Zoom has become a popular platform for businesses, friends, and families.
It is an easy-to-use program that allows users to meet virtually from anywhere.
But this is not the only video calling platform to emerge due to recent circumstances.
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide of 8 Zoom alternatives you can use instead.
These options have their pros and cons, so continue reading to learn which is the best option for you.
- The Best Zoom Alternatives In 2023 (Overview)
- What Is Video Calling?
- The Best Zoom Alternatives In 2023
- Why Look for Alternatives to Zoom?
- Wrapping Up
The Best Zoom Alternatives In 2023 (Overview)
An overview of favorite Zoom Alternatives from our comprehensive list below. For detailed information on each pick, scroll down.
- Google Meet
- Microsoft Teams
- Facebook Messenger Rooms
- Zoho Meeting
- GoTo Meeting
- Cisco WebEx Meeting
- Premium video meetings at a price point of free
- Run by Google, meaning a simple interface packed with powerful features
- Effectively host meetings and collaborate seamlessly and easily
- Great permissions management and security features. Group functionality excels
- Great screen-sharing options that make presenting and sharing content easy and efficient
- Allows for simple group calls without all the advanced features of other platforms
What Is Video Calling?
Video calling allows people to use their computers or smartphones to talk with each other through video and audio.
It is used in both professional and personal circumstances.
How Does Video Calling Work?
Video calling or conferencing is made of audio and visual input and audio and visual output.
Your computer, webcam, or smartphone captures your audio and video input through its camera and microphone.
It then transmits the video and audio data of the others in your conference.
All of this information is compressed to allow for a seamless transmission.
Who Uses Video Calling and Why?
Many people use video calling in their everyday lives.
Businesses have begun to utilize this platform more often.
Video calling allows businesses to be more flexible with work opportunities for employees.
Now, employees can work from home or live in different locations and still work effectively and efficiently.
Others use video calling for personal reasons, such as keeping in touch with family and friends.
During the last few years, when getting together in person wasn’t an option, many video conference platforms saw an increase in usage.
More families used video calls for holiday “visits,” celebrations, and to keep connected.
The Best Zoom Alternatives In 2023
After the best Zoom alternative? Below is a list of 8 Zoom alternatives for your next video conference.
What We Looked For
These are the criteria points we used when compiling a list of alternatives to Zoom.
- Free trials
- Live streaming
- Different types of content formats
- Engagement feature
- Video calling requirements (business vs. personal)
Zoom Alternatives: Free Options
We decided to start with the platforms that offer a free, basic version of their video call software.
There may be additional fees for extra features mentioned in these programs.
1. Google Meet
While Google Meet is part of the Google Workplace suite (G Suite), you can use it on its own.
You do not have to download an app to use Google Meet like with Zoom.
It is easily accessible online through your Google account.
This program allows users to video and audio chat.
Google Meet is best for businesses that already utilize Google Workplace.
To access the full range of features Google Meet offers, users have to pay for a Google Workplace subscription.
If you only need basic video conference capabilities, Google Meet is still a great option.
- You can sync your Google Meet appointments with your Google Calendar to ensure you don’t miss a video meeting.
- It has great security measures, and there has never been a reported account hijacking.
- You can supply your own image as a background during meetings or events.
- Jam-packed free version: If you’re not looking to pay for a Google Workspace subscription, the free version of Google Meet still has plenty to offer.
- Digital whiteboard: Google Meet’s Jamboard encourages live brainstorming sessions.
- Screen sharing: You can present Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or anything else on your screen during calls.
- 100-person online meeting: Users can invite up to 100 viewers to a single meeting or event for just the free version.
- Background blur: A feature allows you to blur the background. The dirty laundry on your couch isn’t as noticeable!
- No transcription feature: While Google Meet has a closed caption feature, it can’t be considered a full transcription. It does a decent job at captioning audio but is not perfect.
