If you work for a remote organization or frequently attend team meetings for collaboration, irrespective, you must have come across various remote conferencing (and collaboration) services over time — starting with TeamViewer back in the early days to the relatively new solution, Zoom. While for the most part, Zoom suffices the use-case for most users, and offers an array of features, along with the essentials, it does come with its own share of problems.
For the uninitiated, Zoom is one of the popular remote conferencing services out there. It offers a range of features, including video conferencing, online meetings and chat, and a few collaboration tools. As a result, the service has seen a spike in recent years and is used by some of the biggest conglomerates internally.
However, as mentioned above, it does come with its own share of problems. For starters, if you use Zoom for large teams, it can turn out to be quite expensive compared to some of the other alternatives in the market. Then, there are frequent audio-video lag issues that many have complained about in the past. But, besides that, there isn’t much to complain about Zoom. However, if you want some other service for remote conferencing and collaboration, here are some of the best Zoom alternatives (in no particular order).
Top 8 Zoom alternatives for remote conferencing
1. Skype for Business
Skype is undoubtedly one of the popular video conferencing services with a huge user base. It got acquired by Microsoft back in 2011, and since then, has evolved and grown into a complete remote-working solution with a range of features. For instance, you can use Skype to perform audio and video calls in HD, message (along with private conversations), and share screen be it for meeting or helping out someone with a problem. Talking about conferencing, you can host an audio or video call with up to 50 people, and at the same time, also record calls and enable live captions and subtitles.
In terms of other interesting features, Skype comes with Skype Number, which allows you to get a local phone number in a foreign country for a flat fee. You can then take this call on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Moreover, you can also call landlines and mobiles from anywhere in the world using Skype Credit. Among other things, the service provides the option to share location, send files up to 300MB, forward calls, set up voicemail, view caller information using CallerID, and get a real-time translation for voice calls, video calls, and messages.
Plans: Free, Office 365 Business Essentials ($5.00/month), Business ($8.25/month), and Business Premium ($12.50/month)
2. Microsoft Teams
With Microsoft bound to shut down Skype in June next year (2021), we now have Microsoft’s in-house solution (Microsoft Teams), getting new features and updates to replace Skype as its new collaboration tool. To begin with, Teams comes features like conferencing that allows you to get on audio/video call with anywhere between 10 to 10,000 teammates, clear audio calls along with chat messages from anywhere in the world, and the ability to hold online meetings to address a huge number of team members, webinars to give presentations for technical assistance, and more.
Besides usual conferencing, Microsoft Teams also comes with collaboration capabilities. For instance, you can schedule and arrange meetings, get access to previous meeting notes, share content and screen to collaborate better with your peers, work on Word docs, PowerPoint, and Excel files in real-time, record meetings to revisit them when required, and also follow up with your peers and keep them informed about the updates using Teams chat.
Plans: Free, Office 365 Business Essentials ($5.00 per month), Office Business Premium ($12.50 per month), and Office 365 E3 ($20 per month).
View Microsoft Teams
3. Cisco WebEx
Cisco’s WebEx, similar to Zoom, is one of the preferred choices for remote conferencing services across different industries, which also makes it one of the best Zoom competitor — primarily because of the kind of service that it offers, along with the trust that a lot of people have in the brand itself. And rightly so. Since over the years, Cisco has been constantly coming up with new features for the platform, and also updating and offering support for the existing ones. As a result, the service offers various features like video conferencing, screen (and document) sharing, cross-platform support, teleconferencing, and more.
Moving to other features, WebEx allows for collaborative working by offering the ability to share the screen with peers to help them collaborate and help each other solve their problems. It includes a Whiteboard feature that can be used to conceptualize ideas, work together on different things, and broaden your reach by demonstrating/sharing ideas with all your teammates at once. Moreover, besides collaboration, the service also offers the ability to do webinars, which can come in handy to training and remote technical assistance purposes.
Plans: Free, Premium ($24, $49, and $69 per month)
4. Adobe Connect
Connect from Adobe is another major is another great remote conferencing alternative to Zoom. The company suggests that it is the “most flexible, secure, extensible, and feature-rich web conferencing product on the market.” And to a greater degree, that is justified by the range of features that it provides. The entire experience is claimed to be customizable — to help you personalize and design things like layouts, virtual rooms, etc and also engaging — to give you more control over engagements.
Essentially, Adobe Connect offers three different solutions: Learning, Webinar, and Meetings, which cater to different requirements and needs. For instance, with Adobe Connect for Learning, you get a virtual classroom that offers training solutions that can be accessed from anywhere, along with content authoring and tracking tools. On the other hand, Webinars provides a platform for digital events and announcements to help run and manage large campaigns and events. And, Adobe Connect for Meetings gives you the option to share screens and collaborate with teammates from anywhere in the world.
