Way before the days of WhatsApp, Skype was the revolutionary tool that made communication free. Over a billion people have downloaded it and it’s been with us for the better part of two decades.
But with all the new video conferencing tools mushrooming into existence, there are tons of (much better) options for all of us. In fact, there are so many it can be overwhelming to choose!
And since you probably came here looking for Skype alternatives, we’ve curated the perfect list just for you:
What Does Skype Offer?
We’ve all heard of Skype in some capacity (or even remember that iconic calling sound). But to give you a little refresher, here’s what Skype offers:
- One-on-one instant chat
- Group instant chat
- Audio and video calls
- Screen sharing
- The ability to call phone numbers (mobile and landline)
Over 40 million people use it daily, with the number of users likely surging due to the pandemic. But Skype doesn’t fit every use case and many people are on the hunt for alternative tools that work better for them. Check out these top alternatives.
Top alternatives to Skype
As in all categories, there are big players that have emerged and dominated the market (like Zoom) and legacy brands moving in for a slice of the pie as the demand for calling solutions grows.
Here are the top three big players we’ve identified:
1. Google Meet
Google Meet is Google’s direct answer to Skype, Zoom, and other online meeting solutions.
And unlike many of Google’s free tools that are left to collect digital debris before being discarded into the dustbin of history (RIP Google+), Google Meet is actually good.
While it was initially only available for G Suite customers, it’s now free for all users.
The cool part? It integrates with Gmail’s web app, allowing you to start a meeting directly from your inbox.
The even better part? It’s extremely easy and straightforward to set up and run. Just create a meeting, share the link, and voila. You can also host up to 250 participants, which is likely way more than you’ll ever need.
It also has some pretty neat features like background blurring, amongst the usual stuff like screen-sharing and chat.
Best suited for: Anyone who already uses Gmail or G Suite
- Simple to use
- Automated recording option
- Integration with Gmail and all other big Google apps
- No ability to call phone numbers
- Buggy in larger group chats
- Bare features compared to Zoom
Pricing: Free forever plan. The paid plan goes for $8/month per active user for Google Workspace Essentials while the Enterprise plan has custom pricing.
Something that shocks no one: the pandemic has caused a massive surge in Zoom users and Zoom has practically become synonymous with videoconferencing.
Along with WFH (Work From Home) and Quaranteams (online teams created during lockdown), the common verbiage of today even includes terms like Zoombombing. (That’s when an uninvited attendee disrupts a Zoom call.)
But the more people use Zoom, the more it’s come under scrutiny for precisely that reason. That said, Zoom has improved their security with a significant update to make it a more secure platform to meet and work. Overall, Zoom is easy, reliable, and provides everything from video meetings, to webinars, and chat across all devices.
Best suited for: Businesses and individuals that want a reliable video conferencing tool to host video meetings, webinars, and chat.
- Generous free plan and affordable pricing tier
- No limit on the number of meetings you can host as a free user (you get most of the important features)
- Security button to lock meetings and enable password-protected meetings
- Scheduling, CRM, and plenty of other integrations
- Time limit (40 minutes) for free users on group calls
- Web-based version is inconvenient compared to Google Meets
- Potential security issues (Zoom does have end-to-end encryption now)
Pricing: Free forever plan. Paid plan starts at $15/month for small teams, $20/month for SMBs, and $35/month for the Zoom United Business plan.
MSN (Windows Live Messenger) was great in the early 2000s. But like many of Microsoft’s failed products, much better competitors destroyed them. Clearly, I’m biased. But I’ll be fair: Microsoft Teams is moving the Office productivity platform into a new era.
Teams is a chat-based workspace in Office 365 that provides teams with tools to collaborate like live chat, audio & video conferencing, screen sharing & presentations, and scheduling & recording functionality .
Best suited for: Businesses (primarily SMEs) that heavily rely on the Microsoft Office ecosystem.
- Connectivity and call quality is excellent
- Includes features like one-to-one chat, group chat, emojis, GIFs, file sharing, and all the usual video conferencing features, plus more
- Up to 24-hour team calls for free users up until July 1st, 2021
- Paid version comes with Microsoft 365 and all Office integrations
- You need a Microsoft account or ID (such as Outlook.com)
- UI is complicated compared to Google Meet
- Sharing files with coworkers requires dropping them into each chat
Pricing: Free forever plan. Paid plan starts at $5/month per user for the Microsoft 365 Business Basic plan, $12.50/month per user for the Business Standard plan, and $20/month per user for the Office 365 E3 plan if billed annually.
Xroom.app provides secure, simple, and encrypted video conferencing, and features white-labeling, branding, streaming as well as an API.