- Google Workplace subscription: To get most of the best features out of Google Meet, you need a Google Workplace subscription. The first subscription tier offers breakout rooms, extra meeting time, and extra participants.
- 1-hour meetings: Similar to above, the free version only allows meetings to last an hour. You can have as many meetings in a day as you want, but it can be a pain to open a new link every hour.
Is Google Meet Hard to Use?
No, Google Meet is easy to pick up.
For those who have used Google Workplace, learning this program is even easier.
Starting and ending a video call is as simple as clicking the “Start Meeting” and “End Meeting” buttons.
Pricing and Plans
- Free Version: 100 participant limit, 1-hour time limit
- Business Starter: $72 per year, 100 participant limit, 24-hour time limit, virtual background, hand raise, whiteboard
- Business Standard: $144 per year, 150 participant limit, 24-hour time limit, virtual background, hand raise, whiteboard, video recordings, breakout rooms, polls, and Q&A
- Business Plus: $216 per year, 500 participant limit, 24-hour time limit, all features in Business Standard plus attendance tracking
- Enterprise Essentials: $120 per year, 150 participant limit, 24-hour time limit, all features in Business Standard
- Enterprise Standard: $240 per year, 500 participant limit, 24-hour time limit, all features in Business Plus
- Enterprise Plus: $360 per year, 500 participant limit, 24-hour time limit, all features in business plus
Google Meet is a great program for business and personal needs.
Its free version is perfect for quick family meet-ups.
2. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s version of video call programs.
This video call software is much more compartmentalized than others, which can be a pro or a con depending on your preference.
Microsoft Teams allows companies to use templates when creating new groups, or “Teams” that businesses can use to sort out who needs to work with who.
To use the free version, you need a Microsoft account or ID.
Microsoft Teams is best for companies who already use Microsoft as a base software for their company.
It’s also best for Windows users and people utilizing the program on their desktop computer or laptop.
- One-to-one chat/messaging allows you to have a private conversation with someone else in a large meeting. This way, you aren’t disrupting the whole meeting.
- Teams Connect was added in March 2021 as a way to share channels with people both in and out of your organization.
- Tabs offer an easier way to organize information for those running meetings. They are interactive to everyone in the call, and you can edit and customize them for anyone’s needs.
- Highly customizable: This feature is great for businesses. People can use Microsoft Teams for communication between employees, management, and more.
- Compatible with Microsoft Office: Teams allows you to work with other Microsoft apps. These include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
- Microsoft 365 Accounts: Microsoft Teams is included with all Microsoft 365 accounts. If your company or school uses Microsoft 365, you will have access to Teams.
- Bookmark Content: Teams allows you to bookmark specific pieces of content like messages or attachments. This is great for employees that like to be organized.
- Personalize: You can personalize your contacts, alerts, reminders, calendar, and anything else you can think of.
- Most Effective in Microsoft-focused Environments: As mentioned earlier, working in Teams is most effective in businesses that only use Microsoft apps.
- Formal Feeling: The rigid design of Microsoft Teams sometimes makes starting open communication feel like pulling teeth.
- Learning Curve: If you’re not familiar with Microsoft programs, learning Teams can take time. Everything is organized in an extremely particular way that may seem like a maze to some. If you get frustrated with learning new software easily, learning Microsoft Teams may not be the best choice.
Is Microsoft Teams Hard to Use?
For people who haven’t used Microsoft programs, yes, it is hard to use.
Learning Microsoft Teams can be tricky if you’re not familiar with how Microsoft tends to lay out its software.
Pricing and Plans
Please note that these are yearly subscriptions, but we have broken the numbers down to monthly installments.
