This article is part of a larger series on Unified Communications.
While Microsoft Teams is popular, it’s designed for Microsoft 365 users. If your business doesn’t use Microsoft Office programs, it might not be your best option. It’s less user-friendly for small teams needing a simple user interface (UI), doesn’t offer a monthly payment option, and the free version doesn’t support recordings. Based on our research, here are the best Microsoft Teams alternatives for businesses that need virtual tools for team collaboration but don’t use Microsoft 365 products.
Our top picks for the best Microsoft Teams alternatives include:
- RingCentral Video: Best overall, and best Microsoft Teams alternative for companies wanting robust all-in-one phone, video, chat, and messaging tools
- Zoom: Best for small teams looking for a free alternative video conferencing and virtual meeting
- 8×8: Best low-cost alternative to Microsoft Teams for organizations needing a business phone system as well as collaboration features
- GoToMeeting: Best Microsoft Teams alternative for businesses wanting advanced meeting features
- Slack: Best option for professionals looking for chat-based communications with external clients
- Rocket.Chat: Top choice for small businesses wanting a self-hosted team collaboration platform
- Mattermost: Best open source alternative for enterprises needing a tool for developers
Microsoft Teams & Best Alternatives at a Glance
Microsoft Teams & Alternatives
$4 per user, per month
$14.99 per user, per month
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$10 per user, per month
RingCentral Video: Best Overall All-in-One Microsoft Teams Alternative
Our top choice for the best Microsoft Teams alternative is RingCentral. RingCentral Video is a full-featured communications and collaboration platform that supports team messaging, video meetings, and audio conferences. Its free version provides advanced search capabilities, built-in task management tools, and a wide array of useful integrations.
RingCentral integrates seamlessly with Google and Microsoft applications, allowing you to connect calendars and annotate documents in real time. RingCentral Video also doubles as a centralized database for documents with free unlimited file storage for all accounts.
However, RingCentral’s paid plans cost more than Microsoft Teams. For a lower per-user price, consider a unified communications tool like 8×8. 8×8 provides video and messaging features along with a business phone system.
RingCentral Video Pricing at a Glance*
- RingCentral Video Pro: Free for unlimited meetings with up to 100 participants, 10 hours of cloud recordings stored for seven days, and desktop or application sharing
- RingCentral Video Pro+: $14.99 per user, per month for unlimited meetings with up to 200 attendees, 100 hours of cloud recordings stored for a year, and more business app integrations
*Higher free plan meeting limits apply to accounts opened by December 2021. Save up to 33% with annual prepayment and get a volume discount when adding 100 or more users.
RingCentral Video Features
- Advanced search functionality: Search by keyword, bookmark shared files or messages, and filter results by mentions to find important information from previous meetings, messages, and files.
- Built-in task management: Stay on top of projects by assigning tasks and deadlines to individuals or teams. The task management tool lets you upload file attachments and notes, turn a message into a task, and offers color-coding to make it easier to find people and projects.
- Integrations: More than 180 integrations via the RingCentral App Gallery. Popular integrations include OneDrive, Google, Salesforce, Zendesk, and ServiceNow. Plus, you customize your connections using open application programming interfaces (APIs).
Zoom: Best Free Microsoft Teams Alternative for Virtual Meetings
Ease of use makes Zoom the preferred virtual meeting platform for many professionals working in today’s video-first culture. Users don’t need any training and you can simply click a button to begin your meeting. Compared to Microsoft Teams, setting up Zoom is a breeze, which is why many Microsoft Teams users still use Zoom for video conferencing.
Zoom’s free version is less robust than Microsoft Teams’ and RingCentral’s. It limits group meetings to 40 minutes and doesn’t offer dial-in numbers. But Zoom is compatible with Google calendars and integrates with more than 1,000 programs, making it a great virtual team meeting solution for non-Microsoft users. Learn more about Zoom’s services by checking out our Zoom review.
