Best Video Conferencing Software 2021

Zoom Competitors & Alternatives

Are you considering Zoom for your company’s video conferencing platform? Before choosing a software, it’s important to learn about other video conferencing software platforms for small businesses.

The top five Zoom alternatives are listed below, along with valuable insights about their features, pricing, and usability.

The information in this article is based on our research, interviews with customers of the platforms, and dozens of hours hand-testing each platform. The details of our review process can be found in this description of our research methodology.

With more than 300 million daily users, Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing tools in the world. It’s the top player in the space in terms of features and capabilities, which means it’s correspondingly a bit more expensive than alternatives.

Zoom has become a household name in video conferencing because it’s the most powerful video conferencing platform on the market. Small businesses and enterprise customers alike can find value in Zoom’s unparalleled webinar features, along with more basic capabilities like screen sharing, breakout rooms, and audience engagement.

There are five video conferencing tools we believe are worth consideration before you choose Zoom. They differentiate based on participant limits, webinar features, and additional capabilities. It’s important to understand who each solution was built for, as that will dictate how well each tool will mesh with your business. For example, though Zoom is more advanced than its competitors, it isn’t best for all small businesses. Google Meet is cost-effective and much more user-friendly, so may be more beneficial.

Here’s a breakdown of our review criteria. We rate each software tool based on their features, usability, pricing, and customer support availability. Here’s how Zoom’s competitors rank in each category.

Software CompanyAnalyst RatingFeaturesUsabilityPricingCustomer Support
Google Meet89810108
Microsoft Teams9110898

Throughout this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of Zoom and list the most popular competitors and alternatives for you to consider. For a more in-depth description of the platform and features, read the full Zoom review.

Table of Contents

Zoom’s Top Features

Zoom has a full suite of video conferencing features and advanced webinars. Though the free plan is a bit restrictive with meeting time limits, which are capped at 40 minutes, the paid plans offer more than enough functionality for businesses of all sizes.

Zoom FeatureDescription
Meeting Time LimitThe free version of Zoom is the most restrictive among free plans we’ve reviewed, with only 40 minutes allowed. The paid plans have much more flexibility with 30-hour meetings.
Unlimited MeetingsZoom’s free plan allows for unlimited group and one-on-one meetings, which is a massive benefit for businesses.
100-500 Participant LimitThe free plan allows 100 participants to be on a call at once. The Business and Enterprise plans have higher participant limits than competitors allow for, at 300 and 500, respectively.
Screen SharingWith Zoom, hosts or participants can share one tab, an entire window, or their whole screen with the group.
Breakout RoomsIn all of Zoom’s plans, hosts can split participants into up to 50 different breakout rooms. This is helpful in academia as well as larger business calls, as smaller groups can break away for discussions before coming back to the main meeting.
Dial-InA significant drawback is that dial-in is not allowed on Zoom’s free plan. Dial-in is available on a toll-based basis on all of Zoom’s paid plans.
Remote ControlRemote keyboard and mouse control is available in all of Zoom’s plans.
ReportingMeeting reports and data are available in the Pro, Business, and Enterprise plans.

Zoom Competitor Overview: Features

The chart below displays the main features found in video conferencing platforms and shows which solution offers what. You’ll want to pay close attention to meeting durations and participant limits, as those are specific to each organization’s personal requirements.

Zoom feature comparison chart vs. competitors

Zoom Competitor Overview: Pricing

Zoom has a free plan as well as three paid plans, which cost between $149.90 per license per year and $240 per license per year. Zoom is one of the only video conferencing tools that requires a year-long commitment—the other tools allow month-to-month payment.

The table below displays the pricing for just the video conferencing features. Add-on features and separate webinar pricing are not included here, and will come at an additional monthly or yearly price on top of these rates.

