What Are the Best Zoom Alternatives?

Avoid Zoombombing with these alternative video conference apps.
  • Best Free Zoom Alternative
    Free video conferencing
    Four-hour time limit per call
  • Best Integration Zoom Alternative
    Integrates with Google Drive
    250*& meeting participants
  • Best Bundle Zoom Alternative
    Comes with other Microsoft Office programs
  • Most Accessible Zoom Alternative
    Call-in conferencing
    Webinar features
  • Best Secure Zoom Alternative
    Most security features
    300*& meeting participants

It feels like as a society, we’ve accepted Zoom to be the best video conferencing software out there. It’s kind of like how we all decided to dress like Avril Lavigne in the early 2000s. Turns out there’s plenty of Zoom alternatives out there that are more secure and offer more features. Kudos to all you people out there who haven’t had to delete your old MySpace pictures with your best Avril looks.

For the sake of transparency, the Reviews.org team uses Zoom for its video conferencing. But since we use Zoom, we know all the reasons why people start to consider alternatives. Thankfully, we haven’t been hacked mid-meeting, but we have had technical issues and have been suddenly kicked off meetings.

The Reviews.org team belongs to the over 25% of people who currently use video conference software for their jobs, it feels safe to assume that number will only increase.1 Let’s take a look at the best Zoom alternatives that might be a better fit for you.

What’s so great about Zoom anyways?

Zoom has captured the moment and everyone (including us) seems to use it for video conferencing. Zoom’s biggest claim to fame is that it allows for up to 500 participants at a time in a video conference with its Zoom Enterprise package. That fact alone is probably why so many big companies use Zoom, and it may have had a trickle-down effect on your book club.

Along with having the largest capacity for meeting participants, Zoom is fairly simple to use (although my oldest brother can’t figure it out), streams reliably, and offers a free plan to boot. Sure, that free plan will end your call automatically after 40 minutes automatically, but you can always just start a new one.

Security issues with Zoom

The biggest problem Zoom currently faces are security issues. There’s a reason why the Pentagon no longer uses Zoom as its conference-call software of choice. With Zoom’s rise to prominence, it’s struggled keeping user identity and private conversations safe from hackers. It’s safe to say that Zoom has the biggest target on its back right now.

In the meantime, there are plenty of other video conferencing apps that don’t have Zoom’s rocky security history and can even offer more value depending on your situation.

Best Zoom alternatives
ProviderPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
SkypeFree50Stored for 30 daysDownload
Google HangoutsFree–$25/mo.25015 GB (free)View Plans
Microsoft TeamsFree–$12.50/mo250500 GBView Plans
Zoho$8–$63/mo.1005 GBView Plans
Wire$5–9/mo.4Local storageView Plans
ZoomFree–$19.99/mo.100–5001 GB (Zoom Pro)
Unlimited (Zoom Enterprise)
View Plans

Skype: Best free Zoom alternative

Talk for hours without being interrupted.

Skype plan
PlanPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
SkypeFree50Stored for 30 daysDownload

Pros

  • Free video conferencing
  • Uninterrupted video calls

Cons

  • Lower max meeting participants

When it comes to free Zoom alternatives, Skype is as good as it gets. In fact, Skype even beats out what Zoom offers in its basic package. The advantage Skype has over basic Zoom can be clearly seen at about the 40-minute mark of every conversation. Allow me to demonstrate:

Conversation on Skype around the 40-minute mark

“So, anyways, I actually ended up watching a few Joe Exotic from Tiger King music videos, and they’re terrible.”

Conversation on Zoom around the 40-minute mark

“So, anyways, I actually ended up watching a few Joe Exotic from Tiger King music videos, and …” (*Zoom shuts down the meeting*)

The biggest difference between basic Skype and basic Zoom is your call allowance time. Zoom allows for 40 minutes of video conferencing for free, while Skype will let you talk for up to four hours at a time, giving you plenty of time to explain the nuance of your Joe Exotic music video takes.

I use Skype to have long, usually Lakers-based conversations with my brothers.

The biggest downside with Skype is that it maxes out at 50 participants at a time. In that sense, Skype wouldn’t make sense if you plan on having large gatherings.

Does anything cost money on Skype?

The only thing you’ll need to pay for on Skype is credit to make international phone calls. You can call phones and send text messages to folks abroad, like you would with a cell phone plan. Check out the rates for international phone calls here.

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How does Skype make money?
I always wonder how free things make money. What’s the catch? Skype really only makes money on selling Skype credit for calls directly to phones internationally and domestically, and it also sells ad space in the corner of the app (thankfully nothing very intrusive).

Google Hangouts: Best integration

Google Hangouts syncs with your Google Drive.