- Microsoft Teams: Free, 100 participant limit, 1-hour time limit, unlimited chat, 5 GB of cloud storage per user
- Microsoft Teams Essentials: $4 per person per month, 300 participant limit, 30-hour time limit, unlimited chat, 10 GB of cloud storage per user
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $6 per person per month, 300 participant limit, 30-hour time limit, unlimited chat, 1 TB of cloud storage per user, business-class email, recordings and transcriptions, all Microsoft Office apps
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50 per person per month, 300 participant limit, 30-hour time limit, unlimited chat, all features included in Microsoft 365 Business Basic, webinar hosting, manage customer appointments, attendee registration
Microsoft Teams is best for businesses that already utilize Microsoft programs.
For those looking for a video call service to simply chat with friends or family, Microsoft Teams is not the best choice.
We recommend this as a Zoom alternative for businesses.
Related: a comprehensive breakdown of Slack vs Teams
Skype is the original video communication software, in our opinion.
Using Skype, you can make video and audio calls, send SMS messages, talk with a group, and even use a public phone number specific to your account.
It is compatible with all operating systems and available in app stores everywhere.
Skype is best for users who want an easy-to-understand video conference system.
There aren’t many bells and whistles with Skype, but its simplicity is refreshing.
- Skype allows you to call landlines and mobile phones anywhere. Skype offers the ability to call your friends, family, business partners, or anyone else on their direct phone number.
- Skype offers Wi-Fi hotspots all around the world for users to connect to. When connected, you pay for the minutes you use through your Skype Credits.
- You can use Skype on your Xbox! Play video games with friends while feeling like you’re in the same room, even if you’re across the country.
- Great sound and image quality: With a free program, we sometimes have to sacrifice quality, but that is not the case with Skype.
- Real-time translation: Skype Translate will provide real-time interpretations in nine languages. Currently, they offer translation services in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese.
- Bots: Not the bad kind, but the fun kind! Microsoft Bot Framework offers more than 150 bots to help you with productivity and interacting with businesses. They allow you to have fun during conversations too!
- Group Chats: Skype offers an easy-to-use messaging system that is popular for group chat users. Skype automatically saves your conversations. It also allows you to search within them later for important information.
- Live Subtitles: During video calls, Skype has the option to turn on live subtitles. This is a wonderful feature for those who are hard of hearing or need to join in a call while in a noisy room.
- Basic Features: Skype isn’t business-oriented the way Teams and Meet are. It has the basics for audio and video calling, but that’s about it. If you are looking for a program to enhance your current Microsoft or Google package, Skype is not it.
- Connection Problems: Skype users complain that their connection isn’t as strong as other software options. Skype users see a “reconnecting” screen more often than others.
- Behind on Times: Skype hasn’t changed much in the past years. It does what it sets out to do and doesn’t seem keen on changing. While this is fine with some, others may be hoping for some new features or updates.
Is Skype Hard to Use?
No, Skype is not hard to use.
It is simple to set up your account, start and end calls, message friends, and all of the other functions.
Pricing and Plans
Skype on its own is free to use; however, they do offer Skype Credits that you can use to set up WiFi hotspots.
These hotspots are “billed” by the minute, and this rate is quite low.
Skype is perfect for family and friends that want a free and easy way to connect.
It’s amazing for catching up no matter where you are, as anyone across the globe can download Skype.
We absolutely recommend this as a Zoom alternative!
4. Facebook Messenger Rooms
Messenger Rooms is Facebook’s (or Meta’s) version of video calling.
You can access it through your Facebook account and chat with people both on and off your friends’ list.
If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can still join meetings but cannot host them.
This platform is best for friends and families wanting an easy way to connect.
- Facebook Messenger Rooms works great on mobile devices. It’s much easier to use on your phone over a laptop or desktop computer, so it’s great to use when you’re on the go.
- The program fully integrates with your Facebook profile, so finding the people you’d like to chat with is easy.
- There is no time-limit policy with Facebook Messenger Rooms. You can chat for as long as you want!
- Integrate with other apps: Facebook Messenger Rooms is able to integrate with other platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp.
