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Skype vs. Hangouts : The Ultimate Comparison

Skype is one of the oldest and most popular video and audio calls. It is now has become the verb which represents video and audio calling. Lots of companies have accepted the dominance of Microsoft’s Skype but Google is not ready to bow down to Microsoft. Google released its audio/video calling software, Hangouts, in May 2013 and now it is ready to give a hard time to the mighty Skype. 

Here is the comparison of two tools on the basis of different features and it is up to you to decide which one is better.

Skype vs Hangout Comparison

Local Calls

If you live in the United States or Canada then you can receive and make a call to any local landline and mobile phone for free using Google Voice and Hangouts. On the other hand, Skype charges $2.99 per month for local calls.  You can also go for their pay as you go plan which costs only 2.3 cents for every minute.

International Calls

You can make unlimited international calls for free through Skype and hangouts using the internet. If you want to make the international calls on someone’s landline of mobile phone then you will have to but credit. Skype charges $13.99 for the whole month covers large global area excluding Colombian religion and rural areas. On the other hand, Hangouts charge for every minute and it offers international calls to only United States, India, France, and Mexico.


The audio conferences are free for both Skype and Hangouts. They also allow you to do the video conference with only two participants for free. Skype allows video conferencing of up to 10 people if only one of them has a premium account which costs between $4.99 to $ 7.5 per month. You can enjoy three days free trial of video conferencing with Skype just to get the taste of it. Hangouts allow broadcasting of video to unlimited people but only 10 to 15 people can participate in it. The charges for the unlimited video conferencing are just $5.

Associate Number

You can associate one or more landline or mobile number with your Hangouts for free but you will not be able to make all to this number for free. This service of Hangouts is just for associating a mobile number to the Hangouts so that you can receive text and calls of hangouts on your number. Skype charges $5 to $6 for this type of integration but this service of Skype is available in most part of the world as compared to Hangout which offers this service only in few countries.


Skype allows you to send a text message to any mobile phone in the world but you will have to buy the credit. The charges vary from country to country but usually they charge 11 cents for one message. This service is not available in Hangouts. Google voice offers this service so it is very likely that Hangouts will also offer this service soon.


You can use your Skype and Hangouts accounts on your smart phone as these tools have mobile apps. Their apps make calls using the Wi-Fi connection as the preferred connection but you can also make calls using 3G and 4G data plan from your service provider. The biggest disadvantage of Hangouts in this regard is that it does not work in those Android devices which use AT&T network. 

Sharing Features

The file and screening sharing features exist in both tools. You will have to make the video call to share screen on Skype while Hangouts demands the creation of chat room for screen sharing. You can share the screen with multiple participants for free in both tools. File sharing is relatively easy on Skype as you can just upload the file through the chat box. On the hand, Hangouts uses Google Drive and Google+ for sharing files. You will have to enable the file sharing feature on these tools to share any document or photo through Hangouts.


Hangouts integrates with YouTube, Google Drive, Google +. This integration is automatic unless you are using different e-mail account for the signing up on Hangouts. Skypes integrates with outlook and Facebook. You can integrate any Facebook account with Skype but you can only integrate one account with Skype. 


The compatibility of both tools is very high because both of these tools are compatible with almost all browsers including Firefox, chrome, Safari, and Opera. They also work on almost all popular operating system. Hangouts also work on Chrome OS but Skype is not compatible with this OS.

This comparison is indicating that both of these tools have their own advantages and limitations. Your requirements define which tools will suit you more. Mostly people like to use the tools which are more popular in the circle of their family and friends.

Best Skype Alternatives for Video Calling

Skype has over 300 million users around the world and has been for long the preeminent provider of VoIP services or video calling, but that position seems to be under threat recently. There a number of highly rated Skype alternatives today, which are just as good as Skype. Some, like Google Hangouts and Viber, almost rival Skype in the popularity stakes. 

