Screen recording tools have expanded in the last few years, offering cutting-edge features that streamline sharing high-quality content with your most important contacts. Considerable variety in the market can make it challenging to choose the best tool.
Loom’s reputable assortment of free tools and features holds its own against any product on the market, but we know it’s not the only choice out there. It can be hard to look at Loom and its alternatives in an apples-to-apples comparison.
To help shed some light on the differences between Loom and other screen recording tools, we’ve compiled a list of the best screen recording app options for 2024. It includes what to look for in a recording tool, highlights the best tools on the market, and answers common questions about screen recording technology.
What is screen recorder software?
Screen recorder software is a class of web-based, desktop, or mobile apps that allow users to record their screen activity, webcam footage, and audio. It’s often used for creating tutorial videos, capturing gaming footage, recording 1:1 videos, providing team recaps and messages, or creating customized marketing messaging or sales demos. Screen recording software can capture an entire desktop, a single application, or just a selected portion of your screen. Some screen recording applications include video editing functions, closed captioning, annotations, and drawing features to highlight key info during a video.
What to look for in screen recorder software
When evaluating screen recording tools, you’ll find that each contains a different mix of features that may or may not align with the app’s true strengths—the basis for its original design or purpose. In general, select an app with these seven key features:
Recording capabilities: Look for a tool that easily captures the entire screen, an application window, or a select portion of the screen. The best free online screen recorder tools on the market offer high-resolution video capture up to 1080p. Some paid solutions offer 4k video capture.
Video editing tools: Consider a tool with built-in editing capabilities like cropping, trimming, adding annotations and closed captioning, and inserting multimedia. Some options offer professional-level editing tools that can stitch together multiple videos.
Drawing features: Drawing features can highlight important information during a video, such as arrows, circles, or boxes. Other features include pointer highlighting, text overlays, and even emojis.
Security and privacy: Ensure your chosen tool provides the necessary security protocols to keep your recordings safe and secure. Cloud storage and encryption features allow you to share even sensitive information in a video and distribute it to recipients with confidence.
Collaboration: Select an app that allows for easy collaboration with teammates. With many options, such as Loom, you can share videos and receive feedback or comments from recipients.
Distribution: Look for a tool that allows you to share videos in different ways, such as directly linking a video to a single person, sharing in an email, embedding in a website, or sharing through a video platform like YouTube or TikTok.
Support: Be sure to explore the customer service track record of screen recorder apps, too, for both free and paid tiers. While basic tools may have online resources for troubleshooting, a third-party vendor often has a dedicated support staff ready to assist with issues.
AI features and security: Generative AI is quickly reshaping and improving software tools. Be sure a chosen solution offers both AI-enhanced features and strong security and data integrity features to protect sensitive information.
Why use screen recorder software over native tools?
Most computers offer screen recorder tools pre-installed as part of the operating system. For instance, Mac users can use the Quicktime screen recorder feature, which allows them to capture their screen and audio recording or record from a web camera.
For Windows users, the Game Bar tool comes preloaded on Windows 10 and 11 machines. It offers settings for audio, microphone, and game modes, allowing users to record their screen activity in a separate window or full-screen mode. The Game Bar also enables a quick-capture hotkey feature using a keyboard or game controller. These options are useful for esports and online gaming users who want to start recording gameplay highlights without recording hours of content to sift through later.
So why use a third-party tool when most computers come with some level of screen capture capability? Native tools lack several features that business users need in order to do their jobs more effectively:
Full editing suite: Both macOS and Windows native tools provide a simple, friendly recording experience for beginners who want to quickly record their screen activity without installing extra software. However, these tools don’t offer the full editing features of third-party screen capture and video recording software. A third-party tool offers more functionality for business users creating videos for their teams, clients, or prospects.
Multi-option recording: Most native tools don't allow users to capture screen, webcam, and voiceover simultaneously. Creating a video with screen footage and a direct-to-camera inset of the speaker results in a more personalized video experience.
Storage and processing: Native video capture tools render and store your videos on the local device. This means the computer must take time to render the video and store it in a designated location on the hard drive. This takes up both processing power and storage space on your work device.
Sharing options: Third-party recording tools offer more distribution options for the finished video. With Windows and Mac, you must upload and host the footage to a third-party cloud-sharing tool like YouTube, Google Drive, Dropbox, Wistia, or Vimeo and manually provide the link to your recipients. Sharing the file through email may prove difficult depending on file size.
Best overall: 5 best screen recorder software tools on the market (2024)
Ready to learn more about all the best screen recording software on the market in 2024? We’ve got the highlights, pros, cons, and pricing details for the top five.
Loom empowers everyone to record asynchronous video to connect with their team members, clients, and prospects. It offers the most flexible and professional suite of tools to empower both casual users and enterprise teams to freely share ideas and improve projects, sales, and operations.
