Zoom vs Microsoft Teams: What Video Chat Software is Right for You?

As Businesses Rush to Embrace Remote Work, The Concept of Video Conferencing is More Integral Than Ever Before – Offering Face-to-Face Interaction for Collaboration.

Remote work and video conferencing aren’t new concepts, but they’re becoming integral for face-to-face interaction in this new world of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders. So how do you choose the right video chat software to meet your unique needs? It’s all about understanding the features, functionality, and security of each option. Below, we’ll give you an in-depth review of two of the most popular choices available on the market: Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Zoom: An Overview of the Software & Plans Available

Zoom is available for Android, iOS, Mac, and PC devices. The app gives you the ability to select multiple hosts and adjust meeting times as needed with HD video and audio capabilities, as well as collaboration tools like co-annotation, simultaneous screen-sharing, and the ability to record meetings. There are 4 different plans available:

  1. Basic: Host up to 100 participants with an unlimited number of 40-minute long meetings for free.
  2. Pro: Host up to 100 participants with an unlimited number of meetings with a duration of up to 24 hours for $14.99 per host, per month.
  3. Business: Host up to 300 participants with dedicated phone support, single sign-on capabilities, and various other features for $19.99 per host, per month.
  4. Enterprise: Host up to 500 participants (or opt for Enterprise Plus for 1,000 participants) with all of the features in the lower-tier plans, plus unlimited cloud storage, a dedicated customer success manager, and more for $19.99 per host, per month.

Microsoft Teams: An Overview of the Software & Plans Available

Microsoft Teams is available within any applicable Microsoft Office 365 plan. Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform designed for chat, video conferencing, and audio calls. The platform integrates seamlessly with other Office apps, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for simplified presentations and/or file sharing. Microsoft Teams is easily accessible via:

  1. A Free Plan: Microsoft offers a free version with unlimited chat, video calling, file sharing, storage, and more. The free version supports up to 500,000 people per organization with 2GB/user of storage, as well as 10GB of shared storage.
  2. Microsoft 365 Business Basic (Formerly Office 365 Business Essentials): Microsoft offers Microsoft Teams within Microsoft 365 Business Basic, which expands upon the free version with 1TB/user of storage, as well as 10GB/user of storage, as well as 1TB of shared storage. This version also provides the ability to schedule and record meetings, as well as advanced security features like multi-factor authentication and advanced auditing/reporting. The cost is $5 per user, per month.
  3. Microsoft 365 Business Standard (Formerly Office 365 Business Premium): Microsoft offers Microsoft Teams within Microsoft 365 Business Standards, which offers the same capabilities and advanced security features found in the lower-tier version, alongside desktop versions of the productivity suite’s applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Publisher, as well as business applications, such as:
    • Bookings
    • Invoicing
    • MileIQ

The cost is $8.25 per user, per month.

Zoom: Security

Zoom has come under scrutiny for security concerns over the past few months. Unfortunately, a lot of the security comes down to users and their knowledge and/or ability to pay attention to the settings. Users have the option to stay more secure with:

  • Removing participants during meetings
  • Designating presenters and attendees
  • Requiring attendees join using a password
  • Controlling which participants can screen share
  • Requiring attendees to wait in the lobby before being let in

Communications are established using 256-bit TLS encryption, and fortunately, shared content can be encrypted using AES-256 encryption – but this is entirely up to the user’s discretion.

Microsoft Teams: Security

Microsoft, in general, tends to shine when it comes to security. Microsoft Teams is no exception – following many best practices to keep users safe against hackers and/or threats of any sort. Microsoft Teams offers much of the same user options for enhancing security as Zoom, including:

  • Requiring attendees to wait in the lobby before being let in
  • Designating presenters and attendees
  • Controlling which participants can screen share or share content

In addition to the controls left up to the user, Microsoft Teams also builds security into the platform with:

  • Encryption of data in transit and at rest
  • Advanced threat protection to prevent malicious software hidden in files
  • Multi-factor authentication enforced on a team-wide and organization-wide basis
  • Single sign-on capabilities
  • Support for over 90 regulations and standards
  • And much, much more

Zoom: User Experience

Zoom is incredibly simple for end-users. You can simply click a button and launch a meeting in a matter of seconds with minimal need for assistance with implementation, configuration or ongoing support. The user interface is straightforward with minimal options – aside from the basics like scheduling a meeting or sharing your screen.

Microsoft Teams: User Experience

Microsoft Teams takes a bit of time to get used to in terms of the user experience. There are various channels and file sharing components available, which means it’s easy to get a bit confused. However, if you’re already using Microsoft 365 (formerly Microsoft Office 365), the interface will be easy to learn.

Our Recommendation…

For those who are absolute beginners with video conferencing and on a budget, Zoom makes sense – so long as your requirements for security and enterprise-grade features are minimal. For those who are looking for a more integrated, seamless experience that offers greater security and more features for collaboration, Microsoft Teams makes sense, especially if you’re already subscribed to an applicable plan.

Still not sure? Advantage Industries is here to help. Let us know if you need a hand choosing the right video chat software.

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Keith Heilveil

In 1999 Advantage Industries was created to protect and promote our client’s success through the use of innovative technology. Our company is a full services technology firm that provides computer network support and solutions, managed services, cybersecurity, and custom application development for small and medium businesses in the Maryland, DC, and Virginia areas.

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Tim Happel

Tim Happel

Sr. Director of Sales, PMP

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