Is Slack Secure? Must-knows About Slack’s Security!
September 28, 2020
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Is Slack Free?

Slack is an online collaboration tool used by many workplaces, organizations, and communities to communicate and share information in real-time. If you are thinking of starting a Slack community or using Slack for your work team, you’re probably wondering how much it’ll cost you to use the platform. Fortunately, Slack has several pricing tiers, including a free plan. Yes, that’s right, you can use Slack for free. Here’s the breakdown of what you’ll get for free and what features you’ll need to upgrade to get:

The Free Plan: Slack is free in it’s most basic form. You’ll get access to messaging, slack channels, one-on-one video calls, two-factor authentication, and the option to use up to 10 apps or integrations. If you are just looking for a quick way for your team to share information and have real-time discussions, the free plan could work great for you! 

Using Slack can cut down on emails, help your team get answers to questions faster, and speed up decision-making by providing access to real-time communication. It is particularly helpful for teams distributed across multiple offices or locations or for teams that are working remotely. The free plan offers 5 GB of storage for the entire workspace, which is a bit low for medium-to-large teams, but if your team doesn’t plan to use Slack for a lot of file-sharing it should be adequate.

The Standard Paid Plan: The standard plan offers some additional features over the free version. This plan is best for small-to-medium-sized businesses. This tier will run you $6.67 USD per person, per month, when billed yearly or $8 USD per person per month when billed monthly

While the free plan allows you to access the last 10,000 messages, the standard plan gives you access to an unlimited message archive. If you’re just using Slack as an instant messenger for the office the free plan will work, but if you’re sharing educational resources, customer or project information, or using Slack for your employee’s reporting, you’ll probably want to upgrade to maintain access to a full backlog.

This plan also includes group video calls with a screen sharing function. Video calls can have up to 15 members, so if your team is on the smaller side it can be convenient to do video calls inside Slack rather than Zoom.

The standard plan also offers unlimited apps and integrations. If your team is already using tools such as Trello, Asana, and a CRM software you can integrate them with Slack for greater organization and convenience. 

All of the paid plans also include Slack Connect, a feature that helps Slack customers work securely with other organizations. This feature can speed up communication with outside parties such as vendors, partners, and customers.

It also comes with 10 GB of storage per member instead of the 5 GB per workspace offered in the free version of Slack, so this is a great option for businesses that want to utilize data storage and sharing options in Slack.

The standard plan also features G Suite SSO, which allows members of your workspace to sign in to Slack using their Google Suite accounts. 

The Plus Paid Plan: Slack states that this plan is targeted towards larger businesses as well as companies that desire advanced administration tools. Data junkies, this one is for you. The plus plan offers all of the features of the standard plan along with 99.99% guaranteed uptime SLA, user provisioning and de-provisioning, and data exports for all messages. This plan offers additional data storage at 20 GB per user compared to the 10 GB per user offered by the standard plan. The Plus plan will cost $12.50 USD per person, per month, when billed yearly or $15 USD per person, per month, when billed monthly.

The Plus plan does allow users to sign in using their Google suite accounts, but it also supports SAML single sign on, which allows members of your workspace to sign in to Slack using an identity provider (IDP) of your choice. Examples of supported IDPs include Okta, Microsoft Azure, ADFS, and Auth0. 

Enterprise Gold: Enterprise Grid gives you the ability to manage the design, usage, and administration of multiple interconnected Slack workspaces across your entire organization. Each workspace is connected through organization-wide search capabilities, direct messaging, and multi-workspace channels. Pricing for the Enterprise Gold tier varies and will require a call with the Slack sales team so that they can understand your organization’s needs.

The Enterprise Gold plan presents an option for businesses in highly regulated industries or very large companies. If you are highly concerned about data privacy, sharing data that is likely to be requested in an Audit or subpoena, or subject to strict confidentiality requirements such as HIPPA, then it’s worth the upgrade to Enterprise Gold. 

Enterprise Gold touts features such as the ability to create unlimited workspaces, support for data loss prevention (DLP), e-Discovery, and offline backup providers, designated customer success teams, and HIPAA-compliant message and file collaboration. It also offers 1 TB (1,000 GB) of storage per user.

So Should You Pay For Slack?

Ultimately it depends on your organization’s size and needs. If you are a startup founder with a small team that is thinking of trying out Slack, the free version can be a great place to start! Not every organization will make use of advanced options. If you’re already using Zoom, Skype, Dropbox, Google Suite, or other services and are content with them some of the features such as video calls and increased file storage may not appeal to you.

However, if your goal with Slack is to integrate your current software services, client communications, and data storage into one central place, a paid option might be best for you and your organization.

Slack Communities targeted towards networking and sharing information will benefit from a paid plan as well, particularly if they want the option to offer premium or paid membership options to members of the community.

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