Nowadays at the time of the outbreak, many companies adapt to working from home in several countries as a measure to reduce the rate of infection."Working from home" is the new trend here, Companies like Amazon initiated this strategy for their employees which turned out to be effective.
Video conferences are essential solutions for companies, especially, with remote employees and companies which taken "Work-from-home" measures.
Video conferencing is used in several sectors like software development, consultation, digital media, healthcare, logistics and more.
There are many online professional video conferencing services, that offers pro-services and different pricing plans for companies, from small and medium-size to corporate. Some of them even provide plans for freelancers (paid and free).
Cloud video conferencing services are very useful in-term of usage, as the user will not be bothered by installation, data security, support or maintenance. But with this model, the user is not in control of his data nor features as well as cost.
1- Full data control
2- In-house support and maintenance
3- Lowering cost
Here in this article, we will provide a list of the best video conferencing open-source alternatives for companies and freelancers to install and use. Here are the criteria of the projects in our list:
Riot is a complete communication platform with video and voice conferencing features. It provides multi-clients and above all it's highly secure because it's built with Matrix protocol which is a an open network for secure, decentralized communication.
Riot has desktop, web and mobile clients for iOS and Android. It comes with a fancy user-interface where everything is easy to find and control.
The project features multi-channel support, message attachments, voice and video calling, and seamless integration with many chat and web services. Riot clients are translated into 25 languages, and that makes it a good choice for many companies that work with multi-languages teams.
For security, As we mentioned about Riot is built on Matrix protocol which is a highly secure decentralized network, It also has built-in end-to-end encryption, and more.
Riot is released under open-source license (Apache License 2.0), and is available for download for its GitHub repos.
Why do we recommend Riot?
Rocket.Chat is an open-source communication platform for teams. You can consider it the open-source alternative for Slack. Rocket.Chat team provides it as an enterprise communication service, but you still can download and run your own installation.
Included features are channels support, voice & video calling, attachments, live-chat for website integration, guest messages, advanced search, plugins support, data imports and rich integration-set as well as a marketplace for extensions and apps.
Why do we recommend it?
BigBlueButton is not an ordinary video conferencing solution as it targets education sectors and classrooms. This project extends the classical video conferencing options with features to make it effective for educators, teachers, and students.
Alongside its video and voice conferencing features, BigBlueButton provides screen sharing, whiteboard, recording, presentation sharing, file and attachment sharing, notes, webcam streaming, multi-presenter support and more.
When it comes to education, you should consider a seamless integration with the most used LMS "Learning Management System" like Moodle, Atutor, and SmartClass "School Management System".
We highly recommend this solution for educators and teachers especially when teaching remote students, it's the wisest option in this list to build an effective virtual classroom.
We have written a quick review about BigBlueButton you can find it here.
As a communication platform, Jitsi is exceeding other projects in this list in supporting many chats, encryption, media, and communication protocols.
Jitsi team provides a set of projects for better communication including desktop clients, server application, server-side apps, Firefox extension and Video chat engine for software developers. If you require daily video conferencing tools consider Jitsi.
Why do we recommend Jitsi?
Apache OpenMeetings is a complete video and voice meeting platform with collaboration features. It provides a cross-platform desktop client that is built on Java and receives continuous updates from its developers and maintainers.
The features included in Apache OpenMeetings are screen sharing, whiteboard, users and admin managers, files and attachment manager, multiple-whiteboards, private messaging, plan meetings with integrated calendar and more.
These features are very useful for teams like software developers, marketers, But they are also very effective for teachers to communicate and engage with their students.
We are hoping this list will be useful for companies that are interested in having their own hosted video conferencing system. If you have any open-source addition we are willing to add it to our list.
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A physician with programming skills, Linux user since late 1990s, Open source supporter. Coding with Python, NodeJS (Meteor, VueJS, Express, D3, PhantomJS), SmallTalk & R language.