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18 Best Discord Alternatives 2020 | Expert Reviews

Discord alternatives

In this article, we have rounded up 27 experts’ reviews on the best Discord alternatives to help you choose the right communication platform as per your unique needs.

During the research, we found that Discord users are reporting server connection issues continuously. Discord is too slow on its website and downloads. Many users are also facing login issues, and they can’t enter chat rooms. You can check the current Discord issues here. If you’re also facing any of these issues while using Discord, read this article to find the top-rated alternatives to Discord.

Here are 18 better Discord alternatives of 2020 for seamless communication:

1. TeamSpeak

TeamSpeak is the number one choice VoIP communication system for online gaming. As a Discord alternative, it uses crystal clear sound to communicate with team members cross-platform with military-grade security, lag-free performance, and unparalleled reliability in the market.

Features of TeamSpeak:

  • Lag-free communication with automatic microphone volume adjustment, background noise reduction, and echo cancellation
  • Integrated Military-Grade Security as standard
  • Decide who can talk, who can join channels and much more
  • Access over 100 add-ons, skins and voice packs
  • Cloud-based service that enables you to synchronize your servers, settings, and preferences between devices with ease

— Mateen Khan, Digital Marketing Strategist at PureVPN

Carol Tompkins of AccountsPortal says “The best Discord alternative in 2020 is TeamSpeak. Its top feature is lag-free communication, with noise reduction, and echo cancellation. I also enjoy the fact that synchronization is much easier across devices, and privacy is much more heightened, an area where Discord is falling behind.”

My team and I use TeamSpeak instead of Discord because of lag-free communication, better synchronization across devices, and better privacy.

William Westerlund of TopGamersGuide adds “As a gamer, I must say that the best alternative for Discord is Teamspeak 3. When it comes to the audio, it’s always crisp and clear, and my friends and I have a lot of times had to switch over to TS3 due to some lag with Discord.”

Teamspeak is a reliable platform for voice chat, but it lacks some user-friendliness when it comes to their conversation and social aspect. You can’t add friends on Teamspeak, and you won’t be able to see which people are in which channel without connecting to the channel. Another feature that Teamspeak lacks from Discord is that you won’t be able to see which game people are playing, but mostly there are separate channels for different games. It’s merely a very basic platform with high performance within voice chat.

Discord wins when it comes to chatting, but if you’re only in it for the voice chat, I recommend trying out Teamspeak 3 as in my opinion, it is a more reliable service with less lag.

Travis Scoundrel of Nerds and Scoundrels says “When it comes to voice chat, it is hard to beat TeamSpeak. Arguably the most popular choice of VoIP for online gamers, TeamSpeak provides audio quality and security that Discord is unable to match. Communication over TeamSpeak is usually lag-free, and the audio quality is excellent thanks to the echo cancellation and noise reduction built into the system.”

TeamSpeak is also customizable. There are countless skins and add-ons, and administrators can hand out roles that will determine who can speak and who has priority. It also boasts military-grade security to ensure the privacy of its users. For my purposes, TeamSpeak is an excellent Discord alternative. 

2. Slack

The best Discord alternative in 2020 is Slack. I believe that Slack is more complete than Discord. The file-sharing is much better as you get 1 GB file-sharing of any type. Unlike Discord, you are only limited to audio and video file sharing. For a workplace, Slack is better in this regard as you can send and share documents, including PDFs.

Also, Slack Apps is hands-down better than Discord bots. There’s plenty of dev integrations in Slack including Google Drive, Trello, Giphy, Github, Dropbox, MailChimp, etc. Besides, you can separate work and play with Slack, unlike in Discord, where you only have one account for everything.

Slack has a freemium model, but once you need to upgrade (($6.67 per user/month or $8 if you want to be billed monthly), it may become expensive especially for small businesses with limited budgets. Our team uses an upgraded version of Slack, and it’s worth the investment.

— Patrick Garde, Technical Director at ExaWeb Corporation

Joe Flanagan, Lead App Developer at GetSongbpm, says “Discord is a relatively easy-to-use platform, but it does require some skill to get used to the system. This creates a learning curve, which can be inconvenient for new employees who are only joining up. While a powerful system, it has its limitations too.”