So why are so many people looking at Skype app alternatives? There are a plenty of reasons for this, beginning with Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype and the consequent change in Skype’s payment structure. A lot of people are concerned about their privacy and security on Skype. They also don’t like paying $5/month for the Premium account, in order to initiate a video call with 3 or more people. That’s why a search is on for Skype app alternatives.

Let’s have a look at 5 of the very best Skype alternatives…

  1. Google Hangouts

skype google hangout

Google Hangouts allows you to set up a video call for as many as 9 people for absolutely free – all you need is a Google+ account. Participants in your call don’t have to be in your Circles, but they will need to have a Gmail account, and install the Google+ plug-in for Windows or Mac OS, or install a Google+ app for their Android or iOS. Google Hangouts is one of the best Skype app alternatives because it charges you at $5 per user only if you have more than 9 participants in a call.  It is also very easy to upload or share your Google docs with other participants during a video call and edit them on a collaborative basis.

  1. Viber

skype vs viber

Viber is one of the best Skype alternatives out there for video calling. Viber was primarily a VoIP service that allowed users to call directly between devices, but it has since grown into a WhatsApp like messaging service and can be used to share files as well. Viber is accessible on all major platforms such as Windows, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Mac OS and more. Viber allows for video calling across multiple devices. Chatting using instant messaging on Viber is a lot of fun because of the sheer variety of the emoticons that are available. The best part is that Viber is free and works just as well on 3G and 4G as it does on Wi-Fi.

  1. WeChat

skype vs wechat

WeChat is China’s answer to Skype, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It is one of the most comprehensive social media apps, which offers multiple services such as video calling, video and photo sharing, posting on a Facebook like wall and much more. There are a plenty of cool features on WeChat such as Shake which allows users to look for friends nearby for a quick chat. There’s another interesting feature called Drift Bottle which allows users to send a message to “float” online – till someone finds it.  WeChat has a host of options available such as video calling, group chat, voice chat, video chat and allows users to share cute little emoticons as well. And here’s the best part – WeChat is free!

  1. LINE

skype vs line

LINE is a popular VoIP service very much like Viber, with a strong focus on social interaction. LINE features such multiplayer games, chat rooms, emoticons and stickers, custom profiles and more are very popular. LINE is considered to be one of the best Skype app alternatives because of its extensive set of features while include an ability to make free calls to other LINE users, send instant messages, stickers and even to call landline and mobile numbers. LINE can be used on both desktops and mobile phones.  There are two types of accounts on LINE – a monthly subscription and a call credit system. LINE offers extremely affordable rates and a great video call experience using a superior codec.

  1. VOXOX

VOXOX is perhaps the one of the very best Skype alternatives for businesses. VOXOX offers free calls to other VOXOX users and allows you to call any landline or mobile phone at affordable rates. The audio and video quality on VOXOX is as good as it gets. Small and medium-sized businesses will find the cloud based phone calling system on VOXOX very useful, as the service comes with a dedicated number and cheap rates. You can send text messages on VOXOX in as many as 37 languages. The VOXOX app can be downloaded for free both on iOS and Android.

How to Fix Skype Problem with Recording Device

Today, Skype is everywhere, connecting over millions of people at a time from all over the world. Almost everyone now prefers Skype more than any other voice or video calling software and thus even a little Skype connection problem can cause a series of disturbances if not fixed soon.

One common major issue faced widely is the Skype recording problem or the Skype microphone problem. If you are having problems hearing your friend on the other side or if he cannot hear you, there is a possibility that the internet connection of one of yours might be down. However, if that is not the case then the problem is either with your microphone or your friend’s playback device.

skype recording device

To test if your microphone is working properly:

  1. Check your microphone

If you are using your laptop’s built in mic, make sure it is not muted in Skype. In case of wireless mic, make sure the batteries are always charged. However, if the Skype is unable to detect a microphone, you will be notified soon.

  1. Make a test call

Calling Skype’s fee test call is one of the easiest ways to check if there is an issue with your microphone or not. Call Echo123 and record your message, if you can hear your own voice after the beep then you have configured Skype microphone correctly. If you are unable to hear your own device, move on to the next step.