Plans: Free (90-day), Meetings ($50/month), Webinar ($130/month), Learning ($370/month)
View Adobe Connect
5. Zoho Meeting
Much like Adobe’s Connect, Zoho Meeting also offers a range of solutions for conducting online meetings, hosting webinars, and performing audio, video, and screen sharing. One of the interesting highlights of the service is the ability to launch or join meetings right from the browser without having to download an app on the device. Then there is also the ability to perform audio/video calls and share screens while collaborating from anywhere in the world. Additionally, you get the option to record meetings to revisit when required, sync meetings with your calendar, schedule meetings and manage team members, among others.
When it comes to online meetings, Zoho Meeting provides dial-in numbers to make calls for instances when your network connection is weak. It gives the option to embed meeting links to your website to get multiple people to join in, get RSVPs for invites, and the ability to moderate meetings with more control.
Plans: Free (14-day trial), Meeting ($10/month), Webinar ($19, $29, $39, and $79)
View Zoho Meeting
GoToMeeting is another video conferencing/collaboration tool with different solutions for situations like meetings, conferencing, webinars, etc. These solutions allow you to host audio, video, or web meetings with a few clicks, create personalized meeting space in minutes, and also helps to expand your reach and better engage with the audience using webinars. The service offers you the option to make calls using either VoIP or toll-based options and claims to offer an uninterrupted and clear audio experience. Moreover, with personal meetings, you can get on video calls with up to 25 HD video feeds per session.
As for collaboration, GoToMeeting provides the screen (desktop/application) sharing feature, which, just as it sounds, allows you to broadcast your desktop to collaborate in more interactive ways. To add to the experience, it also offers virtual whiteboard and drawing tools to help you brainstorm your ideas and express them effectively. Additionally, with higher-end plans, you get hardware solutions for more professional conferencing and collaboration.
Plans: Free (14-day trial), Professional ($14/month), Business ($19/month), Enterprise (on-demand)
eZTalks offers a range of solutions such as meetings, video webinars, and audio conferencing, which is somewhat similar to the Zoho Meeting features suite. Talking about these features, with meetings, for instance, you get the option to perform a video/audio call, IM chat, share files/screen, or use the interactive whiteboard to better engage with your teammates and make the most of the online collaboration. Besides, the service comes with support for the calendar (Microsoft Outlook) to schedule and manage meetings and also offers the ability to invite people to join meetings by sending them a direct link for the same.
To take your conferencing experience up a notch, eZTalks also offers hardware for conference room solutions like the Meet Me, Meet S, Meet Pro, and Meet X, all of which aid with better web conferencing for different needs. Moreover, there is the ability to record meetings and back up on the cloud, with up to 1GB of free cloud data for free users. In addition, you also get full control over your meetings, allowing you to lock meeting rooms, authorize presenters, take polls, etc.
Plans: Free, Standard ($10/month), Pro ($30/month), Business ($50/month)
Join.Me offers a simple and easy-to-use solution for your video conferencing and collaboration needs. The service gives audio/video conferencing capabilities, with audio conferencing offering the option to use local conference numbers with support for 50+ countries along with toll-free numbers. When it comes to online meetings, you get easy scheduling (with support for Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook) and the option to use and share personalized links for meetings — making it easier for those attending meetings frequently to get familiar. Moreover, there is the option to manage meetings, using which you can do things like swap presenters, for instance.
Moving from conferencing and online meeting, Join.Me provides collaboration features, similar to most of the other Zoom alternatives on this list. Some of these features include screen sharing for helping your peers or team members with problems or collaborating, using the included Whiteboard to brainstorm on tasks, manage collaborations, and address/demonstrate multiple people at the same time.
Plans: Free (trial), Lite ($10/month), Pro ($20/month), Business ($30/month)
The services mentioned above should help you with making remote video conferences, meetings, or even collaboration. Besides these, there are a few other remote conferencing services such as TeamViewer, Hangouts Meet, Uber Conference, Whereby, BlueJeans, Crowdcast, and RingCentralMeetings, that you can also check out.
Taking into view the current scenario across the world, we have started seeing organizations asking their employees to avoid the commute and work from home instead. Moreover, a few companies have even started offering lucrative offers and free access for their video conferencing and collaboration service to encourage people to work remotely. If you happen to find yourself in this situation, you can use the services on this list to stay on track with the progress and collaborate online with your teammates. Besides, if there are some other services that you use and think are good alternatives to Zoom, do let us know in the comments below.