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12 Zoom alternatives for secure video collaboration


If your enterprise demands a more secure video collaboration system than Zoom seems to provide, you may want to take a look at these options.

Group FaceTime

If you use Apple products, you can use Group FaceTime to replace Zoom meetings. It supports up to 30 callers and has some intelligent features, such as placing the window belonging to the person currently speaking at the front. It’s also highly secure with end-to-end encryption.

The big problem: it’s not cross-platform, which makes it a fairly ineffective choice much of the time for business.

Microsoft’s Skype and Teams

Microsoft offers two video collaboration tools, Skype and Microsoft Teams. Both have advantages that make them worthy alternatives to Zoom.

You can now use Skype without an account. Skype handles up to 50 people in a video conference or 150 people in group text chat, and it supports group video chat. It’s solid, free to use and you can now use it without an account or download. Available on most platforms, Skype offers a range of useful features, including document and screen sharing.

However, Skype conversations are not end-to-end encrypted.

This is why so many enterprises now use Microsoft Teams. That highly secure solution supports 2FA security, data encryption and meets dozens of national, regional and industry-specific security/privacy compliance regulations. It also integrates extremely well with Microsoft’s other productivity products, including Office 365.

For the enterprise pros

There are a range of high-powered solutions for enterprise users, including Cisco Webex Meetings, TeamViewer and GoToMeeting.

Prices on these vary, but both Cisco Webex and TeamViewer offer free personal accounts, which may be seen as an advantage when working with socially isolated teams. If security and privacy matter to your business, Webex Meetings offers end-to-end encryption as an option.

It is worth considering whether your enterprise really needs end-to-end encryption. While this will be mandatory for some tightly regulated industries, it may not be necessary for everyone, particularly those employing RPA systems, as NoJitter observes.

BlueJeans and Jabber also see use across the enterprise. The former is a fee-based system that’s eminently cross platform and supports up to 100 users (BlueJeans Enterprise); the latter is a Cisco product. It may also be worth taking a look at new solution, Challo, which I’ve noted in the past.

[Still use Zoom? Then you may want to explore 7 Zoom tips]

Always highly secure: Signal

Another highly secure solution, Signal supports video collaboration and offers best-in-the-business end-to-end encryption. It’s a full-featured collaboration solution, however, works on most platforms and lets you share all messages, photos, videos, files and chat using video. It also supports group chats, though this doesn’t extend to video collaboration, which must be one to one.

Best advantage, other than world leading security? It’s free.

Jitsi: An open-source tool for self-hosted systems

Jitsi is an open-source video collaboration solution that has picked up a fair amount of attention in recent weeks. While I’ve not used the service, its advantages include the capacity to set up a self-hosted collaboration system, though some reports claim video can be a little jittery at times.

The great thing about the system is its price (it’s free) and high degree of security – though it does not support end-to-end encryption. Jitsi is available via mobile apps and can be self-hosted, though you can also use the service’s own offering.

That Jitsi can be self-hosted may be a major advantage, given around 13% of enterprises already rely on collaboration tools they maintain on their own servers, according to Nemertes.

There’s always Google Hangouts Meet

To help get through the pandemic, Google has made the premium version of Hangouts Meet available for free to $6/month/user G Suite users.

One of the best things about this is that it supports up to 250 participants in a call, which makes it useful for big meetings. You can also live-stream meetings to up to 100,000 people, good for larger enterprises attempting to reach large groups.

The biggest negative factor is its lack of support for end-to-end encryption, which should be a red flag for any tightly regulated industry.

More info for remote workers

Feel free to explore these guides that should help Apple-using remote workers and the enterprises that employ them:

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.


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