What is Zoom?
Zoom is a cloud based desktop and mobile video conferencing solution that includes features for video and audio calls, text chats, and webinars. The platform is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux systems. There is also a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices. Zoom was created to help individuals connect and for enterprise-level businesses to have options for remote work and client meetings. Most users choose Zoom because of its simplicity.
Why is Zoom a Popular Choice for Online Recording?
The main reason Zoom is so popular for online recording is brand recognition. Zoom has been a video conference solution for a long time and many people know what the program does even if they’ve never used it. The company provided an easy-to-use video chat program long before other companies started to develop platforms for the service. There are now many Zoom alternatives that provide better video quality and a broader range of meeting recording features.
What are the Disadvantages of Zoom for Online Recording?
Zoom may be a well-known name when it comes to video conference solutions, but there are some disadvantages to using the program:
HD Recording is not always supported - Zoom does not support HD recording for all video recordings, even though 1080p has become an industry standard for video content. The standard for video calls and recording on Zoom is 720p and HD video is really only supported for small group calls. Many Zoom users complain about the quality of their calls and recordings.
An App download is required - Hosts and participants have to download the Zoom app to host or join a meeting. Many Zoom alternatives do not have this requirement, which adds time and hassle to meeting organization and execution.
Subscriptions aren’t flexible and can get expensive - Zoom is somewhat affordable for a single subscription, but additional subscriptions and add-ons can get pricey. Many of these features depend on the number of meeting or event attendees you plan to have. If you’re using Zoom for a large business or organization, things can start to get expensive. If you only need to use some of Zoom’s add-ons from time to time, there’s no plan flexibility and you have to pay for services you might not always be using.
What Should You Consider in a Zoom Video Platform Alternative?
There are key features you need to consider when looking at apps like Zoom for video recording. There are many programs available to host video and audio calls, so you should be sure the one you select meets your unique needs for organizing and recording online meetings and events. We’ll explore the six most important features to look for when considering video platforms like Zoom for your recording needs.
- Device Compatibility: Make sure the Zoom alternative you choose works across as many devices as possible. This makes it easier for your meeting or event guests to join from the device of their choice. Check that the Zoom competitors you’re looking at include mobile apps in addition to desktop programs for both Windows and Mac systems.
- Ease of Use: You don’t want to spend a lot of time learning how a video conferencing service works and you don’t want your guests or teams to have trouble using it. Eliminate the possibility of technical issues by choosing a video meeting program that’s intuitive and easy to use.
- HD Video Recording: The quality of your video calls and call recordings matters. Check to make sure the call and recording software you’re considering supports HD video and audio.
- Video and Audio Editing Capabilities: It’s important that a video call and recording program has editing features to help you create and repurpose content. Video editing tools make your content look better and make it easier to reuse meeting or event content for your website, blogs, podcasts, or training materials.
- Tools for Collaboration: Screen sharing, whiteboard, and chat features allow meeting and event participants to engage and share ideas. Many Zoom competitors allow for screen sharing with a single click and include integrated text chat features in addition to video and audio calling capabilities.
- Sharing and Live Stream Features: The Zoom alternative you choose should make it easy to share and live stream your content so it’s easily accessible to remote teams and audiences.
Top 10 Zoom Alternatives and Competitors for Recording Video Online
Our list of video call and recording platforms includes the best free Zoom alternatives as well as paid options that provide better quality and more advanced features. Keep reading to see which video conferencing solutions made our list and to get our top picks for the best paid and free Zoom alternatives.
Skype is a free video conferencing solution and one Microsoft Zoom alternative for video calling. Because it’s an older piece of video conferencing software, it doesn’t have some of the features supported by newer programs. Skype integrates well with the Microsoft suite of programs, but this Zoom alternative lacks many meeting organization tools that make video meetings streamlined and easy to manage. The platform does support group video calls and includes text chat features.
- Includes instant messaging and chat history
- Supports Alexa functions
- Screen sharing and file share features
- Integrates easily with other Microsoft apps
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Protected by end-to-end encryption
- Known to freeze during video calls
- Uses a lot of bandwidth
- Doesn’t include meeting organization tools
Google Meet (Free & Paid)
Google Meet is the video conferencing app included with Google Workspace (formerly called G Suite and includes both free and paid plans. While Google Hangouts is for consumers, Google Meet is the Zoom competitor Google has in the market that’s designed for businesses and organizations. The software supports video calls for up to 250 participants and includes tools like screen sharing and meeting host controls and provides multiple screen layout options. Users who already utilize Google Workspace apps can easily sync their calendars, meetings, and contact information from other Google apps.
