Collaboration

10 Zoom alternatives to consider in 2022

Zoom alternatives

Zoom isn’t your only choice of video conferencing software. Sure, it's familiar, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best in its category. Less than 10 years ago, Webex and Skype were the leaders in video calls — remember them?

We know by now that remote collaboration is about more than just being able to see and hear each other. Meeting software for remote work should now be more of a productivity tool that triggers action and collaboration outside of meetings — making use of "stored time" aka video recordings.

Here we’ll compare Zoom to some of its competitors, with a focus on what each offers that Zoom doesn’t — including what you can get for free.

Zoom pros and cons

For the average person, Zoom is great for some things and not-so-great for others. Here’s what you can reasonably expect from Zoom’s functionality: 

Pros:

✅ Great audio/video quality

✅ Easy screen sharing with annotation and whiteboards

✅ Good host controls

✅ Whiteboards

Cons:

❌ Software download required

❌ Pro plan required for recordings (and limited recording storage)

❌ Hard to extract the knowledge you need from meeting recordings

❌ No note-taking or agenda tools

G2 rating: 4.5/5

The main problem with Zoom

The main problem with Zoom is that you need a paid plan for post-meeting productivity features, but those productivity features … don’t make you more productive. 😖

For example, you need a Pro plan to record your meetings, but your account comes with limited recording storage and you can’t search or jump to important moments within the video. You’ll spend so much time scrubbing the recording for that one important thing someone said that you may as well DM the person, adding to the Slack overload that dominates our digital lives.

What more, you can't even try transcription or recording on a free Zoom plan — so even if you wanted to use those features, you have to upgrade to even see if you like them and if they work for your team.

10 Zoom alternatives

If you want a better meeting tool, keep reading for ten alternatives, all assessed through a pre- and post-meeting productivity lens. We’ll list details about their free plans, top features, and whether or not it’s worth making the switch from Zoom.  

1. Vowel

Vowel is video conferencing software that does a whole lot more than Zoom — it gives you everything you need to plan, host, act on, and revisit meetings. Customers have been known to call it "Zoom +++" or "Zoom meets Loom."

There's nothing to download and no add-ons for productivity features like shared notes, agenda, cloud recording, and transcription. Plus, Vowel lets you search across all your meeting content and make clips of meeting moments, making it easier for remote teams to communicate and collaborate.

Free plan? Yes, Vowel has a free plan that includes meeting recordings, transcription, and collaboration features. Meetings are capped at 50 minutes on the free plan, and transcription/recording access expires after 14 days. See pricing page >

Does it have tools to make meetings more productive? Yes. During your meeting, anyone can enable live transcription and bookmark time-stamped key moments to refer back to after the meeting. Agendas, shared notes, and action items are integrated as part of the meeting software, so Vowel becomes a place to collaborate and host meetings.

Top features:

  • Browser access, nothing to download

  • One-click recording and live transcription

  • Collaborative agendas and meeting notes

  • Universal search across all your past meeting content

  • Talk-time tracking and other inclusivity features

G2 rating: 4.5/5

Is it worth switching from Zoom? Yes — Vowel’s audio-video quality is as good as Zoom and it's SOC2 Type II compliant. It also has all the tools you need to host better meetings and turn them into searchable, shareable knowledge.

> See a more in-depth comparison of Vowel and Zoom

2. Google Meet 

If you don’t use Zoom, there's a good chance you use Google Meet. Most people use Meet because they’re already using Google Workspace, and it’s the default link for a Google Calendar meeting. You also don’t need to download any software to use Google Meet.

Free plan? Yes, but you can’t record meetings. If you’re hosting meetings with more than two people, your meeting will be capped to an hour.  See pricing page >

Does it have tools to make meetings more productive? Not on a free plan. You can only record your meetings on the Business Standard plan for $12/month, and you can’t transcribe meetings on any plan without an add-on like Otter.ai or Scribe.

Top features:

  • Browser access with nothing to download

  • Google Calendar integration

  • Unlimited one-on-one meeting time with free version

  • Android and iOS app

G2 rating: 4.6/5

Is it worth switching from Zoom? Maybe. It’s too bad you can’t access Zoom easily through your browser, but Zoom’s white-boarding, private messaging, and free hand-raising make Zoom a more fully functioned choice for video conferencing.