Zoom Pricing at a Glance*
- Basic: Free for up to 100 video meeting participants and 40 minute conferences, unlimited one-on-one meetings without time limits, and local recording capability
- Pro: $14.99 per user, per month for up to nine users to remove time limitations and get dial-in numbers, 1GB recording storage, and usage reports
- Business: $19.99 per user, per month with a minimum of 10 licenses ($199.90 per month) to increase participant limit to 300 and get phone support, single sign-on (SSO), and recording transcripts
- Enterprise: $19.99 per user, per month with a minimum of 50 licenses ($999.50 per month) to increase meeting capacity up to 500 attendees and get unlimited storage and a customer success manager
*Save up to 17% with yearly prepayment on Basic, Pro, and Business plans. Enterprise plan requires an annual commitment and prepayment.
- Virtual appearance: Update your background with one of Zoom’s preloaded virtual backgrounds or upload your own background, a standard image, slides, or even a video. You can also adjust the lighting and touch up your appearance automatically.
- Integrations: Schedule and start meetings using your favorite calendar, such as Gmail, iCal, or Outlook. It also connects with more than 1,000 apps, compared to just over 200 with RingCentral.
- Whiteboarding: Collaborate with your team and keep them focused using a highlighter, spotlight, or arrow. You can also send a photo of your whiteboard to a stakeholder or employee via email.
8×8: Best Low-cost Microsoft Teams Alternative With Business Phone Service
8×8 offers an impressive voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone system that works well for small teams and also scales to support contact centers. While several providers, including RingCentral and Zoom, offer a complete business phone system, the paid plans of these providers cost more per month than the entry-tier plan with 8×8.
8×8 offers mobile and desktop apps similar to Microsoft Teams, but it doesn’t have breakout rooms. If you’re looking for VoIP phone services, video conferencing, and in-app collaboration tools including breakout rooms, consider RingCentral. You’ll find more information in our expert RingCentral review.
8×8 Pricing at a Glance*
- 8×8 Express: $12 per user, per month for unlimited domestic calling, video conferencing for up to 100 participants, instant messaging, file sharing, and meeting recording and transcription
- X2: $32 per user, per month to add unlimited calling to 14 countries, out-of-box integrations, team messaging, and unlimited cloud storage to store items for up to 30 days
- X4: $57 per user, per month to add unlimited calling for up to 47 countries, media storage for 130 days, and supervisor analytics
*Save up to 23% with an annual prepayment.
- Unified communications (UC): 8×8 is a UC platform with voice, video, and messaging capabilities. The 8×8 Work apps turn your desktop or mobile phone into a dedicated workspace where you can collaborate and communicate with colleagues and clients.
- Advanced call management: Set up visual voicemail, an auto-attendant, and a dial-by-name directory to handle calls efficiently. Compared to other Microsoft Teams alternatives that provide call management tools, 8×8 delivers robust calling features at a lower monthly cost.
- Video meetings: Collaborate with your team during a video meeting with up to 100 participants, stream to YouTube, and record sessions to share later. However, if you need to host larger conferences with up to 3,000 attendees, you may want to consider GoToMeeting.
GoToMeeting: Best Microsoft Teams Alternative for Advanced Meeting Features
GoToMeeting delivers the best of both worlds—interactive chat conversations and video meetings in one platform. It’s a perfect fit for small teams needing HIPAA-compliant video conferencing and smart assistant features. The audio and video feeds are clear and fewer users complain about quality issues compared to Zoom.
However, GoToMeeting’s primary focus is video conferencing, and it costs more than other tools on our list. If your communications are mainly chat-based, take a look at Slack. Additionally, GoToMeeting only supports six languages. If you meet with international team members or clients, you may prefer 8×8, which supports 46 languages.
GoToMeeting Pricing at a Glance*
- Professional: $12 per organizer (aka user), per month for 150 video meeting participants, screen sharing, dial-in numbers, and breakout rooms
- Business: $16 per organizer, per month for 250 video participants, unlimited cloud recording, transcription, smart assistant, and drawing tools
- Enterprise: Contact GoToMeeting for custom pricing for 3,000 video participants, volume discounts, and a customer success manager
*All plans require annual prepayment.
- Video-to-slide capability: Make it easy for team members to view and use presentations with the video-to-slide function. It automatically captures slides during conferences and turns them into a downloadable PDF.
