Conference call services are important to successful business communication, and Zoom has quickly become one of the most popular conference call services on the market. We think Zoom stacks up decently against other services, especially with its focus on video conferencing.
With Zoom’s massive scalability and supportive tools, businesses can create a valued and unforgettable communication experience via desktop or mobile phone.
Compare Zoom to The Best Conference Call Services
Compared to some of the best conference call services on the market today, Zoom is one of the more popular and flexible services. Zoom is best for video conferencing, offering HD video, large meeting spaces, and optimal cloud storage.
Zoom offers an extensive all-in-one phone system solution, hardware, and a chat feature that help streamline your everyday communication processes.
We reviewed dozens of conference call services and managed to narrow it down to the top seven (including Zoom). Nextiva and Ooma are our top picks because of their reliability, feature-set, and price points, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for everyone—particularly if you don’t need all of those bonus features.
See all of our top picks and read our in-depth review of each conference call service, including our methodology for choosing the right one.
Zoom: The Good and The Bad
Even the most popular conference call service has its flaws. Here’s an in-depth look into Zoom’s top good and bad features.
Recording Features: Both free and paid subscribers get the option to record video and audio conferences with Zoom’s local recording feature, which saves the recordings to your computer’s hard drive. Zoom integrates with applications like Dropbox, Google Drive, YouTube, and Vimeo so you can upload, view, and share each recorded session to these services as seamlessly as possible.
Zoom’s local recording feature is the only recording option in their free subscription, but Zoom also offers cloud recording for all paid subscribers.
Cloud recording allows users to record audio, video, and chat text and download it to the Zoom cloud. With cloud recording, you get access to much more advanced features, such as the options to:
- Display timestamp in the recording
- Display participants’ names in the recording
- Record active speaker, gallery view, and shared screen separately
- Transcribe audio
- Record using the iOS or Android mobile app
Intuitive Design: Zoom is incredibly easy to use because of its effort to make you feel at ease during navigation—making it especially helpful for complete beginners. For starters, users can join a meeting without installation by following three simple steps.
Zoom also offers a simple four-button layout on the main screen that lets you choose the action you want. To make it easier for every user on its platform, Zoom intentionally embedded additional functions in the settings menu, leaving only the most essential features on the main screen.
This conscious design choice makes Zoom’s layout so intuitive for users, as it leaves unnecessary clutter behind and saves time trying to find what you need.
Supports Large Audiences: Some conference call services on the market only allow between 25-100 participants in either a video or audio meeting no matter how much you pay. Zoom offers space for up to 500-1,000 participants when you purchase a large meeting license.
You can purchase the large meeting license that starts at $600 per year on top of your chosen Zoom plan. This license is a perfect choice for large businesses that have frequent state-wide conference calls with over 500 employees.
If you have fewer than 500 employees but more than a handful, Zoom’s United Business plan automatically includes up to 300 users and only costs $300 per year.
Fully Scalable: Product scalability is important for growing businesses, especially for small startups that have a lot of room to grow. Luckily, Zoom is fully scalable in a few aspects, so every business can benefit from its features, no matter how big or small.
Zoom uses a distributed architecture that enables meetings across its expansive data center instead of a centralized network. This distribution is the foundation of Zoom’s stable platform that allows you to host meetings with thousands of participants, creating more scalability and inclusivity.
Not only that, but Zoom allows you to upgrade your plan according to your business growth. Zoom makes it easy to find a plan that suits your every need, with increasingly advanced features and tools in each pricing plan.
Security: Unfortunately, one of the major drawbacks of Zoom is its security department. When businesses began to shift to remote work, there were many cases of “zoom bombing,” where hackers would disrupt meetings.
Luckily, Zoom has been working on fixing this specific issue, but there have been more security issues in recent times. Two researchers recently found that Zoom’s shared screen feature was buggy–they could see the host’s entire screen, even when the host only intended on sharing part of it.
