Zoom is a web conferencing platform offering HD video and audio calling, cross-platform messaging, end-to-end encryption, mobile apps, and other valuable features.

While Zoom certainly has its benefits, it may lack the specific features and functionalities, pricing tiers, or security protocols your business needs.

The good news is, thanks to the rise of remote work and the “new normal” of conducting meetings via video, there are multiple Zoom alternatives you can choose from.

Below, you’ll find a list of the best Zoom alternatives for small business video calling and remote meetings. We’ll discuss available pricing and plans,  standout features, and the types of users that will benefit from each provider.

 

What Are the Best Zoom Alternatives?

 

Overview of Zoom Alternatives

The below table provides a quick outline of the top Zoom alternatives we’ll discuss in greater detail in this post.

Platform Price Range Top Feature(s) Best For
RingCentral MVP 4 plans from $19.99/user per month to $49.99/user per month Meeting Summary, in-meeting task management Small remote or in-house teams (10 members and under) that collaborate and tasks/files at least once per day
Microsoft Teams One free plan, 3 paid plans from $5.00-user per month to $12.50/user per month Advanced whiteboarding tools and templates, Loop collaboration tool Teams that work within the Microsoft Office 365 universe, and companies with a high daily chat message volume
Cisco Webex One free plan, 3 paid plans from $15.00/host per month to $25.00+/host per month Gesture Recognition and Meeting Assistant Small businesses needing a robust free video calling plan that may want to scale up to a complete business phone system in the future
Google Meet One free plan, 2 paid plans from $7.99-$9.99+/active user per month Google Jamboard, unlimited Google Drive storage SMBs needing a user-friendly and free video communication tool, businesses working within the Google Workspace universe
8×8 Meet One Jitsi-powered free plan, one Meet Pro paid plan for $9.99/user per month Branded meetings, in-meeting live analytics Hybrid teams that want to live stream meetings to YouTube and access real-time meeting data
Dialpad Meetings (Formerly UberConference) One free plan, one paid plan for $15.00/user per month Meeting Summaries Meeting Time Management Small teams wanting to make meetings more efficient and organized even if video meetings aren’t especially frequent
GoToMeeting 3 paid plans from $12.00/organizer per month to $16.00+/organizer per month Smart Assistant and Drawing Tools Teams needing high meeting capacities with on-the-go, flexible meeting tools for mobile workforces
BlueJeans 4 paid plans from $9.99/host per month to $16.66+/host per month Smart Meeting, HD Dolby Voice audio quality Small businesses that frequently host longer meetings and need to condense meeting content for numerous team members
Lifesize 3 paid plans from $14.95/host per month and up Up to 10,000 meeting attendees and Lifesize Connect  Small businesses that looking to customize their video meeting tools and those that frequently host webinars

 

 

RingCentral MVP

RingCentral MVP is a no-download, browser-based business communication platform for up to 200 simultaneous users. It combines video meetings, chat messaging, and business phone system capabilities into one unified platform, allowing users to switch between channels with one click.

RingCentral Whiteboarding

A RingCentral MVP video call with interactive whiteboarding

 

Standard video meeting functionalities include whiteboarding, application and screen sharing, and real-time, drag-and-drop file sharing/editing.

However, recent updates and new features are specifically designed to improve productivity for hybrid teams with near-constant collaboration.

For example, RingCentral now offers automated, real-time meeting transcription, making it easy for meeting latecomers to participants who needed to step away to catch up. These transcriptions — along with background noise suppression — work to reduce miscommunications.

The most exciting update for remote and hybrid teams may be the Meeting Summary tool.

The RingCentral Meeting Summary feature in action

 

The Meeting Summary feature provides a digestible summary of key meeting moments feature video highlights, keywords, top participants, and even tasks and meeting notes.

Speaking of tasks, another standout feature is RingCentral’s real-time task management tool. As seen in the image below, users can instantly create, assign, color-code, and attach files to tasks.

RingCentral Task Management

RingCentral’s task management feature

 

The feature provides space for more detailed task descriptions, offers the ability to set recurring tasks, and allows for multiple assignees. Users can set not only due dates but also due times and dependencies.

Join pre-scheduled conferences on any device through dial-in access, by receiving a call, through the Android or Apple iOS smartphone app, or by clicking an invitation link. Immediately transition any chat or email message conversation into a video call, with a single click.

 

Additional features include:

  • 24-hour meeting duration
  • Unlimited calling in US/Canada
  • Unlimited SMS
  • Public/private team chat app with message threads
  • Breakout Rooms
  • Meeting recording with cloud storage for 1 year
  • In-meeting device switching
  • Historical and real-time meeting analytics
  • Single Sign-on
  • Third-party app integrations with tools like Slack, Outlook, G Suite, Dropbox, Google Drive, and more
  • Message search
  • Dark mode
  • 99.999% SLA uptime
  • HIPAA compliance

 

RingCentral MVP Pricing

RingCentral MVP has four available plans, ranging in price from $19.99/user per month for up to 10 users to $59.99/user per month for unlimited users. There is no RingCentralMVP free version.

