We have used Zoom at work for a few years now, but today it seems like everybody is using Zoom. It’s a great tool and has a lot of useful features to make communication easier and more efficient. However, it’s not the only video conferencing tool that is out there right now. So, if you feel like a change, consider one of the following alternatives to Zoom.
1. Hangouts Meet
Google’s communication tools have been through a lot of changes over the years, but the Google version of Zoom is called Hangouts Meet. It’s completely web based, but has apps for mobile devices too. Recently, Google extended the Hangouts Meet premium features free of charge to all G Suite customers until July 1, 2020. This includes larger meetings and the ability to record and save to Drive. Learn more about Hangouts Meet in Eric Curts’ handy video series.
Remember Skype? It never went away, and it if you haven’t used it for a while, it is probably more flexible that you think. It can be used on any device, has neat features like background blurring, real time language translations, and only the person hosting the meeting needs a Skype account, unless you use their Meet Now webpage, and then no-one needs a Skype account! Learn more here.
3. Microsoft Teams
If you took Skype and added in a collaborative, online meeting place where you can share, organize and work on Office files, you get Microsoft Teams. It was created to rival applications like Slack but has grown to include so much more. It is available to schools and businesses that use Microsoft Office apps. Learn more here.
4. Cisco Webex
WebEx has been around since 2007, and offers a solid video conferencing experience that you can rely on. We’ve probably all been on a WebEx webinar at some point in our lives, and that is just a testament to how widely it is used. It’s more popular in the enterprise world than in education, but right now, Cisco has expanded the features in the free account to include no time restrictions, up to 100 participants, as well as desktop, application, file and whiteboard sharing options. Learn more here.
It only works between Apple devices, but if that’s what you use at school or at work, then FaceTime is still a decent option. It doesn’t allow screen sharing or some of the more advanced options you get in other clients, but it does allow for up to 32 people at once, and sometimes simplicity is key to staying connected with others. Learn more here.