The Zoom videoconferencing application has become a highly popular means of keeping in touch for a world increasingly in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic, both for personal and professional meetings. However, in late March / early April, a number of complaints arose about Zoom’s privacy and security record. As more and more people flocked to the platform and a brighter spotlight was shined on how it worked and what data it possibly collected. In this article, we are going to talk about The Best Free Alternatives to Zoom for Videoconferencing. Let’s begin!
As before, it is worth noting that while all of these have free versions, some are offering temporary access to additional features for those who are currently working from home. Or who want to check up on friends and relatives online.
There are a number of applications we have 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, which is Apple-only). The following list includes more generalized applications that allow you to participate without having to actually register for the app (unless you are the host).
WhatsApp | Alternatives to Zoom
WhatsApp has announced that it is working on adding to the stable version, the option to have a maximum of 8 people in a video call. But, until that day comes it is still a great option to video chat with friends. Keep in mind that your Internet signal needs to be strong; if not, that is going to result in the poor image and video quality. The quality of the video call will rely on the user with the weakest Internet connection.
When someone calls you, you will be able to see who already on the video call. The first person on the list is the user who is calling you. Also, if you ever want to hide your video, tap on the camera icon, and you should now see it crossed out. You won’t be able to add someone you’ve blocked, or that’s blocked you. But that blocked person can be in the call with you if someone else added them.
It is also possible to multi-task while on a video call. You hit the back button and open an app, and the video call will have a floating window, so the call can continue.
To create a video call from a group in WhatsApp
- Open the group you want to make a video call in
- Tap on the call icon
- Choose the participants
- Tap on the video call option
To make a video call with just one person, follow these same steps; the only difference will be that instead of choosing a group, you will open an individual chat.
Google Duo | Alternatives to Zoom
Google Duo is another good option when it comes to video conferencing. Modern Android phones are very likely to have the app already installed. It is likely to be called Duo.
To set it up, you will need to enter your phone number and enter the verification code you get. The duo will also show you the contacts that are already using the app.
To start a video call, choose the contact you want to talk to and select the video call option. For those times when you do not want to start a video call, Duo also lets you send your contacts audios and pictures as well.
To create a group call, swipe up from the bottom of your display and choose the Create Group option. Duo lets you choose up to 100 contacts (not including yourself). As the users accept your invitation, they will start appearing in the call.
If you want to rename your group, tap on the three dots, and then choose the Rename option.
Skype | Alternatives to Zoom
Skype has been the go-to platform for one-on-one conversations since the beta was released in 2003. Its Meet Now feature (which is accessed by choosing the “Meet Now” button on the left side of the app) allows videoconferencing; according to the website, 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. However, you get more features using the app. So if you are okay with registering for a free account, you are better off doing that.
Once you are in, you’ll be asked if you want to import your existing contacts, and once those are installed, you’re ready to start chatting. Look for the contact you want to talk to and tap on the video icon at the top right.
- Record the call for up to 30 days
- Can blur the background (if you have the app)
- Share presentations
Google Hangouts | Alternatives to Zoom
With Google Hangouts, you can have a video call with up to 10 users. Starting a video call is easy, just tap on the green circle at the bottom right and choose the New video call option.
To hide your video, tap on the camera option to the right of the hangout button. After you press, it’ll be crossed out, and your Google profile picture will appear instead.
To start a group video, tap on New conversation ( you’ll find this option by tapping on the gree circle with the plus sign in it), followed by the New group option. From your contact list, choose the people you want to include in your call and tap on the checkmark at the top right.
Once the conversation page, tap on the video icon, and the video call will begin.
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