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.
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.
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.
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.
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.