In any discussion about video conferencing software, it’s worth noting that digital conference calling and screen sharing had become quite popular for multinational businesses even before COVID-19. But when businesses everywhere had to shift to a work-from-home model, the use of conference calling software skyrocketed.
With its catchy name, intuitive design, ability to scale easily, and a great set of free features, Zoom is undoubtedly one of the most popular business communication tools today. It allows businesses to hold video conference calls, deliver webinars, and host virtual events with ease.
Compared to its alternatives, Zoom stands out for its cloud storage, HD video calling, and the ability to host large audiences. However, there may be other conference calling products on the market more suitable for your needs. We tested dozens of Zoom alternatives and have compiled a list of the best ones available today.
Most notably, we enjoyed using Nextiva for its overall conference calling features, RingCentral for its robust standalone conferencing solution, and ClickMeeting for its remote team management features.
Let’s take a closer look.
The Best Zoom Alternatives
During our research, we found Nextiva to be the best conference call service for most business users. The software offers a robust voice and video conferencing solution bundled with fax and team messaging that’s part of every subscription plan. In addition, Nextiva offers plans suitable for teams of all sizes that can facilitate communication ranging from team huddles to public-facing events and webinars. If you’re interested in Nextiva, sign up for a plan today or request a demo today.
If you’re looking for the best standalone video conferencing solution, our pick is RingCentral. This is the best tool for your organization if you don’t require internal messaging and phone services. RingCentral Video Pro is a free plan that gives you unlimited calls with up to 100 participants who can join your calls without installing the app. This gives you a chance to try out the software for as long as you want and upgrade to Pro+ to accommodate up to 200 participants among a host of other useful features. If you want to try RingCentral, save 33% when you subscribe to the annual payment plan.
When it comes to phone calls, webinars, and conference calls, we found ClickMeeting to be the best alternative to Zoom. We picked ClickMeeting for this category because of the collaboration and presentation tools it offers, such as its whiteboard and conference call recording and playback features. It’s important to note that ClickMeeting can accommodate 25 participants per meeting at most, regardless of the plan you choose. If this sounds like the tool you need, start your free 30-day trial today.
More Top Conference Call Services
We have spent countless hours analyzing and comparing the best conference call services available in the market today. Every business has its own specific needs and we believe there’s a near-perfect conference calling solution for each kind of organization out there. Our reviews analyze and dissect what each of these tools has to offer to help you find the best match for your requirements. See all of our top picks.
Our Take on Zoom
Over the last couple of years, Zoom has almost become synonymous with video calling the way Google is with internet search. Today, organizations of all sizes from every industry use Zoom for their business communication needs. In the conference calling space, Zoom is the go-to app for video calling on desktop, tablet, and mobile.
Some of Zoom’s top customers include:
- 20th Century Fox
- Western Union
Affordability and scalability are among the top reasons for Zoom’s popularity. The app can support up to 1000 participants and up to 10,000 viewers on a video call on a large meeting license that starts at $600 per year. For small and medium-sized businesses, Zoom offers the United Business plan that allows for 300 participants at most and costs $300 per year.
Desktop users can join calls using a simple link without having to install the app. Zoom meetings can run inside any of the popular browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari.
In addition to video calls, Zoom allows you to collaborate during conference calls, share files, host webinars, enable cross-platform messaging, and record calls on the cloud.
Zoom is intuitively designed to enhance video calling, keeping only the most essential options on the main screen and hiding the rest in the settings menu. This leads to a focused and clutter-free experience for the user.
With all its advantages, Zoom also has some drawbacks. During our research, we came across a number of negative reviews about the lack of adequate customer support from Zoom, even for users with paid plans. There are complaints of customers finding it difficult to reach support agents, calls dropping mid-conversation, and emails going unanswered.
Overall, Zoom is an affordable conference call solution with a robust free plan. But as our detailed Zoom review reveals, it may not be the best option for you. In fact, in our comparison of the best conference call services, Zoom was ranked in the seventh spot out of eight.
Let’s look at Zoom in comparison with some of its alternatives.
Zoom Vs. Nextiva
When it comes to a well-rounded and user-friendly software that’s suitable for most users, Nextiva seems to be the best option available today. Nextiva’s video conferencing capabilities, collaboration tools, and messaging features are just as good if not better than Zoom’s. Be it a team huddle or a company-wide meeting, Nextiva shines with its robust cross-platform app.
Zoom offers a robust free plan that allows for unlimited meetings with up to 100 participants. Nextiva, however, does not offer a free plan at all. They only start offering conference calls with their Professional plan. That package starts at $22.95 per user per month for up to 40 participants. This price level is for 22 to 99 users. As the number of users increases, the price comes down.
Compared to Zoom, we found Nextiva also does better in terms of customer support and security. If you’re a small business with a limited need for conference calls, we recommend using Zoom. But if you require a more extensive set of paid features with robust security and customer service, Nextiva is the way to go.
