Zoom Alternatives for Video Conferencing

Spike Team
By Spike Team, April 20, 2020

With the rapid growth of remote work due to COVID, jumping on a “Zoom Meeting” became a catchphrase similar to “TiVoing a show” or “getting a Kleenex.” However, even though Zoom is one of the most popular brands for video conferencing, countless Zoom conference alternatives might work better for your needs.

 

As we run through popular apps like Zoom, we should define what Zoom is if you’re not familiar. Zoom is a video conferencing app and service that helps you place audio & video calls and conduct meetings with anyone worldwide. Zoom works on Mac, PC, and all mobile platforms. You can have 1:1 meetings, conference calls, large group meetings, and share your screen for virtual events/presentations using Zoom.

 

Zoom also offers advanced features like automatic transcriptions, call recording, and two-factor authentication for additional security. In addition, with the Zoom Webinar package, you can host webinars with over 1,000 participants and up to 49 on-screen videos simultaneously.

 

You can also use Zoom completely free, but there is a meeting time limit of 40 minutes unless you upgrade. If you need a solution that lets you talk longer than 40 minutes, you may want to consider some of the best Zoom alternatives. If that sounds like you, then keep reading as this list is for you.

 

 

Spike Video

Zoom Alternative

 

Best for ease of use that doesn’t require an account

 

Spike brings cloud-based video conferencing through its free Zoom alternative, offering unlimited call times and no restrictions on the number of participants. There’s no need to install the Spike app or even be a Spike user, and integrated screen sharing features make collaboration a breeze. In addition, it’s supported by all your favorite browsers and is secured with SRTP encryption to up the ante when it comes to online safety. Oh, and by the way, Spike never collects your private data, and won’t bombard you with ads—it’s the perfect Zoom alternative. 

 

 

Video Meeting Features

 

Remote Screen Sharing 

Spike Video includes some robust features that make it a strong Google Hangouts and Zoom Competitor. Some of the best parts of Spike Video include screen sharing – which is excellent for remote presentations, tech support, or training.

 

Max Number of Participants 

Spike Video allows up to 50 people in a single meeting, making it the perfect way for your team to connect remotely for training, 1:1 chats, or large group meetings.

 

Time Limits 

Spike Video offers unlimited time on its video conferencing tool for free, so you don’t have to worry about losing your connection midway through your meeting or training session.

 

Video Meeting Links 

Spike lets you go from text to voice to video meetings – all from your inbox. Spike Video and Audio Meetings are fully integrated into Spike and can be joined by anyone on any device — even if they do not use Spike. So, for example, when you’re scheduling a calendar invite, you can add the video link or invite someone directly from an email message or their contact card.

 

Pricing

  • Free for personal use
  • Business plans are $12/mo when paid annually

Security 

  • SRTP encryption
  • No account is required, so no need for a strong password – anyone can join
  • All video and audio is encrypted

 

Support 

  • Free support by emailing chat@spikenow.com 
  • So easy to use that you’re not likely to ever need it 
  • No special plugins required – works in any web browser or the Spike app

 

 

Google Hangouts 

Zoom Alternative

 

Best if you use Google Workspace

 

Google Hangouts is the classic video conferencing alternative to Zoom that everyone knows. It’s user and admin-friendly and boasts impressive call quality. It comes as part of the Google Suite, so cross-compatibility across platforms and browsers is guaranteed. It’s also Google, so you pretty much know what to expect before you even log on.

 

However, while it works well with Google products, it doesn’t necessarily play nice with other apps and software. For instance, schedule a meeting, and it will appear automatically on your Google Calendar, but the chances are that it won’t appear on your third-party calendar app (unless, of course, you’re using Spike!). Additionally, it doesn’t focus the camera on the speaker like Zoom does, and it also caps the number of people who can join the meeting.

 

 

Video Meeting Features

 

Remote Screen Sharing 

Google Hangouts supports remote screen sharing so that it can be used with presentations or webinars. The remote sharing feature works in any web browser as well. There is no native app for Google Hangouts on desktop, however.

 

Max Number of Participants 

Up to 150 people can participate in a Google Hangout, though a video call is limited to 25 people at a time. The ten currently most active people on a group Hangout will be displayed at the bottom of the Google Hangouts screen.

 

Time Limits

Google Hangouts doesn’t include a time limit like the Zoom app does, making it an excellent Zoom conference tool alternative to try.

 

Screen Recording 

Google Hangouts screen recording includes the active speaker and anything that’s presented. First, recordings are saved to the host’s Recordings folder in My Drive. Then, an email with the recording link is sent to the meeting organizer and the person who initiated the recording. 

