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Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard: Which is best for your remote team?
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Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard: Which is best for your remote team?

Discover the pros and cons of Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard for your online meetings—and which one’s best for remote team collaboration.

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Watching cooking shows by yourself is fun, but cooking dinner with friends is a much more enjoyable way to spend your evening.

It’s the same with virtual meetings that rely on one-way screen-sharing, and don’t give team members the chance to contribute–it's like watching your host make the dish, but not being allowed to stir the sauce.

Too many teams only experience this because they think they need to choose between Zoom vs Teams. But while these are great for talking, they fall short when it comes to easy collaboration in small remote teams. You also lose everything you work on during the call after it’s done. It’s as if your pantry magically empties itself every time you finish cooking, so you have to go shopping before every meal. 

To create a positive work culture with a healthy amount of teamwork, leaders of small remote teams need to look for alternatives that act as a home base and support a more collaborative way of working through a multiplayer experience. 

In this post, we’ll walk you through Zoom and Teams, compare their features, pricing, and advantages, and highlight who they’re best for. We’ll also show you how Switchboard helps you bring your people, tools, and operations together to create the kind of collaborative space where everyone feels more connected–so you can really start cooking. 

Want a collaboration hub built for multiplayer work?
Switchboard gives your teams an online space to find each other and get things done together—whether they’re in a meeting or not. 
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Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard: overview

Check out the table below for a visual feature comparison of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Switchboard. For a more detailed comparison, keep reading!

Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard: overview

1. Zoom

Online meeting in Zoom
Zoom is an easy-to-use online meeting tool that can be used for 1:1s, large meetings, and webinars. Source: Zoom

Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing tools on the market. It rose to popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic since it offered reliable online meeting solutions for a range of industries, like education and healthcare. Its paid plans come with tons of advanced features, but you can also use the free version for shorter, 40-minute meetings and up to 100 participants per call. (More on this later.)

Whether you’re organizing team meetings, client calls, webinars, or even online training sessions, Zoom gives you a straightforward solution. However, it doesn’t give you many interactive features so meetings are more like watching cooking videos on YouTube instead of actually making the dish yourself.

2. Microsoft Teams

Online Q&A session on Microsoft Teams
With Microsoft Teams, you can host webinars and create private spaces for team members to communicate and share files. Source: Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is one of the biggest Zoom alternatives out there. It lets you host everything from webinars and Q&A sessions to group meetings and 1:1s. The free version is ideal for simple virtual meetings, while you can host large-scale presentations and break-out sessions on paid plans. 

Teams integrates with Microsoft 365, which means you can easily access and work on your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations right in the platform. This helps make sure everyone is working on the most up-to-date version of a document.

The platform is also highly customizable because it lets you create channels and workspaces tailored to your specific needs, so you can organize your work and make sure important information doesn’t get lost.

3. Switchboard

Switchboard room with people working on multiple documents and apps
Switchboard simplifies remote and hybrid teamwork with an interactive multiplayer experience. Source: Switchboard

Switchboard is a collaborative digital workspace that lets you and your team work together on documents and apps inside a virtual room—without having to share your screen. It’s designed to foster team connection, collaboration, and productivity through intuitive meeting rooms. It’s like having a large, well-stocked kitchen with everything in easy reach, so you can get cooking with your team without having to cram everything onto a shared kitchen counter. 

Switchboard also lets you communicate in real time with video, audio, and chat. You can work side-by-side allowing everyone to scroll, type, and browse the same document at the same time. 

You can create cloud-based virtual rooms for brainstorming, host spontaneous meetings with your team, and connect with clients in an interactive space. 

Throughout the meeting, you can explore any file in the room, moving around and viewing whatever you want without getting in the way of others. 

Best of all, Switchboard saves all your files after every meeting, so you never need to download anything or repopulate the room again. This also means you can work when and how you work best—before, during, or after calls and brainstorming sessions. 

Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard: engagement features 

Both Zoom and Microsoft Teams offer some similar features like emoji reactions, polls, and hand raising to help make meetings more interactive. Teams also offers a custom feature named Together Mode, which is meant to make your teams feel like they’re joining a call from the same virtual space.

This function, currently not available on mobile apps, lets you host your online meeting in an online shared space. You can choose locations like a cafe, conference room, or resort and see everyone’s image in the same place. However, there's a steep learning curve to setting up this function and you might even need to know some coding.

