The 7 Best Free Slack Alternatives for Team Communication
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Slack sits firmly at the top of the online communication platform pile. The instant messaging cum team collaboration workspace has millions of users from businesses and organizations of all sizes. Slack’s success is built upon a simple idea—life is all about communication, and email is no longer suitable for fast-paced working environments.

That’s not to say there isn’t a place for email. But email threads become disjointed, tangled messes with multiple respondents. Why waste time when there is a better option available?

1. Rocket Chat

Rocket Chat is an open-source Slack alternative. This means the chat client is completely customizable if your programming skills are up to scratch. Rocket Chat is a resolute experience out-of-the-box. It offers many features that free and paid Slack versions don’t have:

  • Audio and video conferences.
  • Integrated live-chat for websites.
  • Screen sharing.
  • Theming, branding, and white label installation packages.

Rocket Chat has an intuitive UI, which further exemplifies the easy experience on this chat platform.

Download: Rocket Chat for Windows | macOS | Linux | Android | iOS

2. Microsoft Teams

For a long time, Microsoft Teams was only available to Office 365 subscribers. But Microsoft changed that and now you and can use Microsoft Teams for free. There are some limitations, understandably. But the free version of Microsoft Teams packs a heap of useful features into its free offering.

One of the standout features for Microsoft Teams is unlimited messaging. Where free Slack limits your team to 10,000 messages, Microsoft Teams lets you go wild. Another plus point is the extensive list of Microsoft Teams integrations, of which you can add over 140 to your free subscription.

One slight downside to Microsoft Teams is the slightly confusing sign-up and sign-in process. Here’s what happened when I tried to create a Microsoft Team with a friend for the MakeUseOf Microsoft Teams vs. Slack comparison Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: The Best Free Workplace Messenger Apps Microsoft Teams vs. Slack: The Best Free Workplace Messenger Apps Slack has the crown. Microsoft Teams is the usurper. Two popular group chat tools battle it out in our comparison. Read More :

Microsoft makes accessing Teams a difficult enough procedure that two other friends invited to test Teams with me gave up. Their pre-existing Microsoft accounts couldn’t use any of the Get link to team links sent from within the Teams app to gain access. Thinking the issue could relate to their organization email accounts (accounts created by their workplace), they switched to personal accounts, but still had the same issue.

Sign-up irritations aside, Microsoft Teams is a great free chat tool.

Download: Microsoft Teams for Windows (64-bit) | Windows (32-bit) | macOS | Android | iOS

3. Zulip

Zulip is “The world’s most productive team chat.” I’m not sure if that claim is verifiable. However, I will say that Zulip is an open-source messaging tool that a lot its competitors could learn a thing or two from.

Zulip does several things right. A clean and intuitive UI, extra functionality including markdown, inline images and videos, excellent security credentials, and heaps of integrations for productivity and more.

Another Zulip feature I really like is the nested topics. For example, you subscribe to a Zulip Stream (which is like a Slack channel). Then, within the Stream, there are individual topic threads. It helps to keep the Zulip chat clean, and your team productive.

Download: Zulip for Windows | macOS | Linux | Android | iOS

4. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is a fantastic Slack alternative for a small team looking to integrate project management into their client chat. Often cited as one of the best free project management tools, Bitrix24 also features several premium Slack components.

Bitrix24 has integrations for social media, task and project management, document management, team calendars, email, and more. Furthermore, Bitrix24 provides a well-received free CRM platform. What a package!

Download: Bitrix24 for Windows | macOS | Android | iOS

5. Chanty

Chanty is a handy free Slack alternative for slightly smaller teams. The free version of Chanty allows up to 10 team members, with ten integrations. If this sounds like it would suit your team, add in that Chanty allows unlimited public and private chat, has a searchable history, integrated productivity tools, and up to 20GB storage for your team.

Overall, Chanty offers a neat little instant messaging package, combining several premium Slack features into their free offering.

Download: Chanty for Windows | macOS | Debian | Fedora | Android | iOS

6. Fleep

Fleep! Sorry, it just sounds good. Go ahead: say it out loud.

Now that is taken care of, I can introduce you to a messaging client with a focus on team integration. Fleep does something differently to Slack. While Slack is excellent for chatting with a single team at a time, Fleep lets you reach out and chat with other people and organizations without leaving the client.

Furthermore, it brings those stubborn, email wielding individuals into the fore. So long as you have an email address, Fleep will bring the conversation to you.

Download: Fleep for Windows | macOS | Android | iOS | Linux (installation instructions, not installer)

7. Mattermost

The list of the best free Slack alternatives winds-up with open source Mattermost.

Mattermost is a self-host option. If you host Mattermost on your server, you can use its features for free. It is a secure option which supports end-to-end encryption too. Plus, it has over 400 integrations you can add, without limit. In that, you can tool Mattermost up to suit the requirements of your team, rather than an out-of-box alternative.