 

Video Meeting Links 

You can automatically add a Google Hangout link when you add a calendar appointment to a Google Calendar. 

 

  1. Go to Google Calendar and create an Event
  2. Click More options to expand to the entire page.
  3. Click Add conferencing on the main screen.
  4. Choose Hangouts as your conferencing option.
  5. Finish filling out your event and press Save to send your event invitation to your guests.

 

Operator Control 

Google Hangouts offers the ability to kick people out of a meeting if they do not belong there. 

 

On-Screen Chat 

Google Hangouts includes a built-in chat, so it matches the Zoom app with this feature.

 

Pricing 

  • Free plan for primary uses
  • Business plans range from $6 to $18 per month

Security

Your chats and calls in Google Hangouts are only visible to the participants in the conversation at that time. No one outside your group chat can see your messages unless you invite them to join or someone from the conversation deliberately shares your discussion outside the app.

 

Support 

For people using the free Gmail plan, Google offers forum-based support. In addition, paid Google Workspace customers can reach out through their support portal for assistance.

 

 

Microsoft Teams 

Zoom Alternative

 

Microsoft Teams is another big-brand Zoom alternative that’s been around for a while. Naturally, Microsoft fans are big on this solution, and the company’s long-standing reputation helps make it a popular choice for new video conferencing users. It has all the features you might expect of a Microsoft product, however, the free version is limited. 

 

All participants will need to have a Microsoft account and download the dedicated app to use Teams. Its integration with other Microsoft apps, alongside its Teams chat functionality, means it is more than a run-of-the-mill video conferencing app. 

 

 

Video Meeting Features

 

Remote Screen Sharing

Microsoft Teams lets you share your screen, similar to how Spike Video Meetings for Zoom does, so it’s a valuable tool for remote meetings and virtual webinars.

 

Max Number of Participants 

Microsoft Teams support video chats with 350 at the same time, so it’s useable for large departments and small companies. 

 

Time Limits 

Microsoft Teams doesn’t have a time limit for video meetings.

 

Screen Recording 

Any Microsoft Teams meeting or call can be recorded to capture audio, video, and screen sharing activity. The recording happens in the cloud and is saved so you can share it securely across your company. Meeting recordings won’t include videos or animations embedded in PowerPoint Live presentations. In addition, when you view a meeting recording, you’ll see no more than four peoples’ video streams at once.

 

Video Meeting Links 

If you’re using Outlook, you can add Teams Video Meetings to your calendar appointments. Non Team users can join in the web browser.

 

Operator Control 

Teams Meeting organizers can eject people from their meetings at any time.

 

On-Screen Chat 

Teams Video participants can chat with anyone in the meeting in the Teams app.

 

Pricing 

  • Free Trial Plan Doesn’t Include Teams
  • Business Plans start at $5 per Month – Go up to $12.50 Per Month Per User

 

Security 

Microsoft Teams uses the PKI features in the Windows Server operating system to protect the critical data used for encryption for the TLS connections. The keys used for media encryptions are exchanged over secure TLS connections.

 

Teams also use mutual TLS (MTLS) for server communications within Microsoft 365 and Office 365 and also use TLS from clients to the service. MTLS makes eavesdropping difficult or impossible to achieve within the period of a single conversation. TLS authenticates all parties and encrypts all traffic. While TLS doesn’t prevent eavesdropping by someone, the attacker can’t read the traffic unless the encryption is broken.

 

Support 

  • 24/7 through Microsoft when using a paid plan
  • Community, chat, email, and phone support are available 

 

 

GoToMeeting 

Zoom Alternative

 

The long-standing solution, but the most complicated

 

Marketing itself as an industry leader for video conferencing worldwide, GoToMeeting is a fast and reliable Zoom alternative that offers a variety of price plans depending on the number of participants you need to attend your meetings or classes. Including advanced features such as screen sharing, slideshows, and breakout/follow-up meetings, it’s a solid entry into the world of collaborative conferencing for professionals.

 

Some users have flagged one issue as its poor mobile functionality, with the app proving less intuitive to use than the desktop version. Additionally, integration with third-party apps is limited, meaning advanced users may find themselves switching apps more often than they would like.

 

GoToMeeting offers two plans for small businesses and large businesses: Professional and Business. Only people hosting a meeting need to purchase a GoToMeeting subscription—joining a meeting is always free using the GoToMeeting app.

 

 

Video Meeting Features

 

Remote Screen Sharing 

Hosts and Panelist of a GoToMeeting session can share their screens for presentations, training, etc.

 

Max Number of Participants 

The Professional account is 150 people. The Business account includes $250 people

 

Time Limits 

GoToMeeting doesn’t have a time limit for video meetings.