Video Conferencing SoftwarePricing
  • Free Plan: Free
  • Pro: $149.90 per license per year
  • Business: $199.90 per license per year
  • Enterprise: $240 per license per year
  • Basic: Free
  • Meet: $15 per month
  • Call: $17 per month
  • Meet + Call: $25 per month
  • Standard: $12.49 per host per month
  • Pro: $17.49 per host per month
  • Enterprise: $19.99 per host per month
Google Meet
  • Standalone App: Free
  • Google Workspace: Starts at $8 per user per month
Microsoft Teams
  • Standalone App: Free
  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $5 per user per month
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50 per user per month
  • Professional: $14 per organizer per month
  • Business: $19 per organizer per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

Top Zoom Competitors

Zoom is fairly similar to other well-established platforms like Webex and BlueJeans. It’s more nuanced than Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, but is less user-friendly and therefore better suited to larger businesses.

The top Zoom competitors are:

  • Webex
  • BlueJeans
  • Google Meet
  • Microsoft Teams
  • GoToMeeting

1: Webex

Webex is a mid-tier solution that, like Zoom, offers hand-raising and breakout sessions along with the standard video conferencing features. Webex is more user-friendly than Zoom, and the meetings on the free plan extend to 50 minutes compared with Zoom’s 40 minutes.

You'll prefer Zoom if:

  • You don’t mind a 40-minute meeting limit on the free plan
  • You want software that’s more advanced overall
  • You have a higher budget for your software
You'll prefer Webex if:

  • You want something that’s more user-friendly
  • You want to make use of 50-minute meetings for free
  • You want a platform that has more flexible pricing
Rating: 88
Starting Price: Free

Webex by Cisco is a video conferencing software with around 300 million monthly active users. It's ideal for businesses of all sizes that want an affordable yet functional call-and-video conferencing software for meetings.

  • Webex is very affordable overall
  • The free plan includes screen sharing, hand-raising, and more
  • One of the most user-friendly video conferencing platforms we tested
  • Meetings on the free plan are capped at 50 minutes
  • Not quite as feature-rich as larger alternatives like Zoom
  • Real-time translation add-on is quite expensive

2: BlueJeans

Unlike Zoom, BlueJeans does not offer a free plan. It’s also slightly clunkier than other platforms, and BlueJeans only allows for 200 participants on its most advanced plan. We recommend Zoom over BlueJeans because of its extended feature list and free plan.

You'll prefer Zoom if:

  • You want to use a free video conferencing plan
  • You want more than 200 participants in group meetings
  • You want a more popular software
You'll prefer BlueJeans if:

  • You don’t need more than 200 participants
  • You’re interested in cheaper webinars
  • You want more available access to customer support
Rating: 87
Starting Price: $12.49 per host per month

BlueJeans is a video conferencing tool with webinar functionality and high-quality video calls. It’s not one of the most popular tools on the market and does not offer a free plan.

  • Webinar pricing is much cheaper than Zoom webinars
  • More customer support channels than most video conferencing tools offer
  • Participants can join easily from a browser or download an application
  • No free plan, which most alternatives offer
  • Participant limit tops out at 200, which can get restrictive for larger groups
  • Less user-friendly than more popular competitors

3: Google Meet

Google Meet is a user-friendly video conferencing software that we highly recommend to most small businesses. If you already use Gmail or Google Workspace, choosing this software is a no-brainer. Zoom is much more advanced than Google Meet—the video quality is more reliable and Zoom offers webinars, which Google Meet does not.

You'll prefer Zoom if:

  • You want to use webinars for your business
  • You have a higher budget for your video conferencing software
  • You want higher participant limits in paid plans
You'll prefer Google Meet if:

  • You want to conduct hour-long meetings for free
  • You already use Google Workspace or utilize Gmail for your business
  • You do not have any use for webinars
Google Meet
Rating: 89
Starting Price: Free

Google Meet is a straightforward video conferencing tool that’s ideal for businesses of all sizes. Unless you require webinar functionality, we recommend Google Meet to all because of its affordability and ease of use.