What makes Switchboard different from these two tools is its multiplayer experience. During co-working sessions or meetings, or even when playing games, everyone can access and collaborate on files, documents, and apps instead of just watching one person manage them. Finally, every tab, tool, or document you open in Switchboard rooms stays right where you left it so you can go back and work on them whenever you want. 

Switchboard also not only gives you real-time communication through video chat and virtual spaces, but it lets you work together on all the apps you normally use without sharing your screen. No more link sharing and jumping from one platform to the other—everything is ready for you in one place. 

Zoom engagement features:

  • Virtual backgrounds 
  • Audio, video, and screen sharing 
  • Breakout Rooms 
  • Live captioning only available with a Zoom live transcription license 
  • Hand raising 
  • Polls
  • Q&A
  • Emoji reactions 

Teams engagement features:

  • Virtual backgrounds 
  • Audio, video, and screen sharing 
  • Breakout Rooms 
  • Live captioning for better accessibility
  • Hand raising 
  • Polls
  • Q&A
  • Emoji reactions 
  • Together Mode

Switchboard engagement features:

  • Dedicated, persistent rooms
  • Sections to organize documents and apps
  • Host not required for members to enter a room
  • Room permissions for members and guests
  • Presentation mode
  • In-meeting video, audio, and chat
  • Screen sharing for native apps
Pro tip: To boost employee engagement, Switchboard works with your favorite virtual employee engagement apps, like Bonusly, Lattice, or Slack, so it becomes the foundation of your company’s employee engagement tech stack and saves you time jumping back and forth between different tools.
A screenshot of a virtual room in Switchboard, including eight web-based app logos
You can use all the web-based apps you know and love within Switchboard—zero integrations, zero setup time. Source: Switchboard

Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard: collaboration features

Teams and Zoom provide a few collaboration features like whiteboards, meeting recordings, in-meeting chat, and screen sharing. Teams also offers file-sharing, customizable channels, and tabs. That way, you can better organize specific projects, topics, and workflows and keep everyone on track. 

But, while Zoom and Teams have features that are great for talking, Switchboard is designed to make it easy to collaborate with your remote team. It not only lets you communicate in real time through video chat and virtual spaces, but you can also use all your usual apps together without needing to share your screen. This means you don't have to waste precious minutes switching between platforms or sharing links—everything you need is right there in one place. 

Switchboard's persistent rooms also save everything you put in them, which means you don't have to keep gathering the tabs, files, and documents you need to move projects along.

Zoom collaboration features:

  • Meeting recordings
  • Screen sharing
  • Private and public in-meeting chat
  • Whiteboard 

Teams collaboration features:

  • Meeting recordings
  • Screen sharing
  • Private and public messaging 
  • Link and document sharing
  • Whiteboard 

Switchboard collaboration features:

  • Secure, fast multiplayer browsers for instant collaboration
  • Persistent rooms that save your work
  • Sticky notes
  • Google Calendar integration
  • Accommodates every web-based whiteboard
  • Web-based canvas to add multiple apps, websites, PDFs, and images side by side
  • Shared online workspace and rooms for recurring meetings
  • Unlimited rooms for 1:1s, meetings, and projects
A screenshot of tabs open in Switchboard
Use any web-based app you and your teams need to work together in Switchboard; there’s nothing to install or set up. Source: Switchboard

Check out our recent post to learn how to collaborate without burnout

Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard: async working capabilities

When your people are working across various time zones and schedules, async collaboration is a vital ingredient. It means you can move things along even if a team member can’t join a call. But to ensure everyone’s async efforts contribute to your dish, you need a tool that acts as a single source of truth. 

Since Zoom and Teams are both made for real-time communication, they don’t offer many async working features. For example, with Zoom, you can only record meetings and refer to them later to catch up on what was said.

As far as Teams goes, you can work together on Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files during meetings and, if you’re set up on the MS suite, work alone on shared documents afterward, as well as manage tasks and projects through basic features like Gantt charts and timelines. 

Switchboard async working capabilities:

  • Meeting recording
  • Permanent rooms that save your work 
  • Virtual whiteboards, comments, sticky notes, and permanent in-room chat
  • Public and private spaces for real-time and async collaboration

By contrast, Switchboard is more than an online meeting tool. It’s a collaborative digital workspace that acts as a home base where your teams can easily find each other and work together whenever they want—whether they’re in a meeting or not. 

Switchboard lets you share and open multimedia files, documents, or web browsers directly in dedicated rooms. It saves them all so you never need to prepare for another meeting again. You also don’t need to message your colleagues to get hold of the materials you looked at on the call.

