Zoom is seeing a surge in users but at the same time, the service’s many vulnerabilities and its questionable privacy practices are putting people off. It has been banned in some companies and many people are looking for Zoom alternatives. If you are in the same boat, here are three Zoom alternatives that you can use to work from home. In this article, we are going to talk about Best Zoom Tools for Video Conferencing in 2020. Let’s begin!
What are the best Zoom alternatives? | Video Conferencing in 2020
The reason Zoom is so popular is because it is easy to get a link to meeting in advance and share it. There are calendar invites, lots of people can participate in a single group video chat, and everyone can participate in it. Here are three applications that check all those boxes.
Skype | Video Conferencing in 2020
Skype would generally not be in the running if you were to compare it with Zoom but it has added a new feature in response to the lockdown that lets it compete with the service. You can now invite anyone to a Skype meeting, and they can join it regardless. If they have a Skype account or not. You have all of Skype’s features at your disposal.
- It is secure and it has a free version that allows you to invite as many people as you want and the call’s length is not limited.
- If you are only inviting people who use Skype, you can schedule the call from within Skype. This is a new feature that came a few months ago.
- You can generate a link to a meeting in advance and share it. That allow others to join it without a Skype account or even the application.
- You can share your screen with others.
- Skype does not have a whiteboard feature.
- It is not ideal for a classroom set up since there are no meeting managers who have administrative control over the call.
Microsoft Teams | Video Conferencing in 2020
Microsoft Teams is part of Office 365 (or Microsoft 365) but you can sign up and use it for free. If you have an Office or Microsoft 365 account, it won’t make much of a difference.
- There is both a desktop and a web app that you can use.
- You can invite people to your ‘Team’ which makes it easy to interact with everyone and schedule meetings later.
- Meetings can be scheduled and anyone can join them.
- Support for conference rooms, dedicated channels, and also rooms.
- It is more a chat/collaboration app than a video conferencing tool. The features are built-in and they work fine but they aren’t intuitive and may not be the best if you’re creating classrooms for younger children.
- The UI is a bit busy. It is not bad but a lot of Office 365 is integrated with it and it might be confusing to get started with it.
Google Hangouts | Video Conferencing in 2020
Google Hangouts is, as the name describes, a Google product and it’s been around for years. It works with a Gmail account but you can invite anyone to a meeting or hangout. It works entirely from a browser.
- Anyone can join a meeting regardless if they have a Google account or not.
- You can schedule the meeting and share a link to it in advance.
- Any number of users can invite you to a meeting.
- Background noise is proactively blocked.
- You can also share your screen, and create conference rooms, etc.
- You have administrative control over meetings that allows you to mute others and removing disruptive users.
- It is a Google product and that might set off alarm bells for some people regarding privacy.
- It may not work on all browsers e.g. Safari and users will have to install Firefox or Chrome.
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