 

Screen Recording 

GoToMeeting offers cloud and local recording if you are the meeting hosting.

 

Video Meeting Links 

GoToMeeting sessions can be scheduled in the GoToMeeting app and using plugins for Outlook on the Mac and PC.

 

Operator Control 

GoToMeeting organizers can kick people out from their meetings at any time.

 

On-Screen Chat 

GoToMeeting Video participants can chat with anyone in the meeting inside the app.

 

Pricing

  • $12/mo (annual) for Professional
  • $16/mo (annual) for Business

 

Security 

GoToMeeting uses robust encryption and protocols designed to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity for data transmitted between the LogMeIn (owner of GoToMeeting infrastructure and users, and data stored within the LogMeIn systems on behalf of users for cloud recordings, transcriptions, and GoToMeeting notes.

 

Support

Because GoToMeeting is a paid product, support is available via chat, email, and phone. 

 

 

Other Zoom Alternative Solutions To Consider

Blackboard

Billing itself as “a simple and reliable virtual classroom solution to power your online teaching and web conferencing needs”, Blackboard Collaborate is a seamless Zoom alternative made for the education sector. Of course, it works perfectly well as a standard video conferencing solution, but it really shines in its ability to help users engage with others to create effective learning environments.

 

Again, the advanced features of this alternative to Zoom don’t come cheap, but hand-raising features, an interactive whiteboard, and participant controls make it a superb way to keep students involved and implement effective distance learning. Additionally, it gets excellent reviews for its ease of use and quality of customer support.

 

Fuze 

As a global, cloud-based alternative to Zoom, Fuze aims to simplify business communications and deliver seamless video conferencing through its mobile app or mobile-optimized website. Offering excellent bandwidth usage alongside consistent performance and reliability, Fuze does the simple things well, without confusing things with too much additional functionality.

 

For what it offers, however, Fuze comes across as a bit expensive, with the bottom-tier subscription currently coming in at $20 per month for calling only. In order to get access to the video conferencing features, you’ll need to fork out another $15 per month on top of that—definitely not the choice for the cash-strapped startup.

 

It’s not that Fuze isn’t a great solution, but other solutions cost less money and offer similar features.

 

 

Adobe Connect 

Adobe’s multimedia and design products are considered industry leaders around the world, and with Adobe Connect the company has brought its expertise to communications. Designed specifically for online meetings, eLearning, and webinars, the intuitive UI and high-quality calls and visuals, alongside screen sharing and advanced whiteboard features means it is aimed squarely at the pros.

 

However, pro features come with a pro price, and Adobe Connect is among the most expensive Zoom alternatives currently on the market. There is no free version of Connect, but you do get a free 90-day trial when you sign up. Additionally, high-level security means you can rest assured your data and connections are safe

 

Adobe Connect isn’t widely used as an alternative to Zoom in most small and medium businesses, though.

FaceTime

Apple added multiple new features to FaceTime in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey including support for Android and PC joining from the browser. Apple has also made it possible to preschedule links for group FaceTimes.

 

While the additions are nice, they aren’t quite as seamless as other solutions. One glaring omission of features is the limitation that Android and PC users can only join meetings – not start them.

 

 

Summary: Zoom Alternative Software Round-Up

Multiple Zoom app alternatives work cross-platform at little or no cost. Before deciding on a Zoom alternative, consider what features you need and your budget for this software.

 

Microsoft Teams is an excellent solution if you want solutions for 200+ people, but it requires a subscription. Google Hangouts works well for a Zoom alternative if you use Google WorkSpace. If you’re looking for a Zoom solution on a budget with the majority of the features of Zoom, Spike Video checks most of the boxes.

 

Key Features of Spike Video: 

  • No Plugins or Software To Install
  • No Account
  • No Time Limits
  • 100% Free
  • Works on all platforms
  • Tightly integrated with Spike’s digital workspace app for combining email, tasks, calendar, and collaborative Notes

 

Zoom Alternative FAQs

A successful video meeting will occur before you start it with how well you are prepared. Always include an agenda and expected outcomes. 

Don’t stress – it happens to everyone. Try signing out of your meeting software and signing back in. If you’re using Spike, leave the meeting and rejoin it. Try closing other apps and browser tabs. 

If you’re using Zoom, you’ll need the Zoom app. If you’re using Teams, you’ll need the Teams app. For Google Hangouts, you’ll need a Google Account. For Spike Video, you don’t need anything but a web browser. 

 

Spike Team
Spike Team The Spike team posts about productivity, time management, and the future of email, messaging and collaboration.

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