Fixing Skype Problem with Recording Device

If you are faced with Skype microphone problem, follow the steps below to fix it:

On Windows:

  1. Click on the start menu and type in ‘sound’ and click on it.
  2. After the dialog box opens, click on the recording tab.
  3. Double click on the ‘Microphone HD audio devoice’ option and then select the general tab to see if the microphone is set to enabled or not.
  4. Click on the levels tab and set the microphone level to 100% and microphone boost to 0.0 and click on apply.

Now open up the Skype window and follow the next steps:

  1. After making a test call with Echo123, if you do not hear your own voice, you will be getting a message saying ‘Problem with the recording device’.
  2. Go to settings and select the Tools option.
  3. Go to Audio settings and choose from the types of microphone detected by your computer and set the volume to high or tick the box below it to automatically adjust the microphone settings
  4. Make a test call again and if you can hear yourself you are done.

However if the above steps have not still helped you to fix your problem with recording device, you might be facing a problem with your Windows audio settings and not Skype. If you are using windows computer, go to control panel and diagnose and fix your audio problems. Microsoft also has a nifty tool that can automatically fix your audio problems.
Here’s a video explaining how to test and enable microphone access to Skype for Windows.

On Macbook – Below is a simple video which shows you how to adjust your Microphone for Skype on Macbook. Have a look and follow the steps.

People who are using Skype for iPhone or iPad and want to fix problems with their recording device (microphone) then you should check our guide on iPhone Microphone Problem.

If you want more tips on Skype then you can follow our guide on how to : Create Skype account, Use Skype, Delete skype account, Share Screen, Skype Push to TalkConference call and Skype for Business info.

How to Grant Microphone Access on Skype

Without permission to use your microphone for Skype, people will not be able to hear you during calls or video messages. In order to do voice or video call on Skype, you need to give it access to microphone. The method to enable microphone is almost same for Skype for Windows, Skype for Android ,Skype for iPhone and iPad and Skype for Mac, Linux and Ubuntu.

To make calls or perform tasks via Skype on your iPhone or iPad device for the first time Skype will seek your permission to access the microphone. Skype can also ask for permission to access your camera,photos, contacts, or share your location.

If you do not allow any of these rights, you will not be able to accomplish the action set out to do. For example, if you are making or receiving calls you will see a notification allow the microphone.

skype microphone access

To solve any of these permissions problems, you need to change your privacy settings in your iPhone 6, 5, 4 (in iPad if using):

  1. From your device Home screen, click on the Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap Skype.
  3. You get a list of components that have access to Skype. Allow the components by touching the slider until it shows green.
Skype Microphone iPhone

Skype iPhone Microphone

Skype Windows Microphone

Skype Windows Microphone

Skype Mac Microphone

Microphone Check for Skype on Macbook

How to Solve Skype Microphone Problems and Improve Skype Microphone Call Quality

If your friends are having a problem hearing you on Skype, we will help you fix it in no time. If you talk into a microphone, the sound is carried over the internet and played through the speakers of your friend. So if you are having audio problems on a VoIP call is usually due to a problem with the microphone or speakers.

  • First, open your Skype home page.
  • Select “Skype Test Call” in your contacts and tap the call button.
  • Follow the simple instructions and record a message, please stay on the line so you can hear it played.
  • If you can hear you message your microphone is working efficiently, and the fault will be from your friends’ speakers.

Here’s a video explaining how to adjust microphone access to Skype for Windows

Here’s a Video explaining how to enable microphone access to Skype on Mac

When you hear the test call voice prompts, but you do not hear the message you recorded here what you should do:

If you make an external microphone, make sure it is linked to the correct jack on your system. It implies putting the mini-jack in the pink gate. Sometimes, the port is on the back of your computer is more reliable than the one at the front. Check your microphone is not muted. If you are making use of iPhone or iPad, it may have a mute button either on the side. But when making use of the computer, it will have a cable that connects to it.