> See a more in-depth comparison of Zoom and Meet

3. Microsoft Teams 

Microsoft Teams is part of Microsoft’s business communication platform that just happens to offer video conferencing. Microsoft Teams has been described as a combination between Slack and Zoom, although not as intuitive as either. 

Free plan? Yes, you can host as many as 100 participants for up to an hour, and you get 5GB of cloud storage per user.  See pricing page >

Does it have tools to make meetings more productive? Sort of. Microsoft Teams cites chat as a productivity tool, but that just means you’ll be able to send and receive more messages … which doesn’t necessarily translate to more productivity. You’ll also need a Business plan to use the transcription feature.

Top features:

  • Bundled as part of Microsoft 365 and Office 365 

  • Robust chat platform

  • Cloud file sharing

  • Transcription available on Business plan

G2 rating: 4.3/5

Is it worth switching from Zoom? If you’re part of a large organization and need enterprise-level chat, file sharing, phone, and video conferencing, yes. But if you’re only in need of video conferencing, stick with Zoom and save yourself the complicated rollout.  

4. Whereby 

Whereby is a well-designed video conferencing tool you can access through your browser. When you send or receive a Whereby meeting link, all you need to do is click and your meeting just happens, in a space that’s private, easy to use, and nice to look at.  

Free plan? Yes, free users get unlimited one-on-one meetings. Group meetings are capped at 45 minutes, but you can use collaboration tool integrations with the free plan.  See pricing page >

Does it have tools to make meetings more productive? Sort of. Whereby’s collaboration features come as integrations with Miro, Google Docs, and Trello — so you’ll need to invest in those to take advantage of productivity enhancements. You’ll need a paid plan for meeting recording, but you won’t get transcription with any plan. 

Top features:

  • Beautiful user interface

  • Browser access, nothing to download

  • Emoji reactions

G2 rating: 4.6/5

Is it worth switching from Zoom? We don’t think so. Whereby is certainly more intuitive and pleasing to the eye, but Zoom’s built-in white-boarding functionality and video quality make it a stronger option. 

5. RingCentral Video 

RingCentral’s video conferencing platform is a good in-browser meeting option for teams looking to pay nothing for a lot of in-meeting features. But RingCentral is primarily a VoIP service provider that happens to offer video conferencing, so it can feel a little bloated with things you may not need.

Free plan? Yes, and it’s pretty good. The free version gives you 24 hours of meeting time for up to 100 participants. See pricing page >

Does it have tools to make meetings more productive? RingCentral Video’s standard plan saves recordings, but only for seven days — and even then, you can only save 10 hours of total recording time. RingCentral Video saves meeting transcripts, but you’ll need to mark them up after the meeting to note any important moments, add action items, and edit for clarity. 

Top features:

  • Browser access, nothing to download

  • Automatic sync with Outlook, iCal, and Google Calendar 

  • HD-quality voice, video, and screen sharing

  • Meeting recording (limited to 7 days)

G2 rating: 4.1/5

Is it worth switching from Zoom? If you’re just looking for video conferencing software without collaboration tools, it’s worth switching. RingCentral’s free plan is better than Zoom’s, and the video quality is just as good.  

6. Dialpad Meetings 

Like RingCentral, Dialpad is known for its business phone system, but there's also a browser-based video conferencing product. When you upgrade to Dialpad’s full app for $15/month/user, you gain access to video recording and transcripts.

Free plan? Yes, a free plan will get you 45-minute meetings at a maximum of 10 participants.  See pricing page >

Does it have tools to make meetings more productive? Dialpad’s free plan comes with audio call recording (no video), but you’ll need to upgrade to a $15 per user per month plan for transcriptions. Audio recordings have to be downloaded as MP3 files after your meeting.

Top features:

  • Browser access, nothing to download

  • Miro whiteboard integration (requires Miro account to save board)

  • High-quality text transcription (paid version)

G2 rating: 4.4/5

Is it worth switching from Zoom? If you’re looking for a free option, stick with Zoom. You won’t need a Miro integration for white-boarding.  

