The Best Free Intranet Software - 2023

The best free intranet software vendors, top considerations, categories, pitfalls, pricing, and more.

Rodrigo Vázquez Mellado
HR and B2B software analyst & advisor, tech writer, musician

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The Best Free Intranet Software

Hand picked by our HR Technology experts after product testing, user research, and much debate - enjoy!

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It’s a service that lets you create your own social network-like sphere, where you can create discussion spaces with multimedia messaging.
It’s a feature-rich internal communication platform that happens to be free, and also starts at a great price if you decide you need more.
It’s a basic and straightforward collaboration-oriented intranet with a wide range of potential workflows. They also offer a free plan for small groups.
Free for 25 users, Zoho Connect brings the ease of use and visual cleanliness that characterizes Zoho products to a robust team collaboration software.
In their free plan, Jostle provides the basic features of a simple yet powerful intranet for teams with less than 15 users.
With a massive array of features, Bitrix is a solid intranet and CRM that’s traditionally free for up to 12 users, but is unlimited during the pandemic.

Introduction to Free Intranet Software

Are you looking for an intranet solution, digital workplace, or internal communications platform, but aren’t willing to pay for one just yet? Well, fortunately having a decent intranet these days can cost you nothing but the time and effort it will take to sign up and get your colleagues to use it. 

Long gone are the days when the word “free”, as it pertained to intranet software meant open source. That route, as we know, is never truly free since you have to set it up on your own servers, which definitely costs a pretty penny to implement and maintain. 

Yet, you don’t have to keep all your conversations and important documents on a Facebook group or Slack either. The vendors that we’ve shortlisted here offer fully-fledged intranets with all the features you’d expect, such as internal communication, social media-like functions, document management, platform-wide search, and much more.

Apart from being free, these also happen to be good bets when it comes to ease of use, customer satisfaction, and customer support. Read on to find the tool that might be what your employee experience has been lacking, for free! 

Pro Tip: We write up a ton of content about each of these landscapes and have linked to each so that you can get a sense of pricing, pitfalls, etc for each category. Good luck!

We put in the effort to make this guide awesome

Hours Researched
Experts Consulted
Vendors Reviewed

Our criteria: How we chose the best vendors

We take research seriously. To make sure we’re offering our readers the very best solutions in a given software category, we are methodical, rigorous, and expansive in our research. We consult with HR professionals, vendors, and industry experts. We cut through the noise to bring you a carefully curated list of vendors, along with other essential information, to help you find the right software platform for your business. 

Here’s how we chose who makes the cut: 

Product: We believe in gaining a comprehensive understanding of a product before we recommend it, so we start by getting to know the software. Whenever possible, we meet with a senior executive (CEO or Head of Product) for a demo and Q&A. We also test the product ourselves to make sure it has a solid UI, intuitive workflows, and the features to make it a best-in-class offering. 

User feedback: We go straight to the source and compile feedback on user experience. Real-world input supports our commitment to diligence in our software evaluation methods and the products we recommend. Keeping up with the everyday experience of HR pros also puts new vendors on our radar, and it keeps us close to our community so we can better connect the right products to the right people.

Financial metrics: We are certified finance nerds, so we use all the data we can get our hands on to make selections for our guides. We comb through data for concrete statistics like retention rates, growth, profitability, and scalability. We evaluate the bottom line of each product because we know making a software purchase can put your reputation on the line. 

Best for a use case: Software is never a one-size-fits-all product. Sometimes the best solution is free or cheap. Other times it’s the one that is best for global companies or the one that’s sized right for early-stage startups. Keeping this in mind, we include solutions across the spectrum so our readers can find the best fit for their unique needs.

Here's more detail if you want to read more about how we research vendors. Our dedicated staff writers rely on hard data, impartial experts, and user feedback to ensure our reviews are helpful, truthful, and hopefully a pleasure to read!

In this guide you'll find

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Whaller

Review:

Whaller works through spheres, discussion spaces that can be completely separate from one another. This is great if you want an intranet just as a place for discussion around specific projects or topics within the company. Each sphere can have all types of messages with controlled visibility, you can have private chats with all members, and it also has a couple of other features like a company directory, individual profiles, a home page, and video conferencing.

Whaller

Stats:

  • Started in Paris, France in 2013
  • Under 50 employees

Whaller

Pricing:

The standard version of Whaller is free for up to 100 users and lets you create 5 spheres. After that, the pro version starts at 3€ per user per month.

Best For:

The free/standard version of Whaller is great for small businesses with light communication and document management needs. There are some particular use cases of Whaller for universities, non-profits, and sports organizations as well.

Bitrix24's

Review:

Bitrix24 is ready to support business needs from all fronts. As an intranet, they have all the bells and whistles you’d expect, but even a bit more. They have communication tools, task and project management, chats, calls, video conferences, workgroups, a newsfeed, and more than 35 work tools. These even include a basic CRM, a website builder, a contact center, and an e-commerce section.

In that sense, we should say that more than an intranet, Bitrix24 is a massive business suite that happens to include a fairly-comprehensive internal communication platform, as well as other HR tools. Surprisingly, it’s all available for free.