In my experience, Slack remains a better alternative to Discord. Slack has a very similar interface with functions that people who are familiar with Discord will feel “at home” with. The Slack platform is highly extendable. Apps can be downloaded to your desktop and smartphone, or you can access the system in your browser. Set up channels, groups, and even automate several functions that seem repetitive. Additionally, getting started with the Slack platform is free – and you can get various team members to join. Slack is a great alternative to Discord with several customizable functions.

Itamar Blauer says “The best Discord alternative for team collaboration has to be Slack. While it lacks voice capabilities, it still provides many ways to collaborate with a team effectively. File uploading is very slick and easy to do with its drag-and-drop capabilities, and being able to integrate third-party tools such as Trello helps ensure that everyone has the necessary tools to work on their projects.”

When I switched over to Slack from Discord, I found the UI to be a bit confusing at first, but I easily understood how channels work, as well as being able to send direct messages and group messages. The app version for Slack is also much sleeker than its Discord counterpart, and its frequent updates help keep the app running smoothly.

I believe that if Slack provides voice capabilities in the future, it will pretty much dominate the online collaboration software space, as it has been doing so more prominently in the past several years.

Mikkel Andreassen, CEM at Dixa.com adds “For those looking for a more professional business-ready software than Discord, you should definitely consider Slack at your company. Slack is a rising communication tool among companies and individuals who want to create a space in which to interact. Just like Discord, It allows you to communicate through two different methods, direct person to person messaging and channels, which makes team collaboration easier since files can be accessed directly from the cloud.”

Slack has some crucial features that Discord doesn’t, such as allowing you to annotate and share control of your screen. This can be considered a deal-breaker if you intend to use your group chat app as your video conference tool as well. Slack also has various extensions and 3rd party app integrations, such as the nifty Vacationtracker app, which allows you to track employee holiday schedules.

Overall, the app is well-designed and has an extremely user-friendly interface. Despite having many similarities with Discord, Slack is a be choice for an intuitive and more professional alternative for company-wide communication.

3. Discourse

Forums might seem a bit passé and aren’t necessarily a like-for-like alternative to Discord. Still, as a community tool, you can’t get much better than the popular open-source Discourse forum software.

The best way I can describe Discourse is to think of it as Forum version 2, a majorly improved option that doesn’t feel clunky and dated as most forum tools do.

Discourse comes in a couple of flavours. You can self-host it yourself in which case the software is free, and you simply need to sign up for server space, or you can pay Discourse for a hosted-for-you option, though self-hosting is a lot cheaper the premium option takes care of the technical side.

The main advantage something like Discourse has over Discord, and most other alternatives is that it’s far more organized and makes it much easier to find posts at a later date.

Features of Discourse:

  • Makes it easy to find conversations and important information
  • Full control as it’s an open-source tool and gives you more options to customize
  • More brandable to ensure your community tool feels like part of your brand experience
  • Better analytics options to let the cream rise to the top by showing the most popular discussions
  • A minimal and user-friendly UX, in my opinion, far better than Discord, Slack and other options. Discourse feels familiar yet fresh.

— David Alexander, Web Designer & Developer at Mazepress

4. Microsoft Teams

I’ve been using Microsoft Teams since I switched to remote work, and I’m happy with how it’s been serving me. Being a CEO, I had to build the remote work infrastructure myself. I tried some different tools, but none of them had as many useful features as Microsoft Teams. It would allow me to simply sharing the group projects and cooperating on them in real-time, manage them, and have all of them integrated beautifully with Office 365. With Teams I had the most success when it comes to organizing meetings, keeping in touch with my employees, and managing the overall workflow. It’s a stable platform, and I had tiny technical problems that could I could resolve very intuitively and effortlessly.

Features of Microsoft Teams:

  • Intuitive integration with Office 365
  • Live collaboration on projects
  • Accessible on all platforms
  • Conversation channels
  • Sharing the files can be done without a problem with easy access to OneDrive and SharePoint

— Mike Sadowski, Founder, and CEO at Brand24

Sharon van Donkelaar, CMO at Expandi says “Although Discord is currently at the top of the communication tools list, there are many others with a more professional approach that are worth considering as a great alternative, and such is the case of Microsoft Teams.”