- Meeting diagnostics: Ensure every team member has top-notch audio and video quality by reviewing meeting diagnostics. This information helps information technology (IT) techs find and troubleshoot problems.
- LastPass integration: If you’re switching from Microsoft Teams, you’ll be able to continue using LastPass in GoToMeeting. LogMeIn owns LastPass and GoToMeeting, so you can manage passwords and use multi-factor authentication (MFA) without adding another vendor.
Slack: Best Microsoft Teams Alternative for Chat-based Client Communications
Slack is a well-known chat-based communication platform that also provides video calling and file sharing. It comes with built-in “Slackbots” to automatically post messages, give reminders, and monitor activity in various channels. Although other free alternatives to Microsoft Teams, such as RingCentral, support larger video meetings, Slack stands out for its straightforward chat-focused interface.
Slack’s ease of use makes it perfect for collaborating with others in or outside of your organization who aren’t as tech-savvy, but the paid plans can get pricey. If budget is a top concern, Rocket.Chat is cheaper and more customizable. Alternatively, if your team relies heavily on video conferencing, both RingCentral and Zoom offer more functionality than Slack.
Slack Pricing at a Glance*
- Free: No charge for one-to-one video calls, the ability to search up to 10,000 messages, 5GB cloud storage, and 10 integrations
- Pro: $8 per user, per month for unlimited integrations and message history, 10GB cloud storage, video meetings with up to 15 participants, and screen sharing
- Business+: $15 per user, per month for advanced identity management, SSO, 24/7 support with a guaranteed maximum four-hour response time, and custom retention policies
- Enterprise Grid: Contact Slack for HIPAA-compliant services for up to 500,000 users and central administrative control
*Slack offers a discount for annual prepayment.
- Slack posts: While Slack messages resemble texts, a Slack post is similar to a full text document. All plans support fully formatted documents, allow sharing between team members, and can be edited by one person at a time.
- User customization: Although Microsoft Teams offers three general themes, Slack goes a step further with preset options for sidebar colors or options to customize your theme.
- Task list management: Along with to-do list integrations, Slack lets you add a star to messages and view them under starred items. You can also set Slackbot reminders for tasks and pin messages and files.
Rocket.Chat: Best Open Source Alternative to Microsoft Teams for Group Collaboration
Like Mattermost, Rocket.Chat is an open source alternative to Microsoft Teams with both self-hosted and cloud-based options. However, it costs less than Mattermost, making it a better choice for small teams. You get some of the same features found in Microsoft Teams, such as @mentions and one-to-one direct messaging with Rocket.Chat. It also offers an engagement dashboard with usage data.
Rocket.Chat stands out for its affordability, customization options, and for giving you total control over your data. You can even replace your existing website and social media chatbot tools using the Omnichannel by Rocket.Chat feature. However, less tech-savvy team members who have trouble adjusting to the user interface may prefer Slack.
Rocket.Chat Pricing at a Glance
- Community: Free for a self-managed plan with unlimited message history, unlimited integrations, branding, Facebook and WhatsApp integrations, and multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Pro: $3 per user, per month or $30 annually for a self-hosted plan with hourly analytics reporting, social network logins, real-time active directory and lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) sync, and customer support
- Enterprise: Contact Rocket.Chat for tiered pricing and volume discounts for self-hosting, onboarding assistance, a quicker response time to support tickets, and real-time translation
- Bronze: $2 per user, per month or $20 annually with a minimum of 10 users for software as a service (SaaS) with unlimited message history, 1TB cloud storage, and five integrations
- Silver: $4 per user, per month or $40 annually with a minimum of 10 users for SaaS with 20TB storage white-label options, 100 integrations, MFA, and social network logins
- Gold: Contact Rocket.Chat for tiered and volume discounts, audit logs, 1,000 integrations, an engagement dashboard, and push notifications
- Omnichannel messaging: Immediately respond to messages from customers across many channels, including Facebook and WhatsApp, without leaving Rocket.Chat. You can even send messages to a dedicated channel when your team is offline.