  • One of the easiest video conferencing tools to use
  • External participants can join without application downloads
  • Either entirely free or just $8 per month with Google Workspace
  • Lags fairly often and video quality can be compromised without strong internet connection
  • Lacks webinar features, which most alternatives offer
  • Free plan has 1-hour meeting time limit

4: Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is similar to Google Meet in that it’s very user-friendly and fits in with a suite of tools, which is Office365. If you already use Microsoft products, Microsoft Teams is the most logical choice of video conferencing tools.

Microsoft Teams falls short of Zoom because the webinar participant limits are much lower, though the free plan is more valuable because meetings are capped at 60 minutes rather than Zoom’s 40 minutes.

You'll prefer Zoom if:

  • You don’t mind 40-minute meetings on the free plan
  • You have a slightly higher budget for video conferencing software
  • You want more advanced webinar functionality
You'll prefer Microsoft Teams if:

  • You already use other Office365 tools for your business
  • You want 60-minute meetings on the free plan
  • You don’t need more than 1,000 participants in webinars
Microsoft Teams
Rating: 91
Starting Price: Free

Microsoft Teams is an advanced video conferencing tool with more than 100 million daily active users. It’s ideal for businesses that already use other Microsoft applications. We recommend Microsoft Teams to small businesses that want high-quality videos and webinars.

  • Microsoft Teams offers a free plan and paid plans are affordable
  • Incredibly easy to implement if your team already uses other Microsoft applications
  • Chats are saved once meetings have ended
  • Webinars have a fairly low 1,000 participant limit
  • Not quite as user-friendly as Google Meet
  • Meetings cannot be password-protected, which deviates from the norm

5: GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting does not offer a free plan, so those who want a free tool should opt for Zoom instead. GoToMeeting does offer value to businesses because it has integrations with tools like Salesforce, and pricing is manageable at between $14 and $19 per organizer per month.

You'll prefer Zoom if:

  • You want to use a free plan
  • You have a higher budget for your software
  • You want between 100 and 500 participants
You'll prefer GoToMeeting if:

  • You don’t need a free plan for your video conferencing software
  • You want 3,000 participants on the Enterprise plan
  • You want more available customer support
Rating: 86
Starting Price: $14 per organizer per month

GoToMeeting is a video conferencing software that is ideal for businesses of all sizes that want 250 participants allowed in meetings.

  • GoTo has a suite of products, including GoToWebinar, available for purchase
  • The platform is very user-friendly
  • Plans are affordable at just $14 or $19 per organizer per month
  • No free plan, which most alternative platforms offer
  • No features that are particularly unique
  • Prompts participants to download software before joining, which can be annoying

Bottom Line

Zoom is the industry leader in video conferencing. The platform has the highest power and most features among the pack. However, Zoom isn’t ideal for everyone. It’s not as user-friendly as simpler tools and can get more expensive for freelancers or very small businesses.

Here’s a quick recap of who we recommend each video conferencing software for:

  • If you’d like an affordable combined video conferencing and call plan, check out Webex
  • If you’d like a mid-tier video conferencing platform with a webinar add-on, consider using BlueJeans
  • If you’re looking for a user-friendly software or already use Google Workspace, look into Google Meet
  • If you want a high-power platform for a relatively low monthly cost or already use Office365, check out Microsoft Teams
  • If you’re interested in bundling your video conferencing platform with webinar or phone software, consider GoToMeeting
Katelyn Anderson

Katelyn is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit, where she conducts in-depth analyses of technology markets & products and writes software-related content. She graduated summa cum laude with degrees in English and Psychology. Her main areas of interest are content creation, user experience, and search engine optimization. You can connect with Katelyn on LinkedIn.

Katelyn is an expert in several software categories including:

  • Accounting software
  • Integration software
  • Live chat software
  • Vacation rental software
  • Video conferencing software

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