Bitrix24's

Stats:

  • Used by over 8 million organizations worldwide
  • 12,000+-wide global partner network
  • 400+ employees

Bitrix24's

Pricing:

The Bitrix24 Intranet & Digital Workplace is included in the cloud-based free plan which is free for unlimited users, at least during the pandemic.

Best For:

Bitrix24 is a great bet for small to medium-sized organizations looking for a quick and scalable solution that gives them many features and use cases in one hub.

Zoho Connect

Review:

As with most Zoho products, Zoho Connect, their company intranet platform, has a free version. The free forever plan includes up to 25 users, 3 groups, 3 custom apps, 3 boards, 3 knowledge base manuals, 10 integrations. It also features the channels, events, and forums modules. 

Zoho Connect lets people interact with each other in several manners, like keeping a company knowledge base, managing work plans, scheduling events, and even building custom apps.

Zoho Connect

Stats:

Zoho Connect

Pricing:

Zoho Connect starts at $25 per month if you have less than 25 users. If your team is between 26-100 users, it’s just $1 per user per month. These prices get more interesting in the yearly plans. For more than 100 users, you can use their price calculator, which is really transparent. There is also a free version of Zoho Connect if you’re below 25 users and need only basic features and capabilities.

The free version of Zoho Connect gets you 25 users, 3 groups, 3 private applications, 3 dashboards, 3 handbooks, 10 integrations, as well as channels, events, and forums.

Best For:

Zoho Connect can be a good bet for all sorts of organizations that want a well-known social intranet that can grow with them and adapt to their needs as they go.

Samepage

Review:

Even in the free version, the Samepage platform is meant to be much more than an intranet. It can facilitate internal communication, of course, but also project management, running meetings, and online collaboration. Samepage fulfills these purposes by combining tools like a team chat, video conferencing, screen sharing, task management, file sharing, and real-time document collaboration.

One thing to note is that Samepage was acquired by Paylocity, an HCM and payroll software provider, in November 2020. Since the acquisition, Samepage are now focusing solely on US-based businesses.

Samepage

Stats:

  • Over 250,000 users supported in more than 180 countries

Samepage

Pricing:

If the basic free plan isn’t enough, Samepage’s Standard plan is $7.50 per license (that’s one per user) per month. Their Pro plan, with the full administrative features, is $9 per license per month. They also offer special pricing ($6 per user/Mo) for educational institutions and NPOs. Their enterprise pricing is customized.

Best For:

Samepage works great for organizations that want to be able to work and handle various sorts of tasks within their intranet and prefer the autonomy of setting up most things themselves.

Jostle

Review:

The thought process behind Jostle is that you probably want to focus on creating a space where your company culture can thrive, without having to spend too much time on it. Because of that, they have aimed towards making an easy-to-use product, with simple architecture, little time to set up, and that wouldn’t require much in the way of IT knowledge. In our opinion, they’ve certainly succeeded at that.

Jostle

Stats:

  • 5x more employee participation (>80%) across Jostle customers than the industry norm (<20%).

Jostle

Pricing:

With Jostle’s free version, which is for up to 15 users, you get all the internal communication features. These are Activity, News, Discussions, and an employee directory (People). The paid version varies depending on the features and integrations you need, as well as user count. They also have an enterprise plan.

Best For:

The free version is great for small teams searching for a simple and intuitive solution that’s easy to implement. For non-profits and educational institutions, Jostle is also offered at a discounted rate.

Talkspirit

Review:

While the free version of Talkspirit does come with its limitations (see the Pricing section of this review), it is still surprising for such a well-designed and easy-to-use product to be free. Talkspirit is both an intranet portal and a team collaboration tool. You can streamline work and communication with others, making everyday remote interactions much more cohesive and less time-consuming.

Talkspirit

Stats:

  • Used by over 10,000 organizations
  • Founded in 2008 in Paris, France
  • 11-50 employees

Talkspirit

Pricing:

Talkspirit’s “Essentials” version is completely free and for unlimited users. However, it does have the following limitations: 

  • Videoconference for up to 4 participants
  • 30-day history for chats and posts
  • Max. 10 public groups
  • 3 integrations to choose from

Best For:

The free plan will work well for teams of varying sizes who don’t have a huge need for a digital workplace, or could operate within the limitations. That being said, the full offering from Talkspirit can accommodate many types of businesses.

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Last advice on picking a free Intranet

The vendors we’ve presented here are the best offerings in terms of a free corporate intranet. Sure, many of them have other use cases, but we strived to find the best solutions for small and medium businesses in need of a cost-effective tool. As you probably noticed, these are not only free but also quite on par (or below) with the average pricing.

Once you review them all, the next step would be to select 3 to 5 vendors and start their free trials, simply sign up, or book demos with them. However, if you’re not convinced yet, be sure to check out our roundup of the best intranet software. While certainly not free, many of the vendors there (two of which have been mentioned here) offer very competitive prices for what we believe are excellent products.

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