Loom also stands out with its robust free recording tier. For teams that need more advanced tools, the app has upgraded professional features and customizable Enterprise solutions at the most competitive prices in the industry.
Free basic plan
Intuitive, robust editing features
Automatic transcripts (even in the free version)
Drawing and annotation tools
Collaboration and feedback features
Browser, desktop, and mobile recording options
Easy video sharing and embedding
Calls to action
Viewer insights and use analytics
Shared video libraries for teams
Loom offers numerous advanced features in its free tier. Most competitor tools keep their premium features behind a paywall.
Advanced security features include password protection (Premium version of Loom), access controls similar to Google’s sharing and privacy settings, and GDPR data protection.
Loom works with a desktop app for Mac or Windows, a mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, and a Chrome extension that cooperates with Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Brave.
The Loom AI add-on helps users record better, faster video messages with automated titles, summaries, chaptering, “filler” word removal (umms and ahhs be gone!), and silence removal.
Loom works best with a stable internet connection. Some users report slightly slower video creation and export when using an unstable connection.
The Starter plan offers up to 50 Creator Lite seats at the free level. However, when you move up to Business, you gain access to Unlimited Creators and 50 additional Creator Lite users.
Loom has an impressive free tier with enough functionality to suit individual light-duty creators.
The free plan offers up to 25 videos per person, with a runtime of up to 5 minutes per video. It offers screen recording with a picture-in-picture “bubble cam” for simultaneously capturing screen footage and direct-to-camera webcam footage. It also includes unlimited transcriptions, viewer insights, and a team workspace.
For Business users, the $12.50/creator/month plan (billed annually) offers unlimited videos, unlimited recording length, Loom AI add-on (for $4/creator/month annually), white-labeling (no Loom branding), import and download features, and password protection.
Enterprise-tier pricing is custom and offers advanced features such as SSO (SAML) and SCIM protection, advanced content privacy features, custom data retention policies, and Salesforce integration.
Vidyard is a sales-focused video and screen recording tool featuring AI-powered prospecting for lead generation and automated follow-up. Its AI features streamline new video creation, and its online library offers file management in the cloud for easy access to finished content. Vidyard is similar to Loom, but its pricing structure will cost you more for advanced features.
AI script generation
Vidyard offers search engine optimization (SEO) features with every service plan.
The company offers weekly video coaching to help users improve content.
Videos with paid plans feature an “intro banner” with the speaker’s name, title, and other relevant information.
Captioning is only available on the Plus and Business tier plans.
Free plan users are limited to 5 embedded videos. The Pro plan increases this to 20 embeds—only the Plus and Business tier offer unlimited embedded video.
Several features, such as advanced folder organization, video analytics, analytics dashboards, and account management, are only available with top service tiers.
Vidyard offers several tiers of pricing, including a free plan.
With the Free plan, users can create 25 videos in a library and up to 3 Vidyard Rooms for personalized 1:1 deal discussion. The free plan also offers an AI script generator.
The $19/user/month annual Pro plan increases service to unlimited videos, adds real-time viewer insights, allows calls to action (CTAs), enables branding features, and allows password protection.
The $59/user/month annual Plus plan adds features like detailed analytics (including team performance), customizable branding, and captioning.
Enterprise-level customers can work with sales on pricing for features such as customizable CTAs, customer permissions and security settings, and priority onboarding and support.
Formerly Cloudapp, Zight allows users to capture and share screen recordings and screenshots, create animated GIFs, and enhance content production with AI for captions, descriptions, and searchability.
Fast and easy screen recording for multiple device types
AI-enhancement for searchable videos
Animated GIF creation tool
The app allows users to create time-expiring videos at paid tier levels. This feature is great for sales teams using time-sensitive offer pricing.
Zight has several screen settings to capture a portion of the screen or full-screen recordings. The app doesn’t offer a fully custom screen area selection.
The app has some free drawing features similar to Loom.
The app offers transcriptions, but this feature is only available through the Enterprise tier.
The basic tier only offers 740p resolution recording with 90 seconds of footage and a maximum of 10 viewers per video.
Advanced editing features such as cropping, rotate and scale, filtering, and fine-tuning are not available in the free version.
AI functionality is not available through the free plan tier.
Zight offers a free plan in addition to several pricing tiers with different functionality.
Zight allows users to record up to 5 minutes on the free plan and access the previous 50 uploads.
The individual Pro plan is $9.95/month. It offers unlimited items and uploads, unlimited recording time, and other advanced features
The $8 per user, per month Team plan offers Pro features plus team management and admin features.
For custom features, Zight offers Enterprise solutions with customized pricing.
This video sales and communication tool offers business users, educators, and creators various features to improve financial and educational outcomes. Business tools make it easy to personalize sales outreach, create training and onboarding libraries, and customize team management content for engineers, designers, and finance teams.