However, RingCentral Video Pro does have a free version that offers unlimited meetings for up to 100 users.

The below screenshot shows RingCentral pricing options for 1-99 users on an annual basis (the most popular option, offering a 33% cost savings over month-to-month payment.)

 

RingCentral MVP Pricing

 

RingCentral MVP Pros and Cons

The below pros and cons provide insight into the overall RingCentral user experience.

RingCentral Pros RingCentral Cons
Excellent audio and video quality Lower meeting participant capacity than competitors
Superior in-meeting team collaboration features like task management, remote control, and co-annotation Inconsistency in design between mobile and desktop apps gets confusing
Dedicated customer success managers, 24/7 support, and excellent free training videos Lengthy and complex setup process often takes a full month

 

Check out our post on all available RingCentral plans and pricing to learn more.

 

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a web conferencing and team collaboration platform best for teams using video conferencing platforms as their primary means of internal communication.

Microsoft Teams Captions

A Microsoft Teams video meeting with live captions

 

Teams is designed to seamlessly work alongside other popular Microsoft Office tools like PowerPoint, OneDrive, Sharepoint, and Outlook.

Video meeting features like participant lists, sharable meeting recordings, and unlimited team chat/file sharing are standard.

Since anyone can access a Teams meeting without creating an account, it’s the ideal platform for communicating with anyone outside of your network.

Besides hosting and attending live meetings, users can instantly transition from chat messaging to video, and make/receive audio group and individual audio calls within the same dashboard.

As seen in the image below, the team chat tool is accessible within Microsoft Word documents, as are real-time word counts and user edits tracking. This makes the editing process much more seamless than competitor tools that require constant back-and-forth commenting.

Teamns File Editing

Multiple users co-edit a Word doc in the Teams interface

 

Recently, Teams added live meeting translation and AI-powered captions/transcription, uniting international teams and clients.

Teams has also completely re-designed its whiteboarding tool to add 41 premade templates including brainstorming sessions, problem-solving meetings, project planning, design, and team workshops.

Teams Whiteboard Tool

A new design whiteboard template in Microsoft Teams

 

In addition to templates, the Teams whiteboard tool offers 12 sticky note colors, note grids for better sticky note organization, the ability to insert images, shapes, and reactions into notes/templates, and even automatic hand-drawn image straightening/shaping.

Teams users can also enjoy the ever-evolving Loop feature, which ensures cross-device live synching within Loop Components, (tables, tasks) Loop Pages, and Loop Workspaces.

Microsoft Teams Loop

A Teams user gets Loop updates across multiple devices

 

The goal of Loop is to let team members see changes as they happen not just in files, but in project and task information, status report updates, and even within mini breakout rooms.

Loop is a continually developing feature in Teams, so functionality can only go up from here.

 

Other Teams features include:

  • Screen sharing
  • Custom backgrounds
  • Scheduled and one-click meetings
  • Hosting online events for up to 10,000 people
  • Mic auto-adjust feature
  • File sharing and editing
  • Searchable chat messaging
  • Over 650 app and service integrations

 

Teams has seen its greatest success in the healthcare and education industries, though it also works well for any fully remote workforce.

Read our hands-on review of Microsoft Teams for more information.

 

Microsoft Teams Pricing

Microsoft Teams offers four plans, including one free version, with paid versions ranging in price from $4.00/user per month to $12.50/user per month. Note that the free version only allows for up to 100 participants to meet for a maximum of 60 minutes.

The below image outlines the available Microsoft Teams pricing and plans, which are available only as annual subscriptions that renew automatically.

 

Microsoft Teams Pricing

 

Microsoft Teams Pros and Cons

The pros and cons table below outlines the average Microsoft Teams user experience.

Microsoft Teams Pros  Microsoft Teams Cons
Unites all Microsoft 365 tools into a single interface Users unfamiliar with Microsoft Office apps face a high learning curve
A high number of third-party application/service integrations Alerts and notifications features need improvement, current users complain of missed notifications
Unique “Together Mode” uses AI to bring all users into a live virtual auditorium that includes real-time reactions, chat bubbles, and more Some security protocols, like advanced ransomware and phishing protection, require a paid add-on

 

Cisco Webex

Cisco Webex is one of the most well-known Zoom alternatives, offering both standalone video meeting and phone system tools as well as an integrated calling, messaging, and meeting Webex App.

Webex first stood out from the competition thanks to its free plan, which can host 100 participants per meeting for a maximum of 50 minutes.

Now, it’s become one of the most popular video communication tools for its features, not just its freebies.