- Facebook reminders: When you invite Facebook friends to join Rooms, they get alerts in their feed to remind them of upcoming meetings.
- Large meetings: With Rooms, you can have up to 50 participants, all of which are typically the user’s Facebook friends.
- Broadcast to friends: You can broadcast your meetings to friends and allow them to join Rooms at any time. This feature is great for influencers or folks with small businesses that are showcasing their product.
- Filters galore: Messenger Rooms is designed with mobile users in mind. There are plenty of filters available within video calls. They even offer 360-degree backgrounds to use!
- Private meetings are a hassle: Messenger Rooms focuses on group meetings, so setting up a call between a few people is more of a hassle. When setting up meetings, many of the defaults expect you to form a large event.
- No group chat: Unfortunately, Rooms only allows users to chat with each other one-on-one rather than as a group.
- Browser issues: If you use Messenger Rooms on your laptop, it’s best to use Google Chrome as your browser. Many users reported issues with connectivity when they tried using Safari or Firefox.
Is Facebook Messenger Rooms Hard to Use?
If you’re familiar with Facebook on its own, Messenger Rooms isn’t difficult to pick up.
Pricing and Plans
Rooms is completely free for anyone to use.
Facebook Messenger Rooms is an easy-to-use option for people familiar with Facebook who want to catch up with large groups of friends.
We recommend this as a Zoom alternative for people looking for a great tool to market themselves on Facebook.
Discord is commonly used within the gaming community.
It is a popular communication software among live streamers as well.
Discord can be used for messaging and audio/video calls.
Discord is best for people who are looking for a platform that offers plenty of features for no additional cost.
People outside of the gaming community can use Discord for daily communication.
- Discord offers the ability to create public and private servers for free.
- It has a great interface with all forms of electronics – they offer phone and tablet apps, computer downloads, and game console versions.
- Discord overall is extremely customizable. You can use nicknames, appoint moderators, and use a plethora of bots to make your server unique.
- Play music: While you’re on an audio or video call, you can play music through Discord. There are bots you can use that allow members of the call to choose new songs to play!
- Screen share: Since Discord is popular with gamers, it is often used to live stream game footage to small groups. Everyone can share their screen at the same time. If you have four people in a call that are playing different games, you can watch everyone’s game at once.
- Organization: For large communities using Discord, the app offers an easy way to sort different topics to find. Each folder can have its own chat and voice channel, and you can turn on notifications for individual folders.
- Server roles: Within a server, the owner can establish a multi-tiered admin system. These roles can be anyone from moderators to general members.
- Third-party apps: Discord easily integrates with multiple third-party apps like Twitch and Patreon.
- Higher Quality Costs Money: To get better video and audio quality, you have to pay for Discord Nitro.
- Cluttered Interface: While it’s nice to sort topics in folders, Discord can be overwhelming when you first start using it. It takes time to learn how to navigate through the program, but once you have the hang of it, things come naturally.
- Bad Reputation: Many parents are quick to hate on Discord. It acquired a bad reputation as a foul-mouthed means of communication. This is due to its rise in popularity within gaming communities.
Is Discord Hard to Use?
At first, it seems overwhelming, but over time it is easy to navigate.
There are numerous guides online that give tips and tricks when it comes to learning Discord.
Pricing and Plans
- Discord: The base program is free to download and offers a multitude of features.
- Discord Nitro: $99.99 per year, 100MB size for uploading files, better emojis, personal profile, HD videos, two free server boosts, and 30% off future boosts.
Discord is a fantastic pillar of online communication for anyone.
Businesses are starting to turn towards this program as a Zoom alternative along with Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.
The remaining Zoom alternatives are most efficient when a subscription tier is purchased.
1. Zoho Meeting
Zoho Meeting is a low-cost alternative to Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.
There are several tiers available for purchase that range from $3 a month per user to $16 a month per user.
Small businesses that don’t have many employees to meet with and don’t need the bells and whistles.
