With the recent increase in remote work, many companies are having to pay for collaboration apps, such as Slack. Everyone knows Slack’s paid version is costly, but the free version is also extremely limited in functionality. Due to the limited functionality of Slack’s free plan, most companies resort to paying for Slack. See the problem?
Companies who use Slack pay more money to get work done, whereas companies who use the free version struggle to get any work done.
Slack’s Free Plan
In Slack’s free version, there is limited functionality. These limits are:
- 10K searchable messages
- 10 apps and integrations
- 1-to-1 video calls
These limits prohibit companies and teams to get work done seamlessly.
But what if you could have a free alternative that delivers equal or better quality than the free version of Slack?
Here is our list of free slack alternatives:
In this blog post, we will discuss the main functionalities of each free alternative. Let’s dive into the seven best free slack alternatives.
AirSend is an all-in-one collaboration tool that provides all your business essentials through built-in functionality. These essentials include:
- Task management
- File organization/storage
- video/audio calling
- Note tracking/management
- Office 365 and Email integration
Unlike Slack, AirSend offers extensive search history of conversations and more abundant file storage (100 GB vs. 5 GB). Additionally, compared to Slack’s busy UI design, AirSend takes the approach of clean and simple.
Finally, the most notable feature to AirSend is that when it comes to having multiple clients/partners, only the host needs to have an AirSend account. Guests and external parties can communicate via email, and their message will show up in AirSend.
Chanty is a simple AI-powered team chat tool. Chanty’s features include:
- TeamBook: a single hub for neatly organized tasks, conversations, pinned messages, and all the content you share.
- Task management
- Kanban board view
- Control team spaces with roles and privileges
- Third-party integrations
- Video/audio calling
There is also a paid version of Chanty ($3 per user/per month). In the free version, Chanty is limited to:
- Ten team members
- One guest
- 20 GB file storage per team
- Up to 10 integrations
To get the calling features, users must pay for the business plan. Chanty is a useful tool for focused collaboration. Previous users of Slack will have less trouble transitioning to Chanty due to its similar design. However, people looking for a free slack alternative that doesn’t involve a Slack-like design, may not find Chanty to be a useful tool.
Dino is a modern open-source chat client for the desktop. It focuses on providing a clean and reliable Jabber/XMPP experience while having your privacy in mind. XMPP is an open standard for communication, mainly used for instant messaging. It is a secure battle-tested protocol developed by an independent standards organization.
Features to Dino are:
- Open source: anyone who downloads Dino can modify the tool to fit their needs best
Developed by Github, Dino is an ideal tool for developer collaboration. You can download Dino from certain distributions:
- Arch Linux
- Alpine Linux Edge
- Void Linux
While Dino is not limited to developers, most companies/collaborators may feel the UI/UX too complicated for everyday usage. Nonetheless, Dino is a good free slack alternative for those wanting to prioritize security.
SquidHub is an ideal tool for project management and collaboration. The platform features:
- One Dashboard to view a shared to-do list, files, and team messaging
- Third-party file storage integration
- Direct messaging
- Shared task list
- Guest functionality
- Audio/video calling powered through Jitsi integration
There is also a paid version to the platform ($4.99 per user/per month). However, the majority of the features listed above are only for premium members. There are limits to the free version:
- Two groups
- 1000mb storage
- Unlimited search
For small teams and projects, SquidHub is a useful tool. For organizations larger than $50 people, the free version may not be ideal.
Riot.im is an open-source interoperable collaboration app that builds bridges with users who use other team chat apps. They are currently running on Web, iOS, and Android. Riot.im features:
- Open source and open standard
Ideally, Riot.im provides a convenient communication solution to partners who use different team chat apps. The platform is available on Windows, iOS & Android, and Linux.
Zulip combines the immediacy of real-time chat with an email threading model. With Zulip, you can catch up on meaningful conversations while ignoring irrelevant ones. Zulip features:
- Aesthetic messaging
- Drag and drop
- Integrations and API’s
- Configurable notifications
Zulip solves the lack of organization and context in Slack channels. Users who heavily use Slack have to manually scan through hundreds of messages a day to find content relevant to them. The drive behind Zulip is asynchronous communication. Zulip’s free version is limited to:
- 10,000 messages of search history
- 5GB file storage
Discord is a great platform that enables all-in-one voice and text chat. Slack and Discord carry almost the same UI design. If you are looking for a “busy” design, Discord may be a good free alternative. Further, the selling point to Discord is that they give you full control over your server.
Creators of a server can establish roles, permissions, and organize channels. Like AirSend, users with Discord can seamlessly switch between private and public channels. Additionally, Discord does not offer integration with third-party apps you might use for work.
While Discord is not limited to the gaming community, the majority of the audience are gamers. Additionally, while it is also a free chat tool, Discord lacks some functionalities needed for project management/collaboration. Nonetheless, Discord is a good free Slack alternative.
The question that needs to be asked it, why pay more money to be productive when you could save money and be equally or even more productive? With Slack, companies will be paying more to get work done.
We have provided a list of the seven best free Slack alternatives. These free Slack alternatives will not only save you money but also allow you to get equal or more work done. Each tool has its pros and cons, but they all provide equal or better functionality/quality than Slack’s free version.
Want to know more about AirSend and Slack? Click here to see which tool is better for you.