Cisco Webex Video

The new Webex interface offers real-time translation in addition to team chat and in-meeting collaboration

 

Webex offers excellent audio quality thanks to features like speech enhancement background noise removal, mute synching, and automatic volume adjustment.

Users can completely customize their video meeting view/interface to make sure they don’t miss key information or overlook important participants. Meeting participants can lock specific user streams in place, lock all thumbnails, choose if participant names are displayed, or use Stage view to see only the active speaker and any content a user is currently sharing.  Grid, Stack, Side-by-Side, Equal, and Focus views are also available.

Webex Views

Available views in Webex keep key participants front and center

 

A fun new feature is Gesture Recognition, which uses AI to “translate” your real-time, on-screen gestures into emojis like clapping hands, thumbs up, or thumbs down. It also alerts meeting attendees when a user physically raises their hands, indicating someone has a question in the video interface.

Webex Gesture Recognition

Webex Gesture Recognition translates real-life gestures like hand-clapping into onscreen emojis

 

Though this feature might sound frivolous at first, it goes a long way towards increasing participant engagement and maintaining focus.

Another top feature is the AI Webex Assistant, which can be programmed to pick up on certain “trigger” words during a meeting to create automatic notes, action items, and summaries that can be sent to participants after the meeting ends. The Assistant also automatically transcribes meetings in real-time and can be activated by voice commands.

Recently, Webex made major team collaboration updates that make communication between hybrid team members better than ever.

Users create Webex “Spaces” accessible before, during, and after meetings. These spaces let users securely share and organize files in searchable storage space, update and monitor tasks, and even use two-way whiteboarding tools.

As seen below, collaboration updates also include dynamic live polling and in-meeting Q&A sessions thanks to a partnership with Slido. Polling options include multiple choice, free answers, and ranking. Live pop quizzes and keyword visualization clouds are also available.

Webex Slido Polls

A new partnership with Slido allows for advanced in-meeting polling and engagement options

 

Integrations with tools like SharePoint and OneDrive allow users to co-author and co-edit files across multiple third-party apps directly within the Webex interface.

To ensure users don’t forget upcoming meetings, WebEx sends out automatic reminders, including an in-portal reminder 15 minutes before the meeting start time.

 

Additional Webex features include:

  • Desktop and mobile screen sharing
  • iPhone and Android mobile apps
  • Unlimited chat messaging, hand raising, polling
  • Meeting recording and recording storage
  • Breakout sessions
  • Alternate hosts
  • Attendee profile/People Insights
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Notes
  • Meeting locks and password-protected rooms
  • Virtual backgrounds
  • Online support
  • Whiteboarding

 

To learn more about available features and pricing, read our complete guide to Cisco WebEx.

 

Cisco Webex Pricing

Cisco Webex offers one free plan and four paid plans, including a free 30-day trial.

Its free plan is one of the most robust available, allowing up to 100 users to meet for up to 50 minutes. The free plan also includes screen sharing, interactive whiteboarding, in-meeting chat, virtual backgrounds, and breakout rooms.

Paid plans are available on a monthly or annual basis, with the latter providing a 10% savings. The below image outlines available Webex pricing and plans. We’ve also included an image showing optional paid add-on features.

Webex Pricing

Webex add-ons

 

Cisco Webex Pros and Cons

The below table describes the overall Webex user experience.

Webex Pros Webex Cons
One of the best video calling free plans on the market today, packed with features some paid plans don’t even offer The sheer volume of available Webex features means a higher learning curve, and dedicated support reps are available only on the highest pricing tier
Advanced team collaboration and co-editing features like in-meeting file transfer, live Q&A/polling, and interactive whiteboarding Users need more control over automatic recording deletions, which happens once every 5 days
Ability to stream meetings on Facebook Live Unable to share whiteboards, videos, or other files during a Facebook live stream

 

Google Meet

Google Meet, an upgraded take on one of the earliest forms of video communication, Google Hangouts Meet, is a beginner-friendly video calling tool for businesses that only need occasional video communication and prioritize ease of use.

Google Meet Interface

The clean, user-friendly Google Meet interface

 

Up to 250 internal and external participants can meet for a maximum of 24 hours.

Users can join a Google Meet session in several ways: via a shareable link, by clicking the “New Meeting” button on the Google Meet homepage, by entering an existing meeting code, or by scheduling an upcoming meeting directly in Google Calendar. Meetings can be joined directly at start time or while in progress.

Google Meet Join

Users can join a Google Meet session via dial-in access, by sharing a link, or when the host adds them directly

 

Though primarily used on desktop computers, Google Meet can also be accessed via the Android and iOS mobile apps. Users will need to create a free Google account in order to join or host a meeting.

Google Meet offers basic team collaboration features within its Activities in-meeting chat tab. Hosts can create breakout sessions, polls, and start live Q&A sessions.

One of the best Google Meet features is its whiteboard tool, called a Jamboard.

