Zoom Technology

The Zoom client is a closed source application, which must be downloaded and installed prior to use. The video and audio streams are encrypted before being sent to Zoom’s Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) service, whereby the streams are analysed in order to ensure synchronisation with other participants before combining them to a single stream.

Zoom’s server includes Machine Learning technologies and applies them to the video streams in order to facilitate features such as Virtual Backgrounds. As both the client and server technologies are closed source, it is not possible to identify how streams are used or managed by Zoom Communications Inc. Since the data is only encrypted during transport to the servers but are accessible to Zoom’s technology within the server itself, it is unknown whether Zoom streams remain private.

Aircall Technology

Aircall uses WebRTC technology, which is an open-source platform created by Google and other maintainers. Its source code is freely available and, therefore, easily scrutinised by third parties. Audio streams initiated within Aircall are encrypted both at the Internet level as well as within the audio packets themselves.

Once received by the Aircall servers, the audio format of the stream is converted to a format required for transportation along traditional telephony carrier lines and vice-versa. Beyond the format conversion and the WebRTC specific routines, no other transformations are applied.

Voice Throughput Comparison

The WebRTC technology is updated regularly by numerous individuals and organisations, such as Microsoft, Apple, and Google. This results in all potential vulnerabilities being eradicated at the fastest possible time. In comparison, with Zoom being proprietary, any vulnerabilities are fixed only as and when Zoom Communications Inc. is made aware of them. This makes WebRTC particularly more reliable and potentially safer for end-users.

Additionally, tests have been carried out by VoIP professionals and have found WebRTC to be a strong contender to Zoom’s popularity. For instance, when testing both platform's ability to recover from changes in network bandwidth, the Jitsi Media Server team discovered WebRTC to respond on average twice as fast as Zoom.

Conclusion

While Zoom has proven to be a popular and capable tool for conferencing and online video calls, it’s used as a person-to-person communications platform that shows some limitations. For instance, since it requires all participants to use its proprietary software and to be connected to the Internet, it can be argued that Zoom doesn’t quite have the same reach as telephony enabled platforms like Aircall.

What’s more, Aircall’s integration into numerous other business tools API configuration capabilities added benefits that facilitate users at the business level, creating much greater functionality beyond the communication features.

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