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11 min read

Webex vs. Zoom: Which is best?

By Bryce Emley · August 31, 2023
Hero image with the Webex and Zoom logos

I don't think I'm alone in saying that I haven't seen a coworker IRL since Harry and Meghan were royals. Video conferencing interfaces are now about as common a fixture in the workplace as pasta sauce-splattered microwaves were pre-2020.

While it might seem like all video conferencing software does basically the same thing, the truth is that...they basically do. But some just do a few of those things better than others. Webex and Zoom are two of the big names, so I spent a bunch of time on both platforms to see how they stacked up.

Here's my take on Webex vs. Zoom.

Webex vs. Zoom at a glance

It's true that Webex and Zoom do essentially the same thing, but depending on your needs, there are a few key differences that could be deal-breakers for some users. 

  • Both have robust free plans that should be enough for many users with basic video conferencing needs.

  • Webex may have a lower total cost of ownership, but you can get more from Zoom's flexible plan structure.

  • Zoom is easier to roll out and integrate into existing workspaces.




⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Both paid plans offer notable value for a fair price with a slightly cheaper base tier: Meet ($14.50 per license per month) and Meet + Call ($25 per license per month).

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Zoom's plans are priced almost identically to Webex's, but it offers a third paid plan for added flexibility: Pro ($15.99 per user per month), Business ($19.99 per user per month), and Business Plus ($25 per user per month).

Meeting length

⭐⭐⭐⭐ The free plan maxes out at 40 minutes; all paid plans increase meeting maximums to 24 hours.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The free plan maxes out at 40 minutes; all paid plans increase meeting maximums to 30 hours.

Meeting capacity

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The free plan maxes out at 100 attendees, both middle-tier plans allow up to 200 attendees, and the Enterprise plan allows up to 1,000 attendees.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ The free plan and Pro plan max out at 100 attendees, both Business plans allow up to 300 attendees, the Enterprise plan allows up to 500 attendees, and the Enterprise Plus addition increases capacity to 1,000.

Cloud storage

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The free plan offers local storage only, both middle-tier plans offer up to 10GB of cloud storage, and the Enterprise plan offers unlimited cloud storage.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ The free plan offers local storage only, the Pro and Business plans offer up to 5GB of cloud storage, the Business Plus plan offers up to 10GB of cloud storage, and the Enterprise plan offers unlimited cloud storage.


⭐⭐ Live streaming meetings is available only at the Enterprise level and only over Facebook and YouTube.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Live streaming is available on Facebook, YouTube, and applicable third-party services starting at the Pro tier.

Free plan

⭐⭐⭐⭐ The free plan offers a strong baseline of core functionality, limiting meetings to 40 minutes and 100 attendees, and includes unlimited whiteboarding but no automated captions, avatars, or filters.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The free plan is also very functional with meeting limits of 40 minutes and 100 attendees, but it offers 3D avatars and filters while limiting users to three whiteboards.


⭐⭐⭐ Webex is not yet a popular video conferencing app in the U.S., potentially causing complications for integrating internally or hosting external meetings.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Zoom is nearly ubiquitous in hybrid offices, making it familiar for integrating internally and hosting external meetings.

User experience

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Overall user experience is almost identical to Zoom and, in some cases, cleaner, but may cause some complications when installing.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Overall user experience is very similar to Webex, but installing and integrating into workflows should be simpler.

Video quality

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Webex has comparable (and sometimes better) video quality to Zoom, but there may be roadblocks to increasing from 720p to 1080p.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1080p video quality comes with standard access out of the box.


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Webex is known to be a more secure option even though it has very similar security specs to Zoom, though it may benefit from being less popular and thus less of a target for bad actors.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Zoom has taken strides to meet similar security specs to Webex, but it remains a major target for bad actors because of how popular it is for businesses.


⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Webex integrations hub has 252 options, including many major applications, but it notably misses many new AI meeting assistant apps. It also integrates with Zapier.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Zoom app marketplace has over 2,500 integrations, including many recent AI meeting assistants. It also integrates with Zapier.

