The best free alternatives to Zoom

If you want something similar to Zoom but don’t want to spend money, here are five great alternatives to the app.

Zoom gained huge traction in a short span of time as several people are working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak. Zoom has however been under fire over security concerns.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE ZOOM APP: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

APPS NOT INCLUDED AS ALTERNATIVES TO THE ZOOM APP

There are a number of apps not included such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and FaceTime that allow you to do video chats. They either require that all participants be members (Facebook, WhatsApp) or that you use a specific type of device (FaceTime is Apple only).

The following list includes more generalised applications that allow you to participate without having to actually register for the app unless you’re the host.

SKYPE MEET NOW

Skype has been the go-to platform for one on one conversations since the beta was released in 2003. Its Meet Now feature is accessed by choosing the “Meet Now” button on the left side of the app which allows videoconferencing. The maximum number of participants can vary depending on your platform and device.
There is also a separate page that lets you create a free video meeting without having to actually sign up for the service.

Features

  • Record the call for up to 30 days
  • Can blur the background if you have the app
  • Share presentations

CISCO WEBEX

Cisco Webex is mainly known as a business application and continues to focus on serving companies. It does have a generous free version that’s worth checking out. It has widened the features of the freemium version from 50 to 100 participants and removed the 40-minute limit on meetings, and added call in abilities.

Features

  • Up to 100 participants
  • Unlimited timing for each meeting
  • Call in for audio

GOOGLE MEET

Google has announced that it is going to make Meet available to the users of its free Gmail service as well starting in early May.

Once Meet is available, it should be a simple way to video chat with colleagues, friends and family assuming they all have Google accounts which is a requirement for both hosts and participants.

To start, simply go to Meet, click on “Join or start a meeting,” give the meeting a name if you want and send out your invites. You can also schedule a meeting using Google Calendar. Google includes a number of security features such as the ability to admit or deny entry.

Features

  • Unlimited meeting time until the 30th September, afterwards 60 minute limit
  • Up to 100 participants

HANGOUTS

If you don’t want to wait for Meet to show up for Gmail users, Google Hangouts — the “classic” version — is still available. The company is not promoting it especially to G Suite users and corporate customers who are being encouraged to use Meet.

You can use Hangouts to video chat with up to 10 people. There are not a lot of additional features. You can add text messages and share screens but that’s about it. If you want quick and easy this is worth checking out.

Features

JITSI MEET

Jitsi Meet is an open source platform that lets you easily meet online by simply navigating to the site and clicking on “Go.” It offers many features found in more well known apps, such as chat, session recording to Dropbox and the ability to kick out unruly participants.

Features

  • Up to 75 participants (up to 35 for the best experience)
  • Public or private chat
  • Can blur the background (currently in beta)
  • Integrates with Slack, Google Calendar, and Office 365

Originally Publish at: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/

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