Microsoft’s fantastic business communication platform has been growing rapidly among companies since its launch, and all thanks to its many great features.

Features worth noticing are:

  • The platform is highly integrated with Office 365, which allows you to collaborate on a document without even having to switch apps, and share it immediately.
  • You can communicate through groups, channels, or direct messages. 
  • Schedule and join meetings effortlessly.
  • Meetings are automatically recorded and can be reviewed after finished for those members who missed it, along with the meeting notes and agreed actions.
  • It is available not only via desktop but also via a web browser and even mobile device. 

5. Zoho Cliq

Zoho Cliq is another way to make your team members feel included is by making simple gestures. If your team adds a new member, welcome and initiate conversations with your new teammate through team communication tools such as Cliq. You should use this tool as your team’s communication platform for more than just work conversations: create your dedicated channels for projects to share appreciation and to celebrate victories.

— Natik Ameen, Marketing Expert, Canz Marketing

6. Element

Element, formerly known as Riot, is a great alternative to Discord with many of the same features and functions. What sets Element apart is that it was created using open-source software, which allows for customization and flexibility. Element is based on a reaction-based software called Matrix, which allows you to bring other communication channels into the app as well as host the app on a server of your choice. It also puts a special focus on security using end-to-end encryption for all communication over the app. Element comes with a lot of the same features as Discord, allowing you to chat, share files, create different rooms, and add plugins on to the app. Element has web, desktop, and mobile apps for all of the major operating systems. Overall, Element plays much the same role as Discord but provides a higher level of security and customization.

—Nikola Baldikov, Digital Marketing Manager at Brosix

7. Troop Messenger

I believe Troop Messenger is the best alternative to Discord. Whether it’s a team of 10 or more than 10,000, Troop Messenger has been designed to meet the internal communication needs of every type of organization. It is a seamless and easy-to-use office messaging tool with a smooth user interface and user experience.

Troop Messenger offers a wide range of functions like one-to-one messaging, group conversations, file previews, voice video calls, screen sharing, Burnout, etc. There are so many cool emojis that make communication a lot of fun. Our team is using Troop Messenger for a year now, and I found that we chose a good, easy-to-use app for our team’s daily interactions for all our project updates.

Features of Troop Messenger:

  • Burnout: It allows the team user to chat privately within a stipulated period of time.
  • Response Later: Sometimes, we forget to reply to an important message. With this function, we can tag messages with a reply function later to reply later.
  • Advanced Search: Allows users to search for text, images, contacts, or locations across the platform with advanced search and time filters.
  • Recall: This feature comes in the picture where you accidentally send the wrong message and want to undo it.

— Simonas Steponaitis, Marketing Manager at Hosting Wiki

8. Google Meets

I am a huge gamer, and I usually do roleplay and MMOs using communication platforms like Discord. My personal favorite is Google Meets. It is not amazing at noise canceling; some of the weird things I have heard while talking with friends is a vacuum, a fish tank, potato chips being opened, and a food delivery… To name a few. Anything in the proximity of your microphone will get picked, so beware! Microsoft Teams is quite better at that, but you need someone to have a Company account (paid) to really use all the extras and make the most of it. Like creating a different background to hide where you are or some tools for presenting and stuff like that.

— Joe Flanagan, Founder of 90s Fashion World

9. Telegram

Telegram has unlimited cloud storage, which means you don’t need to worry about your data backup. You need to log in to your account from anywhere you’ll get your data. It doesn’t compress the media files you can send and receive HD (original size) pictures. From the supergroup feature of Telegram, you can make a group of over 200,000 people. Telegram also has a self-destructing feature where you can set a timer for a message that will automatically be deleted after your sat time is over. One of the important things about Telegram is it provides all the premium features free.

— Majid Fareed of Film Jackets

10. Google Hangouts

Although Discord is a modern spin on Google Hangouts, business features are missing that Google Hangouts brings to the table. Google Hangouts has the ability to make phone calls from a dedicated number within the application. When running a business on-the-go, you need to integrate team chats and a dedicated phone number– no other chat client supports this feature. Google Hangouts also has the benefit of the Google ecosystem, which Discord and other similar chat clients do not have. Lastly, Google hosts very competitive rates for international calling from their chat client, which is pivotal in business.