Webex's plans are a little more limited but have more storage

I appreciate Webex's pricing simplicity, with only two options between free and enterprise. Since its lowest-tier paid plan is slightly cheaper than Zoom's, its total cost of ownership could be lower. However, its calling bundle plan is priced the same as Zoom's, so at that level, there's no real savings.

Even if you save a little money on Webex's Meet plan vs. Zoom's Pro plan, you'll get much of the same core functionality—like whiteboards, chat, captions, calendar synching, screen sharing, and virtual backgrounds—but there are a few notable ways it differs from Webex:

  • Meeting length: up to 30 hours (Webex: 24)

  • Meeting capacity: up to 100 (Webex: 200)

  • Cloud storage: 5GB (Webex: 10GB)

  • Streaming: Facebook, YouTube, or an applicable third party (Webex: only Facebook and YouTube, notable at the Enterprise tier only)

Where you might see additional savings with Webex is the extra 5GB of cloud storage—if this saves you on additional cloud storage fees. Otherwise, Zoom's comparable plans give you just a bit more bang for your buck.

Both have free plans that are good enough for many small businesses

For small businesses that just need to connect a few hybrid employees or host occasional short remote meetings, Webex Free and Zoom Basic are probably functional enough. Here's how their free offerings overlap and how they differ. 

Whether you go with Webex Free or Zoom Basic, you'll have access to features like 40-minute meeting limits, 100-attendee meeting capacity, team chat, interactive whiteboard access, and screen sharing.

How Webex Free and Zoom Basic are different

Webex's and Zoom's free plans are really similar, but there are a handful of notable differences between them:

  • Webex Free offers unlimited whiteboards for team collaboration, while Zoom Basic limits users to three.

  • Zoom Basic has the option of automated captions, a feature available only for paid Webex plans.

  • Zoom has video filters and 3D avatars available at all tiers; Webex doesn't offer them at any tier. Not that this is likely to be a deal-breaker (unless your company institutes mandatory Foxy Friday).

Screenshot of Zoom's avatar feature showing a fox avatar and other animal options
Zoom avatar feature

Also, I noticed one odd quirk about Webex that limited some of its features. Despite the free version of Webex supposedly enabling background blur and custom backgrounds, I found that my free account was blocked from this functionality. 

Troubleshooting revealed that I needed administrator privileges to enable this, but even though I tried it on two different accounts on two different devices, I couldn't get it to work or get administrator access. This shouldn't be a problem on paid plans, but it's worth sharing for anyone looking to test the product on the free plan.

Zoom is more widely used, but Webex is easy to learn

Based on download data, Zoom is about 200 times more popular than Webex. Actual data on Zoom's market share vs. Webex's is pretty mixed, but across the board, Zoom's global market share for video conferencing is generally reported to be several times greater than Webex's. So while I can't find any reliable reports comparing their usage rates, their statistics on the App Store and Play Store are pretty telling:

  • Zoom: Over 1 billion downloads on Google Play; #2 in Business applications in the App Store

  • Webex: Over 5 million downloads on Google Play; #23 in Business applications in the App Store

That's right: Zoom has roughly a billion more downloads than Webex in the Play store alone. I think it's pretty safe to say that Zoom is more popular (though popularity in individual industries may vary), which has the advantage of making it more familiar for many users. 

That means when teams hire new employees, enlist freelancers, or add virtual conferencing to their workflows, they can be pretty confident that Zoom will come with a baseline of common experience. 

It also means that when Webex users need to connect with teams outside of their office, it's not likely those teams will also be Webex users. Like Zoom, Webex doesn't require invited participants to have accounts to join meetings, but it still could be a little jarring for teams that are used to Zoom.

Webex vs. Zoom user experience

All that said, video conferencing software isn't exactly the most complicated type of software to learn. Webex's user experience is similar enough to Zoom's that the learning curve shouldn't really be much of a deterrent.

First off, like Zoom, Webex can open in a browser. That means non-Webex users don't need to download the software if they've been invited to a Webex-hosted meeting.

