Covid-19 has led to a surge of people working from home and using video conferencing software to keep in touch with family and get their work done. 

What is Video Conferencing?

Video conferencing refers to conducting a video meeting by communication technologies that allow for two or more people in different locations to connect at the same time through audio and video transmission. It is easy to host video conferences when using video conferencing apps and devices such as a smartphone or computer with webcam, speakers, and a fast internet connection. 

Video conferencing is live streaming involving visual connections between two or more people who live in separate locations for communication. Video conferencing provides the transmission of static images between two places. It also ensures transmission of full video images and high-quality audio between multiple locations, through desktop video conferencing. 

A popular video conferencing software, Zoom, has come under fire for its privacy practices. So, this article is going to take a look at other video conferencing software that you can use for work meetings, or conferences, or to catch up with your family and friends, like conference calling services from: www.conferencecalling.com.

Below are five alternatives for Zoom that you should switch too:

1. FaceTime

FaceTime with Apple is an alternative to Zoom. The only thing is that to use it for a meeting or conference, and all participants need to have an Apple device. FaceTime is a stable software that allows you to add multiple participants to your video chat. FaceTime uses end-to-end encryption, which means Apple is not able to view your conversations.

2. Signal

Signal is already popular in the security community because it is a secure and highly private video conferencing app. It is set up like WhatsApp, and like WhatsApp, you get functionality with Signal. Like FaceTime, Signal is also protected by end-to-end encryption and powered by an open-source, Signal Protocol.  With signal, you cannot do group chats, so it is only useful for one-on-one conversations.

3. Skype and Microsoft Teams

Skype is just as functional as Zoom, so it makes it a good alternative. Skype supports large group chats, is very stable, an account is not needed to use it, and it is easy to create your own meeting or conferences and control who is allowed in. Skype is encrypted, but it is not end-to-end encrypted, so for sensitive or very private calls, you might want to consider another alternative on the list. For businesses using Office 365, Microsoft Teams is the popular choice for business meetings. Skype, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Teams is a collaboration suite from Microsoft. The advantage of Skype and Microsoft Teams is that it is a familiar user experience for anyone who has used Skype to connect with family members. This application requires a downloadable app and can be viewed as unprofessional. The advanced features are only available for a premium subscription.

4. Jitsi

Jitsi is a secure open-source app that is new to the market. Jitsi offers multiple video chatting features, and people joining do not have to create an account. The information on Jitsi is encrypted, but it is not end-to-end encrypted, and the video conferencing app can be a little jittery when there are multiple people to join the chat. Since it is a relatively new app, it is working on improving its platform all the time. Jitsi is an app with a collection of free and open-source multiplatform voice, video conference, and instant messaging applications for Windows, web, Linux, macOS, iOs, and Android. Jitsi is open-source, which you can tweak the software to your liking and contribute to its development. The advantage of Jitsi is its ability to customize applications, and it does not require you to register, login, or send your data before using the services. The app can be viewed as unprofessional, and there is no ability to set up future meetings, and meetings begin when someone starts it.

5. Houseparty

Houseparty is a group chat app, which has become popular during the coronavirus pandemic. Houseparty is not very secure, but it is functional for casual chats with family or friends, and it can be locked down, this can stop unwanted or uninvited guests from crashing your party. When you download the app, head to the app’s settings, and turn off location tracking, also consider using fake names or birth dates for extra security on the video chat app.

Required Component of Video Conferencing Technology

The workings of a video conferencing technology include:

  • Network for data transfer that typically uses high-speed broadband internet, which uses technology like voice over internet protocol (VoIP). 
  • Two or more video cameras, webcam or smartphones that provide video input
  • Two or more microphones either located on an individual device or device that provides audio input
  • Computer screen, monitor, television, or projector that can broadcast video output
  • Laptop speakers, headphones, or professional speakers that can use the audio output
  • Acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) software which helps with reducing audio delays and supports real-time streaming

Final Thoughts

None of these alternatives are perfect, but they can each be used for different reasons. So, depending on your video conferencing needs, one of these alternatives should be able to help you connect to people virtually. There are numerous video conferencing apps that companies small, medium, or large can choose from. There is video conferencing technology out there that will benefit your business at a cost-effective price.