One of the pioneers in video telephony, videoconferencing, voice calls, and instant messaging is well-known Skype. Ten years ago, it was one of the few widely used VoIP software reliable for video calls, mainly. But, years passed, and technology was evolving, Skype got some hot competition, and some of them are now leaders in the telecommunication niche.
This article will cover some of the topgallant Skype alternatives, both free and paid, and point out the best solutions for VoIP.
Zoom has seen rapid growth during the pandemic and has become the most popular app for group calls and video meetings! It has shown outstanding qualities within schools and companies for doing the job or classes remotely.
Although Zoom is an excellent feature for video conferencing, it is, unfortunately, inferior to much sturdy use as it only allows the capacity of 40 minutes per meeting, which more prominent organizations may find useless for their sessions and serious discussions.
Zoom is primarily a platform for video conferencing, but also it allows quiet voice conversations! We already have understood this platform is highly sophisticated. We could extricate the things like HD audio and video streaming from the bright spots, meaning the users can present a stellar standard. The next feature shows just that – being cross-platform, it allows you to log in to your meeting from any device you have it installed on.
A built-in feature for screen recording where the users can record the meeting is an additional reason to use Zoom. You can save the video, upload it to any cloud services, and share it with others. Your background can also be changed by activating the virtual background option to cover something you don’t want to be seen. Live file sharing is another great feature that allows you to share the necessary files with the participants during the meeting.
Pricing: From free to €223/year.
WebEx is a platform made especially for business purposes and online classes and webinars. It is fully loaded with many features and functionalities with the highest security guaranteed to allow users to collaborate and work together. You can host a meeting with up to 100.000 participants (WebEx Events). It allows users to share and open files such as attachments, photos, videos, or presentations during the meeting. WebEx can be used on different devices and systems, allowing high-quality video and audio streaming.
Presenting on this platform can last from 50 minutes to 24 hours. It has integrated features like chat, notes, hand-raising, polls, a whiteboard, and virtual backgrounds.
When we speak about security on this platform, you can ensure it is on the highest level possible. By default, Webex includes comprehensive password access. Users’ data are kept private and are not available to other parties.
Pricing: From free to $25/month.
Discord has gained vast popularity over the last few years. It allows you to set up private or public chat servers and use text, audio, and video to communicate with people. It works perfectly with every device – from PC and Mac to devices with Android and iOS.
During the pandemic, schools have integrated Discord as part of their online education system since it can effectively contribute to more accessible communication and material sharing.
Discord has both free and paid options. A free plan offers enough features that can be useful to every regular user. However, there are some evident differences between free and paid plans. A monthly fee will let you have higher-quality video and audio streaming, change your username and profile picture multiple times, send larger files (up to 100MB), etc. Another great and helpful feature Discord offers is bots that can be integrated into servers. You can combine the bot to track and ban every member who breaks the rules or help you with the polls and giveaways.
Users on the free plan will stream lower-quality video up to 720p at 30 frames per second, while premium ones will do that at 1080p at 60 frames per second.
Pricing: $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year.
4. Microsoft Teams
MS Teams is a Skype relative if you will. There are no significant visual differences between them except for some business features Teams are equipped with.
Its whole interface and existence are made for business purposes. Some of the great features this platform differs from Skype are sharing the screen during the audio and video call, chat conversations with a file-sharing option, and its perfect integrations with other apps from the Microsoft ecosystem.
Since it has been on top of the list of every severe organization as an instrument for video conferencing and remote work, MS Teams allows users to set up a meeting for up to 10.000 participants on a paid plan. For free users, they can host a meeting for up to 100 people, and it is primarily helpful for schools and similar organizations.
Lastly, we should mention its availability; you can find MS Teams for every device.
Pricing: From free to $12.50/month.
5. Google Meet
Google Meet is a free platform made just for live meetings. It is a perfect tool for personal and business meetings that works perfectly well with Gmail users. Setting up the appointment is as simple as possible, in a few clicks! You can create a session for later, start an instant meeting, or schedule it for later. Once created, you share the link with the people you want so they can attend it.
The time limit of a meeting is one hour with maximum participants of 100 people. However, when on a paid plan, those numbers get higher – a session now can last 300 hours, and you can invite 250 people.
Google Meet has a nifty little feature that is Captions. It automatically displays the auto-generated text from the participant’s speech when enabled. Noise Cancellation is another excellent feature that allows users to remove all unnecessary surrounding noises, exposing their speech only.
Unlike ten or so years ago, we now have access to excellent tools that may simplify our lives while collaborating and working with colleagues, educators, and students or simply staying in touch with family. We have listed the best ones that will perfectly fit all your needs and budget.