Ensure that you are using the correct microphone on your Skype. In the main menu, choose Tools> Options> Audio settings and check to see that the correct microphone is selected from the list. You can add a check mark to adjust the microphone automatically. You know it works when the green volume meter moves when you speak into the microphone.

Alternatively, move the microphone volume up or down by the slider. Finally, go back to your contact list and the Skype test call, try again. If you do not hear a sound after that, check whether you have selected the correct speakers to use with Skype. If you follow these simple things you will never get problem with microphone on your Skype app either on computer or phone.

If you want more tips on Skype then you can follow our guide on how to : Create Skype account, Use Skype, Delete skype account, Share Screen, Skype Push to TalkConference call and Skype for Business info.

How to Use Push to Talk Feature on Skype

Skype undoubtedly is the most popular app use online to make calls. There are many uses for Skype. Businesses use Skype to conduct a business transaction, gamers use Skype to play games, even schools are now adopting Skype as a medium to teach their students. Of course, for some years now, News and Media houses use Skype to conduct interviews with prominent citizens and others alike. Big News Corporation like CNN uses Skype for business too. This app has also grown very much in popularity as gamer’s favorite app of communication while playing games.

Skype has become a very important tool lately not only for doing business but also for connecting with friends and families. The app is very easy to use even for the most basic user with limited computer knowledge however most people still find “Push-to-talk” feature of this program hard to understand. If you are among this group who still find it hard to use the Skype push-to-talk feature, read on, this article will explain how you can finally be able to setup and use push to talk button in Skype.

Push to talk feature also known as “Toggle Mute key” is used to mute the microphone while doing something else until you are ready to talk. This feature is one of the most requested features by Skype users that finally allow gamers to prevent others hearing themselves using certain words. If you are using Skype for business, you can always use this feature to pause the microphone while talking to someone on Skype and then unmute it when you are ready to talk or use the microphone again. This program allows you to keep confidential information secure when you are using Skype.

How to Set Up Skype Push To Talk

This program work only with classic Skype version that is in Windows Skype and it is not supported in metro Skype application.

Now to set this program up, click on your Skype icon to bring up the Skype window in your PC. Now take a look at the menu bar, you will see an option that says “Tool”, this is what we need to get the job done. Left click on “Tools” to see a dropdown menu. Now from this dropdown menu select “Options”.

Skype push to talk iphone

Now take a look at the left side of your Skype window (that is after you have clicked on Tools > Options). At the bottom of this new window you will see an option that says “Advanced” with a little cogwheel. Click on this Option. Remember with Skype updates, this may look a little different with what you have. However you can still look for an option that says “Advanced” and click on it.

push to talk feature skype

When you click on “Advanced” option, another dropdown will open revealing other options. The option we need is the one named Hotkeys. Left click on “Hotkeys” so that we can bring up a window in the Skype box on the right of the menu selection.

push to talk skype

Now we are almost done with setting up of the Push-to-talk feature. When you’ve selected the Hotkeys; scroll down to the option in the new window that says “Toggle Mute (Push-to-talk). All you have to do here is check or tick the box and then click on it and select “Change Selected Shortcut” option.

A new window will pop up, in this new window change the keybind to whatever you feel that you are comfortable with. Skype only allows you to use Shift, Ctrl and Alt keys. Here is the part most people find confusing. Remember that this is “TOGGLE MUTE” and not a “TOGGLE UN-MUTE”. When you are done with this; exit the current options. You can now go ahead and call anybody you wish to call or simply continue with the conversation with your current friend.

There is an option at the bottom of the Skype window to “Toggle Mute” the program. You can mute yourself by left clicking on this option. When you use the Push-to-talk key, you will simply unmute yourself.

skype push to talk

That’s it. Now you can use the Skype Push-to-talk feature anytime you want. If you want more tips on Skype then you can follow our guide on how to : Create Skype account, Use Skype, Delete account, Share Screen, Conference call and Skype for Business info.