Digitalization encourages people and teams worldwide to have a secure and stable video conferencing software at hand. Zoom is a big player with hundreds of millions users. But is it really the best solution and could open-source alternatives like Jitsi be worthy competitors? Find answers in this article.
Closer look at Zoom and Jitsi
While they’re both video conferencing solutions, difference between the two is huge in some aspects.
Zoom provides cutting-edge communication technologies for various industries, including retail, education, government, and healthcare. There’s a free plan with limitations which we’ll cover in this article. However, most plans require payment to unlock the best perks — and yes, these options aren’t really budget-friendly.
Jitsi is an open-source and entirely free counterpart. Trusted by 20 million users worldwide, this software markets similar features to those you have in any paid video conferencing app. Meanwhile, it’s super flexible — in fact, you can make calls without an account.
Already sure about your choice? Well, picking the suitable solution is not as easy as it seems. Read on to learn benefits of Zoom and Jitsi for personal and corporate use, plus some extra factors you should consider.
Zoom and Jitsi: What’s inside?
Both video conferencing services have evolved during the last years. Each of them offers several products.
Zoom users can choose between 4 products for getting in touch via video and audio calls:
- Zoom One is a comprehensive platform for collaboration and interation with your teammates. The main tools include HD audio and video meetings, screen sharing and annotation, polls, hand raising, file sharing, call scheduling, chat, and recordings. You can brainstorm ideas together using a whiteboard.
Additional functionalities are VoIP phone service and conversation intelligence for getting valuable insights, understand sales deals better, and predict revenue.
- Zoom Spaces is an innovative way to run virtual meetings in hybrid teams. Included services are workspace reservation (e.g., an open desk, Zoom device), conference room connector for joining meetings with SIP/H.323 equipment, and Zoom rooms for conferences that engage many people from both sides.
- Zoom Events is a dedicated solution for conducting virtual events, from internal announcements to roundtables. This option is great for networking, showcase content in Expo booths, train teams in single-session events and online webinars.
- Zoom Contact Center allows you to create an omnichannel environment for providing support to your customers. Available tools include a video-optimized contact center in the cloud and conversational AI.
Because each solution comprises different functionality sets, pricing vary depending on your demand.
Jitsi is responsible for developing 2 major projects:
- Jitsi Meet is a free video conferencing app that has all crucial features. Make audio and video calls, share presentations and desktop, invite people, record and share meetings.
- Jitsi Videobridge is a special project for developers that runs thousands of video streams from a single server, rather than mixing them.
Jitsi software is WebRTC compatible and completely open-source — the code is available on GitHub.
The cost of video conferencing software is a vital aspect for most teams, since every business wants spare on digital solutions and invest money in growth.
Zoom offers a free plan with the following features:
- Up to 40 minutes per meeting
- 100 Attendees per meeting
- 3 editable boards with 25MB of cloud storage
- Team chat
The basic plan is enough for personal communication, whereas companies would consider paid plans with powerful features. Prices start at $149 per user/month and may include:
- Up to 1000 attendees
- Unlimited meetings
- 30 hours per meeting
- Unlimited cloud recording storage
- Unlimited whiteboards
- Single sign-on (SSO)
- Managed domains
- Company branding
This list only contains the most important features. Visit this page to discover all Zoom One capabilities or prices of other Zoom products.
Jitsi Meet is totally free for meetings, no matter how long you talk to teammates. The sound and image quality is also up to standards. Also, you can embed conferences on websites and restream to sharing services, such as YouTube.
Note: Jitsi is a trademark of 8×8 that still provides some paid functionality within their own app, which is not open-source. That could be a great option for those who need a cheaper Zoom alternative, though. See prices for 8×8
Will Zoom or Jitsi run on my device?
Yes. Although we don’t know exactly the brand of your laptop or cell phone, both video conferencing solutions are available for Windows, Linux, Mac, and mobile operating systems iOS and Android.
In fact, you can even start a meeting in your browser.
Can I integrate any add-ons?
It sometimes happens that you’re not satisfied with the native functionality of a video conferencing solution and want to enhance it with third-party plugins.
Zoom is a friendly solution for connecting various apps for broadcasting, analytics, CRM, collaboration, and more. Some popular examples are HubSpot, Salesforce, Slack, Asana etc. Visit App Marketplace to discover all Zoom integrations.
Jitsi also can be integrated with some well-known solutions like Slack, HumHub, Softgarden etc.
Which one is more secure?
Security and privacy is vital for successful video conferencing. Nobody wants unauthorized people to have access to private discussions with sensitive information.
Jitsi is security-focused and offers ephemeral meeting rooms, which means they only exist during the meeting. Other privacy options include password protection, lobby, end-to-end encryption. Jitsi Meet for on-premise deployment does not have any preconfigured analytics engines. Even in the online version, they don’t retain any personal information, such as names or emails.
Zoom is considered relatively safe thanks to end-to-end encryption. However, trusted sources report that Zoom uses the AES-128 algorithm instead of AES-256, which makes its security more vulnerable to some extent. Additionally, you won’t be able to check the source code of this software to make sure it doesn’t contain viruses and backdoors.
In practice, both solutions proved to be well-protected. If you follow basic information security guidelines on your workplace, hacking and outside attacks aren’t likely to happen.
Zoom and Jitsi within ONLYOFFICE Docs
Both Zoom and Jitsi can be connected with ONLYOFFICE Docs as plugins.
See how the Zoom plugin is installed and works in this video:
Such add-ons allow meeting up with teammates to briefly discuss the document, collaborate, and share your thoughts concerning texts, spreadsheets, or presentations without leaving office software.
Discover how to install plugins in self-hosted ONLYOFFICE Docs in this video:
How to choose between Zoom and Jitsi?
The right choice depends on what you expect from a video conferencing solution. Will you need one for personal communication or business meetings? How large is your team? How much can you spend on digital solutions for corporate use?
We recommend to brainstorm use cases for your ideal virtual meetings software or even write them down. That way, you’ll be able to check whether they’re possible in Zoom or Jitsi.
Let’s face it: Jitsi is not enough for large enterprises. Free and open-source, it only has basic tools and capabilities. Still, it’s a perfect fit for personal group conversations, non-profits, education, free webinars. If you’re not a big company, Jitsi will cover most of your demands for video conferencing application.
Zoom is awesome and user-friendly, almost 100% suitable for corporate use in any business, especially large enterprises. Hundreds of attendees, unlimited whiteboards and session duration, numerous third-party plugins. The biggest deal-breaker is cost, which can be too high for some companies. Meanwhile, there are many paid Zoom alternatives with more attractive price tags.