Staying connected during a pandemic can be difficult, but digital options offer some semblance of socialization. Thankfully, a variety of solutions are available – and new tools and technologies allow us to gather online without worrying so much about cybersecurity.
In the early days of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) era, we largely looked to Zoom to provide virtual togetherness for work, happy hour, and more. By late April 2020, the app had surged to over 300 million daily participants. Soon, however, people realized that Zoom was far from perfect. It was plagued by one security concern after another, including everything from phishing scams to zoom bombing attacks, in which unauthorized users entered meetings and caused trouble.
Despite these concerns, many people have continued to use Zoom. Often, they simply don’t realize that secure alternatives are available. To that end, we’ve highlighted a few of today’s best options below:
1. Google Meet
As soon as Zoom users became aware of its weaknesses, many began to transition to Google Meet. This alternative provides far more proactive defenses against hackers, including 25-character string IDs and encryption in transit.
Beyond security, Google Meet is advantageous for the sheer convenience it offers. Existing G suite users, in particular, favor this option, as it can sync with a variety of apps to make it easier for attendees to keep track of meetings. These can be recorded and stored on Google Drive to ensure long-term accessibility for authorized parties. Google Meet’s screen-sharing options aren’t as extensive as those offered through Zoom, but they’ve expanded considerably in the last few months.
2. Microsoft Teams
While Google Meet provides the most significant benefits to those already engaged with G Suite, Microsoft Teams offers similar advantages to those who are part of the Office 365 ecosystem. For these businesses and individuals, robust integration represents the video conferencing service’s greatest advantage.
Although it can be useful for casual purposes, Microsoft Teams is an especially popular solution at the enterprise level. Businesses can use numerous customization options, which allow them to adapt video conferencing to various needs across departments or while meeting with clients or customers.
The version of Microsoft Teams that accompanies Office 365 outshines the free version. It includes robust compliance and security features, as well as 24/7 support.
Cisco’s Webex Meetings is uniquely suited to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). This solution includes a comprehensive Starter plan with reasonable fees. Bundled services such as support, training, and webinars appeal to entrepreneurs with specific needs.
While many businesses favor Webex for its SMB-friendly pricing structure, it’s also worth considering for its unusual features, which provide a level of functionality often not available with basic plans from competing providers.
Perhaps most valuable is the ability for meetings to call participants, rather than forcing users to dial in. Meanwhile, limited voice and video lag allow for a streamlined video conferencing experience, free of the disruptions that sometimes plague other platforms.
The GoToMeeting app is highly respected – you’ve likely used it at least once, as it’s a favored solution for online demos. The appeal is evident as soon as you log in: The simple yet visually appealing user interface is easy to manage, even among those who struggle with similar video platforms.
While critics claim that GoToMeeting’s video conferencing features feel like an afterthought, there’s a lot to like about this service. Meetings are uniquely easy to set up, with custom URLs directing attendees to conference rooms. The platform emphasizes 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption and several layers of cryptography for content sharing.
As one of the easiest video chat solutions to navigate, join.me is a lesser-known option that might be worth exploring. Small businesses with limited resources may appreciate its generous free plan, which provides a rich introduction to the service. Scalable paid plans are similarly ideal for anyone on a budget.
Beyond pricing, the join.me app’s greatest asset is its user-friendly interface. Consider implementing it as you or tech-averse employees adjust to remote work arrangements.
Keep Your Virtual Meetings Secure With Help From NerdsToGo
No single video messaging platform is ideal in every situation. A lot depends on your current use of – or familiarity with – solutions such as G Suite or Office 365. Likewise, budgetary concerns may play a role in your selection. In general, however, you’ll find that today’s top Zoom alternatives provide a more integrated, collaborative, and secure experience.
From implementing a firewall to choosing secure video conferencing solutions, you can take a variety of steps to reduce risk as you deal with the modern digital environment. The NerdsToGo team is happy to help, so don’t hesitate to ask for our advice.
Our certified Nerds offer remote services for your convenience, as well as a variety of business IT services to keep your organization’s cloud system and virtual interactions as secure as possible. We’ll help you set up a video conferencing solution and the related infrastructure to streamline meetings and foster innovation. Contact us today to learn more!