The COVID-19 pandemic has sent the world a mix of ways to stay connected. And video chat apps are one of the easiest ways to stay in touch with friends and family.
Two video chat apps produce more titles than most: Zoom and Houseparty. Both video chat apps promise to keep things simple so you can chat with multiple people at once. Even better, Zoom and Houseparty are free to use.
So how do you choose between them? In this article, we will photograph Zoom against Houseparty to see what is best…
Zoom vs. Houseparty: Which is the best?
Three important criteria need to be considered:
- Security and privacy
- Ease of use
These three categories contain key information to help you decide between Houseparty and Zoom. You can examine the information in detail or refer to the table below for a quick overview.
Zoom vs. Houseparty: Features
First of all: which video calling app has the best features?
This is an interesting question because it depends on what you want from your video chat app. Prior to the pandemic, Zoom focused on corporate customers. Home users calling friends and family were not Zoom’s focus. In it, feature concentration tends toward business users.
Using the basic plan, Zoom users can add up to 100 participants to a call that lasts up to 40 minutes. When the time expires, Zoom deletes all users in the video chat. You can upgrade to a premium account to remove time restrictions. Or you can just reconnect and continue the conversation.
As you can see overview of Zoom
How to use zoom for online meetings
, the app also includes integrated chat, screen sharing, local recording, multiple screen layouts (handy when you have multiple participants) and a variety of meeting scheduling options.
Zoom is available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and most browsers.
Houseparty, on the other hand, is built with fun and games in mind. Eight participants can connect to the Houseparty video chat. There is no time limit and you can leave the House Party conversations by selecting the next room.
Now here’s the thing. Houseparty tries to provide an “experience” of the party. You can move through the rooms, chat with different people and find the right atmosphere for you. The Houseparty video call starts as soon as you launch the app. Plus, your room will be unlocked without locking, so anyone on your contact list can join from the start.
This very open approach is partly leading to the success of the Houseparty. But it is also one of the most striking security and privacy issues.
Once you’re in a House Party video call, you can launch one of the integrated games and start playing. Games include Heads Up! (virtual Charades), trivia (quiz game), Quick Draw (a bit like a dictionary) and Chips and Guac (which is like a pure version of cards against humanity).
Home Party is available via Android, iOS, macOS, and Google Chrome web browser.
Zoom vs. Houseparty: Security and Privacy
When you participate in a video chat, you want to feel safe. This means no snooping, no possibility for video-based intruders, and no options to control application security. Can you trust Zoom or Houseparty at your next business meeting or family quiz?
Zoom protection and privacy
At the time of writing, Zoom has a terrible reputation for security and privacy. Nevertheless, it is still very popular in case of adversity. How much of it comes from users who can’t switch services now that their company or school is using Zoom? We do not know.
However, it is well understood that Zoom has a bad reputation for security and privacy. That’s why we dedicated the entire article to explaining how to protect zoom conversations
6 ways to zoom to protect your instant messaging and why you need it
. The meteoric rise in zoom caused the development team to grab hold. Suddenly, the eyes of the world focused on concentrating and pulling out the app and its internal operations.
Sure, Zoom will undoubtedly give a good experience on the surface. However, under the hood, I had Zoom repeatedly float to the surface while teaching a workshop on how to identify suspicious practices while hunting malware with macOS.
– Thomas Reed (@thomasareed) March 30, 2020
In addition to Zoom’s privacy issues, users face a new type of online threat: Zoom bombing. The Zoom bombing attack is the crash of an insecure Zoom video call. The intruders then show offensive material or pose a general threat, forcing participants to leave.
Although Zoom improved the default password option for Zoom meetings, you should still do so learn about zoom bombing and how to protect yourself
What is zoom bombing and how can you stay safe?
Houseparty security and privacy
Houseparty security and privacy are a mixed bag.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, several websites reported that the Houseparty suffered a serious data breach. In addition, the application was alleged to be insecure and could be used maliciously by hackers.
The allegations of data breaches never came to light. In addition, the owner of Houseparty, Epic Games (about the fame of Fortnite and Gears of War), announced a $ 1 million reward for anyone who finds specific evidence of the leak. There are no requirements for the reward yet.
We investigated indications that recent hacking discs were distributed in a paid commercial distribution campaign to harm Houseparty. We are offering a $ 1,000,000 reward to the first person to prove such a promotion to [email protected]
– Houseparty (@houseparty) March 31, 2020
Possible data breach aside, Houseparty still has a few privacy and security issues
What you need to know about Houseparty privacy and security
. One, by signing up for Houseparty, you agree to allow them to use all the videos in your video chats in their marketing or advertising.
Which leads to the next number. Houseparty offers very few encryption methods to protect your video calls from snoopers. Is anyone interested in your family’s game? Probably not. But there are opportunities for exploitation.
On the plus side, you can’t search for people online. This means that it is very unlikely that a stranger will overthrow your House Party.
Houseparty does not catch negative headlines on its security and privacy issues. At least, not to the same extent as Zoom. It will definitely help that Epic Games and Houseparty have not put forward a series on the safety of their products, but have had to return these claims to the control of security researchers and privacy advocates.
Houseparty is still far from perfect.
Zoom vs. Houseparty: Ease of use
The last thing to consider is ease of use. How easy is it to make a video call with Zoom or Houseparty? What about using more advanced features?
Zoom in for ease of use
Zoom is incredibly easy to use. Anyone with a webcam and microphone can create a Zoom video call and start calling people. Likewise, anyone can click the Zoom link and start a video call. The web interface is mostly intuitive, as are Android and iOS apps.
One area that Zoom can improve is to hide options deep in the various settings menus. Three different setting menus are related to different areas of zooming. Sometimes it can take a while to find the right option for the setting you want to change. In addition, the options available to less technical users may seem overwhelming.
Zoom is a useful alternative for organizing a video chat with a large number of people without requiring a lot of technical expertise.
Houseparty Ease of use
Like Zoom, Houseparty is also very easy to use. Once you’ve signed in and added your contacts to the app, you can start looking for your friends and family. Houseparty displays a list of active conversations that you can also join.
As for switching to Houseparty directly into the active room, there is a way to join incognito mode. When launching the app, press and hold the Houseparty icon. You can then select the “Sneak in the House” option, which allows you to switch to the app without alerting other users.
Zoom vs. Houseparty: What is the best video chat app?
How you use Houseparty or Zoom depends on the type of video call you want.
Houseparty is a great option if you meet with family and friends to play games. On the other hand, if you are hosting a business meeting or trying to teach a class, Zoom is better suited for work.
As one review notes, Houseparty is like a happy hour of video calling, while Zoom is office work. And that’s a pretty accurate statement.
Of course, Houseparty and Zoom are not the only video chat apps. You could try the open source and privacy-focused option Jitsi
What is Jitsi and is it safer than zoom?
which offers similar functions as Zoom. Or, if you’ve used Skype before, here are the best Skype options
Sair Skype? Top 7 Free Skype Options
gives you even more options.