Free Alternative to Zoom Video Conferencing with Jitsi


With the current ongoing pandemic, video conferencing is becoming the new norm for people working from home, for both professional and personal meetings. As a result, the Zoom video conferencing app became increasingly popular for many reasons. Besides supporting up to 1000 video participants and 10,000 viewers, it allowed for seamless interactions.

However, like any in-demand internet communication platform, Zoom was preyed upon by Cybersecurity threats, the latest being its vulnerability to in-conference hacking attacks. The platform potentially allowed remote hackers to use the “share screen control” feature to take control of users' computers and potentially steal login credentials.  Zoom has since increased security protocols and does not allow entry into meetings without admission procedures by default now. One option for businesses, personal users, and organizations if you are looking for a better and free video conferencing alternative is Jitsi.

UPDATE: Jitsi was acquired by 8x8 in 2018.

Get to Know Jitsi

Jitsi, as mentioned, is a video conferencing application with some powerful features. These include the ability to password-protect meetings and remove people from a conference. What has made it a popular alternative to zoom is that it is free for longer than 40-minute meetings. Users can either download the software and use it or more commonly join their colleagues through web browsers. Jitsi currently supports a maximum of 75 participants. However, keeping participants below 35 is recommended for optimum performance.

Key Features of Jitsi

  • Allows up to 75 participants
  • Works well for public and private chats
  • Easily integrates with Google Calendar, Office 365 and Slack
  • Tile view, blur the background, screen recording, and raise your hand functionality

Starting a Call with Jitsi

Setting up a call with Jitsi is super simple. Head over to the Jitsi official call page and click the “start a new meeting” icon. Enter your desired meeting name, ensuring it is unique, and start the call. Since privacy lags are what made Zoom flimsy, you can add a password for your meeting by clicking the “I” icon at the bottom right corner of your device screen right after starting the meeting.

Once set up, what follows is inviting friends to the conference. Jitsi makes this process easy by creating a meeting URL that you can share for friends or colleagues to join the meeting. You can text, email, or signal them to join the meeting. Ensure that you provide the meeting password for them to log in. Unlike Zoom, as noted, Jitsi doesn’t have time limits for calls. You can chat with business colleagues and family for hours as needed.

Call Features

During the call, Jitsi allows users to engage in many ways. To begin with, depending on your internet speed, you can choose different levels of video quality. The four levels range from low definition for slow connections to high definition for fast internet connections. Secondly, you can Livestream your conference to YouTube or record it and upload it to your Dropbox account.

While on the call, Jitsi allows users to share YouTube videos, single application windows, browser tabs, and even the entire computer screen with other members in the meeting. You can also blur the background for privacy reasons. If your meeting centers on discussions, there is a “raise your hand” icon, which allows participants to coordinate seamlessly. Click on the icon to signal your readiness to contribute or share your thoughts on the topic of discussion. There is also a text chat feature.

Bottom Line

Jitsi is a free and reliable video conferencing tool that highly competes with paid video conferencing applications. While some people are perfectly content with the web version that offers several features, the tool also prompts users to install a browser extension that securely integrates with Google and Outlook Calendar. This enables users to track their upcoming events with ease.

If you are looking for a free alternative to Zoom for video conferencing, Jitsi is a quality tool to look at.

Looking for help? Tired and believing there has got to be a better way?

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Mike Gingerich life leadership business coaching

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