When you're working from home and need to have a meeting with your colleagues, video conferencing software is a must. It lets you meet up virtually to discuss plans and gives you that critical time to connect. Plus, lots of families and friends love to stay in contact via video chat, so having an app or two that lets you hangout regardless of where everybody lives is crucial. Zoom may be a popular video conferencing app, but if you've paid attention to the news lately, you'll know that has a ton of security issues — so how about something different? Here are our favorite Zoom alternatives for business and personal use.
For business use
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Zoom was used by a lot of businesses, and if you're looking for some video conferencing software for your workplace, these are our favorites alternatives to Zoom.
Great for recording
Microsoft Teams has replaced Skype for Business as Microsoft's video conferencing tool. It can allow up to 250 people in one room, will enable you to share your screen for presentations, and even lets you full record meetings — perfect for catching up any employees who had to miss the meeting time. It also has a messaging service so that you can keep in contact at all times, and it's available on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android.
Runs in a browser
Google's answer to the video conferencing for business is part of its G Suite subscription, which does have three different subscription plans to choose from, meaning it is a little more flexible in providing for different-sized businesses. It can go up to 250 people in one meeting, offers screen sharing, and instant messaging services. Plus, Hangouts Meet has iOS and Android apps, works in a browser window, and you can even dial into the meeting via a phone call, so no matter if someone if using Wi-Fi or data, you'll be able to get everyone together.
Suited for big business
If you need a lot of people in one virtual room, GoToMeeting is the best software for the job. A host can invite up to 3000 people at once, making it possible to give a presentation to your entire company, and they can access the meeting via a computer or mobile device with ease. Depending on what subscription you get, they also offer cloud recording, note-taking, and even automatic transcription services.
Free for short meetings
If you have a small business and your minutes never run too long, Cisco Webex's free plan offers 40-minute meetings for up to 100 participants at a time. It's easy to access thanks to apps on all the major platforms, including mobile devices, and the meetings are fully encrypted for security purposes. Of course, there are options to pay per month and access more features like meeting recording and cloud storage.
If your business has given your employees company-owned computers and devices and you want to have control and access over them, TeamViewer is your best bet. Of course, you can have video conferences and use instant messaging. Still, you can also remotely control devices through TeamViewer, allowing you to address software issues and resolve IT problems on the spot.
For personal use
Video chatting and instant messaging are some of the best ways to keep in contact with friends and family. Here are our favorite Zoom alternatives to keep you connected to your loved ones.
Straight from Apple
If all your friends and family have Apple devices, FaceTime is a great way to stay in touch. It works seamlessly on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, so you're not stuck using it just from your phone, and you can even use some of Apple fun and funky features like Memoji to have some fun while you're hanging out.
The most social media
Chances as most of your friends and family have Facebook, which means they likely have Facebook Messenger. Not only is it easy to send gifs, emojis, stickers, and more to everyone you love, but you can video chate right through Facebook messenger too. There are tons of fun little filters and games you can play, and it supports multiple users so that the whole squad can chat at once.
Hang out on Hangouts
That's right; Google has its own video calling service meant for personal use that anyone with a Google account can use. It's easy to call up friends, invite people to join your conversation via links, and maintain constant communication thanks to its wide variety of features.
Yes, Skype is still around, and yes, it's great for video calling. It's easy to install on any device because it has apps for everything; it does a little bit of everything pretty reliably. It's easy to see who's online and who's offline. You can text, call, video call, send photos, GIFs, stickers, and so much more to any contact you wish.
It's a party
Houseparty has risen in popularity as of late, and its a pretty fun app to use with your friends and families. The app allows people to video chat, play games, answer trivia, and more all virtually, making it an excellent way to socialize and see everyone you love.
For business or pleasure, video calling services are a dime a dozen
You want to keep in touch, but you want to keep your information safe. Whether you're working from home and need a way to communicate with your team, or a fun way to socialize with your loved ones, there are a ton of great ways besides Zoom.
Our favorite for businesses is Microsoft Teams because it offers so much value for teams that need to work together. From communication tools and video calls to project management help, its easy to get your entire team working together with Microsoft Teams.
Run a small business and don't want to pay? Cisco Webex Meetings is a great tool to keep it professional and stay in contact. Although the 40 minute meeting time limit can be a little annoying, you are allowed unlimited meetings, so it's easy to start up another one if you need too.
Lastly, it's hard to deny how easy it is to use Facebook Messenger, and since almost everyone has a Facebook account, you're likely going to be able to stay in contact with everyone you could ever want. Have fun with the funny filters and games Messenger incorporates into its messaging service, and don't forget to call your Grandma; she misses you.
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.