This security issue could become dangerous if any participants are recording a meeting and decide to freeze frames during playback and view potentially sensitive information. Zoom is currently working on fixing the issue, but many users have said it’s still present in the latest desktop version of the software.
Poor Customer Support: Unfortunately, many users have found that Zoom offers poor customer support, even to users that pay for a subscription.
Zoom requires you to pay an additional cost for Access, Premier, or Premier+ support, which covers slightly different support tactics. Currently, Zoom does not disclose the pricing for customer support on its website, so you have to call a Zoom specialist to find out more.
- Access support: 24/7 global access, self-service and chatbot, frontline tier-one chat, and frontline tier-one phone
- Premier support: Everything in Access, plus priority response and direct tier-two for chat, ticket, and phone
- Premier+ support: Everything in Premier, plus automated escalation and technical account manager
Even though this system may seem advanced, many users have still found that they are not receiving the support they paid for. Some users have stated that calls and emails go unanswered, phone lines drop mid-conversation, callers are unhelpful, and even support teams forward calls to bots.
The lack of clear, reliable Zoom customer support is especially concerning, considering you have to pay extra for the service. Other conference services offer much better-reviewed customer service options–and many of them do so for free or as part of a full-service package rather than as an add-on.
Zoom Pricing and Options
Zoom offers quite a few pricing plans for different business conference needs. Let’s break it down into each level and discuss what each tier offers.
Zoom is a fairly affordable conference call service, especially considering it offers a free plan and up to $400 off when purchasing annually. We’re going to break down each pricing plan on a monthly and annual basis to show you the difference in the price range.
- Free forever, no credit card required.
Zoom’s Basic plan is not too bad of an option for small startups or small teams that aren’t ready to commit to a paid plan just yet. The Basic plan is also a great alternative for beginners who need to learn the ropes of a conference call service.
With the Basic plan, you get access to a fair share of the standard tools and features you need to communicate within your business. Some of these features include:
- 100-participant capacity
- Unlimited group meetings
- 40-minute group meeting duration (no limit for one-on-one meetings)
- Local recording
- Screen sharing
You also get access to new features like the option to pin or spotlight multiple people during meetings, filters, and built-in Zoom for home devices.
- $14.99 per month per license, billed at $179.88 per year or $149.90 on an annual plan
- You can also purchase up to nine licenses per account
According to Zoom, the Pro plan is a great option for small teams, and we agree. The Pro plan offers much more than the free tier. In fact, it’s much more expansive and we think even mid-sized teams could benefit from this plan.
With the Pro plan, you get access to an extra 30 hours for meeting duration, local and 1GB of cloud recording, plus toll-based telephone dial-in. You also get more advanced tools for streamlining processes like reporting, user management, and live transcription.
Some other Pro features include:
- Co-host and alternate host
- Assign meeting scheduler
- No time limit on group meetings
- Rest API
- Skype for Business
The Pro plan is a less expensive alternative for small to mid-sized teams looking for the perfect balance between basic and super-advanced technology.
- $19.99 per month per license, billed at $239.88 per year or $199.90 per year on an annual plan
- You can also purchase up to 10 licenses, starting at $1,999 per year
The Business plan has a sizable expansion in tools and features to reflect the needs of larger businesses. With the Business plan, you receive up to 300 participant capacity, 10-99 license count, and managed domains.
The Business plan caters towards businesses that aren’t necessarily remote, so there are more advanced tools like SSO, branding, and an admin portal. You also get access to more AI-based features that will save you a lot of time, such as language interpretations and recording transcripts.
Business United Plan:
- $30 per month per license, billed at $360 per year or $300 per year on an annual plan
- Starting at 10 licenses for $3,000 per year
The Business United plan is a larger extension of the Business plan and is a completely separate product from Zoom’s general meeting plans. This plan combines features for meetings, phone systems, and business chat into one smooth platform.
We would only recommend this plan for businesses that need all-in-one software for a high volume of conference calls, as it is quite expensive.