Download: Mattermost Desktop for Windows (64-bit) | Windows (32-bit) | macOS | Linux | Android | iOS

Download: Mattermost Server for Linux or Docker

What Is the Best Free Slack Alternative?

Slack is excellent. It is. I use it for work. My friends and I have a private team. There are loads of specific interest Slack teams you can join, too.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shop around for an alternative. The free Slack alternatives on this list will provide everything your team needs. In some cases, you’ll get more features than you expect from a free service.

Consider your requirements and check if your free Slack subscription is pulling its weight. Is it time to find a new workhorse? Alternatively, do you need to boost your existing Slack productivity and get more out of it? Here are some clever Slack bots you can install to give your team a productivity push 9 Clever Slack Bots to Boost Your Productivity 9 Clever Slack Bots to Boost Your Productivity Slack bots can help you and your team get things done. They integrate to-do lists, time zones, meeting agendas, a team wiki, project updates, and more. Now you can manage projects right inside Slack! Read More !

Explore more about: Chat Client, Collaboration Tools, Slack.

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  1. Shivani Sharma
    December 14, 2018 at 6:33 am

    Great Article...!!! I would like introduce the best alternative for Slack is ALE Rainbow. Alcatel Lucent has introduced a new communication and collaboration application with great features over Skype and slack. You can integrate Rainbow with third paty applications even with Skype too. Enhance team productivity with single signup with Rainbow.

  2. Michelle
    September 7, 2018 at 8:02 am

    In addition to above tools, one can consider using R-HUB TurboMeeting servers for team collaboration. It is in-house, secure and supports unlimited users. R-HUB all-in-one server works well on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.

  3. UsedToLike Ryver
    March 13, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    You need to take off Ryver, or at least modify the description. They announced today that they will only offer free accounts for up to 6 users... $99/month...

  4. David Michael
    October 5, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Contus Fly is a pre-built chat api for mobile app that gives enterprises total control in terms of app management as well as backend customizations. From code to cloud hosting, the entire control of the messaging sdk and chat api remains vested with the buyer enterprise.

    In the future, as and when more refinements in terms of design or functionalities are required, it can be carried out by hiring a developer either from Contus or from their own sources.

  5. Olesya
    August 9, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Bitrix24 is absolutely superb. Love the fact that it's absolutely free for unlimited users without any limits on history search.

    • Lord Ocryd
      December 9, 2017 at 11:59 pm

      Actually, it is absolutely free for up to 12 users only.

  6. Steph
    July 12, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Maybe don't ever use the term "cum-team workspace" 'cause... yeah... ¬_¬

    • Gavin Phillips
      July 12, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Sorry you're horribly childish. Cum is latin for "with," but has been bastardised over the years to mean semen. Grow up.

      • Steph
        July 12, 2017 at 10:17 pm

        I'm wonderfully childish, and you're horribly snippy. In case you haven't noticed, not a lot of people speaking Latin anymore. Join us in 2017.

        • Gavin Phillips
          July 13, 2017 at 9:29 am

          It is a common part of English, in 2017. Hence, grow up.

          Thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. Amin
    June 9, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Hey! Great article. ...just to add, I have been using Flock which is a free communication app for teams providing direct and group messaging with the ability to create public and private channels. It is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian.

    To add to that, its free and offers integrations with 40+ third party apps including Google Drive, Github, Trello and many others and provides a set of business apps including Shared To-dos, Reminders, Polls, Note Sharing, Code Snippet Sharing and so on.

  8. Mike
    April 13, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    You say it's free, then the first review you give is for a paid service, which I find out 10 seconds or so in to your review. So yeah. It's really irritating when people are misleading.

    Slack also has a free option, so what's the point of using a lesser alternative that's not that much cheaper, and certainly not free!?

    • Gavin Phillips
      April 13, 2017 at 11:57 pm

      Whoah there. Rocket Chat is free if you download and host it yourself. It also has a lot of options not available in the free version of Slack.

      There are also 6 other options to choose from that offer varying degrees of integration and customisation. Did you look at them?

      What's your chat tool now?

  9. Hitesh
    March 17, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Great article! Have tried Hip chat & betrix24, really helps. Wanted to add another tool for readers, which is completely for free and will always be. The name is gridle.chat. Free unlimited chat, group chat, audio video conference, file sharing & storage. No limit on members, storage or history. Works like a charm! Hope you find this helpful!

  10. Alex.G
    October 6, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I can confirm. Bitrix24 is absolutely amazing, free and has WAAY more collaboration tools than Slack

    • Gavin Phillips
      March 19, 2017 at 12:45 am

      Hey Alex.

      Sorry for the slow reply. Bitrix was one of the best!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.