Tools for education
Assignment submission features
Screencastify saves videos straight to Google Drive for easy storage, retrieval, and sharing.
It offers several simple tools for editing, such as a cropping tool that works straight from the browser.
Easy sharing features (similar to Loom) with no time limit or restrictions on the number of viewers or video replays.
Screen recording with Screencastify is only available using the Chrome extension.
Users can annotate videos with a pen tool, cursor highlights, and emojis, but won’t have more advanced editing features such as multiple-video stitching.
While video recipients can respond to received videos with their own content, the software lacks more advanced feedback and collaboration features.
Screencastify offers several service tiers, including a free plan. The paid plans offer an annual payment option for a discount.
The free plan allows 10 videos per video library, up to 30 minutes of runtime per video. The free plan offers 10GB of secure cloud storage. For education users who assign work with video, the free tier allows one active assignment per user. Video export is limited to 30 minutes of content.
The $15/month ($7/month annual) Starter plan offers unlimited video creation, unlimited length, 25GB of storage, 1 active assignment, and unlimited export length.
The $20/month ($10/month annual) Pro plan adds to the Free and Starter features with 100GB of storage and unlimited assignments.
Enterprise-level services such as priority support, license management, usage reports, and onboarding support are billed annually with customized pricing.
BombBomb is an asynchronous video messaging service with some similarities to Loom. The company services mostly small businesses that want to send quick videos. Its main functionality is centered on sending videos within emails, primarily targeting sales teams for outreach and prospecting.
Unlimited sending and storage
Direct email integration
Browser-based users have extensions for Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
It offers CRM integration to add video to the marketing mix without manual work.
The software comes in a desktop screen recorder app as well as mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices.
BombBomb does not offer a free or basic plan.
The base tier doesn’t offer robust editing features to fix or enhance videos.
Some users experienced difficulty setting up email to integrate videos.
Customer service receives mixed reviews, seeming to be helpful for simple questions but not responsive to larger outages and issues.
BombBomb offers two major tiers of service. There is no free plan available at this time.
The entry service tier costs $33/month for 1:1 video messaging with unlimited recordings, unlimited storage, some editing features, and custom branding.
The $49/month tier adds features like video analytics, automation features, team and admin control, and advanced editing tools. The higher tier plan also includes a Salesforce integration.
What is the best free screen recorder software tool?
When you’re looking for substantial availability of free features, editing tools, runtime and viewer allowances, and advanced tools like AI and transcription, we believe Loom offers the best free screen recorder tool on the market going into 2024.
Want to see for yourself?
Screen recorder software FAQs
Have a question that wasn’t answered above? Here are answers to some of the most common questions that arise when evaluating screen recording tools and software.
What is the difference between a screen recording, a screenshot, and screencasting?
Screen recording, screenshots, and screencasting are three ways of capturing the information on a computer screen. The method you choose depends on the purpose of your finished video file. Here’s a brief overview of the differences:
Screen recording: Screen recording means capturing and recording activity on a computer screen, including video and audio content. It can also capture webcam footage so users can comment on the activity on screen. This feature is ideal for providing feedback on a project, teaching recipients about a software feature, or explaining information presented in a digital format (for instance, discussing the context of figures in an Excel spreadsheet).
Screenshots: A screenshot is a still image of the activity on the computer screen without video or audio components. Screenshots are sometimes used to create shareable images or discuss static information on the screen. They aren’t ideal for sharing complex information but are useful for other purposes, such as sharing images of the steps in a process on a blog or website.
Screencasting: Also known as streaming, screencasting entails sharing live video of activity on a computer screen, web camera footage, or both. Streaming doesn’t always create a recording, although many streaming services, such as Twitch, allow users to capture their streams for later distribution.
Can I record my computer screen and sound?
You can create a video recording with audio if you have a screen recording tool and some form of external microphone (even the onboard microphone installed in most laptops). You can simultaneously capture sound, screen activity, and webcam footage if you have a webcam and the right recording tool. Some apps also capture system sound (for instance, the sound effects and music playing on a video or a game).
For desktop computer users, an external webcam and microphone make it possible to capture sound and direct-to-camera video for a presentation.
Is there free screen recording software without a watermark?
A digital watermark is a digital rights management (DRM) feature that appears as a semi-transparent mark, text, or logo embedded into a digital file (such as an image or video). It identifies and distinguishes a file’s origin or copyright status. The watermark may be encoded into the file's metadata, meaning it’s not visible when someone opens or plays it. However, the watermark will appear if the media is duplicated or shared without authorization. Digital watermarks can be used to protect intellectual property or verify authenticity, preventing unauthorized use or copying of digital media.
Ready to get the best screen recording software for free? Download Loom for Mac, Windows, Chrome, iOS, or Android today.