Jitsi Meet: Open Source Zoom Alternative

Last updated on December 17th, 2020

Zoom is a video conferencing service that has been around for almost a decade. As the COVID-19 pandemic led to increased use of video calling services, Zoom emerged as one of the top apps in use around the world. However, the platform was soon marred by privacy concerns, hackers and questions regarding its encryption. If you’re looking for other options, you might be interested in Jitsi Meet, which is a powerful open source Zoom alternative.

Scalability and Powerful Video Conferencing Features

We briefly discussed Jitsi in a previous post about Video Conferencing in the Times of Coronavirus. Jitsi consists of a number of open source projects with APIs and SDKs. Whereas, Jitsi Meet is a Zoom like video conferencing app which can be used via an internet browser or an iOS, Android or platforms like F-Droid or Slack. This enables users to use Jitsi not only as a standalone app but also to incorporate it in other corporate platforms.

Jitsi Meet

Get Started without any Account

To get started, you can go to meet.jit.si and enter a meeting name and click Start Meeting. A meeting can be started without any account. You can make your meeting name unique by adding a phrase that best describes your meeting. The below image shows an example of how to create a new meeting with Jitsi Meet. If you’re using Chrome, you can also install an extension for Google Calendar and Microsoft 365 integration.

Start a new Jitsi Meeting

Invite Friends to a Jitsi Meeting

In the next step, you will require allowing access to your peripheral devices and require entering a name to initiate the meeting. Users can join Jitsi via link or dial in to join the meeting.

Invite people to Jitsi

Start a Free Call with up to 75 Participants and No Time Limit

Unlike Zoom, Jitsi allows as many as 75 users to join a call, with no time limit. This can allow you to hold a conference call with dozens of participants without paying a premium fee.

Jitsi call in Chrome

Enjoy a Wide Range of Features for Free

During a meeting you can choose to enable/disable your mic and video, as well as blur your background, manage video quality, start a live stream, mute everyone, share a YouTube video, get speaker stats, embed video, etc.

Jitsi blur background

Like any video conferencing application, you can also share your screen, e.g. to present a PowerPoint presentation during a conference call.

Jitsi share screen

Enhanced Security in Lobby Mode

The Security Options for Jitsi include a Lobby Mode that allows protecting the meeting with a password and a formal approval from the moderator.

Jitsi Lobby mode

Jitsi and 8×8 Meet

While Jitsi is free, 8×8 is a premium service that comes with advanced video conferencing options. You can use either of the two according to your requirements. Below is a comparison of both services.

Jitsi: With Jitsi, you get all the services you would expect from an app like Zoom, with even fewer limitations. These include HD calls, end-to-end encryption, remote control and integration with popular platforms from Google, Microsoft and Slack. Jitsi also provides unlimited free meeting access for up to 75 participants, although the recommended number of participants is between 35 and 50.

8×8 Meet: The premium service of 8×8 Meet provides all the free features of Jitsi, as well as the option to send transcriptions for recorded meetings, phone a guest option, Live streaming of meetings on YouTube, real-time English closed captions, advanced moderation for meetings, analytics and support for additional platforms.

Jitsi feature comparison

You can get started with Jitsi Meet, see the Jitsi download options or try the free trial for 8×8 from the link below.

About Farshad

IT professional, communications specialist and Blogger!

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