Users can choose different whiteboard backgrounds, upload images to the board, add text, create and pin sticky notes, insert pre-drawn shapes, and draw/write with the pen tool. Each Jamboard can be saved and shared.

Google Jamboard

An example of a Google Jamboard

 

Additional Google Meet features include:

  • In-meeting chat messaging
  • Noise cancellation
  • Outlook integration
  • Live closed captioning
  • Screen sharing and pass presenter tool
  • Custom background images
  • Two-step authentication
  • Unlimited Google Drive storage
  • File sharing via Google Doc/Drive link

 

Google Meet Pricing

Google Meet is free to use for up to 100 participants to meet for a maximum of one hour. The free plan also includes screen sharing, live closed captions, in-meeting chat, and two-step verification.

Businesses that upgrade to the Workspace Individual plan will have access to key Google Workspace tools like Google Docs, Google Drive, Gmail, and more within the Google Meet interface. Enterprise-level companies can upgrade to the highest tier.

Google Workspace editions of Meet come with a 14-day free trial.

 

Note that beginning January 2022, pricing for the Google Workspace Individual plan will increase from $7.99/month to $9.99/month.

Google Meet Pricing

 

Google Meet Pros and Cons

The below table outlines the overall Google Meet user experience.

Google Meet Pros Google Meet Cons
Familiar and easy-to-use interface Lack of integrations and advanced features when compared to other tools
Integrates perfectly with other popular Google Workspace tools like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Sheets, etc. Users can’t share Docs directly in the meeting live chat, they can only share Google Doc links
Searchable data, alerts for suspicious activity, and data loss prevention provide a high level of security Google Workspace users cannot disable meeting chat on video calls

 

8×8 Meet

8×8 Meet is a standalone no-download video meeting app that offers unlimited meetings for up to 500 active participants on desktop and mobile devices.

Though 8×8 offers video conferencing as a part of its X Series business communication bundles, in this post we’ll focus exclusively on 8×8 Meet as a Zoom alternative.

8x8-meet-interface

The desktop and mobile 8×8 Meet interface

 

Each user has a personal meeting room and personal workspace for more consistent conferences, generally used for pre-scheduled meetings. Instant meetings via the “Meet Now” feature are usually created in temporary spaces with random meeting room IDs/URLs are used for extra privacy.

Meetings can also be scheduled or joined via email invitation, link sharing, Outlook or Google Calendar integrations, outbound phone calls, or via dial-in access from over 50 countries. Audio-only conferencing is also available.

Users can also brand and customize their meeting spaces and backgrounds, replicating the face-to-face experience even more.

8x8-meet-branding

Admins can set up branded meeting spaces in 8×8 Meet, especially helpful when live streaming meetings on YouTube

 

One of the most exciting features is 8×8 Meet’s set of advanced meeting analytics.

Designated team leaders have access to live and historical meeting analytics like:

  • Number of daily, weekly, monthly meetings
  • Number of ongoing current meetings
  • Live meeting statistics highlight how much each participant has spoken
  • Average and total meeting participants
  • Average and total meeting durations
  • Number of meetings under five minutes or under 30 minutes
  • The number of failed meetings and reason for failure (media source, dropped conferences, meeting churn, etc.)
  • Post-meeting participant feedback

 

In-meeting collaboration is another thing 8×8 Meet gets right. In addition to standard in-meeting group and one-on-one chat messaging, persistent chat rooms are available for anytime, always-on conversation.

Each user can access chat history, view participant lists, and even merge team chats if greater collaboration is needed.

To increase focus, users can mute all chat notifications from 30 minutes to 4 hours, or until they elect to turn the chat feature back on. Users can also create custom personal chat notifications for even fewer distractions.

A final neat chat message feature is the silent mention, seen in the image below.

8x8-silent-message

The Silent Message feature in action

 

While public user tagging is also available, silent mentions let users tag team members who don’t have access to the current chat room. They won’t receive a notification, but colleagues know who is being discussed.

 

Additional features and functionality include:

  • Meeting recording and transcription
  • Live stream meetings to YouTube
  • iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Real-time closed captions (English only)
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Meeting lobby room
  • Virtual hand raising and polling
  • Google Workspace, Slack, and Microsoft Office integrations/syncing
  • File sharing and in-message custom formatting
  • Team chat messaging
  • Single or multi-party screen sharing and remote desktop control
  • Google Chrome extension
  • Live stream meetings on social media
  • Meeting analytics
  • Whiteboard tool

 

Read our detailed review of 8×8 vs. RingCentral to see how these top two providers compare to one another.

 

8×8 Meet Pricing

Figuring out the available 8×8 pricing options was a major challenge, even after speaking with 8×8 live chat support.

This is probably because, as we discovered, the once-popular 8×8 Meet Free Plan has been discontinued. Now, to continue to access the 8×8 Meet standalone tool, all users must switch to the paid plan for $9.99/user per month. (As of this writing, 8×8 is offering a special pricing option of $12.00/user/year for the 8×8 Pro app.)

