it. This is a cloud-based video conferencing software. Kind of similar to Microsoft Team, this also requires no download or installation. Despite only having paid option, Eyeson can support only 25 participants in a meeting. Also, you can’t share your screen and keep the camera on at the same time. But it has a special feature called “Eco Mode” which saves bandwidth.
After talking about a completely paid software, here is a Software which is completely free. Presenting Jitsi Meet which is relatively new in the market but is winning over users with its free features. It supports only 50 participants per meeting. But it has a rather user-friendly interface. Someone can join in a meeting if the individual is provided with a meeting link. The person doesn’t need to have an account, also if Jitsi Meet isn’t installed, the person can still join the meeting.
There are also other alternatives in the market like 8×8 Meet. This allows unlimited meetings for 100 participants. Probably 8×8 Meet has the best cost friendly plans in the market. Users are satisfied with their overall usage saying it has a user-friendly interface. Though there are complains about the share screen feature, 8×8 meet is quite lovable by its users.
Fuze Meetings allows users to customize their interface as they like with a variety of add-ons and different types of meeting. This also allows the user to select from a variety of options to select the meeting type so the user has a clear view of what kind of meeting he is getting into. The thing about Fuze Meetings is that it is quite costly and its value for price isn’t much as it has some limited features.
Cisco WebEx can be the winner for the best alternative as it offers one of the best services among the other alternatives. It has the best free plans comparing to the others with free plans. It allows 100 participants in a meeting for 50 minutes in their free plan. Despite the fact of their free plan, they have their regular plans which are quite costly. Other than that Cisco WebEx is the way to go for many people.
Let’s talk about a rather underdog in this scenario. Discord has been popular in the gaming communities for a very long time. But little do we know that it has some amazing features which are almost similar to that of Zoom. It is able to host a meeting with only 10 people, but during the pandemic the developers upgraded it to 50 people. Sharing screen and holding conferences is totally cost free. All one need is a Discord account and he or she is ready to go. This can be used both as a software or in web browser. Though gamers have been using it for a long time, regular people can give this a shot and they might just like it too.
There are also other alternatives in the market who has almost similar appeal. There are options like RingCentral, UberConference, Join.me, BlueJeans, Lifesize and many more in the market available for the users to pick from. Different people have different taste so it’s not necessary that everyone use the same medium. If someone has the ability to pay more and wants a different taste, surely he can go for the ones with higher pricing plans. If someone has budget issues, then he can choose the budget friendly ones or the free ones available.
In this era of modern technology, there is never only one option. Just because one platform is famous and widely used doesn’t mean we have to use it. It might not be of someone’s liking or he might feel comfortable if some of the functions were a little different. That is why there are many alternative software out there to fill our wish. Maybe an alternative isn’t perfect but there could be someone who likes it. We can surely give the alternatives a try and discover to have different experience. Who knows? We might even become fond of it!
which one is suitable to be used in rural villages where Internet connection is slow?