There are many free team chat software out there for Windows 10, but if you work in a team, you will have to limit yourself to one. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best options available and explain why each option can be useful for you and your team projects.
Keep in mind that all the software mentioned in this article is generally regarded by the public as “ good ” software with full functionality for file sharing, desktop / mobile and web applications, chat logs, group conferencing and collaboration features We will focus on how each one is different from each other.
Microsoft Teams is free, but with an Office 365 subscription, you get Office integration and additional storage through OneDrive.
We’ll start with the first Windows-focused team chat software that will bless Windows 10. Microsoft Teams has a lot of features available under its hood, and thankfully it’s free to use. Here’s a quick overview of what you get with the free version of Microsoft Teams.
- Unlimited chat and search messages
- Video / audio calls for groups
- 10 GB for group storage and 2 GB additional per person.
- Office Online Integration
- Additional third party integrations including Evernote and Trello.
- Add guests to chats as needed
If your team is already involved in the Office ecosystem, Microsoft Teams is the best choice. It’s easy to create a team for free and then share and edit documents right from Microsoft Teams.
Integration with Office 365 is just what Microsoft Teams excels at, and it’s hard to find more productivity-oriented team software for Windows 10.
Another nice feature of Microsoft Teams is the guest feature. It has become very easy to share time-limited chat links or video / voice calls with people outside of your team.
Guests receive limited access and sharing options. If necessary, you can add people to your team at any time so that they can access all files and documents. Microsoft Teams has both a standalone desktop app and a thinner web option.
Slack is free, but plans starting at $ 8 / month include unlimited message / file tracking and more.
If you have a project that has multiple tracks and you prefer to update everything through text, Slack is the place for you. Slack has easily become one of the most popular free team chat options on the market. There are many reasons why Slack is so popular. Below is a quick overview.
- Powerful search for shared files (search all messages and files)
- Conversations and topics organized by channels.
- Voice and video calls are also available for each channel.
- Expanded support for third party applications (from asanas to scaling and everything in between)
- Powerful bots available to download or build
One of my favorite features in Slack is the search engine. When you have ongoing tasks within the same project, it is very easy to lose your important files or messages. With the search function, you can find anything in seconds. Slack is also set to be easy to customize with support for bots and third-party apps.
In particular, I’m interested in Slack bots. For example, bots like Diggbot and GrowthBot can help you find relevant content or topics. What about Eventbot calendar?
Thanks to this, you can use text commands to easily set up appointments or date reminders. There are many suggestions, and if you can’t find what you need, developer tools are readily available for you to create your own bot.
Discord is completely free – they have special features designed for gamers for $ 9.99 a month, but there is no app functionality limit for free users.
Discord is a lot like Slack. You have the same multitrack support and dozens of bots and app integrations available. However, Discord has some differences. Let’s take a quick look at them below.
- Support for “always on” voice and text channels.
- Easy bot and application integration for more functionality.
- Open channels to the public.
- Create user groups and grant different permissions depending on the group.
Discord is better for more fluent communication. You can create permanent voice channels to which users can freely connect and disconnect at any time. If you’re a team that loves to spontaneously communicate with each other rather than schedule meetings at specific times, Discord voice channels are perfect for that.
However, interaction with your team members is not limited to voice. You can also set up text feeds and you are given an account where you can send private messages to other users.
Another thing I really like about Discord is its ability to make things public. It is very easy to create public channels and then create employee-only channels. This particular setting can be useful for public relations teams that rely on public feedback. For example, Discord is great for those looking to get feedback from their users about a mobile app or ever-evolving video game.
Finally, Discord allows you to assign each user a “rank” or place them in a specific group. Then you can set permissions for each group. This is useful when you need to give high-level project members access to a room, but you don’t want others to have access to it.
Google Hangouts Chat
Google Hangouts Chat costs $ 5 per user for 30GB of storage, or $ 10 per user for unlimited storage. Plus, classic Hangouts is available for free but will be discontinued soon.
However, you have to pay to integrate it all into one separate non-Gmail chat app called Google Hangouts Chat. If you are looking for a basic Google experience with more functionality, Google Hangouts Chat might be for you. Here are some key features.
- Virtual rooms for solving various tasks.
- Supports 8000 participants per room.
- Easily download and share any content from other Google apps.
- Powerful search built right into Hangouts Chat.
- Compatible with Hangouts built into Gmail.
Google Hangouts Chat additionally integrates all Google apps into one system. You can easily set up calendar reminders, create documents, google sheets, and set up meetings with Hangouts voice call. It is ideal for those who are constantly in touch with their team on the phone, because you will have access to all the applications of the Google suite through the app store.
I’m a little worried about how often Google changes its collaboration software, but whether Hangouts Chat stays or goes away, the core Google Drive and G Suite software is still a serious competitor to other cloud storage services.
Thanks for reading our guide to the best free team chat software for Windows 10. Do you have any questions about the software included in this article? If so, tweet me and I’ll get back to you shortly. Enjoy!