Though the first month of service is free, users have to commit to at least one paid month to get it — so it’s not really a “free trial” as advertised. See the image below for clarification.

8x8 Meet Pricing

 

To add to the confusion, there is technically a new “free version” of 8×8 Meet, available within the Jitsi Meet platform.

In reality, 8×8 Meet’s free plan essentially redirects users to Jitsi Meet, which is a free third-party video calling tool. While Jitsi Meet is an excellent video calling app, the features it offers are not up to par with the former 8×8 Free Version.

The below image outlines the differences between 8×8’s Jitsi-powered “free plan” and the 8×8 Meet Pro Plan.

8x8 Pricing Free Pro

 

8×8 Meet Pros and Cons

The below table covers commonalities within the 8×8 user experience.

8×8 Meet Pros 8×8 Meet Cons
 Free video calls with 8×8 and Jitsi Meet partnership 8×8 recently discontinued their 8×8 Meet free version, which was more robust than the Jitsi-based free app
Advanced in-meeting analytics Poor 8×8 website organization makes finding support and information about 8×8 Meet challenging and frustrating
 Screen sharing includes in-meeting video sharing  Consistent issues with screen sharing (frozen screens, lag, etc.)

 

Dialpad Meetings (Formerly UberConference)

Dialpad Meetings (formerly UberConference) is a business communication tool offering video conferencing as a standalone app or as a part of the Dialpad all-in-one app. Here, we’ll focus on the standalone video calling app, Dialpad Meetings, as it’s the most relevant Zoom alternative.

Dialpad Meetings Interface

The Dialpad Meetings interface shows off its high video quality

 

Dialpad offers an exceptionally high video quality, in large part because it automatically adjusts user video resolution according to available bandwidth. In addition to providing a clerer image, this feature also means fewer frozen screens. The tool also automatically adjusts background noise.

Though specifically designed for hybrid workspaces, any business that wants more organized and efficient video conferences will enjoy Dialpad Meetings. However, it’s best for small businessses with shorter meetings only, as it only allows for up to 100 participants to meet for a maximum of 5 hours.

Post-Meeting Summaries are availble thanks to Vi, Dialpad’s voice intelligence tool.

Dialpad Call Summary

Dialpad’s post-meeting summary makes reviewing meetings and key moments easy

 

Vi automatically records and transcribes meetings  (both real-time and recording transcription options are available.) Vi uses AI and speech recognition to automatically pick up on words and phrases that denoate action items, highlight key moments, assess the average of positive and negative sentiments, and even make recommendations.

After the meeting ends, all this information is available in post-call summary, and users can also manually search transripts.

Vi also picks up on things like dates, addresses, competitor mentions, currency, key questions, times mentioned, email addresses and — believe it or not — even curse words.

In addition to meeting summaries, Dialpad Meetings includes the Meeting Timer, which displays a real-time countdown of the time left in the meeting to all participants, ensuring all stay on task.

Meeting Timer Dialpad

The Dialpad Timer tool reminds users when there’s five minutes left in the meeting and keeps track of time throughout

 

Hosts can even opt to have the meeting automatically end once the countdown clock reaches zero. Hosts can pause meetings at any time so the Time Management clock isn’t running if someone has to suddenly step away. All meeting particiapnts get a “five minutes remaining in meeting” notification, as well.

 

Additional Dialpad Meetings features include:

  • In-meeting chat messaging
  • Screen sharing and file sharing
  • Host meeting controls (mute, meeting lock, remove participant, etc.)
  • Audio-only conferencing
  • Unlimited meeting recording and transcripts
  • iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Salesforce, Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, HubSpot, EverNote, and more integrations
  • 24/7 multilingual phone and chat support for paid users, in addition to community forum and online knowledge base
  • Dial-in and Call Me meeting access
  • Custom pre-meeting/hold music

 

Dialpad Meetings Pricing

Dialpad Meetings offers one free plan and one paid plan for $15.00/user per month when paid annually or $20.00/user per month when paid monthly.

A free 14-day trial is available.

The below image outlines the free plan and paid plan for Dialpad Meetings.

Dialpad meeting pricing

 

Dialpad Meetings Pros and Cons

The below table outlines common Dialpad Meeting pros and cons.

Dialpad Meetings Pros Dialpad Meetings Cons
Excellent free version that includes unlimited call recording Only two available plans, not as scalable as other video calling tools
Features like in-meeting Time Management countdown and meeting agendas improve meeting efficiency Maximum meeting duration of 5 hours/ meeting
High number of available third-party integrations, including social media platforms Maximum of 100 meeting participants

 

GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting by LogMeIn is an HD video communication platform that can host up to 3,000 participants. Recently, GoTo acquired the popular video calling tool Join.Me.