- $19.99 per month per license, billed at $239.88 or $240 per year on an annual plan
- Starting at 50 licenses for $12,000 per year
The Enterprise plan is Zoom’s most extensive tier, with 500-1,000 participant capacity, 50 license count, local and unlimited cloud recording, and executive business reviews.
The Enterprise plan offers all Zoom tools and features, including customer success manager and bundle discounts for product sales. Enterprise may seem cheaper than the Business United plan every month, but you must purchase 50 licenses to begin effectively using the pricing plan for $12,000 per year.
This price is nowhere near affordable for many businesses, which is why we only recommend this plan for those on the enterprise level.
Zoom offers quite a few conference call-related products that cater to most users’ needs. Here’s an in-depth look at two popular products from Zoom.
Zoom’s video webinar product is different from its regular video conferencing feature, as it has to be purchased separately from a Zoom meetings license.
Zoom’s video webinar service focuses on presenting information to large audiences quickly and easily. You can scale your webinar to 50,000 people and continue to grow your external audience by live streaming on select social media platforms.
With live HD video and audio, background noise suppression, and studio effects, you can control the experience to minimize audience interruptions and host your webinar professionally. You can also record the live events to share with your audience at a later date.
Some other additional features of Zoom’s video webinars include:
- Promote your brand with a customizable registration
- Answer and moderate Q&A during the session
- Monetize your webinars through paid registration
- Track and measure success with reports and analytics
Zoom’s video webinar service offers up to seven different pricing structures based on the number of attendees you plan on having at each event.
- 100 attendees: $400 per year per license
- 500 attendees: $1,400 per year per license
- 1,000 attendees: $3,400 per year per license
- 3,000 attendees: $9,900 per year per license
- 5,000 attendees: $24,900 per year per license
- 10,000 attendees: $64,900 per year per license
- 10,000+ attendees: You can have up to 50,000 attendees, but you must contact sales for custom pricing
Although expensive, Zoom’s video webinar service has a wide range of pricing options for businesses in need of a reliable hosting product.
Zoom Phone is the modern Cloud-based phone system that offers you a single platform for video conferencing, voice chat, and team collaboration.
Zoom Phone is an excellent service for saving time and money on additional software for each business communication need. The phone system uses traditional PBX features that enable you to interact with your employees in unique ways.
The platform offers centralized management so you can provision, manage, and monitor users and business interactions with an intuitive administration portal. And more importantly, Zoom Phone is reliable and secure, as it delivers HD audio and enterprise-grade quality service for every user.
With Zoom Phone, you can seamlessly make and receive calls over WiFi, cellular data, and cellular voice connections. Some other features include:
- Call routing and management
- Modern desktop and mobile app
- Voicemails and call history
- Caller ID
- Call recording
Zoom Phone offers three different pricing plans, including:
- US and Canada Metered: $10 per month per user, billed at $120 per year.
- US and Canada Unlimited: $15 per month per user, billed at $180 per year.
- Pro Global Select: $20 per month per user, billed at $240 per year.
All plans come with the option to make and receive calls on any device and advanced phone features.
How Zoom Ranks
Compared to other top conference call services, Zoom ranks quite low on our top list. However, this ranking isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Zoom takes this general ranking because there are cheaper all-in-one solutions out there.
You can see all of our top picks here and read our in-depth review of each conference call service.
- Nextiva – Best conference call service for most
- RingCentral – Best standalone conferencing solution
- GoToMeeting – Best for keeping your remote team cohesive
- Grasshopper – Best for mobile virtual phone system
- ClickMeeting – Best for webinars and conference calls
- Vast Conference – Best for instant conference calls
- Zoom – Best for hosting video conference calls
- FreeConferenceCall.com – Best free conference call service
Overall, Zoom is a popular conference call service that is best for its video conferencing. With extensive and unique product offerings like video webinars and Zoom Phone, we think most users will enjoy the Zoom experience.
Even though Zoom struggles in the security and customer support departments, the pros far outweigh the cons, as it’s one of the more scalable and inclusive conference call services on the market today.