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Jitsi – Self-Hosted Open Source Video Conferencing Solution [+3 Hosting Platforms]

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Video conferencing is not new but is in high demand in the current situation as most of us work from home.

How do you get in touch with your teams?

Are you still having a meeting with your team or client?

I guess, yes.

I am sure you have heard and tried Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet; they are all good and work absolutely fantastic. But, there would be many reasons you don’t use it in your organization. It might be compliance, privacy, or cost.

So, what’s the solution?

Try self-hosted open-source video conferencing software – Jitsi.

Jitsi gives you full control of the video conferencing solution as it’s hosted on your server. It’s a perfect alternative to Zoom private meetings.

Two main components make it possible.

Jitsi Meet – a JavaScript-based client application that lets you video chat. You can share your screen, collaborate in real-time, invite users, and more. You can join the conference using a web browser or Android/iOS apps.

Jitsi Videobridge – an XMPP server (Prosody) capable of hosting thousands of video chats. Its WebRTC is compatible and offers encryption by default.

If you are curious to test the client, you can try the call.

Jitsi looks promising, and getting started is easy.

Installing Jitsi

Jitsi is tested on Ubuntu/Debian, and there are two possibilities to get it installed. Get a Cloud VM and follow the below procedure.

Docker – is probably the easiest method. Once you have Docker installed, you can refer to this easy-to-follow guide.

Manual – it’ll take a little longer and is not recommended. But, if you still want to try, refer to this guide.

How to leverage Jitsi hosting platforms?

Sure, you can get it started on the following Jitsi hosting platforms in less than 15 minutes.

Kamatera

Get Jitsi ready VM on Kamatera at as low as $4 per month.

You can choose to deploy to your nearest locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and China.

DigitalOcean

Launch the Jitsi server through the DO marketplace. It gets you Ubuntu VM with Jitsi and Nginx.

You need to enter the domain where you want to host your video conferencing and follow the on-screen instruction during setup. You can get everything ready in less than 15 minutes.

DigitalOcean gives $100 free credit.

Vultr

Vultr offers one-click Jitsi deployment.

Vultr offers a beautiful control panel and API to manage the server. It got inbuilt monitoring, and pricing starts from $5 per month.

How does it look?

I got the Jitsi setup on DO in less than 15 minutes. This is how the client looks at the browser.

I did a quick test with my friend and experienced good sound and video quality.

You have an option to select a front or back camera, start live streaming, share screen, mute others, etc. I haven’t tried their mobile apps, but I guess it would be better than a browser.

Conclusion

Vultr and DO both have data centers in multiple locations worldwide. Choose to host your Jitsi server where you expect people to join from the most. Start with the small server size and scale as you grow. You may choose to put CDN like Cloudflare or StackPath on the front to accelerate the data delivery.

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