- Engagement dashboard: Discover how your team uses Rocket.Chat through the engagement panel. It provides usage data, shows peak hours of use, and highlights the top five channels.
- Integrations: Rocket.Chat differs from cloud-based Microsoft Teams alternatives in that you can connect your software to nearly any tool your business uses, including self-built apps and popular platforms, such as YouTube, Zoho CRM, and BigBlueButton.
Mattermost: Best Microsoft Teams Alternative for Developers
Mattermost is an open source Microsoft Teams alternative and is ideal for those needing greater privacy that self-hosting provides. It’s built for developers and integrates with hundreds of DevOps (practices that combine developer and IT operations) tools and workflows. Additionally, the self-hosted E20 plan costs less than most services on our list, yet supports advanced user roles and incident collaboration.
Like Rocket.Chat, Mattermost supports customization, so you can add your branding to login pages and the mobile app. However, small companies looking for fast deployment may prefer a cloud-based Mattermost subscription or the lower-priced SaaS Rocket.Chat solution.
Mattermost Pricing at a Glance
- Cloud Professional: $10 per user, per month with annual prepayment discounts available with unlimited integrations, guest accounts, 20GB per user of storage, and MFA
- Cloud Enterprise: Custom pricing available for dedicated infrastructure, premium support, and strict region and data residency
- Enterprise E0: A free plan for small teams with unlimited integrations, MFA, custom branding tools, group and individual messaging, and file sharing
- Enterprise E10: $3.25 per user, per month (billed annually) for small to midsize companies to add advanced access control policies, guest accounts, and MFA enforcement
- Enterprise E20: $8.50 per user, per month (billed annually) to add advanced user roles and permissions, incident collaboration, and premium support
- Team chat: Interact with your team using one-on-one and group messaging, rich markdown formatting, and multi-language support. You can also connect third-party applications for video or voice tools.
- Custom alerts: Personalize notification settings to track your favorite channels and keywords, or use the do-not-disturb function to finish a task without disruption.
- Reporting: Mattermost provides database management tools, eDiscovery, compliance reporting, and performance and system monitoring. You can run reports about user behaviors and conversations and enable audit logging. Also, it connects to enterprise information archiving (EIA) systems.
How We Evaluated the Best Microsoft Teams Alternatives
We assessed apps similar to Microsoft Teams by reviewing pricing information and features, such as breakout rooms and meeting capacity. In each case, we compared the alternative to Microsoft Teams to see how it differs and why a business would prefer one over the other.
RingCentral Video scored 4.63 out of 5 stars, making it the best Microsoft Teams equivalent. RingCentral offers a robust free plan with built-in task management and advanced search capabilities. It also supports meeting recordings, a feature lacking on the free version of Microsoft Teams. Connect Google or Microsoft calendars and edit or annotate documents in real time. Plus, its free version doesn’t require a credit card, so there’s no risk to get started.
Here’s a breakdown of how we measured each provider:
25% of Overall Score
We examined the pricing structure for each Microsoft Teams equivalent, including the availability of free plans and trials, annual discounts, and overall affordability of monthly subscriptions.
30% of Overall Score
We explored recording capacity and cloud storage space of Microsoft Teams alternatives while checking for high definition (HD) video quality, advanced meeting analytics and search functionality, and intuitive desktop apps.
25% of Overall Score
We checked out each platform’s mobile app and meeting capacity limits. Plus, we considered options for breakout rooms and content sharing.
20% of Overall Score
We considered the number of features as well as the popularity of the platforms, including mobile apps, and ease of use. In addition, we looked at all features compared to the cost to determine the best overall value.
Although Microsoft Teams is a popular platform for enterprises, it may not be ideal for smaller businesses or companies that don’t use Microsoft 365 products. Instead, you might be looking for a more feature-rich free option, a complete unified communications platform, or an open source alternative that connects to your business’ most-used tools and supports its communication preferences.
Based on our criteria, RingCentral Video is the best Microsoft Teams alternative because it provides feature-rich free and paid versions that put all communications in a unified workspace, from messaging to conferencing. Get started by downloading the free app or signing up for the RingCentral Video Pro+ package.