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Tech Saturday: Zoom Alternatives

Apr 11, 2020 12:00:00 PM

Schools and businesses across the world, have closed their doors. During this seemingly never-ending slice of time, many have started working from home. This has been made possible through online video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom. While the use of these video platforms has surged, a magnifying glass followed closely behind, and as these programs were inspected closely, flaws were made public.

Specifically, the flaws that are being exposed are in reference to Zoom. In the past weeks, Zoom’s inaccurate privacy policy, and the cyber-security risks that this platform poses was uncovered. Below is a list of alternative software options to replace Zoom, and hopefully provide a more safe and trustworthy platform.

Skype for Business

There are two versions on Microsoft’s platform: Skype, and Skype for Business. While the average person may recognize Skype (and most of us have probably used it before), Skype for Business is a similar interface. It allows for larger conferences of up to 250 people, compared to the free consumer edition that caps meetings at 25.

The Skype client is integrated with Microsoft’s Office 365, making for an easy transition from the Outlook email client. Further, each signal from Skype is AES encrypted, making for safe communication. You will also be able to find many of the same features as Zoom, such as whiteboard and screen sharing.

Microsoft Teams

Another Microsoft product, Microsoft Teams, allows free use to educators and students. Further, it offers virtual assistance on its tools and facilitating meetings. This platform also allows the collaboration of peers through simple sharing of documents that exist within the Microsoft Office Suite, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

This program also has similar features to the aforementioned software such as screen sharing, recordings, and instant messaging within the client, and allows parties of up to 5,000 members.

Google Hangouts

If you are a fan of Google and their alternatives to the Microsoft Suite, then you’ve probably heard of Google Hangouts. While parties can be up to 150 people in a chat, it currently restricts video sessions to 25 people or less. However, its business version allows larger calls of up to 250 participants, and livestream support for up to 100,000 viewers.

The best part? It’s currently being offered for free through September, 2020. Further, it can be integrated with your web browser, making for seamless transitions throughout your virtual workplace. It offers advanced features as well, even including a speech-to-text feature that provides real time captions.

Cisco WebEx

Another free alternative is Cisco’s WebEx. This client offers some incredible features as well, including screen sharing, unlimited meeting times, 100 participants in a session. For a reasonable price, more features are available and the existing ones can be upgraded. Further, for a limited time, they are offering discount prices, such as the first four months free on an annual plan, or first month free on a recurring plan.

Hopefully, one of the alternatives we have listed fits your needs. Here at AvantGuard, your security is our number one concern. Reach out to find out more about who we are, what we offer, and how we can help keep you safe during these troubling times. 

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