GoToMeeting Interface

The GoToMeeting video interface as seen on desktop and mobile

It relies heavily on AI, meaning it’s ideal for hybrid or fully remote teams that need to automate as many business processes as they can.

GoToMeeting’s high meeting capacities and presentation tools like Slide to PDF (which lets admins collect all presented meeting slides into a single, sharable PDF) make it an ideal tool for larger scale business/sales presentations or team member training.

The Smart Notes/Smart Assistant tools automate the note-taking process durimng meetings, allowing team members to focus instead of worrying about writing everything down.

GoToMeeting Smart Notes

GoToMeeting Smart Notes automate the note-taking process and improve post-meeting action item organization

 

The Smart tools automatically create meeting transcripts made up of in-meeting audio, video, and messages. After the meeting, both recordings and transcripts can be shared and searched via keyword.

Users can also “bookmark” key meeting moments to return to later, designating them as meeting highlights, action item, or notes. All notes can be viewed, shared, and edited later, and manual in-meeting note taking is available. Notes are also time-stamped for better organization.

GoToMeeting also has an excellent whiteboard and drawing tools to ensure attendees remember key information, streamline the brainstorming process, and help hosts better communicate their ideas.

Drawing tools can be accessed by anyone in the meeting (if the host chooses to grant drawing tool access to all) and used in whiteboards or on uploaded files. Drawing features include:

  • Highlighter
  • Laser pointer
  • Spotlight icon
  • Pen
  • Multiple pen/text colors
Drawing Tools GoTO

GoToMeeting drawing tools let users highlight, spotlight, draw/write, and edit whiteboards or shared content

 

Additional GoToMeeting features include:

  • Screen sharing with remote screen control
  • Always-on chat messaging
  • Personal meeting rooms and breakout rooms
  • Unlimited meeting recording and transcription
  • Siri Voice commands
  • Alerts for suspicious login/account activity
  • Commuter mode with color-coded audio/mute buttons and automatic screen sharing disabling
  • Virtual hand raising
  • Meeting co-organizers
  • SSL Encryption and HIPAA Compliance
  • Slack, Office 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce, and other integrations
  • Conference Room hardware add-on

 

To learn more, read our GoToMeeting review.

 

GoToMeeting Pricing

GoToMeeting offers three paid plans payable on a monthly and annual business, with the latter saving customers 10-14%.

A free 14-day trial is available, as is a free plan for up to 3 users to meet for 40 minutes. The free version also includes screen sharing and in-meeting chat.

Toll-free numbers are available as add-ons for $5.00/organizer per month or with a pay-as-you-go option. Dial-Out and Call Me access is also a paid add-on. Users can also add on GoToWebinar for an additional $20.00/month.

The below image outlines available GoToMeeting pricing and plans.

GoToMeeting Pricing

 

GoToMeeting Pros and Cons

The below table outlines the overall GoToMeeting user experience.

GoToMeeting Pros GoToMeeting Cons
AI-powered features like Smart Assistant and Smart Notes The free version only allows for a maximum of 3 participants to meet for 40 minutes, with fewer features than other free video calling tool plans
All plans include 24/7 live chat and phone support, SSO, and Meeting diagnostic reports Users complain of frequent cross-talk and dropped video calls, overall audio needs improvement
Strong security features like HIPAA and risk-based authentication Limited third-party integrations compared to other providers

 

BlueJeans

BlueJeans by Verizon is a video conferencing solution for up to 200 participants designed for the digital workplace. Like other providers on this list, BlueJeans does not provide phone service as a part of its video calling tool, though audio-only conferencing is available.

BlueJeans Meetings

The BlueJeans interface shows upcoming meetings and more.

 

BlueJeans has partnered with Dolby Voice to provide an unparalled  audio quality, with features like noise suppression, spatial audio profiling, and automatic sound level adjustments to center the active speaker voice. It also offers virtual backgrounds, including custom images, for fewer distractions and greater user privacy.

Its new Enhanced Gallery View lets users see up to 25 simultaenous video streams, and automatically resizes each stream to best fit the user’s screen whenever a new participant is shown.

The most recent 5 speakers are always displted at the top of the screen. Attendees can set personalized meeeting layout preferences, or hosts can pre-select a set meeting layout, as seen below.

Bluejeans Gallery View

The new and improved Bluejeans gallery view

 

Another standout BlueJeans feature is the Smart Meetings tool, designed to help simplify project and account management, employee training sessions, and longer meetings.

Smart Meeting uses Artitificial Intelligence and user input to tag meeting highlights, key action actions, and essential user chant messages and comments. These highlights are automatically transcripted and includes a screen caputre, making them even easier to organize and prioritze.

Smart Meeting then creates a to-do task list based on these highlights and sends follow-up reminders and notifications to monitor progress until completion. Team-wide meeting note-taking is also available.