- Zoho Meeting has a separate program called Zoho Webinar that offers great webinar features. The pricing is similar to Zoho Meeting and is perfect for virtual events or town hall-style meetings.
- There is a free tier available, but it only allows two attendees at a time. This tier, at least, allows companies to look into the program and get an idea of what a paid package would be.
- The interface is consistent across all devices. Whether you use Android, Apple, or Microsoft products, the program looks the same across the board.
- Low cost: Obtaining additional features doesn’t break the bank and doesn’t require a subscription, as Microsoft Teams does.
- No time cut-offs: All plans, including the free plan, allow you to meet for as long as you need. There is no time limit in place.
- Focus on privacy: Zoho Meeting doesn’t utilize third-party integrations. Your information stays with Zoho.
- Customization: Businesses can customize registration forms and email invitations. This option helps them stand out.
- Crowd control: Moderators can boot people entering meetings, mute participants, and approve registrants before events.
- No advanced features: Zoho Meeting is a very basic communication program. There is no whiteboard add-on, for example, something that most other programs include.
- No technical support: Plenty of video communication programs have hotlines for technical support. Unfortunately, Zoho Meeting is not one of them.
- Compatibility: Zoho Meeting is not compatible with Internet Explorer. You’ll have to use a different browser when using this software.
Is Zoho Meeting Hard to Use?
No, Zoho Meeting is easy to learn and use.
Because of its consistent interface, once you learn the platform on one device, you know it on all of them.
Pricing and Plans
(Please note that these are yearly subscriptions, but we have broken the numbers down to monthly installments).
- Free Zoho: Unlimited calls, screen sharing, chat, multiple video layouts, share files
- Zoho Meeting: 10 participants is $3 per month, 25 participants is $5, 50 participants is $8, 100 participants is $10, 150 participants is $12, 200 participants is $14, 250 participants is $15. These options include everything from free Zoho plus cloud recording storage, virtual backgrounds, meeting lock, admin portal, branding, co-host, and remote control.
- Zoho Webinar: 25 attendees is $16 per month, 50 attendees is $25, 100 attendees is $33, 250 attendees is $66, 500 is $105, 1000 attendees is $167, 3000 is $300. These options include everything from free Zoho plus cloud storage, live streaming, source tracking, email customization, Q&A polls, and an admin portal.
Zoho Meeting is a nice option for businesses that don’t need the power that Microsoft Teams or Google Meet offer.
It is a good Zoom alternative if you don’t mind paying for a subscription.
2. GoTo Meeting
GoTo is a company that offers multiple different programs, including Meeting, their video conference system.
Businesses that don’t use Microsoft 365 or only Google apps.
- GoTo Meeting has a Smart Meeting Assistant that can transcribe conversations, so you don’t have to.
- They offer bundles with additional features. These bundles include larger conference rooms and higher-quality video and audio.
- For cell phone users, GoTo Meeting offers a feature called “commuter mode.” This mode disables screen and video sharing to save your cellular data.
- No downloads: If you don’t want to download any apps, you can join any meeting from your browser instead.
- Large groups: GoTo Meeting Business allows up to 250 attendees. This number is more on average when compared to other free video conference programs.
- Great security: Each session is encrypted and has a meeting lock to prevent more attendees from joining.
- Compatibility: You can use GoTo Meeting on Android and Apple phones as well as any computer interface.
- Screen sharing: While most video chat options offer this feature, GoTo Meeting allows extra flexibility with how much is shared. You can choose to share your whole screen or separate apps.
- Stable internet connection: You have to have a stable connection throughout the duration of the call. Otherwise, you will experience some hiccups.
- Limited chat: If you don’t have Business Chat, there is no way to message others using GoTo Meeting.
- No outdated technology: GoTo Meeting doesn’t work well with technology that’s more than five years old.
Is GoTo Meeting Hard to Use?
No, GoTo Meeting is easy to learn and utilize in your workplace.
