When it comes to remote videoconferencing, Zoom has become the most widely-used program around. Unfortunately, Zoom has recently been shown to have some major security vulnerabilities. In the end, it’s just too easy for malicious people to hack their way into what should be a private conference. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the alternatives.
This is definitely one of the most popular videoconferencing apps, and it may overtake Zoom as the default choice because of its greater degree of professionalism. Cisco Webex is among the easiest to use, as you don’t have to download a program or a plug-in. There is no annoying load time, either. In many cases, all you have to do is push a big green button, and you’re in within a few seconds.
Cisco Webex allows you to share any kind of content you want, whether it’s a video, a document, an audio clip, or just about anything else. Not only that, but they have incorporated some interesting AI features into their program. For instance, you can use a virtual meeting assistant that will take notes, highlight important information, and more.
Skype has always been known for its high level of security, so it’s a natural choice for this list. It was once the most popular video conferencing app, and it is still one of the strongest players in the game. Of course, this one is usually used for one-on-one calls, but you can use the “meet now” button to start a video conference with ease.
Encryption is the main advantage of this program, and encryption has been shown to be very effective when used correctly. When you use Skype, everything you send and receive is encrypted with a very strong algorithm. Of course, it should be noted that this encryption will not do any good unless everyone is using Skype. If you use Skype to make a call over normal phone networks, it will not be encrypted.
Jitsi Meet isn’t quite as well-known as the others, but it is becoming one of the most popular. Linux users will find this one particularly appealing because it is completely open-source. This means that a semi-capable programmer can easily customize the program in all sorts of ways. In fact, Jitsi describes itself as a community of developers rather than a company per se.
Like most open-source software, Jitsi is completely free. You don’t even have to create an account. You do have to download and install a program, but that isn’t much trouble. Unlike many other videoconference apps, this one does not mix the audio and video before passing it on to the users. Instead, both the video and audio go straight to your screen. This means less lag between messages, and that’s always a helpful thing.
You might remember Google Hangouts as one of the most convenient ways to chat with people online. Of course, Google Hangouts is no longer being promoted by the company, but that’s only the case because they have rolled out a new tool that serves the same purpose. Google Meet is the successor to Hangouts, and it seems to be better in many ways.
For a long time, this service was only available to users with a premium Google account (G Suite Enterprise, to be exact). As such, it was only a feasible option for large businesses. However, after seeing its product fall in popularity somewhat, Google has now decided to make Google Meet free for everyone. Of course, you still have a limited calling time (60 minutes), but that limitation will not take effect until September 30, 2020.
This one is not so well-known, but it makes a great tool for those with small-scale needs. Talky allows video conferencing with up to six people, so it’s best to use it for small meetings. The main benefit of this service is that it’s incredibly easy to use. Thus, it’s a great choice for those who are not as technologically inclined.
To use Talky, you don’t have to download anything or register anyone. You simply type your chosen screen name into a little box on their website and hit a button. This creates a private room with a private URL, and that can be viewed on any web browser. Then, all you have to do is share the URL with the other participants. We are a little concerned that this one might not have the kind of security that some users need simply because a website is easier to hijack than a proprietary software program.
Slack is a very popular tool for businesses, as it facilitates better communication between employees. It separates all the participants into various channels based on their jobs. In this way, different groups can work on related projects and keep track of one another’s progress. This one is meant to be more than a video chat app, as it is meant to be an all-purpose communications tool.
The only potential issue with Slack is the fact that it isn’t free. A lot of the best software isn’t free, but many of the best video conferencing apps are. There is a free version of Slack, but it limits your video calls to one person only.
All of these programs should be quite adequate for your video conferencing needs, and all of them should be more secure than Zoom. Of course, you might need to try a few of them before you find the right one, so it’s also nice to know that most of these are free. If you have found this article to be helpful, we invite you to fill out the contact form and learn more.