7. Zoho Meeting

Zoho Meeting is part of the Zoho online workplace suite, which also has chat and sprint planning. Zoho meeting positions itself as a cheaper, more secure video conferencing alternative to Zoom. With advanced end-to-end encryption, Zoho Meeting doesn’t use third-party apps or data tracking so that users’ privacy is maintained.

Free plan? Yes, a free plan will get you hour-long meetings for up to 100 participants. See pricing page >  

Does it have tools to make meetings more productive? Zoho Meeting offers video recording storage of up to 10 videos per host, but they don’t offer real-time transcripts, collaborative notes, or shared agendas.

Top features:

  • Browser access, nothing to download

  • Advanced security 

  • Meeting polls

G2 rating: 4.5/5

Is it worth switching from Zoom? Similar to Brave Talk (see #10), Zoho Meeting might be worth it if security is super important to you. Zoho Meeting is also cheaper than Zoom at $4, but you’d be limiting yourself to a maximum of 10 participants versus Zoom’s 100 participants on the Pro plan. 

8. GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting has been on the market for a long time, but it recently rebranded — and replaced a free version with a 14-day trial. Still, if you pay $16/host/month, you’ll be able to access collaboration tools like note taking, transcripts, and unlimited video recording storage. 

Free plan? Yes, but it’s a 14-day trial. You won’t face limits on meeting time, but they’ll want you to pay at least $12/host/month for a Professional plan when the trial is up (this plan doesn’t include note taking, video recording, and transcripts).  See pricing page >

Does it have tools to make meetings more productive? Yes, GoToMeeting’s Business plan for $16/host/month unlocks note taking, video recording, and transcripts (but you have to download them).  

Top features:

  • HD video

  • Breakout rooms

  • Hand raising

G2 rating: 4.2/5

Is it worth switching from Zoom? If you’re using Zoom for free, feel free to stick with it. If you need collaboration tools like note taking, video recording, and transcripts, you’ll be able to find them at a better price elsewhere.

9. BlueJeans 

BlueJeans is video conferencing software from Verizon. It’s mostly for enterprise and mid-market organizations that may want to hold large-scale meetings or events, but some people use it for smaller meetings, too.  

Free plan? Yes, but only as a 14-day trial. After that it’s $16.66 per host per month if you want real-time transcription.  See pricing page >

Does it have tools to make meetings more productive? Yes, but you need to pay for them. BlueJeans’ Enterprise plan includes unlimited recordings and real-time transcripts.

Top features

  • High-quality video

  • Secure and encrypted

  • Breakout rooms for large events

  • Automated closed captioning (but not for free)

G2 rating: 4.3/5

Is it worth switching from Zoom? No. Stick with Zoom if you just need video conferencing software for smaller teams. BlueJeans’ 14-day trial is too aggressive for most people who may want free access to video conferencing software for longer. 

10. Brave Talk 

Brave Talk is a browser-based video conferencing tool, but there’s a catch — you need to download the Brave browser to use it (and so does anyone you invite to a Brave Talk meeting). They claim to provide enhanced privacy and security features in exchange, so if privacy is important to you, you may want to consider them over Zoom. 

Free plan? Yes, the free version of Brave Talk gives you an unlimited number of calls without time limits for up to four people.  See pricing page >

Does it have tools to make meetings more productive? You can record meetings for $7 per user per month, but none of the plans offer transcription or other collaboration features.

Top features:

  • Blocks trackers, cross-site cookie tracking, fingerprinting, etc.

  • See everything that’s been blocked

  • Google Calendar integration

G2 rating: N/A

Is it worth switching from Zoom? It’s only worth switching to Brave Talk if you’re primarily concerned with privacy, as Zoom doesn’t have the best track record in that department

What’s the best Zoom alternative for better video meetings? 

The video conferencing space is full of solutions that make it easy to have a meeting where you can see and hear each other.

Whereby is a great tool for simple video conferencing; Google Meet is easy for casual meetings that you don't need to remember. But if you want to 10x the value of your meetings by turning them into searchable, shareable knowledge, sign up for Vowel.

You'll get one-click live transcription and recording (even on a free plan!), plus collaborative agendas + notes, post-meeting recaps, and search across past meeting content — all things that are hard to find with any other video conferencing tool!