The mobility restrictions stemming from the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic have fueled the popularity of a until recently relatively unknown video conferencing platform, Zoom. Recent information points, however, to security and privacy problems, so if you don’t trust it, here are several alternatives, all of them free:
The classic that never fails: Skype
Many probably wonder why Zoom, not Skype, is the big beneficiary of confinement. The platform, now owned by Microsoft, has been on the market for almost two decades, is universally known and already had countless users before the pandemic began.
However, these days it has been relegated to the background. There are several theories circulating on the networks about why Skype has fallen out of favor precisely when it could be experiencing its best moment: from a bad management of the platform since it was acquired by Microsoft in 2011 to complaints about “spam”, failures in its operation or the fact that Zoom is comparatively easier to use.
In any case, Skype continues to have the gigantic mass of users it already had before the crisis, and offers some specific advantages such as, for example, the possibility of sharing presentations (very useful in the world of work) and the option of blurring the background so that it cannot be identified.
The funniest: Houseparty
Along with Zoom, another unknown virtual that has become ubiquitous in times of pandemic. And, also like Zoom, another one that is raining criticism for alleged mismanagement of the security and privacy of users, precisely as a result of its sudden growth.
Until just a few weeks ago, Houseparty was mainly used by teenagers and “gamers” (the application was bought last year by video game developer Epic Games) and, although its average user is still younger than the other platforms, this It already reaches all age ranges.
Designed primarily for leisure (as its name indicates, to celebrate parties at home), it greatly facilitates the connection with friends from social networks such as Facebook or Snapchat, but precisely these links are those that, according to some users, although without confirming it, have allowed Cybercriminals turn it into a portal to access their Netflix and Spotify accounts.
The one for Apple lovers: FaceTime
The preferred option for bitten apple fans. FaceTime has been with us for many years, it is widely used and known by the general public. In addition, it has all the advantages normally associated with the Apple brand: a high degree of security, great respect for the privacy of personal data, ease of use and attractive design.
The problem? Also the same as in everything that concerns the Apple world: its use is restricted only to those who use company devices. So if you are calling from an iPhone, iPad or Mac, do not hesitate to use it, but first make sure that the receiver or receivers of your call are also from Apple.
Everyone’s: WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger
They are the applications for direct messages and videoconferences on Facebook. And with that, practically everything is said: ubiquitous almost everywhere in the world and accessible from any device, but at the same time they raise serious doubts about the privacy and the use that the company of Mark Zuckerberg will make of our data.
The one of the productive ones: Slack and Teams
They are alternatives specifically focused on the world of work. In the case of Slack, it is useful to make video calls to coworkers one by one, but things are more complicated if you want to have large meetings with multiple participants. For its part, Teams is a bit like FaceTime: a good product, but very closely linked to the Microsoft ecosystem.
Of course, the list is endless and it is inevitable that many options will be left out, such as Google Hangouts, an interesting option given the ubiquity of Gmail; or Jitsi, a commitment to open source that promises to be able to host conferences with up to 75 participants. .