— Andy Kolodgie Co-Owner of The House Guys

Michael Sena of Senacea says, “I use Google Hangouts because it’s integrated with g-suite. It allows me to tap into the contact lists from Google quickly and gathers phone numbers when we store them with Google. It also synchronizes with Google Calendar, and the meetings can be arranged from there. Google Hangouts is quite intuitive to use and could be deployed for private use and business purposes.”

I believe that when it comes to everyday communication, the simplest solutions are best. The straightforward layout, web access, and integrations make joining calls effortlessly. And that’s crucial because there is nothing worse than registering, downloading, and updating software 2 minutes before the call.

11. Facebook

Facebook can serve as a solid Discord alternative. Mark Zuckerberg’s creation seems to align its features with the famous video-and-voice chat app, pushing for groups and group sharing. First, despite being overcrowded, Facebook allows you to build micro-communities, for which Discord is legendary. Facebook private groups can work as “always-on” virtual spaces by analogy with servers in Discord. You can set up communities, bringing people together for the same purpose. Live streamings available on Facebook provide real-time engagement benefits. For businesses, private groups can be a way to make their customers feel special. Second, despite not having a “push to talk feature,” Facebook users can still switch between text and voice functionality quite easily. Audio and video calls allow them to be raw and communicate seamlessly.

— Vladlen Shulepov, CEO at Riseapps

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12. Steam Chat

Gaming is in my nature as an engineer, and I’ve dedicated an embarrassing amount of time to multiplayer gaming, and have used (almost) every single alternative to discord.

Without a doubt, Steam Chat is the best Discord alternative, as they follow the golden rule of keeping it lean! That’s what 2020 is all about.  

Features of Steam Chat:

  • One Platform – I hate having more than I need in my toolbox. Having my games and chat in one place is essential.
  • The Group / PM structure of Steam Chat is way more logical than Discords pile of group chats that you can’t even search for on the mobile app without direct invites.
  • Steam lets you use game-related content in your chat, like trading cards, similar to PlayStation Network, and it’s fun to have chat items for the games you spend money on.
  • The UI is so much cleaner. Discord puts 50 million features in your face, but as I said, Steam Chat keeps it lean, and lean is green in my book.

— Adrian Higgins, Founder at Musician Nerd

13. Mumble

As a software developer who lives in the Philippines and works with multiple team members, it’s always challenging to have a prolonged internet connection. That’s why we use Mumble as an alternative for communicating with other developers.

Features of Mumble:

  • Low latency: with mumble, everyone gets to hear each other without losing any connection or having a terrible audio quality.
  • Encrypted messaging: since we work in software development. We share information that is too confidential; that’s why for us, Mumble is great.
  • High-quality audio: unlike Discord, the quality that we’re getting from mumble is great. 
  • Customizable: since Mumble is an open-source solution, we can customize the app to meet our needs. One of the customizations that we added is an automation messaging feature whenever someone in the team pushes an update into our repository.

— Bernard Polidario, Works at WeeklyHow

Shayne Sherman, CEO of Techloris, says, “Mumble is an open-source discord alternative that utilizes the same protocol as Discord that is Voice-Over Internet Protocol (VoIP). One excellent thing about this platform is that it uses low-latency audio calling, which means that you can voice chat with anyone with low bandwidth.”

Additionally, Mumble is absolutely free to use, as it is an open-source application. It is accessible on many platforms like Windows, macOS, Linux, and more. This software has numerous great features like Authentication and encryption of chats, user authentication with codes, and more.

Furthermore, the voice quality of Mumble is far stabler than the Discord, and it uses bandwidth as low as 15-20 kbps, which is a lot less than Discord. Now, I will tell you a few of the prominent features that Mumble has over the Discord.

14. Wire

Wire is the best alternative to Discord because it offers fully encrypted communication, file sharing, and video calls. I love the “guest rooms feature that allows you to interact with customers without asking them to set up an account. Group video calls are high-quality on mobile devices, making this app very convenient while on the go. Pricing is very competitive compared to their North American competitors. 

