Zoom has become a popular tool to work from home such as remote meetings or face-to-face interactions for other tasks. However, it isn’t the only video-conferencing facility available online. Reports of slow connections and dropped calls are prompting users to seek alternate solutions. Click on the name of each option below to visit its website.
Hangouts can be used on a variety of devices and web browsers. Google‘s enterprise-level G-Suite service includes a version of Hangouts ideally suited for text, voice and video chats with seamless connections of upto 250 other users per call. It has a strong moderation and presentation package. What’s more, meetings can be recorded too.
The free version of Hangouts supports upto 150 users but needs to be connected with personal Google accounts, which could obviously prove problematic.
Open source alternative Zoho One has an online video-conferencing feature for those who have previously used Zoom or Hangouts.
Zoho Meetings allows you to host end-to-end encrypted video meetings, conference calls etc through dial-ins and email links (no registration required). The app has versions for desktop, the web and smartphones.
Users can record metings and hosting options including moderation and organisation. It also integrates the Zoho Office app suite to include spreadsheets, text documents and other files.
It is a web-based podcasting service which doesn’t have video calls but it’s great for conference calls. Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, it is lifting restrictions on group size and recording limits. Free users can now host calls with limitless users and recording time.
Users who pay $20 per month can get access to a special live editing dashboard and post-production tools, with only the host requiring a Zencastr account.
It is a gaming-focused app which has a broader appeal courtesy of its encrypted chats and flexible management features. These chats take place on dedicated servers which can be set up by users to organise themselves into ‘chat rooms’, similar to Slack but having video/voice calls apart from text.
Presently, video calls support nine users in total including simple screen-sharing tools.
Though these are separate apps, Facebook owns them both with the same/common back-end technology. Eventually, it is expected to fuse cross-platform services along with Instagram DMs.
Both WhatsApp and Messenger support group voice/video calls, however, you won’t find enterprise-level conferencing features.
Unfortunately, it is iOS only which limits universal use. It supports 32 people per call as long as they have iPhone, iPad or a Mac.
It supports upto 50 users on a single video call and is available on multiple platforms. All participants need an account to avail its facilities.
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