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Zoom vs Microsoft Teams: Which is best for you?

Video meeting services are battling for your money.
January 3, 2022
Zoom Meetings on smartphone next to office equipment stock 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Remote work has become more common than ever. In addition, office desk jockeys often need video calling to contact co-workers and clients from afar. Many of you are probably debating whether you should go for Zoom vs Microsoft Teams, as they are among the most popular video calling apps for professionals. Let’s compare them and help you figure out which best suits your needs.

More: The best work from home apps, gadgets, and tools

Zoom vs Microsoft Teams: Video quality

How to use Zoom virtual backgound desktop 1

One of the most important factors to consider is video quality. You don’t want to look pixelated in your next presentation, so you will be happy to hear both Zoom and Microsoft Teams take advantage of up to 1080p@30fps video.

Also: The best webcams you can buy

Your hardware and data connection need to be up to the task. Luckily, most current internet connections far surpass developer recommendations. Microsoft Teams recommends a 2.5Mbps upload and 4Mbps download connection for high definition group calls, while Zoom is a bit more demanding. Zoom recommends 3.8Mbps up and 3Mbps down for video calls at 1080p.

The only main difference is that Zoom doesn’t activate 1080p resolutions by default. Instead, support has to enable it, and it’s limited to Business and Enterprise plans. Otherwise, you will be using 720p video (arguably still great).

As for audio quality, it should mainly depend on your microphone. You should check out the SoundGuys list of the best USB microphones.

Zoom vs Microsoft Teams: Participant limits

Microsoft Teams

How large your group is will highly influence your decision in the Zoom vs Microsoft Teams dilemma. Teams limits you to 300 viewers per meeting (100 for free accounts), but Microsoft 365 members can have up to 25,000 listen-only participants.

Zoom Meetings’ free plan allows you to start video calls with up to 100 participants, but paying up can get that number up to 500. If you have a large company and require video calls with over 500 people, you can also pay extra to increase that number to 1,000.

Here: How to use Whiteboard in Zoom Meetings

Zoom vs Microsoft Teams: No account, no problem!

Zoom start a meeting

Both services can generate a unique link that can be shared with others to enter a video call. Meeting organizers can invite anyone, regardless of whether they’re Zoom or Microsoft Teams users. Once in the call, users can enjoy the full set of features both services have to offer. This might be helpful if your co-workers don’t really want to sign up for either.

Zoom vs Microsoft Teams: Other features

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Zoom may have a slight edge over Microsoft Teams regarding video calling and conferencing. Both include screen share, meeting recording, cloud storing, a whiteboard, file sharing, joining via call, and more. On top of that, Zoom can offer participant connectivity details, people counting capabilities, a more user-friendly UI, and more.

Microsoft Teams has its strengths, though. While Zoom is primarily a video calling and meeting app, Microsoft Teams serves as a general chat and organization application similar to what we see in Slack or Discord. In addition, it has excellent integration with Microsoft’s 365 apps. These include all-time favorites like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Collaboration between teammates is a breeze when using Microsoft Teams. Many companies are already using these apps, giving Microsoft a significant advantage in the Zoom vs Microsoft Teams competition.

Also read: 10 Zoom Meetings tips and tricks you should know about

Zoom vs Microsoft Teams: Compatibility

2019 camera shootout - Zoom vs Microsoft Teams compatibility

Lucky for you, both Zoom and Microsoft Teams have amazing compatibility. Both can be used on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and even a web browser. As mentioned in the previous section, it’s possible to call in via phone. You have no excuses for missing that meeting!

Zoom vs Microsoft Teams: Security

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Zoom uses end-to-end encryption, which means data is encrypted in your device, then sent privately and deciphered only when it reaches its destination. This is more secure than Microsoft’s in-transit and at-rest encryption, but Zoom has been in the spotlight for privacy concerns in the past. Despite privacy updates, improving encryption, adding the ability to disable personal meeting IDs, and fighting Zoombombing, the company can’t catch a break as over 500,000 stolen accounts are being sold online.

Zoom had a rough 2020, but things are more stable now. Regardless, the security-conscious among you might prefer Microsoft Teams.


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Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Zoom’s free plan is great, but the 100 participants and 40-minute limitations might bog you down. Those who need more can opt for a paid monthly subscription.

Zoom pricing May 2021

You can technically get Microsoft Teams free, but its best features come with a Microsoft 365 account. The free version offers unlimited message search history, guest access, Office document collaboration, over 250 integrations, video calls, screen sharing, and customized backgrounds. Paying can grant you scheduled meetings, recordings, a phone system, more cloud storage, additional Office 365 apps, desktop versions of Office, and more.

Microsoft Teams can also get pricey, though. With Zoom, only hosts need to pay a monthly fee. Meanwhile, Microsoft Teams requires a monthly subscription payment per user. This can get heavy on your wallet if you need to get a large team into Microsoft Teams.

Micrososft Teams pricing

Which is better for you?

Zoom Meetings on smartphone next to office equipment stock 5
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Zoom is a slightly better video-focused service for your meetings, calls, and conferences. You will enjoy a few added features, a more polished UI, and possibly lower prices.

Zoom’s base paid subscription is $14.99, but the free version is capable and comes with most premium features. Paying is convenient mainly for those who need video calls with over 100 participants or can’t deal with the 40-minute limit.

Microsoft Office integration could single-handedly win the battle between Teams and Zoom. Edgar Cervantes

On the other hand, Microsoft Teams beats Zoom in many areas, mostly because it offers a complete solution for your team’s organization, chatting needs, file transfers, and more. Think of it more as a hub instead of a video calling service. Not to mention Office integration, which could single-handedly win the battle between Teams and Zoom. Especially if your company is well invested in Microsoft’s apps… and many are. Just be ready to pay a pretty penny, especially for larger teams.

Are you still not convinced with Zoom or Microsoft Teams? There are a few other great options to consider. Check out some more of our comparisons to see if any other options can convince you.