Zoom Review: Features, Alternatives & Pricing for 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Unified Communications.
Zoom is the leading video conferencing software, offering a feature-rich solution for businesses and individuals. A free version is available, while monthly plans start at $14.99 per user. It’s an excellent fit for small businesses looking for a free video meeting app or an all-in-one unified communications platform. In this Zoom review, this provider scored high in pricing, niche features, customer service, and ease of use.
Zoom Review: At a Glance
What We Liked
- Free plan with robust, entry-level features
- Modern, intuitive user interface
- No download required to join meetings
- Integrates with 2,000+ third-party apps
- No dial-in numbers with the free plan
- Audio conferencing is only available as an add-on
- Limited language options for real-time captions
- Mobile version is not up to par with the desktop version
- Remote and hybrid work: Zoom is one of our best video conference software with a straightforward platform ideal for distributed teams who wants to host and join virtual meetings without the fuss.
- Budget-friendly video meeting solution: Zoom tops our list of the best free conference call service, offering all the essential video meeting features even on its free version. Plus, paid plans are priced affordably and are scalable.
- Third-party integrations: With over 2,000 third-party apps, Zoom has more out-of-the-box integrations than any other video conferencing provider.
- All-in-one business communications platform: Zoom goes beyond video conferencing, combining online meetings, webinars, business phone, collaboration, and contact center capabilities.
- Longer meeting duration: Zoom’s free plan only allows users to host 40-minute meetings. Check out RingCentral, which lets you host 24-hour meetings on its free basic plan.
- Strict security and compliance standards: If you’re concerned about Zoom’s troubled history of security issues, try 8×8, which comes with solid security features and compliance certifications.
- Extensive collaboration tools: Microsoft Teams provides a centralized workspace for video conferencing, instant messaging, and online collaboration.
Zoom Deciding Factors
Zoom’s popularity lies in its ease of use and the sheer number of features included in every plan. Remote and hybrid teams should strongly consider Zoom for business meetings if they want a full-featured video conferencing solution. It comes with a robust free plan that works well for a solitary user and those needing a budget-friendly way to host virtual meetings.
Businesses looking for a robust, easy-to-use video conferencing solution
Annual or Volume Discounts Available
17% discount on annual billing
24/7 phone support, live chat, and ticket system (for licensed users only)
While Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing apps, it doesn’t mean it’s the ideal fit for all business types. Here are a few of the best Zoom alternatives if you’re looking for a more competitive pricing or feature set.
Remote teams looking for a low-cost, virtual meeting solution
Companies needing a business phone system with a free video meeting platform
Companies prioritizing security when hosting meetings
Monthly Starting Price (per User)
Free or $4 for the first paid tier (billed annually)
Free or $14.99 for the first paid tier
Free or $5.40 for the first paid tier
Zoom plans and pricing earned a perfect score for this category as it offers a free version, annual billing discounts, and a cheap monthly base plan at only $14.99 per user. All plans include screen sharing, co-annotation, automated captions, and whiteboards.
Users should note that prices for Zoom have evolved into five scalable plans after its recent major update. Zoom Meetings is now part of its newly evolved unified communications platform, Zoom One, which combines chat, meetings, phone, and whiteboard.
Zoom Plans & Pricing
Solopreneurs and small teams hosting brief video meetings
Businesses needing cloud storage and streaming functionality
Businesses needing recording transcripts and unlimited whiteboard use
Companies needing basic business phone functionality
Enterprise businesses wanting unlimited cloud storage and a full-featured business phone
1 to 9
10 to 99
10 to 99
Cloud Recording (per License)
Business Phone Features
Zoom has a wide variety of add-on plans if you want to expand your existing subscription. To avail of these add-ons, you need at least one licensed user.
- Audio conferencing: Add an audio conferencing feature to your plan, including the ability to add call-out, global toll-free, and local dial-in for premium countries. The monthly fee starts at $100 per month.
- Large meetings: Increase meeting capacity to 500 to 1,000 participants at a monthly starting fee of $50.
- Cloud storage: Increase cloud storage of up to 5TB for a starting price of $10 per month.
- Premier support: Get priority response for support issues and connect directly with support engineers. Contact the sales team for a quote.
- Conference room connector: Connect your H.323/SIP systems with desktop, tablet, mobile devices, and Zoom Rooms for a starting fee of $49 monthly.
- Quality of service (QoS) subscription: Access to QoS event data as it happens for your meetings, webinars, and phone calls. Contact the sales team for a quote.
- Zoom Whiteboard: Unlimited editable boards for a monthly fee of $2.49.
- Zoom Phone Power Pack: Add real-time analytics and historical reports for a monthly price of $25 per user.
- Zoom IQ for Sales: Conversation intelligence tool designed for sales teams. Contact the sales team for a quote.
Zoomis a modern communications solution that allows users to connect via chat, phone, audio, and video across any device. Its unified communications approach packages persistent chat, meetings, and whiteboard functionality to provide teams with multiple ways to connect and collaborate.
