Category Archives: Basic Skype Tips

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.

Conferences

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.

Texting

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.

Extensions

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.

Integration

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. 

Compatibility

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.