Zoom Vs. RingCentral
A major advantage Zoom has over RingCentral is its robust free plan. The most affordable RingCentral Essential plan that includes all basic features starts at $20 per user per month. However, if you don’t require internal messaging and phone features, RingCentral offers a free-for-life standalone video conferencing plan that offers unlimited calls with up to 100 participants, cloud storage, and useful integrations among other features.
With its powerful paid plans, RingCentral offers you the capability to enable entire call centers to collect, record, and redirect incoming calls. While Zoom is suitable for a variety of business use cases such as video calling and webinars, RingCentral is more suitable for you if your business is looking to empower its sales teams that require a specialized calling solution, messaging, and reliable video conferencing options.
Zoom Vs. GoToMeeting
In a comparison between Zoom and GoToMeeting, the latter comes across as the best solution for working with remote teams. With GoToMeeting, you can host calls with up to 3000 participants in a matter of a few clicks. The intuitive user interface makes it super easy to set the app up on your desktop and mobile devices for easy conference calling.
Similar to Nextiva, GoToMeeting does not offer a free plan. However, as a paid tool, it’s more affordable than Zoom, especially if your business requires cloud storage. GoToMeeting offers a simple $19 per user per year Business plan whereas Zoom charges separately for cloud storage.
Unlike Zoom, GoToMeeting does not offer any image softening features, but you can still play around with picture saturation, gamma levels, and image sharpness. Similar to Zoom, GoToMeeting’s interface comes across as straightforward and easy to use across all platforms and devices.
GoToMeeting’s customer support, however, is better than what Zoom offers. Users can take advantage of 24/7 phone support, live chat, and a detailed knowledge base, Zoom’s customer service struggled to answer calls and emails in our experience. GoToMeeting also offers better security than Zoom, where the latter has had several security breaches in the past including incidents of hacked calls.
Overall, if your business requires cloud storage for conference call management, top-notch customer support, and better security, we recommend GoToMeeting over Zoom.
Zoom Vs. Grasshopper
Grasshopper is a virtual phone system for small businesses that are looking for a mobile solution and isn’t like traditional conference calling software. However, Zoom also offers a phone solution by the name of Zoom Phone. The cheapest Zoom Phone plan costs $120 per user per year.
On the other hand, Grasshopper would charge you $28 per month for one phone number and three extensions. Therefore, if you require a simple and inexpensive virtual phone solution, Grasshopper is the way to go. On the other hand, the Zoom Phone may be more appealing to large businesses with its advanced phone features.
Zoom Vs. ClickMeeting
Where Zoom excels at video calling, ClickMeeting is the go-to app for hosting feature-rich webinars. ClickMeeting makes hosting online meetings, online training sessions, presentations, and product demos a breeze. The app’s whiteboard and private chat features are particularly popular among its users
To host webinars on Zoom, the cheapest available plan would cost you $690 per year per license. On the other hand, ClickMeeting’s most affordable plan would allow you to host live webinars for up to 25 participants at $25 per month, billed annually. Therefore, if your organization is webinar-focused, we recommend using ClickMeeting.
Zoom Vs. Vast Conference
Zoom may excel at video calling, but Vast Conference is a tool specifically designed for the task. You can assign web call managers, share files, message any of your team members, and generate detailed reports.
Unlike Zoom, though, Vast Conference does not offer a free plan. You can start with their cheapest plan at $11.99 per user per month for up to 10 participants and host unlimited conference calls and interactive online meetings. However, this is only worth it if you’re looking for specialized video conferencing tools. If you’re a small business with casual video calling needs, Zoom may still be your best bet.
Zoom is a well-rounded conference calling service that excels at video calling. It’s easy to use, well-integrated with browsers, and easily supports a large number of participants. The app’s simplicity across various platforms and devices has made it the go-to video calling solution for organizations all over the world.
However, it’s not a perfect solution for businesses of all types. Zoom has its shortcomings, especially in the areas of customer support and security. Zoom seems to be great for general conference calling, but there are plenty of viable alternatives for special use cases. Some are better than Zoom in terms of features and functionality, some offer better security and customer service, while others offer more affordable solutions for specific business needs.
We saw Nextiva challenging Zoom on most counts and excelling at customer support and security. RingCentral offers a standalone video calling solution that rivals that of Zoom, while it excels at providing specialized phone service.
GoToMeeting came across as the better solution for remote team management and cloud storage, while Grasshopper stood out as the more affordable virtual phone solution. Finally, we looked at how ClickMeeting is a stronger webinar hosting tool than Zoom, while Vast Conference has its place as a specialized video conferencing app that offers more advanced features than Zoom does.
All of the apps we looked at are suitable for different kinds of businesses and have their place in the market. Keeping this in mind, the Zoom alternative you finally choose would depend on your business objectives, your industry, and the size of your organization.
For a more in-depth analysis of these tools, check our Best Conference Call Services guide.