Price: Always free: at no cost, Google Workspace Individual: $7.99/mo, Google Workspace Enterprise: Customized pricing
- Live meeting captioning
- Compatible with all desktop and mobile devices
- Meeting hosts can pin, mute, or remove participants
- No limit to the number of meetings you host
- Up to 100 participants per meeting
- Adjustable screen settings and layouts
- Restrictions on screen sharing
- Only displays up to 16 meeting participants
- No waiting room feature
Riverside.fm (Free & Paid)
Unlike all of the other programs on our list, Riverside.fm is a powerful remote content creation platform that puts everything you need for recording high-quality video in one place. The platform’s sleek interface is easy to use and video and audio are recorded separately in up to 4K. Because the platform uses localized recording, you don’t need a reliable internet connection to get a quality recording. What really makes Riverside stand out are its features that include automated video editing and transcription, live streaming capabilities, and easy online sharing options.
Price: Free Plan, Standard Plan: $15/mo, Pro Plan: $24/mo, Teams Plan: Customized pricing
- Localized video recording in up to 4K resolution
- Video recording and video live streaming capabilities
- Automated video editing and transcription features
- Doesn’t require a strong internet connection
- iOS and Android mobile app available
- Users can join recordings through a single link
- Free plan is limited
- No advanced video edits
Microsoft Teams (Free & Paid)
Microsoft teams provides a range of collaboration and video conferencing tools, but some users say its interface can be difficult to navigate. Recording meetings is pretty simple, and the conferencing platform also provides users with chat and calling features. Teams works seamlessly with other Microsoft programs and imports contacts and meetings directly from Outlook. The platform is highly customizable and is a great choice for individuals and businesses that already use other Microsoft products.
Price: Microsoft Teams: free, Microsoft Teams Essentials: $4 per user/mo, Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $6 per user/mo, Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50 per user/mo
- Includes breakout rooms, screen sharing, and whiteboards
- Live meeting captioning and transcriptions
- Includes instant messaging and voice calling
- Supports up to 10,000 users on some calls
- Integrates easily with Microsoft Office 365 apps
- File sharing and backup features
- Limited meeting length with free version
- Takes up a lot of system resources
- Limited security features
Cisco Webex (Free & Paid)
Cisco Webex is available as both Android and iOS apps in addition to desktop devices. This Zoom alternative has a clean, streamlined interface that’s easy to use. Users with a paid subscription who want more advanced features can download the Cisco Webex Productivity Tool which helps manage meetings and events with large numbers of participants. Recordings on Webex include voice and video as well as anything shared on a screen during a meeting or event and can only be started from desktop devices.
Price: Basic Plan: Free, Meet Plan: $13.50 per user/mo, Call Plan: $17 per user/mo, Webex Suite - Business: $25 per user/mo, Enterprise Plan: Customized pricing
- Cloud recording storage for most premium plans
- Schedule meetings from Google calendar, Outlook, or Microsoft Office Suite 365
- Mobile screen sharing
- Integrates with over 100 third-party apps
- Includes background noise removal features
- Advanced security features
- Very few features in free version
- Interface is not user friendly
- Limitations on free video call length
If your needs are more call-only based, then Cloud Talk is a great Zoom phone alternative. This virtual calling platform is targeted toward businesses and enterprises that need a large-scale calling system without wanting to worry about the hassle of hardware. Their plans offer intracompany calls and outbound calls for client interactions. They even have call analytics for you to assess where your call communication can improve.
Price: Standard plan: $25/month, Essential plan: $30/month, Expert plan: $50 and Custom plans upon request
- Client dashboard and other customer service tools
- Inbound and intracompany calls and call recording
- Integrations to other systems such as Salesforce
- Great business phone call system and zoom phone alternative
- Many integrations available
- A lot of tools for a more productive calling workflow
- Focused mostly on calling and not recording quality
- Doesn't offer video calling
- Higher price than many other alternatives
Jitsi Meet (Free)
Jitsi Meet is a forever free video conferencing platform that’s attractive because of its pricing and ease of use. This Zoom alternative free software has many features that are more typically associated with paid video conferencing platforms like screen sharing, remote desktop control, call quality management, and end-to-end encryption. In addition to recording video calls, users can also live stream content to YouTube using their Google account. Potential users should be aware that because it’s a free program, there’s currently no dedicated customer support to assist with technical issues.
- Apps for iOS and Android
- YouTube streaming capabilities
- Password security for meetings
- Easy-to-use content sharing features
- Live meeting streaming
- People can join meetings without creating an account
- Requires a strong internet connection
- Doesn’t support the needs of large organizations
- Meetings not protected by encryption
BlueJeans supports high-quality video and audio, but there are some limitations on how many recordings you can make per month. The Standard Plan allows for five hours of recording a user per month, and the Pro Plan lets each user record up to 25 hours of video calls per month. The software has whiteboard and remote desktop access features that make it easy to share your screen for team collaboration and presentations. The platform’s security features are straightforward and cover the needs of most businesses and individuals.
