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Best Zoom alternatives for video calling

Best Zoom alternatives
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The best Zoom alternatives can handle your video calling and conferencing needs if you can’t (or don’t want to) use Zoom. Many people who video chat often are looking for alternatives to Zoom because of security and privacy concerns though they also might want features that Zoom doesn’t offer or simply to try something different.

Even though lockdowns are a thing of the past, those working from home still rely on these services to interact with their coworkers. They’re still a great way to keep in touch with friends and family that live far away as well.

Over the course of the last few years, millions of people have used Zoom, one of the best video chat apps and video conferencing software solutions during the pandemic. However, other video calling services like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Skype have regularly added new features and functionality to keep up with Zoom. If you’re looking for the right Zoom alternative for your video conferencing needs, here are our top choices. 

Google Meet (free and paid)

Best Zoom alternatives: Google Hangouts Meet

(Image credit: Google)

Google Meet is the most well-known and widely used Zoom alternative. Meet was previously only available to paying G-suite customers, but the company added a free tier through the end of 2021. You can hold video calls with up to 250 participants, hold presentations and record meetings and save them to Drive. You can also easily send a meeting link to participants outside of your company. 

Google also recently added more Zoom-like features to Meet, like a grid view, custom backgrounds and fun filters. And now Meet is integrated with Gmail, so you can start a video call right from the left column of your email browser window. Google has plans for further upgrades down the road.

Go to Google Meet (opens in new tab)

Microsoft Teams (paid and free)

Best Zoom alternatives: Microsoft Teams

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Teams allows paid users to host video meetings for up to 300 people. Unlike the Microsoft-owned Skype, Teams does offer standard video conferencing tools, like screen sharing and the ability to record meetings. Teams is included with two different Office 365 plans, which also provide Office apps, 1 TB of OneDrive storage and more. 

There's also a free version of Teams, though it comes with fewer features than the paid version. But you're in luck, since Microsoft rolled out a six-month free trial of paid plants to meet the high demand caused by the pandemic. 

Microsoft Teams (opens in new tab) is free for six months and paid plans start at $5 per user per month.

Skype (free)

Best Zoom alternatives: Skype

(Image credit: Skype)

The popular video chat software Skype is well-known and widely used, and its new Skype Meet Now feature is here to challenge Zoom. Meetings can hold up to 50 users, and users no longer need an account to sign in, just a link. Check out our Skype vs Zoom face-off for more details.

There is a text chat window, but otherwise, Skype doesn't have the meeting organization tools that the other Zoom alternatives have. But it's free and can be used on the web, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. 

Download Skype for free. (opens in new tab)

Facebook Messenger Rooms (free)

Facebook Messenger Rooms

(Image credit: Facebook)

Facebook is never one to cede digital territory, so it's beefing up its video chat options with Messenger Rooms. The new feature allows Facebook members to create public or private video chatrooms that can hold up to 50 people for an unlimited amount of time. By comparison, free Zoom calls can hold up to 100 participants for 40 minutes. In a very rare move, Facebook is allowing people without accounts to join a Messenger Room via a link.

Participants can use Facebook's augmented reality filters, sort of like Snapchat filters. Other features can brighten dark rooms and touch up your appearance. Room calls are not end-to-end encrypted, but Facebook says it will not listen in on any calls. And room creators can remove participants at any time.  

Go to Facebook Messenger (opens in new tab)

Discord (free)

Best Zoom alternatives: Discord

(Image credit: Discord)

If you want a free Zoom alternative, look into Discord. The communication app is popular with gamers, but can be used by anyone looking for encrypted chat, messaging and video calls. Users set up a dedicated "server," which can be organized  into rooms (similar to Slack) that host video and text-based chats.

Discord recently raised the limit for Go Live video calls from 10 users to 50. And the app is available on most web browsers, as well as Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android. 

Download Discord for free. (opens in new tab)

Zoho Meeting (paid)

Best Zoom alternatives: Zoho Meeting

(Image credit: Zoho)

The open-source video conferencing service allows you to host end-to-end encrypted video meetings and calls for up to 100 people. Participants don't need to sign up for a login; they can access the meetings through a link or a dial-in via web browsers, desktop clients or mobile apps. Zoho has even provided a handy chart (opens in new tab) comparing its product to Zoom.

Zoho Meeting offers an array of meeting tools, like screen sharing, the ability to record calls and moderation (you can mute participants, for example). And you can easily pull in documents, spreadsheets and presentations since the service is integrated with Zoho's Office suite. But note that there's a different pricing plan for webinars, which may make it too costly.

Zoho Meeting pricing starts at $8 per month.

GoTo Meeting (paid)

Best Zoom alternatives: GoToMeeting

(Image credit: GoToMeeting)

One of the first video conferencing services out there, GoToMeeting is a feature-packed Zoom alternative. The entry-level plan allows for 150 participants, while the enterprise plan can include up to 3,000. 

GoToMeeting offers all the standard tools, like the ability to record meetings and share your screen. You can also have multiple meeting facilitators. And the service is accessible on web browsers, Mac, PC, Linux, iOS and Android. 

GoToMeeting pricing (opens in new tab) starts at $12 per month.

Anthony Spadafora
Senior Editor Security and Networking

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home. 

  • skeese
    admin said:
    Don't want to use Zoom? These are the best Zoom alternatives you can try.

    Best Zoom alternatives for video conferencing : Read more
    My favorite is freeconferencecall.com. Its UI looks almost identical to zoom, does not limit free calls to 40 minutes like zoom, and has a useful feature that shows to videoconferencers which phone number is used when someone comments via phone. This feature helps identify people whose voice you don't recognize. Their software may have vulnerabilities to hackers, but it is obscure enough so far that it is relatively safe from hackers.
    Reply
  • GaGirrl
    skeese said:
    My favorite is freeconferencecall.com.

    I like FCC as well. Cisco WebEx also has a lot of great new features for free . Wonder why it wasn't mentioned.
    Reply
  • skeese
    skeese said:
    My favorite is freeconferencecall.com. Its UI looks almost identical to zoom, does not limit free calls to 40 minutes like zoom, and has a useful feature that shows to videoconferencers which phone number is used when someone comments via phone. This feature helps identify people whose voice you don't recognize. Their software may have vulnerabilities to hackers, but it is obscure enough so far that it is relatively safe from hackers.
    Do any of the other conferencing services have reports of hacking or unreliable security?
    Reply
  • goirishcarrs
    I like Microsoft Teams, but it doesn't seem like it has picked up any steam
    Reply
  • richardonline
    There’s always an alternative solution for every issue. The industry is overflowing with a wide range of video conferencing platforms, but choosing an alternative conferencing platform to Zoom video conference is a complex thing that every business is experiencing now.

    To discover an alternative solution to the Zoom video conference api, here comes MirrorFly, an enterprise messaging solution that offers video calling and video conference platforms to businesses and enterprises.
    Reply