You can create a room, enter it whenever you want, and work alone or with others knowing that you’ll always have everything you need. 

Check out the video below to see how you and your teams can use Switchboard for design and creative reviews, even if you can’t all get together at the same time.

Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard: user experience

A screenshot of Teams’ meeting setup
Hosting meetings on Teams is straightforward, but you need to dedicate some time to set it up. Source: Microsoft Teams

Setting up video calls and group meetings with Zoom and Teams is relatively easy. But every video conference call requires some additional setup. This makes it harder to have the kind of spontaneous interactions that make remote work the same as, or better than, in person. 

For example, with Zoom, you first need to create and log into your Zoom account and check everyone’s availability on their calendars. If they’re free to join the call, you can start the event, invite everyone by sending them a link, and wait for them to join. And if you’re on the free plans, you have to keep the call below the 40-minute time limit or start a new meeting every time you hit it.

But with Switchboard, once you create the meeting and collaboration rooms, they’re always open and available. All you need to do is jump in and start the session, with or without the head chef (aka host). If a team member can’t join, they’ll have the meeting recording to look back at plus everything you worked on, including any files, comments, sticky notes, and brainstorming mind maps. 

Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard: pricing 

Now you know how these platforms compare on features and user experience, let’s take a look at pricing: 

Zoom pricing: 

  • Free version with limited functionality and attendee numbers
  • Pro Plan: $139.90/year per user
  • Business Plan: $189.90/year per user
  • Enterprise Plan: custom priced  

MS Teams pricing: 

  • Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Teams Rooms with limited functionality: Free 
  • Microsoft Teams Essentials: $4/month per user
  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $6/month per user
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50/month per user 
  • Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro (without Audio Conferencing): $40/month per room 

Switchboard pricing: 

  • Free: Includes limited features, rooms, and members for small teams or individuals.
  • Pro: As low as $10 member/month for up to 200 rooms and 500 members plus Switchboard AI and additional storage.
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing.

Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard: meeting capacity

With traditional video conferencing tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, meeting capacity is a huge deciding factor. But, while it’s important, it’s only one side of the story. You also need to think about how your platform of choice engages your people and helps them work together—in real time or async.

Zoom capacity:

  • Free account capacity: 100 participants 
  • Pro account capacity: 100 participants 
  • Business account capacity: 300 participants
  • Enterprise capacity: 1000 participants 

Teams capacity: 

While Microsoft Teams can support up to 10,000 attendees, the maximum number of participants who can actively engage in a meeting is capped at 1000. Keep in mind that you can only create breakout rooms in meetings with fewer than 300 attendees. 

Switchboard capacity:

Switchboard is made for highly collaborative, small distributed teams so it lets you host meetings with up to 50 team members. With Switchboard, your teams can always find each other before, during, and after meetings. This means they can build deeper relationships, get work done however they do things best, and be part of a positive remote work culture based on collaboration. 

Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard: integrations

Integrations are the herbs and spices that turn your tech stack from a simple meal to a gourmet feast. Let’s take a look at what these three tools offer. 

Zoom integrations:

Zoom integrates with over 1,500 third-party apps like:

  • Slack
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Dropbox
  • HubSpot
  • Asana
  • Zapier 
  • Loom 

Teams integrations:

Microsoft Teams integrates with over 5,000 third-party apps like:

  • Microsoft 365, including Outlook, OneDrive, and PowerPoint
  • Slack
  • Zoom
  • GitHub
  • Salesforce
  • Asana
  • Lucidchart 
  • Zapier

If you integrate Microsoft Teams with Trello, you’ll receive notifications in Teams whenever someone updates or completes a task on your Trello board. This lets you keep track of your team's progress without having to constantly switch between applications. 

But remember, setting up integrations can take some time and if either Teams or Trello, for example, experiences downtime, it can disrupt your workflow.

Switchboard integrations:

With Switchboard, you won’t need any integration for web-based apps—they all work inside the platform. Just copy and paste a link into the canvas or open a browser in your room. You're also not limited by which integrations your meeting platform has. Just log in, drop a link, and start cooking up ideas!  

Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard: Which should you pick?

Best for highly collaborative remote or hybrid teams: Switchboard

Switchboard is ideal for highly collaborative, small to medium-sized remote or hybrid organizations (50 employees or less). Particularly if you’re looking for an alternative solution to traditional online meeting apps since it lets you get together anytime to enjoy a more interactive experience. 