Google Suite plans
PlansPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
Free VersionFree2515 GBView Plans
Basic$6/mo.25030 GBView Plans
Business$12/mo.250UnlimitedView Plans
Enterprise$25/mo.250UnlimitedView Plans

Pros

  • Syncs with your Google Drive
  • Tons of recording space

Cons

  • Specific to Gmail users

If your whole internet life revolves around your Gmail account (guilty), then Google Hangouts can make a lot of sense. You can easily start up Hangout sessions with your Google contacts without having to walk anybody through the process of downloading an app or creating an account. Honestly, half the battle of video conferencing is getting everyone set up (SNL captured this perfectly), and Google Hangouts can take that headache out of the equation. Emphasis on the word “can” in the previous sentence because if people don’t use Gmail, then Hangouts won’t work effectively.

Perhaps the coolest thing about the Google integration is that you can save recordings directly in your Google Drive. This gives you plenty of space to save recorded conversations and easily share them out with fellow Gmail users. If you already use Google programs for your daily life, then Google Hangouts makes a lot of sense as a Zoom alternative.

You can click the camera button while chatting with one of your Google contacts and start video conferencing.
Source: Google

What’s the difference between the Google Suite Business version and Enterprise version?

On the surface, it looks like the Business and Enterprise offer up pretty much the same thing, but one costs $13 more every month. The main difference between the Business and Enterprise versions are the security measures.

Below is a screenshot of the security features offered by the Business version (on the left) and the Enterprise version (on the right).

Google Hangouts Security

Source: Google

As you can tell, the Enterprise version has way more security features, like data loss prevention and access controls.

Microsoft Team: Best bundle Zoom alternative

Get the whole Microsoft Suite along with your video conferencing app.

Microsoft Office plans
PlansPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
Microsoft TeamsFree50NoneView Plans
Office 365 Business Essentials$5/mo.250500 GBView Plans
Office 365 Business Premium$12.50/mo.250500 GBView Plans

Pros

  • Comes with Microsoft programs
  • Robust features

Cons

  • Comes with Microsoft programs

You might think that repetition of “comes with Microsoft programs” is a mistake, but I assure you, it’s intentional. Bundling Microsoft Teams with the other Microsoft Suite programs is either an awesome thing, or it’s something that will just go to waste. If you regularly use Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and other Office programs over their Google counterparts, then getting Microsoft Team bundled with everything else is an amazing deal. If you won’t even use the Microsoft Suite of programs, then you could find better value with Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Skype.

Microsoft Teams Screenshots

Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s team communication software. It looks similar to Slack.
Source: Microsoft

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What about the free version of Microsoft Teams?
You can always get the free, stand-alone version of Microsoft Teams, but it doesn’t offer any recording storage, scheduling features, or security. Skype offers a lot more bang for your (figuratively speaking) buck.

If you decide to go with the paid version of Microsoft Team, you do get a lot of value out of the package. Along with the other Microsoft programs, you get 500 GB of storage space and in-depth scheduling features. All in all, the paid version of Microsoft Team is a robust Zoom alternative.

What’s the difference between the Business Essentials and Business Premium plans?

As of writing this article, there are two different paid plans that include Microsoft Team and its video conferencing software—Office 365 Business Essentials ($5/month) and Office 365 Business Premium ($12.50/month). The main difference is that the Essentials package comes with the Microsoft web app versions of Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, and the Premium comes with the fully-fleshed out, downloadable versions of those programs.

Zoho: Most accessible Zoom alternative

The easiest way to start a conference call or webinar

Zoho plans
PlanPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
Meeting$8/mo.10010 recordingsView Plans
Webinar – 25$15/mo.2525 recordingsView Plans
Webinar – 50$23/mo5025 recordingsView Plans
Webinar – 100$31/mo.10025 recordingsView Plans
Webinar – 250$63/mo.25025 recordingsView Plans

Pros

  • Easy call-in features
  • Webinar support

Cons

  • No free program

If you want to make the most accessible video conference or webinar, then Zoho is your best bet. Most video conferencing apps will expect participants to set up an account or download an app, but with Zoho, your meeting participants can just click a link on their computers or call in using their phones.

Imagine you wanted to organize a family conference call, but you know that grandma and grandpa probably couldn’t figure out how to set up a Zoom conference call. You can set up a Zoho conference call and just tell grandma and grandpa to click the link or enter the phone number you email to them. They can join in the call without having to download anything or create an account.

Zoho Screenshot

Zoho makes joining a conference call super easy. You can just send you a link.
Source: Zoho

Out of all the Zoom alternatives, Zoho is the easiest way to start up a video conference. Sadly, there’s no free version of Zoho, so you’ll need to pony up the $8 a month to use the software.

Webinar features

Speaking of accessibility, Zoho has a built-in program for helping you set up a webinar series. These programs will cost you more than the $8 a month the Zoho Meeting package costs, but in theory, you could earn your money back with a successful webinar series.

