The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world of remote working to new heights, and with it came the rise of video conferencing apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, and more. Apple even opened FaceTime to non-iOS users for the first time since its inception.
But when we use these apps, we tend to think towards security; after all, we send all of our information through a data center we have no control over, including sensitive business and personal information.
Open-source alternatives to these popular video conferencing apps provide an additional layer of security as anyone can review the code, and some don’t even use a traditional data center. Let’s look at some viable open-source Zoom alternatives that give you peace of mind during your workday.
Jitsi is an easy-to-use audio and video calling platform that doesn’t require users to sign up to join a conference. Simply offering the link to intended participants is enough to start a chat.
Jitsi doesn’t require users to install any software, and although there are applications available to download, everything is available from the browser.
Tox is another open-source project with peer-to-peer, decentralized networking that provides strong communication encryption, allowing users to instant message, voice, video call, share files, and screen share with multiple users.
Decentralization means that Tox doesn’t operate any servers that can be hacked, shut down, or forced to pass data onto authorities, as the network is made up of peer-to-peer users, similar to how torrenting works.
Tox Chat is a part of the Toxcore project, which hosts a selection of various Tox apps within the project, allowing users to access Tox Chat from various clients.
Tox Chat is best used alongside a VPN, as data can be linked back to you if your information has previously been leaked online.
Another decentralized offering, Jami, promises users will be able to “share, freely and privately.” As an open-source, free-to-use software that promises no data is stored server side, Jami uses 4096-Bit encryption through RSA-Keys.
Users need only provide Jami with a username and password; no need to share your private email or telephone and profile pictures are optional. Users can share their account details either by distributing their username to friends and colleagues or sharing a scannable QR code. Non-registered users can use Jami for one-time communications too by logging in as a guest.
Jami is widely obtainable, with applications available on all three major desktop operating systems and even Android, iOS, and Android TV.
Jami has all the frills we expect to see, such as audio and video calling with up to 4K resolution and screen sharing. Some users have experienced bugs when using the same chat across multiple devices.
Linphone is a barebones, Voice over IP (VoIP) client with built-in messaging. It lacks the additional frills of some of the other alternatives here, such as screen sharing. What Linphone does, though, they do very well, with end-to-end encryption based on advanced algorithms with ZRTP encrypted voice and video calling.
Rocket.Chat, designed initially as a support system back in 2015, has received funding to develop the project into a world-class remote video conferencing tool that governments, private, and not-for-profit organizations have all used.
Users can host the application in the cloud or on their own private servers, with users able to get the fork from GitHub and build an entirely new platform.
Like most of the other open-source alternatives here, Rocket.Chats main selling point is end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, and single-sign-ons, in other words, security.
With considerable funding coming from various sources, Rocket.Chat has a community of over 10 million users and 700 contributors and developers.
Note : This is a guest post by Jordan.