Switchboard is perfect for use cases like recurring internal and external team meetings—from all-hands and virtual huddles to 1:1s and team-building events. Marketing and design teams can work together on product updates and new brand guidelines. It’s also suitable for agencies, freelancers, and contractors that work directly with clients. Alternatively, you can use its customizable client-specific rooms to create a centralized, interactive hub for meetings, sales demos, and onboarding

It’s kind of like having a kitchen that’s so well-stocked you can make any type of cuisine—from croissants and focaccia to chole bhature and ramen.

Screenshot of Switchboard Room with multiple documents and web browsers open
Switchboard lets your small distributed teams work on the same tasks and files during and after video calls. Source: Switchboard

Best for large meetings: Zoom 

You can hold Zoom meetings with up to 100 attendees on the Basic and Pro plans, up to 300 on Business plans, and up to 1,000 on Enterprise plans. Since Zoom accommodates a larger number of people on each call, it’s a good solution for medium-sized and large companies that need a straightforward video conferencing solution.

But Zoom isn’t a great choice for small, highly collaborative teams because it doesn’t give you the functionalities you need for engaging meetings and for true side-by-side collaboration.

Check out our others posts to compare Zoom to other tools. For example, Zoom vs Jitsi, Zoom vs Around, Zoom vs SpatialChat, and Zoom vs GoTo Meeting.

Best for large companies and corporations on the MS ecosystem: Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams works well for all types of businesses that already use Microsoft products and or need to host webinars and create collaborative meeting rooms. It’s also particularly useful for large companies that need the large meeting capacity to connect with large numbers of global stakeholders, board members, and clients. 

Zoom vs Teams vs Switchboard: Go from spectator to master chef 

Watching someone else cook can be fun and educational. But when you cook with other people, everyone has a chance to help out, add the ingredients they love, and have fun collaborating to create something unique. 

To help your remote teams feel more connected and productive, you need to move away from meetings that resemble a one-way cooking tutorial with one person speaking and everyone else just watching. But that’s not always easy to do with traditional online meeting software that lacks the features you need to encourage interaction and engagement, not to mention real-time and async teamwork. 

In this post, we reviewed Switchboard alongside two popular alternatives: Zoom and Microsoft Teams. These last are both easy-to-use, reliable apps for getting your people together and discussing projects, but they’re not designed for doing

For true collaboration, leaders of small remote companies need alternatives with features that get everyone cooking at the same time. That’s why Switchboard goes beyond high-quality online meetings to act as a dynamic virtual workspace and home base that supports a more interactive way of working through tools like persistent rooms that save your work. 

Switchboard brings your teams together with all the ingredients you need for more collaborative, energizing, and productive working. You can tackle projects together in real time or async and connect more deeply through the kind of spontaneous interactions you get in a physical office. All of which turns your people from individual guests at a dinner party to a kitchen full of master chefs.

Want a collaboration hub built for multiplayer work?
Switchboard gives your teams an online space to find each other and get things done together—whether they’re in a meeting or not. 
Sign up for free

Frequently asked questions about Zoom vs Teams

Why is Zoom more popular than Teams?

Zoom gives you a user-friendly interface, simple and reliable video conferencing features, and cross-platform compatibility. It’s also easier to join a Zoom call as a participant since you don’t need to create a Zoom account first, unlike Microsoft Teams. 

While Teams offers similar features, its integration with the Microsoft ecosystem can be complex, which means a steeper learning curve.

Is Zoom more secure than Teams?

Both platforms use industry-standard protocols and similar levels of encryption protocols to keep your data safe. For example, Zoom and Microsoft teams both use Transport Layer Security (TLS) version 1.2 encryption to keep your conversations private. 

Zoom also uses 256-bit AES-GCM encryption, a strong lock that stores your cloud recordings, chat history, and meeting metadata. It saves this information hidden from hackers and unauthorized users. 

Apart from TLS 1.2, Microsoft teams use Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) 1.2 to secure connections between devices and 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption to scramble your data even while it’s being shared or transmitted over the internet. 

Does Teams have rooms like Zoom?

Yes, both Microsoft Teams and Zoom let you create breakout rooms in group meetings. To create a breakout room on Teams, you need to be a meeting organizer or presenter who has the “breakout room manager” role.

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Want a collaboration hub built for multiplayer work?

Switchboard gives your teams an online space to find each other and get things done together—whether they’re in a meeting or not.