Zoom scored 3.5 out of 5 for general features because it offers all the tools to make virtual meetings more engaging and interactive. It would have scored higher if not for the lack of audio conferencing on all plans. Still, Zoom is an appealing choice for small businesses as it accommodates up to 300 attendees, supports up to 30 hours per meeting, and offers a host of video conferencing features even on its free version. Check out some of them below:
- Background noise suppression
- Virtual background
- Cloud recording
- Breakout rooms
- Co-annotation on screen share
- Keyboard and mouse control
- Waiting room
Zoom earned another 5 out of 5 score for its niche features. This provider has the largest number of integrations than any other video conferencing provider. With up to 2,000 third-party apps, users can choose from a wide variety of business apps to extend the functionality of their meeting platform. On upper-tier plans, Zoom unlocks premium features like recording transcripts, translated captions, and unlimited cloud storage.
Click on each feature below to learn about Zoom’s niche offerings.
Zoom Whiteboard is a cross-platform visual collaboration solution built right into Zoom Meetings. It includes interactive whiteboard features, such as sticky notes, drag-and-drop images, and advanced shapes and connectors. It also comes with intuitive sharing controls and integrates with existing workflows to promote collaboration across meeting spaces.
Start a one-on-one chat or create a public or private channel organized by topic, project, or team. Send emojis, start a virtual meeting, share files, or mention users to get their attention. Calendar integrations sync status and presence, while customized notifications and starred chats keep important messages organized and accessible. Zoom lets users share a meeting recording or whiteboarding session to any channel in just a few clicks.
Zoom scored 3.75 out of 5 for customer service because it offers 24/7 availability on all its support channels, such as phone and live chat. However, it didn’t get a perfect score for this category as priority response depends on your account type, user type, and how your account is configured. For example, only licensed users can submit web tickets, while admins whose subscription plans exceed $200 per month can contact live phone support.
Alternatively, basic plan subscribers can use the Zoom community forum, knowledge base, and chatbot.
Zoom earned 5 out of 5 for ease of use because of its seamless user experience across desktop, mobile, and web apps. With its intuitive interface, any beginner can easily adapt to its platform without the learning curve. Once you download the Zoom desktop app, you will notice that everything is streamlined into one window with a clean, modern look and feel. Its new feature, elevating search, makes it easy to find contacts, files, messages, and chat channels.
Zoom earned a perfect score in our expert evaluation due to its feature-rich free plan, user-friendly interface, and robust video conferencing tools. Based on our experience, it doesn’t need much technical expertise to fully utilize Zoom’s features. We also checked Zoom reviews and found many users left high ratings because of its value for money, intuitive platform, and the variety of features it offers, such as recording, screen sharing, and virtual backgrounds.
- G2: 4.5 out of 5 based on 52,360 reviews
- GetApp: 4.6 out of 5 based on 13,436 reviews
- TrustRadius: 8.4 out of 10 based on 4,948 reviews
Although Zoom has a spotty history of security issues, it has continuously introduced several security updates to regain users’ trust. Since 2020, Zoom has rolled out additional in-meeting security capabilities, including audio signature, encryption, meeting lock, passcode, and waiting rooms.
How We Evaluated Zoom
To create an in-depth evaluation of Zoom for small business owners, we considered criteria such as pricing, general features, niche features, customer support, and ease of use. We also consulted recent reviews for Zoom to see what customers have to say about their experience.
Learn how we evaluated Zoom by clicking on the tabs below:
15% of Overall Score
Since cost is a major concern for small businesses, we looked for the availability of a free-forever plan, free trial, and discounts for annual billing. We gave additional points to Zoom as it offers cheaper per-user pricing for its subscription plans.
30% of Overall Score
A reliable video conferencing solution prioritizes security by keeping its meetings encrypted and allowing users to set a passcode. It should also have a mobile app to host and join meetings even on the go. Zoom earned high ratings for offering all these features and an additional point for accommodating up to 100 to 300 attendees per session.
20% of Overall Score
We considered the features that promote smoother collaboration among distributed teams. We checked if Zoom offers whiteboards, breakout rooms, software integrations, and call recording. Zoom gained additional points for providing international dial-in numbers, which allow global users to join meetings.
10% of Overall Score
We looked at the types of support channels the provider offers, including phone, email, chat, and a ticketing system. Additional points are awarded if all support channels are available 24/7.
10% of Overall Score
To evaluate Zoom’s user-friendliness, we tested the platform ourselves and compared it to our experiences with other video conferencing solutions. We also checked the customer feedback on credible review websites. We considered if users encountered learning curves during the setup phase and how easy it is for them to utilize all its features and carry out specific tasks.
15% of Overall Score
Our years of experience evaluating various video conferencing providers serve as our basis for coming up with an expert evaluation. We compared Zoom’s offerings against other virtual meeting solutions and weighed the provider’s popularity among users. We checked how its service meets small business needs, including its ease of use and overall value for money.
Zoom is a reliable video conferencing platform that supports all business sizes. Its five scalable plans allow you to seamlessly expand your communication and collaboration needs. With its robust integrations and rich video conferencing features, users are able to host, join, and schedule virtual meetings with great ease. Get started by signing up for its free basic plan, or contact its sales team to learn which package is the right fit for your business.