Price: Standard Plan: $9.99 per user/ mo, Pro Plan: $13.99 per user/ mo, Enterprise Plan: $16.66 per user/ mo, Enterprise Plus Plan: Customized Pricing
- HD audio and video capability
- Real-time auto-captioning
- Supports integration with many third-party apps
- Custom branding options
- Advanced security with encryption
- No limitations placed on the number of meetings or meeting length
- No option to blur background
- Plans can be pricey
- No free trial offer
Whereby (Free & Paid)
Built in Norway by privacy-friendly Europeans, Whereby is beautiful video calling wherever you want it. No installs, downloads, or long meeting links. The platform offers simple, personalized meeting links that always stay the same, meaning you never have to go hunting for a new meeting link. There are also loads of features included such as screen share, breakout groups, live chat, white label branding, emoji reactions, and integrations with the likes of Miro and Google Drive. You can easily start a Whereby Meeting right from your browser or embed Whereby directly into your product, app, or website with their API.
Price: Whereby Meetings: Free, Pro ($6.99/month) or Business ($9.99 per host/month). Whereby Embedded: Free, Build ($9.99/month) or Grow (from $299/month).
- Breakout Groups
- Screen sharing
- Integrations with Miro, Trello, YouTube & Google Docs
- Custom links & branding
- Easy set up with reusable links and no downloads
- Great for customizing your meeting rooms with branding
- Wide variety of useful integrations
- Available on mobile devices as well
- Some of the more advanced features are only available on the paid plans
Zoho Meeting (Free & Paid)
Zoho Meeting has a free plan with many great features, but you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan to really take advantage of what the Zoom alternative has to offer. Zoho’s paid plans include third-party app integrations, customized branding, meeting widget embedding, cloud recording storage, and an admin portal. One of the great things about this video conferencing tool is that it provides reporting and analytics for your video calls for both free and paid plans. Zoho has an automatic call recording feature to record meetings and manual recording is accessed right on the sidebar of the main software interface.
Price: Free Plan, Meeting Plan: Starts at $3 per user/mo, Webinar Plan: Starts at $16 per user/mo
- Syncs with Google calendars
- Supports co-branding and custom domains
- Supports international users joining meetings
- No downloads required to join meetings
- Users can join meetings from mobile devices
- Meeting lock and password protection capabilities
- Whiteboard feature not included
- Not compatible with IE browser
- No Outlook integration
This video conferencing tool includes features like HD video, screen sharing, and automated transcription. Video chat recording is available for all plans and Business and Enterprise Plan subscribers also get unlimited cloud storage for their recordings. GoToMeeting operates in HD video quality by default, so users can depend on always getting a professional-looking recording. Team members can use the program’s chat app to send messages during meetings and events.
Price: Professional Plan: $12 per user/mo, Business Plan: $16 per user/mo, Enterprise Plan: Customized pricing
- Integrates with many other apps and programs
- Screen sharing and note-taking features
- Integrated chat, transcription, and cloud recording features
- Uses 128-bit and 256-bit encryption
- Many presenter control features
- No limits on the number of meetings you can host
- Doesn’t include advanced interactive features
- Webinars are a paid add-on feature
- Chat options are limited
Best Zoom Alternative for Online Recording
Our pick for the best Zoom alternative for online recording is Riverside.fm. We chose this platform because of its pricing, intuitive interface, and streamlined features that make video calling, editing, and sharing quick and simple. Riverside produces professional-level recordings and records audio and video tracks separately.
Best Free alternative to Zoom for online recording
We’ve chosen Jitsi Meet as our best free alternative to Zoom. This program doesn’t cost a thing to use but is packed full of features you would normally find on platforms that only offer paid subscriptions. If you’re unsure about the features you need in a video conference solution, we recommend trying out Jitsi Meet first to see which features you use most for video calling and recording.
Best Zoom Phone Alternative
If your focus is on calling and not so much video recording, then CloudTalk is a great Zoom phone alternative. It's an online calling system that's aimed towards businesses looking for a great customer service and sales calling solution. It offers analytics and a wide range of tools to increase and improve call productivity and performance. On the other hand, if you're looking more for a video calling Zoom alternative, we suggest trying Riverside. You can record a video call with up to 8 participants from any desktop or mobile device.
Record Online with Zoom Alternatives
There are plenty of free and paid Zoom competitors that provide better quality and more features than the well-known video conferencing platform. Understand how you or your organization plan to use a video conferencing solution before committing to one so you know which features to look for. HD video capabilities, device compatibility, and ease of use are some of the most important things to consider when comparing Zoom alternatives.