The webinar features include registration moderation, international dial-in numbers, and will even give you detailed reports about how people are engaging with your webinar. It basically takes all of the complicated out of hosting a webinar series.

Wire: Best secure Zoom alternative

The safest way to video conference

Wire plans
PlanPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
Wire Pro$5/mo.4NoneView Plans
Wire Enterprise$9/mo.4NoneView Plans

Pros

  • Advanced security features
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Max capacity

The most secure Zoom alternative that we could find is an up-and-coming software called Wire. Here are all the advanced security measures that Wire offers to protect your conversations:

  • SAML 2.0 integration
  • SCIM provisioning integrations
  • Wire API for services integrations
  • Premium Support with SLA
  • End-to-end encryption

For those of you who have no idea what those things are, rest assured they’re the latest in internet security. That’s why robotics labs, non-profits, and other technology companies like Intel use Wire for their Zoom alternative.

Wire looks similar to other Zoom alternatives, but there’s a lot happening behind the scenes to ensure maximum security.
Source: Medium

Wire has put all its eggs in the security basket so far, which explains the low low maximum video conferencing participants number. But we’ve already got word from one of their representatives that they plan on increasing the number to 12 meeting participants at a time for video conferencing. Hopefully that update will roll out in the next couple of months.

For having so many security features, it’s pretty impressive that Wire only costs $5 or $9 a month. You’d think that it would cost double that for the amount of stuff you get. You just have to live with the small participant capacity.

Other Zoom alternatives

There are tons of other Zoom alternatives out there, beyond the four we recommend here. Let’s go through the honorable mention alternatives to Zoom lightning-round style.

  • Slack: Slack has a built-in video conferencing capability, but it maxes out at 15 participants at a time. If you already use Slack, it’s super easy to make 1-on-1 calls.
  • Discord: This communication software was made with gamers in mind, but it works as a free video conferencing platform as well. You can have 10 video conference participants at a time.
  • FaceTime: This is the built-in video conferencing app on Apple devices. You can only FaceTime with other people with Apple products. On the plus side, FaceTime allows for a whopping 32 video conference participants at a time.
  • WhatsApp: As opposed to FaceTime, WhatsApp will work on both Android and Apple phones. You can have video conferences with up to 16 people at a time.
  • GoToMeeting: GoToMeeting video conferencing has all the features you would expect from a top-of-the-line platform, and especially shines when it comes to hosting meetings from your phone. We just wish it was a few dollars less expensive.
  • FreeConference: FreeConference does offer a free-tiered plan, but you only can get five participants at a time for video conferencing. There are paid plans that include more features, including a huge number of international call-in numbers.

Video conferencing depends on a reliable internet connection

Your video conferencing streaming quality will only be as good as your internet connection. To have a smooth stream with video conferencing, you want somewhere between 1Mbps–4Mbps, with at least 1 Mbps for your upload speed. If your well-made points constantly get reduced to static on video conferences, or if your stream tends to freeze you while making unflattering faces, you may want to upgrade your internet connection.

If you’re thinking of upgrading your internet connection, our internet expert Catherine recommends Xfinity internet as the best option out there.

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Recap: What are the best Zoom alternatives?

There are tons of Zoom alternatives out there, but we’ve narrowed it down to our five favorites of the bunch. Remember, just because everyone else is using Zoom these days, that doesn’t mean you should too.

Best Zoom alternatives
ProviderPriceMax meeting participantsRecording storageLearn more
SkypeFree50Stored for 30 daysDownload
Google HangoutsFree–$25/mo.25015 GB (free)View Plans
Microsoft TeamsFree–$12.50/mo250500 GBView Plans
Zoho$8–$63/mo.1005 GBView Plans
Wire$5–9/mo.4Local storageView Plans
ZoomFree–$19.99/mo.100–5001 GB (Zoom Pro)
Unlimited (Zoom Enterprise)
View Plans
  • Best free Zoom alternative: Skype offers the most for the least amount of money. You can have up to 50 people on the same video conference call for free.
  • Best integration Zoom alternative: Google Hangouts integrates beautifully with a Google account. You can conference with your contacts and save all of your conversations to your Google Drive.
  • Best bundle Zoom alternative: If you are a big fan of Microsoft programs, then bundling your video conferencing software with Microsoft can save you a lot of money.
  • Best accessible Zoom alternative: Zoho is the easiest video conferencing platform for starting up a call. It’s super easy to send out a link or a phone number to invite participants.
  • Best secure Zoom alternative: Wire specializes in end-to-end encryption and high security protocols for video conferencing. For our money, it’s the safest way to host a video conference.

Are we missing any of your favorite Zoom alternatives? Have you had any weird experiences on Zoom that made you want to ditch the platform? Let us know in the comments below.