Is Your Free Collaboration Platform Actually Free?

Oct 6, 2022 | Events

If you are considering using a free collaboration platform or have already used one, you should know about the hidden costs of these platforms.

Amongst the issues with free collaboration platforms are limits on the number of users, meeting length, data storage, file sharing, bandwidth, and meeting recordings. In addition, there can be problems with video quality and compatibility. These factors all affect the total cost of ownership for these platforms.

Let’s look at the three most popular collaboration platforms with free and paid versions: Zoom, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet (see the chart for a quick comparison).

Free Collaboration Platforms: Pros and Cons


  • Moderate number of meetings participants for a limited time


  • Number of participants limited to 100
  • Meeting time limited to 40-60 minutes
  • Limited data storage and file sharing 
  • Not enterprise-grade security

Paid Collaboration Platforms: Pros and Cons


  • Up to 1,000 meeting participants
  • Meeting times up to 30 hours
  • Access to many additional features
  • Greater data storage and file sharing
  • Enterprise-grade security


  • Cost


Table: Free vs. Paid Features for Zoom, Teams, and Webex

Features Free Platforms Paid Platforms
Maximum users Zoom: up to 100

Teams: up to 100

Webex: up to 100
Google Meet: up to 100

Zoom: up to 1,000

Teams: up to 300

Webex: up to 1,000

Google Meet: up to 500

Storage Zoom: 25MB for whiteboards 

Teams: 5GB per user

Webex: Not listed

Google Meet: Not listed

Zoom: 10GB of cloud recording storage per license

Teams: 1TB per user

Webex: Not listed

Google Meet: 5TB per user

File transfers during meeting Zoom: Available
Teams: 2GB per user
Webex: N/AGoogle Meet: Not listed
Zoom: Available
Teams: 1TB per user
Webex: Available
Google Meet: Not listed
Meeting length Zoom: up to 40 minutes

Teams: up to 60 minutes

Webex: up to 40 minutes
Google Meet: up to 60 minutes

Zoom: up to 30 hours

Teams: up to 30 hours

Webex: up to 24 hours

Google Meet: Up to 24 hours

Meeting recordings Zoom: local storage

Teams: N/A

Webex: local storage

Google Meet: N/A

Zoom: Available

Teams: Available

Webex: unlimited cloud storage

Google Meet: Available

Security Standard security for all platforms Enterprise-grade security for all platforms

Benefits of Paid Collaboration Platforms

As you can see by the chart, paid collaboration platforms offer features that are attractive to enterprise users who want to increase the productivity and efficiency of their employees, particularly those working remotely. 

These features mean that paying for platform licenses will increase employee productivity adoption and result in a higher return on investment. 


If you are looking for the best paid collaboration platform for your business, you want a solution that meets your needs and is easy to use. The Meet Me In The Cloud team can assist you in choosing the right platform and training your team in its use.

When selecting a paid collaboration platform for your team, consider these factors.


Your collaboration platform should offer the capabilities your business requires. Hybrid teams, for instance, need an intuitive platform that works in the office and remotely. In addition to storing and sharing documents, your teams should also be able to manage projects through the platform, which should support cross-departmental collaboration. It should also include built-in messaging features so that communications related to specific projects can be kept together.

Total Cost of Ownership

Consider your organization’s total cost of ownership when choosing a collaboration platform. Your organization needs to determine what infrastructure it will need to support the platform and whether it has the bandwidth it requires. IT and end-user troubleshooting, deployment, and training costs should also be considered.


Make sure your chosen platform is compatible with other software systems in your organization. The consequences of integrating different systems that don’t communicate with each other can be disastrous for productivity. In addition, you must ensure that the platform is compatible with all devices your employees use. We can help you get the most out of your collaboration platform once you decide which is suitable for you. 


There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for secure collaboration. Make sure you use a platform that requires passwords and logins. The best platforms use multi-factor authentication to prevent password theft. 

To maximize the benefits of a collaboration platform, user adoption is crucial. Meet Me In The Cloud can help here as well. Our team offers training for all major platforms.

We strive to meet people where they are, regardless of their experience level or technical ability, and make sure they are comfortable using the collaboration platform. Your organization’s return on investment is faster when everyone is on the same page and engaged.

Meet Me In The Cloud can turn your digital collaboration tools into productivity engines. At any point in your collaboration journey, we partner with you to fully adopt your preferred technology tools, whether it’s a paid collaboration platform, a free collaboration platform, or another solution. To get started, contact our experts today. Tel: 866.221.3221.

Frustrated with your cloud collaboration tools?

Meet Me in the Cloud can turn your digital collaboration tools into productivity engines. At any point in your collaboration journey, we partner with you to fully adopt your preferred technology tools. We also offer customized training as well as virtual event assistance. We know more than just technology. It’s important to us that people fully leverage technology to empower themselves. To get started, contact our experts today.

Do you need help with your digital collaboration tools to maximize productivity? Meet Me in the Cloud helps your business properly use collaboration tools, like Zoom, Webex, and Teams, and empowers your employees to embrace cloud-based technology.

Speak with an expert to find out more: