We take a look at Zoom, GoToMeeting, Cisco Webex, GlobalMeet and Microsoft Teams
As companies and individuals scramble to connect digitally during the pandemic, Zoom has become the go-to option for many of us.
Zoom has an excellent free version meant for personal meetings, which supports up to 100 participants, up to 40-minute long group meetings, and even free support. Zoom’s paid versions start at $14.99 per month per host and go up to $19.99. The paid version will bring you additional features like recording on the cloud, REST APIs for integrations, and optional add-ons.
However, Zoom’s rapid growth in popularity has led to a key challenge – large-scale outages. On May 17, 2020, users across the world reported audio and video problems as the Zoom app went down. Essential events like UK’s COVID-19 briefing were interrupted by the outage. Apart from this, there have been concerns around Zoom’s security (which the company was quick to address).
You could be looking at a Zoom alternative for any of these reasons. Or, you might simply want a different UI and feature set. Here are four Zoom alternatives to consider as you try to stay connected during the pandemic.
GoToMeeting is a popular Zoom alternative by LogMeIn. It covers all of your essentials like HD video, screen sharing, cloud-based recording, mobile apps, and security. But unlike Zoom, it doesn’t have a free version – you would have to shell out $12 per organiser per month for the Professional version, or $16 for the Business version.
That extra $4 goes a long way, giving you access to a host of value-added features like transcriptions, slide to PDF conversion, in-app note-taking, an ML-based smart assistant, and keyboard & mouse-sharing.
If you are interested in a paid digital collaboration app, GoToMeeting is a great Zoom alternative. It goes well beyond audio/video calling to cover your full breadth of collaboration needs.
Cisco is a giant in the unified communications space. Its Webex series has products for internal meetings, online events, education, and customer support. Typically, Webex comes in a range of versions, starting with a 30-day free trial of Webex Meetings and going up to $26.95 per host, per month. But at the moment, Cisco is experiencing a surge in demand due to COVID-19 – so you might have to contact sales for a bespoke quote.
In terms of features, Webex Meetings has it all. Its simple UI makes adoption easier. You can use it either as a barebones meeting software, or add-on functions like Collaboration Meeting Rooms and Event Support for more powerful capabilities.
PGi is a global communications solutions provider, known for its Global Meet Application Suite. Global Meet supports both online events and meetings/collaborations, which makes it a good Zoom alternative. And like Zoom, PGi GlobalMeet has a free version – with support for up to 125 participants.
The free version gives you HD video, Dolby audio, local dial-in, recording, screen sharing, Microsoft Outlook integration, and free support. In other words, it is right up there with Zoom’s free offering. The premium version is billed at £18 per user per month, which includes file storage, an admin portal, toll-free international dial-in, and company branding.
If you’re looking for a software that integrates with your video systems (Cisco, Polycom, etc.) PGi GlobalMeet might be the one for you.
It’s never been a better time to switch to Microsoft Teams.
As demand for online collab tools grows, Microsoft has launched a number of offers for its Teams product. Right now, you can access a free-forever version of Microsoft Teams – including unlimited chat, online meetings, 10 GB of storage, and up to 500,000 users across the company.
With the paid version, you upgrade to 1TB of storage as well as the Office desktop apps, not to mention more integrations, security, and control.
But if you’re in the market for Zoom or a Zoom alternative, Microsoft Teams’ limited-time free version offer is a good place to start. It even has unlimited integrations with 250+ apps, making it possible to convert into a power user at a low cost.
Zoom remains a leading player because of two things: one, its basic version for personal meetings and two, its ability to support up to a 1000 participants in a single call if yure on the Enterprise version. However, depending on your needs, you might want to consider Zoom alternatives like GoToMeeting, Cisco Webex, PGi GlobalMeet, and Microsoft Teams before you make a decision.