Zoom vs Webex: a comparison of video conferencing tools

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Zoom and Webex are video conferencing tools that ensure professionals can hold a meeting with colleagues, whatever their location. Given the rise in remote working, it's advisable that you're proficient in both tools. Gaining a better understanding of how to use each tool can be helpful in the workplace. In this article, we detail the main features of both tools before assessing the similarities and differences between Zoom vs. Webex based on seven key metrics.

Zoom vs Webex: a summary of both tools

The following section outlines the core features of both tools so that you can more clearly understand the differences between Zoom and Webex:

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a video conferencing tool that you can use to connect with colleagues, particularly if you're unable to see them in person. You can then discuss important professional tasks, such as a work project or employee appraisals, without physically interacting. You can use digital invites to let only those you wish to speak with join a meeting, reducing the possibility of unauthorised access.

Zoom includes seven core features that let you:

  • host free video conferencing for a maximum of 40 minutes and 100 people per meeting

  • add professional contacts to your directory so that you can easily find their details in the future

  • send or receive private meeting invites so that only relevant colleagues attend video conferences

  • pin key contacts or messages to the top of your message board

  • create Zoom channels to speak with specific colleagues about a particular project

  • create a meeting schedule so that you can remain abreast of work responsibilities

  • send work-related files and documents during video conferences

Related: 23 tips to prepare for and succeed in a Zoom interview

What is Webex?

Webex is another video conferencing tool used by businesses to encourage distant colleagues to communicate more effectively. You're able to download the basic version of Webex free of charge, though your company could pay a monthly fee for additional features. Using Webex, you can more easily collaborate with colleagues and discuss important professional issues without distractions.

The six core features of Webex include:

  • free video conferencing for a maximum of 50 minutes and 100 people per meeting

  • screen sharing with colleagues so that they can see what you're viewing during a meeting

  • sending messages to colleagues both inside and outside of group chats

  • creating polls during chats, to better understand colleagues' opinions about certain issues

  • saving recordings of video conferences to your computer

  • high-definition audio, whether you're speaking or listening

Zoom vs Webex: how do they compare?

Zoom and Webex both connect distant colleagues, but there are several differences between them. The following section compares the features of each tool according to seven key metrics:

1. Cost

Both tools offer a mixture of free and subscription-based plans. Zoom provides a more basic free service aimed at small-scale traders, such as the self-employed. If you work for a small firm, you could select the £11.99 a month model, which enables group meetings lasting for up to 30 hours and 1GB of cloud storage. Conversely, if you work at a large firm, you could buy the £15.99 a month plan, which allows up to 300 people to attend meetings.

Webex also offers a basic free version, but it has fewer features than its subscription plans. If you work for a small business, you could buy the £11.25 a month plan, which includes extra security and video conferencing features. Alternatively, if you're working at a large firm, you could purchase the £22.50 a month plan, providing further benefits. You could also buy additional features using an enterprise plan designed to create a Webex plan customised to your organisation's specific needs.

2. Security

Both tools offer similar security options within their basic and subscription models. With Zoom, you can encrypt the data of the conversation's participants to stop attacks by hackers. Zoom uses AES 256 encryption technology to prevent hacking during phone or video calls. You can also create a meeting password to prevent unauthorised access, and with the £15.99 a month plan, you can log into a meeting using your company's credentials.

Webex also offers various security options, though you can only access some of these after buying a monthly plan. End-to-end encryption in the free version prevents third parties from accessing conference data, and, like Zoom, you can also create a password for each meeting. By purchasing the £11.25 a month plan, you can encrypt video recordings stored in the cloud. The more expensive model provides no additional security benefits, but you can buy custom security elements via the enterprise plan.

3. Mobile connectivity

Both tools offer a range of options that you can use to remain in contact with colleagues, regardless of their location. If you're using Zoom, you can make phone calls within the app, joining a video conference to speak with up to two colleagues at once. In crises, you can also use Zoom's phone call option to contact the emergency services, such as the police. Your mobile phone contract determines the cost of the call. This option is only available via one of the subscription-based plans.

You can also make phone calls using the Webex mobile app. By paying an additional £29.75 per user per month, you can also receive international calls from over 70 countries.

Related: How to work collaboratively

4. Messaging

Both tools include options to message colleagues, either within a meeting or externally. Using Zoom, you can launch either private or group chats, depending on the issue you want to discuss. In such chats, you can utilise varied methods of communication, such as text, images, screenshots or audio recordings. You can also monitor the present status of colleagues to establish whether they're available or already in a meeting. These features are all included within the basic plan.

You can access similar features via Webex. With this tool, you can send unlimited messages to a colleague, using similar communications methods as for Zoom. If you opt for the £11.25 a month plan, you can also act as a moderator over a messaging space, only granting access to those you deem relevant to the project.

Related: A guide to the communication process (written and verbal)

5. Platforms

You can use either app on both a computer and a portable device, such as a mobile phone or tablet. You can use Zoom on computers with either a Windows or Mac operating system, along with portable devices running either Android or iOS. You can also access Zoom using a browser if you prefer not to download the app. You can use Webex in the same manner.

Despite these similarities, each tool differs when it comes to platform compatibility. For example, you can use Zoom on any Windows computer using Windows 7 or newer, whereas Webex is only compatible with Windows 8 or above. Therefore, your laptop's age could determine which tool you're able to use.

6. Monitoring

Both tools include options to monitor the performance of junior colleagues. With Zoom, you can receive regular reports detailing the course of different meetings, including when they occurred, who attended and how long they lasted. You can use these details to understand how projects are progressing. You can also use Zoom's user management features to assign roles to team members, altering these roles as the project progresses.

Webex doesn't include such comprehensive user management tools; instead, it simply allows administrators to control who has access to the digital workspace. For example, you can decide whether to allow a user access to a project's dashboard before determining their privileges. If you're approving a senior colleagues' request, you can grant them greater administrative privileges than a junior team member, such as the right to set passwords or alter video settings.

Related: Project controls: definition, importance and skills

7. Customisation

Customisation differences between the two services are more pronounced than for other measures. Both tools allow real-time audio translation, and, with Zoom, you can access this feature by opting for the £15.99 a month model. In contrast, Webex only offers this feature as a custom extra, which you can secure by negotiating with their sales team. Another difference between Zoom and Webex concerns spotlighting users. With Zoom, you can spotlight up to nine participants, ensuring everyone in attendance can see their videos. With Webex, you can only highlight a single participant.

Despite these differences, you can find similar customisation options in either tool. For example, you can change your dashboard to reflect your company's identity by adding a logo or altering the colour palette.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Related:

  • Common Zoom interview mistakes and how to avoid them


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