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…
- Google Hangouts
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.