I guess you have read and heard about Zoom, a service to have online meetings. They proposed a well-crafted tool, and since most of the world is on standby, lots of people are using online solutions to stay in contact with friends and family.
Zoom does the job, really well. It is user friendly and, best of all, its free subscription is useful for almost everyone.
That said, there are lots of concerns about its security. From the famous end-to-end encryption to privacy matters. For most of us, these things are not that important, although some settings should be changed so that we can minimize the risks. Or, as I try to present here, we can use some alternatives that have been with us for some time now. So let’s get started.
With this fancy name, Bluejeans offers what is, to me, the best quality service you can get. The only issue is that it is not free, you can only have a test period and after that, you will have to pay. That said, it is not that expensive, and with a yearly cost of USD 119.88, you can host meetings up to 50 participants, with no limit time and good security. They have apps for Android and iOS, as well as a web-based solution, pretty handy if some meeting attendees do not want to install an app.
One of the first services, WebEx is a very good solution. Its interface is not as intuitive as Zoom’s or Bluejeans, but it offers some simplicity that some of us will like. Its free subscription will allow you to host meetings with up to 100 participants, although time-limited (40 minutes). Security is also a top priority for them, we have to remember Cisco is behind this great service.
A solution from LogMeIn, GoToMeeting proposes a paid subscription, although you can try it for 7 days. After that, the cheapest option costs USD 144 and it will allow you to host a meeting with 150 participants with all the options these tools usually offer. The user interface is easy to use and you have plenty of options to configure.
With an OpenSource solution, Jitsi is a really useful service, that you can even download and host it in your servers (mind the bandwidth needed to do that though). It’s free, easy to use, and has also a web-based interface, although you can also use their Android, iOS, and PC apps.
There is one Swiss company providing Jitsi service but using machines located in Switzerland. Meet Infomaniak. Thanks, Didier!
This is the professional solution proposed by Microsoft. It works well, although it has no free subscription and I believe that it does way more than just video conferencing, so not fair to put it in this comparison. I have only done that to make people aware who might already have an Office 365 Business subscription that Teams is included as well.
A well-known among us, Skype remains a reference. It does the job with an easy interface, good quality, and secure. And it is free. You can share your screen, chat, and have video conversations with up to 50 people. What else do you want at zero cost?
Just like Teams, Avaya Spaces offers way more than just a video conference system, with collaboration tools among other things. You can host meetings up to 500 participants, with 35 visible at the same time, share screen, and everything you can think of. The price, though, remains a mystery to me. I have not been able to find it. But you can create an account for free and try it out!
Below you will see a comparison chart. I have not included Microsoft Teams nor Avaya Spaces since these solutions are not really in the same type of applications