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Open source: Jitsi Meet as an alternative to Zoom

Jitsi is a set of open-source projects that allows you to easily build and deploy secure videoconferencing solutions. At the heart of Jitsi are Jitsi Videobridge and Jitsi Meet, which let you have conferences on the internet, while other projects in the community enable other features such as audio, dial-in, recording, and simulcasting.

What is Jitsi?

As everyone on the planet is trying to figure out how to move work, learning and socialising online, there are a few platforms that have come to dominate the videoconferencing space, with Zoom being the biggest winner so far. But there are important problems that have emerged as more and more people have started using Zoom, including privacy, security and encryption concerns. And it looks ugly IMO. In addition, Google has made it clear that their enterprise video conferencing platform, Google Meet, is only free until June. While this might be extended for a bit longer it’s eventually going to go away. Taking this into account, now is the perfect time to start using an alternative i.e. before you absolutely have to.

Jitsi Meet is a free and open-source videoconferencing tool that’s easy to use, is encrypted by default, and doesn’t sell your data. You don’t need an account and you don’t need to download anything to start or join a meeting. You can do pretty much anything that both Zoom and Google Meet can do, including recording, live-streaming to YouTube, password-protection, background blur, it supports up to 75 participants and has no time limit. And obviously there are iOS and Android apps as well.

If you want to try it out, click here to start your own meeting. You’ll see a screen like the one below. Once you set the meeting up you’ll be able to share the URL with anyone you’d like to join. Here is a useful introduction to using Jitsi.

By Michael Rowe

I'm a lecturer in the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. I'm interested in technology, education and healthcare and look for places where these things meet.