In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and institutions across industries have moved operations online. Conferences and team meetings have also received the same treatment, in turn shining the spotlight on video calling applications. However, it seems that in the face of easy communication, security and privacy seem to have taken a hit. A living example of this is the Zoom video conferencing software, which grew in popularity only to be hit with reports of data leaks and lack of security.
The Zoom video calling app and, in general, all videoconferencing applications have been hauled up both internally and externally to ensure the safety and privacy of the users. Zoom’s video conferencing challenges, according to news reports, included:
- Zoombombers entering video calls unauthorised
- Phishermen hacking into user systems
- User demographics being leaked to advertisers
- Private data being exposed by those with ill intent
Any video conferencing software worth its salt must ensure end-to-end encryption of calls and compliance with privacy frameworks such as the GDPR.
For those looking to either build an app like Zoom, source a Zoom video conferencing API or find a Zoom alternative for their company, there are two types of software to choose between.
The primary difference between Software as a Service (SaaS) and Software as a Product (SaaP) is that SaaS keeps systems in the cloud whereas SaaP involves hosting software on the client’s own servers. In both cases, the software is a third-party product that requires a license.
With video conferencing app, SaaS clients will likely pay a monthly fee to continue using the software while SaaP clients pay a one-time fee to download the software and use it for life.
Here is a breakdown of how SaaS and SaaP features pit against each other:
|Features||SaaS Solution||SaaP Solution|
|Hosting Possibilities||On Cloud||On Cloud / On -Premises|
|Cost||Monthly Payment||Onetime Cost|
|End to End Security||Yes||Yes(Customisable)|
This real-time chat and video conferencing platform is customisable and scalable. MirrorFly uses end-to-end encryption layers to keep conversations private.Mirrorfly is the one of the best zoom alternative.
- Mirrofly solution is HIPAA-compliant which makes it ideal for use within the healthcare industry
- The AES 256 encryption acts as a safeguard against hackers
- Platforms users are granted complete ownership over and access to their data
- The platform doesn’t support email integrations
- It is best used for SMEs rather than individual freelancers or small agencies
This chat API and messaging SDK supports the building of instant messaging apps for real-time enterprise communication.
- This platform is the whole package; it covers voice and video-calling, screen sharing and high levels of security
- They offer helpful online and call centre support
- The app might take up to 10 business days to be fully integrated
Eyeson allows businesses to build their own live video platforms.will enable clients to build their own UI using the Eyeson API and broadcast to any external or internal CDN.
- The app proces popular among those looking to build their own UI without starting from absolute scratch
- There may be a steep learning curve for those without UI/UX experience
Agora offers an easy-to-embed SDK that adds real-time video to any application. Agora comes with complete support through a multitude of software stacks including macOS, Android and Linux. The Agora SDK provides deep personalisation of video streams and display modes.
- It integrates smoothly with third-party SDKs including stickers, facial recognition, and context segmentation
- It is highly customisable
- Customisation might be a setback for those just starting out and looking for readymade solutions like a Zoom video conferencing SDK
The Vonage Videoconference API helps host interactive video sessions across the globe. It allows clients to build custom video experiences within existing mobile, web or desktop applications.
- The developer manuals and tutorials that come along with it, to aid the installation process, are a boon
- The usage-based pricing might be confusing for smaller agencies
- The subscription pricing for advanced features might seem a bit steep for some budgets
Voxeet provides an API framework that enables clients to add ‘Crystal Clear 3D Audio’ to their website or iOs device with seamless HD video functionality. Their API library also allows for features including but not restricted to screen sharing, presentation mode, call translations and video and audio broadcasting.
- The API is convenient for those looking to upgrade to better voice and video calling
- The API is not comprehensive enough for those wanting a complete package
EnableX is a networking platform that incorporates video and audio calls and messages with nearly every device or browser. Built on a carrier-grade architecture, it provides developers with all the prerequisites for creating engaging connectivity experiences.
- It can be used to cover all communication styles, from one-to-one talks to wide-scale broadcasts and web seminars
- It is not a standalone platform
- Users will need developers to integrate this with existing company platforms
The CometChat Pro chat and video calling APIs and SDKs integrate with existing company platforms to add voice call, video call and text messaging features.
- The instant video conferencing SDKs are a boon for companies needing plug-and-play options
- It is minimally customisable and comes with a pre-built UI
- To be able to use APIs, companies will need savvy developers
This firm’s enterprise video conferencing solutions support all meeting needs from chat rooms and webinars to screen sharing and town halls.
- It supports performance monitoring
- It has top-tier security architecture in place
- It has a free trial
- Webinar hosting costs might be a bit steep for rookies in the field
Pexip lets IT departments streamline their videoconferencing meetings and scale them as the business grows. It supports a myriad of third-party apps used in enterprise setups including Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business.
- It is ideally suited for a globally diverse workforce
- It is much too elaborate for small businesses looking only for video and audio applications
Zoom alternatives are many and widespread. Companies must assess their needs, budgets and diversity of the workforce before making a choice. Some features matter more than the others– in the light of recent news, security, safety and privacy lead the list.