Bluejeans Smart Meeting

The BlueJeans Smart Meeting tool shows meeting highlights and lets users mark tasks, decisions, and topics.

 

The tool also creates sharable Smart Meeting highlight reels, which admins can set to be sent out over Slack automatically and with a user notification. Users can now prioritize which meetings to attend and save time by watching just a few minutes of meetings instead of hours.

 

Additional BlueJeans features include:

  • Personal Meeting ID
  • Integrations with Slack, Teams, Google Calendar, Microsoft365, Salesforce, Zoho, etc.
  • On-demand or automatic meeting recordings (video, audio, meeting content, Smart Highlights all saved) with recording pause
  • Unlimited meeting lengths
  • Interactive Video Tiles let hosts spotlight, pin, mute, or direct message specific participants
  • Local time of each participant displayed
  • Active speaker and gallery views
  • One-click and scheduled meetings
  • Breakout sessions
  • Remote screen control and screen sharing
  • Live closed-captioning/meeting transcription
  • Safe driving mode for mobile apps

 

For more information, read our complete BlueJeans video conferencing review.

 

BlueJeans Pricing

BlueJeans offers four paid plans payable on a monthly and annual basis (with the former offering a 20% savings.) A free 14-day trial is available.

The below image outlines available BlueJeans pricing and plans paid on an annual basis, the most popular option.

Bluejeans pricing

 

BlueJeans Pros and Cons

The below table outlines what to expect as a BlueJeans user.

BlueJeans Pros BlueJeans Cons
High-level third-party app integrations Users mention consistent video lag
25-person gallery view, video stream pinning, custom personalized video interface Incompatible with Windows touchscreen devices
Excellent security standards including encrypted video, two-factor participant authentication, and failed login notifications Unlimited recording options only available to Enterprise plan users, and still costs $16.66/host per month

 

Lifesize

Lifesize is a no-download cloud video meeting and team chat solution for up to 10,000 guests (including 500 participants) to host/attend unlimited meetings.

It has a 4K high-definition screen sharing resolution, numerous virtual background display options including background blur, and built-in microphone and speaker testing for maximum audio/video quality.

Lifesize video calling

The Lifesize HD video calling tool in action

 

Note that while Lifesize offers audio-only video calling, it does not include traditional VoIP phone communication in its Meeting Solutions. In order to get access to virtual telephony (and other key features) users would need to upgrade to the Lifesize Cloud Contact Center.

The upside is Lifesize offers a refreshingly (and increasingly uncommon) uncluttered and intuitiuve interface, as seen in the below image.

Lifesize Interface

The user-friendly Lifesize interface

Users can quickly access a list of frequent and missed calls, recordings, favorite users, and even instantly start a video call.

Lifesize is unique in that it has a major focus on interopibility with numerous other video calling tools for seamless communication regardless of device or platform. Both its hardware (cameras) and software are desigend to work with popular apps like Teams, Zoom, Webex, GoToMeeting, BlueJeans, and more.

 

Additional features include:

  • Whiteboard tool with shapes, laser pointer, pen, and text
  • Branding meeting dashboards/backgrounds
  • Encrypted meetings
  • Meeting recording
  • Realt-time meeting analytics
  • Instant or scheduled call
  • Favorite contact list
  • Message and contact search bar
  • Presenter mode
  • User presence
  • Mac and Android mobile app
  • Unlimited audio conferencing

 

Given its guest capacity, Lifesize is an excellent fit for large companies that frequently host webinars or that have a high number of meeting attendees.

Since it connects with most video equipment, it will also work well for companies that have conference rooms they use explicitly for video broadcasts and online conferences.

 

Lifesize Pricing

Lifesize’s pricing, unfortunately, leaves much to be desired.

Though there are three separate plans (two that offer free 30-day trials), pricing for all tiers begins at $14.95/user per month.

What separates the two set-priced plans is the number of minimum users required — which takes an enormous jump from 10 t0 50 when scaling up. This means businesses needing more than 10 users jump from paying about $150.00/month to  $750.00/month (the cost of 5o users) even if they only need 15 users.

For most, this is a huge and unjustifiable price gauge — one that’s only compounded by the list of “add-on” features, most of which are standard on other platforms.

The flip side here is that Lifesize provides a completely customizable plan, giving SMBs total control over the number of users and features they need for a quote-based price. This, for the vast majority of Lifesize users, offers significant cost savings and greater control when compared to available bundled plans.

The image below outlines the three Lifesize pricing models, along with a list of the available add-on features.

 

Lifesize Pricing

Lifesize Add Ons

 

Lifesize Pros and Cons

The below table outlines the best and worst parts of the Lifesize user experience.