Screenshot of Webex's browser dashboard, featuring a dark background and an illustrated high-five in the top left corner
Webex browser dashboard

Maybe it's the default dark mode and the illustrated high-five, but I actually prefer Webex's browser dashboard as a kind of meeting hub. It looks more like a workspace than Zoom's, which does nothing wrong but just doesn't have the same level of polish or as clean a layout.

Screenshot of Zoom's browser dashboard, featuring a white background
Zoom browser dashboard

As a caveat, I had to run my Webex test meeting from my browser, as I couldn't get the desktop application to run. (It seemed to get caught in an authentication loop and kept freezing while trying to open my browser.) I'll give Webex the benefit of the doubt that this isn't a common issue.

Webex vs. Zoom meeting interfaces

As a typical Zoom user, Webex's meeting interface feels extremely familiar to me.

Screenshot of Webex's meeting interface, featuring lighter background colors with an image of the author and another place for an additional participant
Webex meeting interface

There's really only so much variance one video conferencing app can have over another, so the layouts for Webex and Zoom are more or less the same. 

Screenshot of Zoom's meeting interface, featuring darker background colors with an image of the author and another place for an additional participant
Zoom meeting interface

However, I found a few notable differences when testing both side by side:

  • In-progress invites: Webex (at least for the free version) doesn't allow you to invite people to join meetings in progress from the meeting interface itself. Zoom does. 

  • Screen-sharing initialization: I thought the screen sharing was a little more intuitive in Webex in terms of selecting the specific aspect of your screen you want to share, and I thought its annotation capabilities were simpler.

  • Screen-sharing interface: I preferred how Zoom keeps a floating menu available at all times while sharing a screen—it reassured me that I was indeed still sharing my screen and could easily end that at any time.

  • Interface UX: It's always bugged me that when you open up the chat or participant list in Zoom, the bottom menu shifts all the buttons to the left, so when you want to close the menu, you have to move your cursor to click the icon again. Webex keeps the icons in the same spot with a fixed menu location. This is some real granular obsessive compulsion, but it's a tiny point for Webex.

The chat functions in Zoom and Webex are pretty standard in terms of functionality, but Zoom easily wins on two fronts. First, it has way more emojis. Second, and what's really compelling, is that in-meeting chats now get logged in a Meeting Chat hub. That means users can continue and refer back to chats from individual meetings within one central location. While Webex does allow users to save in-meeting chats, it doesn't have the same handy auto-sorting hub for continuing the conversations post-meeting.

The whiteboard function in Webex is currently in beta phase, but so far, it's simple, intuitive, and very accessible. Like the chat, however, Zoom does it better by building a convenient whiteboard hub into its main dashboard where you can pre-create whiteboards, use templates, access previously shared whiteboards, and create projects to organize them. Users can then access them during meetings or create new ones on the fly. It's a little easier to get started on a new one during a meeting in Webex, but for overall whiteboard features, right now, it can't compete with Zoom.

Overall, I thought the controls in Webex were a little more attractive and a little easier to use, but to be honest, it doesn't really matter. The placement of the chat box, the movement tools on the bottom menu, and the position of the screen-sharing icon aren't going to be deal-breakers for anyone.

The point is that the actual user experience for each is essentially the same and shouldn't sway anyone's decision one way or the other. 

Both have the same video quality specs, but Webex makes you work for high-res

With standard 720p and 1080p options, both products should have the same video quality from a technical spec standpoint. Reading other reviews, it's clear that Webex has a reputation for higher video quality, but in reality, Zoom should be just as sharp.

Real usage cases can differ, however. As you can see in my screenshots in the previous section, the Webex call looks noticeably lower quality than the Zoom call. That's because I was only allowed to max the quality at 720p in Webex. Digging into Webex's support pages, I found that, "By default, you can send and receive video up to 720p. As an administrator, to enable 1080p video for your organization, contact Cisco support to submit a request." 