Pricing and Plans
(Please note that these are yearly subscriptions, but we have broken the numbers down to monthly installments).
- Professional: $12 per organizer per month, 150 participants, no meeting time limits, business messaging, unlimited meetings, breakout rooms, and personal meeting rooms.
- Business: $16 per organizer per month, 250 participants, everything from Professional plus unlimited cloud recording, transcription, smart assistant, note-taking, meeting lock, and co-organizers.
- Enterprise: Custom package, so the price varies, up to 3000 participants, everything from Enterprise plus InRoom Link.
GoTo Meeting is easy to use and priced well for the features it offers.
It is another good option for businesses that do not want to use Teams or Google Meet.
Overall it’s a stable Zoom alternative.
3. Cisco WebEx Meeting
Cisco is one of the leading technology companies in the world.
This business provides a reliable video communication system through WebEx meetings.
Recommended for companies that are nitpicky with security measures.
- 95% of Fortune 500 companies utilize WebEx for their video conference needs because of its security features.
- WebEx has all of its features included in the bundle which means no third-party outsourcing.
- It’s a great tool for webinars and online classes because of how many features it offers.
- Integration capabilities: If you want to add scheduled conference calls to your Google Calendar, you can! WebEx works with Google Workspace and Microsoft products like Outlook and Teams.
- Many ways to connect: It is platform-independent, so you don’t have to download anything onto your laptop or desktop. You can join in from pretty much anywhere.
- Fast connection speed: Spend time getting down to business instead of spending time helping attendees connect to meetings.
- Team messaging: WebEx has a messaging system that allows you to instantly get in touch with team members without having to start a conference call.
- Audience engagement: Use polls and Q&A to boost participation from employees and attendees.
- Limited personalization: There are not as many virtual background options as competitors. Many other fun customization features aren’t there.
- Mobile app: The mobile app doesn’t run as smoothly as many of its competitors.
- Risk of outages: Since WebEx is widely popular, there are times when the connection isn’t as strong.
Is WebEx Hard to Use?
However, with the wide range of options when it comes to joining meetings, it can get confusing.
Pricing and Plans
- WebEx Suite Basic: Free to use, 100 participant limit, HD meetings, screen sharing, personal room.
- Meet Plan: $13.50 per license per month (if paid annually), 200 participant limit, everything from Suite Basic plus recordings, breakout rooms, virtual backgrounds, and closed captions.
- WebEx Suite Business: $25 per license per month (no annual option), everything from Meet Plan plus Call Plan features – cloud-based phone number, phone menus, and extensions.
Cisco WebEx is great for large companies, but the pricing can get expensive when compared to other options we’ve reviewed already.
If you value security, this extra price is worth the program and is a good Zoom alternative.
Why Look for Alternatives to Zoom?
Zoom has become one of the top video conferencing apps available today.
While it is popular among users, it is not the only program available for the public to use.
What Are the Drawbacks of Using Zoom?
While the base version of Zoom is free to use, a subscription-based version offers additional features.
This distinction is common among programs; however, Zoom isn’t accommodating to business or personal needs on this front.
If you need a program that will allow more than 100 participants in a video meeting, you must buy the add-on that allows you to do so.
Zoom does not have the means to immediately delete inappropriate comments in group chat.
This may not be a big deal for small meetings or family calls.
However, for large business meetings or Zoom events with hundreds of participants, it can be harmful.
The base video quality for Zoom is 720p, which is not HD quality.
To use Zoom, you have to download an app.
There is no option to use Zoom online like you can with Google Meets or Skype Meet.
Nowadays, there are numerous Zoom alternatives for a video conferencing tool.
The list above is a good start if you’re looking for a new platform.
When looking for a new provider, take time to test out the programs to ensure the best fit for your needs.
If you’re looking for even more Zoom alternatives, make sure to check out our RingCentral vs Zoom comparison.