Lifesize Pros Lifesize Cons
High meeting capacity of 300 participants on the cheapest plan,webinar capabilities for up to 10,000 attendees Key features like unlimited meeting recording, live meeting analytics, and unlimited audio conferencing are available only as paid add-ons
Simple, intuitive interface 24/7 support not available on all plans
High level of customization, ability to build a video meeting tool from the ground up Confusing pricing model means small businesses end up paying far too much for features and users they don’t need

 

What Is The Best Zoom Alternative for Video Calling?

It’s always tough to declare a firm “winner” when it comes to business communication tools, but if we had to pick the top three, we’d go with the below options.

 

Best Free Zoom Alternative Plan: Cisco WebEx

WebEx’s free plan lets up to 100 participants meet for 50 minutes and includes features like screen sharing, meeting notes, chat messaging, interactive whiteboard, HIPAA/BAA compliance, meeting locks, and meeting recording.

 

Best Paid Zoom Alternative: RingCentral Video

Though RingCentral doesn’t have a free plan, the robust features of its paid video conferencing, messaging, and phone platform make it well worth it. The streamlined solution and tools like industry-specific integrations, real-time analytics, and unlimited recording storage make it an ideal solution for a variety of companies — especially SMBs looking to expand.

 

Best Overall Zoom Alternative: Microsoft Teams 

Microsoft Teams has it all: secure file sharing and co-authoring, video meetings for up to 10,000 people, and a downloadable participant list before the meeting even starts, you’re sure to love this solution. With features this good, it’s no wonder that Teams was chosen as the official replacement for Skype for Business.

 

Why Look for Alternatives to Zoom?

When the Coronavirus began in 2020, workplaces simply did not have the time to properly research and compare video calling tools.

Instead, they focused on dealing with the unexpected immediate transition to remote work.

So, most just did what every other company seemed to be doing: they signed up for Zoom and tried to make it work.

While many small businesses did see success with Zoom, a few glaring issues arose for others that caused them to seek out other options.

Zoombombing — where trolls sneak their way into public and even password-protected Zoom meetings to post inappropriate or off-topic messages — derailed meetings and damaged business reputations. This led to lawsuits against Zoom, as well as the discovery of additional Zoom data privacy concerns.

Some businesses have now banned employees from using Zoom at all as a result of these issues.

Additionally, though Zoom provides many in-meeting collaboration tools, today’s businesses often need more than what it has to offer.

Though additional team collaboration capabilities are possible with third-party integration, many companies crave native features.

Other common reasons for seeking Zoom alternatives include:

  • Inability to integrate with preferred third-party software and CRM systems
  • Wanting a browser-based, not application-based, solution
  • Insufficient free plan but lack of ideal paid plan
  • Poor video quality/frustration with video lagging
  • Concerns over Zoom sending user data to Facebook
  • Lack of ideal customer support channels/availability

 

Learn More About The Best Zoom Alternatives

Want to learn more about some of the alternatives to Zoom we’ve mentioned in this piece?

Our interactive table of popular web conferencing software provides more detailed information on available pricing and plans, user experience, and tips on what to look for when evaluating specific providers.

Though Zoom’s lead within the video conferencing app space likely won’t change drastically anytime soon, the alternatives presented here can help you to find tools with features that will allow your team to communicate more seamlessly — and get ahead of your competitors as a result.

 

Zoom Alternatives FAQs

Below, we’ve provided answers to some frequently asked questions about web conferencing.

Video calling software can be purchased in monthly or annual installments (generally, you’ll see about a 10-15% cost savings with the annual price.) 

Many platforms include a free version and/or a free trial of paid versions lasting anywhere from 7 days to a month.

The exact amount you pay will depend on the vendor, number of users/seats, and features. Generally speaking, video conferencing tools cost an average of between $28.00-$58.00/user per month.

Aside from a desktop/laptop computer or mobile phone, any additional equipment for your video conferencing system is mostly optional (though you may find you need to upgrade your Internet connection for a higher, more consistent video quality.) 

Common video meeting equipment includes: 

  • Headsets
  • Speakers
  • Microphones
  • Compatible desk phones 
  • Touch-screen displays 

This post on popular conference room hardware provides additional input. 

Basic security standards and features to look for in web conferencing solutions include:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Password-protected meetings 
  • Meeting locks
  • Meeting waiting rooms
  • Two-factor authentication
  • SSL
  • HIPAA Compliance 
  • Ability to mute/unmute, kick attendees out of meetings, or permanently block users 

Webinars are generally less collaborative in nature than video meetings, and often include one speaker or a few panelists presenting a lecture/findings to attendees. There may be a Q&A session or polls in the webinar, but generally, attendees are there to mainly listen and learn, not directly participate. 

Webinars also allow for a higher number of attendees, include registration templates/forms, and even have virtual practice rooms. Webinars may include in-session promotions/offers and can accept online payments from attendees. 

Lastly, virtual meetings are mainly geared towards either small businesses or internal office communication. Webinars are usually used in nationwide, enterprise-level meetings and include a higher amount of external attendees than online meetings do.