An Open Source alternative to Zoom
In the Corona age, the need for online communication has increased tremendously. There are many platforms available but zoom.us is probably the most used one, at least in my country.
Zoom is a big part of lockdown life
My wife uses zoom to teach language classes. My daughter is in contact with her Teachers over zoom. My kids even take Karate classes over zoom. This program is omnipresent but I find it not so user friendly. First of all, every user needs to download code to its computer to join a meeting. The security of this code has been questioned by some experts. The second point I don't like about zoom is that the free version only allows to make meetings that are up to 40 minutes. After that your meeting simply cuts and people either have to log in again. When you have a lot of participants and you have to make sure that they can log in again, it can become an administrative nightmare.
An open source alternative to zoom.us
For these reasons I started to look for an alternative for zoom. I especially was looking for an open source platform. Since open source projects have less economical impact, it is often more difficult to find them. It took quite some time but I found a platform that I really like: https://jitsi.org/
Create a jitsy meeting in seconds without download
I was amazed how easy it was to create a meeting with jitsy. Let me give you a quick tutorial.
- Go to https://jitsi.org/
- Click "start a call"
- In the next screen, click "go"
- A meeting has been created and you might need to autorise jitsi to use your microphone and your camera.
- At the bottom right of the screen, there is a kind of "i" icone on a white background. Click this to get the url of the meeting. You can share this link with all the people that should join your meeting. You can also set a password if you want.
- At the bottom right just next to the "i" there are 3 points that show other features available
You can start a live stream on youtube or record your meeting on dropbox. You can also share youtube videos.
- It is also possible to share your screen which is great if you want to present docs in your meetings and you can also activate a chat.
I have tested jitsi with 3 people in a meeting and I don't know how many people can join such meetings.
Jitsi is a valid alternative to zoom and it is free to use
As a conclusion I thing that jitsi.org is a real alternative to zoom.us. It provides very similar features but has 2 big advantages over zoom. There is no need to download code to your browser and the whole program is absolutely free to use!
So if you have to host a meeting these days, why not try it out. I believe it is always good to have a viable alternative from the program that is used all the time.
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