Meanwhile, Zoom permits 1080p/HD video quality with no need for admin changes. So even though both options have 1080p capabilities, it's a knock for Webex that users may have to jump through hoops to get what Zoom offers right out of the box.

Webex has a better reputation for security, but it may not be notably safer

If Webex has one calling card, it's security. And if Zoom is known for one weakness, it's also security. It's hard to shake Zoom's reputation, especially when its CEO admitted he "messed up" the app's security at one point. The number of High- and Critical-severity vulnerabilities listed on the Zoom Security Bulletins don't inspire much confidence, either.

The impression I get from reading other reviews of these products is that people seem to think Webex is more secure. But I'm not so sure. Both platforms have: 

  • Moderate-level FedRAMP authorization for governmental and defense agencies

  • HIPAA/BAA compliance

  • TLS 1.2 signaling

  • AES-256 encryption

  • End-to-end meeting encryption

  • Locking lobbies and password protection

Zoom's security issues may stem mostly from growing too quickly during the COVID-19 lockdown, when virtually every office across the world was forced suddenly into video conferencing. Three years, lots of bad publicity, numerous patches, even more security breaches, and one class-action lawsuit later, Zoom has made strides in updating its security measures to match many (if not all) of Webex's while meeting various compliance standards

Screenshot of a page with Zoom's security certifications and badges, including CSA STAR Level 2, FedRAMP Moderate, DoD IL4, StateRAMP, CJIS, Common Criteria, UK Cyber Essentials Plus, and iRAP

As a quick Google News search of "Zoom security" shows, it's still not an airtight operation, but at least most of us haven't experienced a Zoom bomb since 2020. 

Whether the company's many security badges make its product more secure than Webex is unclear, but it at least shows an impressive level of accountability. In either case, Zoom has jumped through a lot of hoops to outdo Webex in noted compliance, attestation, assessment, or standard achievements (21, compared to Webex's three).

Screenshot of a page showing Webex's security compliance and certifications, including the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and ISO/IEC 27001

I'm not an enterprise IT professional, but given these products' similar security measures, my amateur take is that Zoom as it currently exists is not necessarily less secure than Webex on paper; it just wasn't able to upgrade security fast enough to keep up with its growth during lockdown. And since it's more widely used by businesses, it's also more likely to come under attack. 

Andrew Froehlich, an actual enterprise IT professional with specific experience in Cisco network security, reported this on the state of Zoom security back in 2022:

Screenshot of a blurb from Andrew Froehlich, a Cisco network professional, who says Zoom is relatively secure but that users themselves pose the biggest security risk by not following or not understanding how to protect their meetings

Ultimately, each product's security should primarily come down to network implementation and how careful internal teams and users are about security best practices and software updates.

Webex vs. Zoom: Which is best for you?

I'm all for underdogs, so I enjoy seeing new players like Zoom hit the market and overcome long-time industry giants like Cisco. But that doesn't mean I think all people should choose Zoom over Webex. 

For all intents and purposes, Webex and Zoom do the same things in very similar ways. I've seen a fair number of IT people complaining in Reddit forums about implementing Webex on the back end, and I can also personally attest that just downloading it as an end user was extremely frustrating. (I still can't launch the desktop app.)

My final verdict is that you should decide based on these general criteria:

  • If you strongly prefer the pricing package or enterprise quote for one over the other, go with that one.

  • If you strongly prefer the UX of one over the other, go with that one.

  • If meeting capacity is the most important feature, Webex may have cheaper plans, but Zoom may allow a higher capacity.

  • If meeting length above 24 hours is important, you may need Zoom.

  • If you just want to go with the one everyone on your team already uses, pick Zoom.

  • If you want to be contrarian, go with Webex.

If you're still unsure, test the free versions of both. Whichever one you choose, both Webex and Zoom are among the thousands of apps that integrate with Zapier, so you can bring no-code automation to your remote collaboration workflows.

Related reading:

  • 4 ways to automate your video calls

  • 19 Zoom tips and tricks for better video meetings

  • Zoom vs. Teams: Which is better for remote meetings?

  • The best Zoom alternatives

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