Features of Wire: 

  • Screen sharing with up to 10 users on multiple devices 
  • 100% open source 
  • Complete end 2 end encryption for voice, video, and messaging. If security is vital for you, then go for Wire. 
  • The ping feature is great when you need to get someone’s attention to communicate urgent info. 
  • The quality of video and voice calls is unparalleled, even if you have a slow connection. We can hear different people speaking simultaneously, but Wire does not give you the feeling of saturation and interruption, unlike other similar software.

— Thierry Tremblay, CEO & Founder of Kohezion

15. Volley

Volley is a conversation tool that allows you to have asynchronous conversations with your team, colleagues, and customers. We can speak 7-8x faster than we can compose an email or text. So why are we spending all this time typing? With Volley, we can be more efficient when it comes to communication.

Features of Volley:

  • Faster than an email, text, or chat.
  • Not as interruptive as a Call, Meeting, or Video Conference
  • 65% of managers say meetings prevent them from completing their own work.
  • Done on your time. A volley can be sent when it is most convenient for you and doesn’t require everyone’s schedule to sync up. 

— Josh Little, Works at VolleyApp.com

16. Skype

Skype is one of the most usable Discord alternatives available. It allows you to have one-on-one as well as group chats. You can use the audio call or video chat options available, along with an option to share your screen. Skype has a very basic user interface, so it hardly requires any time to get your hands around the software and get fluent with it. It allows users to share files in chat. Skype has an application for Windows, as well as iOS and Android, and reduces data and battery usage. The Lite version runs smoothly on old android devices, which cannot support the high-end version. Skype offers additional paid features like voice mail, SMS texts, or making calls to a landline, cell, or outside of Skype.

Features of Skype:

  • Instant messaging and chat history.
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Chat, audio and video calls
  • Free to use
  • Share files up to 300MB.

— Aqsa Tabassam, Brand & Marketing Manager at Simpl Fulfillment

17. Mattermost

Mattermost is an open-source and self-hosted communication platform built for teams of all sizes. It is marketed as an alternative to Slack and is used for internal communication within organizations.

However, to set up Mattermost, you must have technical knowledge. Since it is running on your servers, you will have to maintain the instance. Also, you will need to upgrade Mattermost when new releases are out.

Features of Mattermost:

  • You can host Mattermost on your own servers and have full control over the data.
  • Running Mattermost is a lot cheaper than other alternatives such as Slack.
  • You have the flexibility to write your own integrations to extend functionality, e.g., a bot. Mattermost also has a marketplace with pre-built integrations.
  • Enterprise-grade security, availability, and scalability.
  • Mattermost is available on various platforms, including web, desktop, and mobile.

— Prashant Sugand, Director & Principal Consultant at Layertech

18. HeySpace

HeySpace is like Slack and Discord, but with some additional features, so you and your team can stay organized on the tasks, you’re currently working on. It recognizes how important communication, deadlines, and collaboration are within every company and has created one platform to tackle all 3.

HeySpace works on any platform and even has additional add-on’s and integrations so you can get even more out of this great tool!

Features of HeySpace:

  • Board: The board allows you to add and edit the latest projects your team is working on. Assign specific employees to each task, add due dates, and even attach files, so everything is in one place. It’s easy for you and the employee to view tasks, ask questions, provide answers, and attach all relevant documents. You can even prioritize tasks from the most pressing to the least.
  • Chat: HeySpace has all of the chat features you’ve come to familiarize yourself with and is as user-friendly as any I’ve ever used. Tag co-workers, create new threads, convert messages into tasks, and reply to individual messages to avoid confusion.
  • Calendar: Due dates and timelines are significant. HeySpace allows you and your team to stay on track with their Calendar feature. Never miss a deadline with this easy-to-view calendar feature so you can be as effective as possible.
  • MyTasks: Don’t get overwhelmed or confused by all of the tasks currently underway within your company. With MyTasks, you can view just the tasks that you are assigned and currently working on. You’ll be able to see what’s due next and when you need to have it done by.

— Andy Michael, Founder at VPNTesting

Conclusion

These are the top 18 Discord alternatives in 2020. Some of them are open-source, totally free to use and modify as per your needs, while others offer paid plans to provide you with advanced features. Now, it’s up to you to choose the right communication platform.

Hope you found the Discord replacement in this article. Have another Discord alternative you love? Share your recommendations by leaving a comment down below.

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