With Xroom.app, you can essentially run meetings in your own personalized “virtual office.” The cherry on top? No logins and no downloads—even on mobile devices!
Best suited for: Remote teams that want a safe, secure, easy-to-access, and easy-to-use space for their work
- P2P HD video & audio conferencing
- Unlimited rooms
- Remote assistant
- Secure screen sharing, text, and file-sharing
- Unlimited plug-ins, integrations, API control, and webhooks
- As a new product, additional features are still pending
Pricing: Free forever plan. The paid plans start at $20/month for the Enterprise plan. A more affordable, “Capable” plan at $15/month is coming soon. But while you’re here, make sure you check out the one-year deal available on AppSumo for only $49.
GoToMeeting has become one of the industry leaders in online video conferencing for companies around the world. It provides a fast, easy, and reliable online meeting solution that you can use to have one-on-ones, share presentations, and chat with colleagues.
Best suited for: Businesses and individuals that regularly host video meetings and presentations
- Tons of integrations
- Privacy features ensure video conferencing is secure
- Excellent audio/video quality
- Permanent meetings rooms that you can use without inviting people
- Web browser could use a UI update
- You have to upgrade to host more than 100 participants for webinars
- Hard to monitor participants when the number is over 50
Pricing: Free 14-day trial available. Paid plans start at $12/month per organizer (user) for the Professional plan, $16/month per organizer for the Business plan, and customized quotes are available for Enterprise plans.
Eyeson is a cloud-based video calling and presentation solution. It’s a powerful, fully integrated solution for 1:1 calls that Sumo-lings absolutely love. It works brilliantly for video calls and phone calls. Plus, it’s equipped to handle webinars and live streaming!
Best suited for: Small businesses that have remote teams or clients and want a no-hassle video solution
- UI and UX are polished and modern with the ability to add GIFs, chat, take snapshots, react, moderate participants, and send quick join links
- Tons of integrations (and more to come)
- API key to natively integrate with your product
- Limits on participants (100 on the Enterprise plan)
- Only nine people are visible on screen at a time
- Unable to mute select people
Pricing: Free trial available. Paid plan starts at $9/month per host (user). For larger teams, custom corporate pricing is available. On the other hand, if you want API access, it’s $189/month with a free trial.
MeetFox is a new solution for consultants, freelancers, and creatives to manage their client meetings. It has video conferencing features, appointment scheduling, and a nifty secure payments feature for invoicing.
Best suited for: Freelance consultants who have frequent 1:1 meetings with clients
- Integrations with Stripe and Paypal to receive (fast) payments
- Easy to set up and client-friendly
- Seamless video meetings
- As a new product, additional features are still pending
Pricing: Free starter plan available with 3 meetings per month. Basic pricing plan starts at $11/month for 20 meetings, and the Pro plan offers unlimited meetings at $29/month.
Join.me is a newer player in the video conferencing industry that allows you to collaborate instantly with free screen sharing, unlimited audio, and super intuitive video conferencing.
It’s a one-size-fits-all platform used by individuals, teams, and businesses like Pinterest, Contentful, and Foursquare. You’re in good company here.
The best part? You can fully customize your join.me experience to suit your needs.
Best suited for: Individuals, like freelance consultants, who have frequent 1:1 meetings with clients, teams, and businesses
- Simple setup for video calls
- Customization that provides functional versatility
- Features like bookmarking chats, quick call, and easy-to-switch screen sharing role
- No freemium version beyond the free trial
- Stability issues on mobile app
Pricing: Starts at $10/month for the Lite pricing plan, $20/month for the Pro plan, and $30/month for the Business plan
Whereby is a fully web-based tool that lives in your browser. It’s a solid video conferencing tool for companies and professionals who want to host easy and reliable video meetings. No apps or installations are needed, and no logins are required for guests.
What’s neat is that teams have personalized meeting rooms and you’ll get a single meeting link that you can use every time. Whereby is a reliable tool that’s used by companies like Shopify and Trello.
Best suited for: Remote teams that want a one-click solution for secure video conferencing solution with a delightful UI.
- Beautiful, intuitive, and polished UI
- No app installation required and you can use the same meeting link every time
- Privacy-friendly with unlimited encrypted meetings
- Social good component: trees are planted for every meeting created
- Minimal number of participants compared to tools like Zoom
- Not as aligned with agenda invitations as Google Meet
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $10/month per user for Pro plan and $12/month per user for Business plan if billed annually. There’s also a custom plan called Whereby Embedded, which gives you API access with custom pricing.
Jitsi is a great open-source alternative to Zoom. It provides a set of open-source projects that allows you to easily build and deploy secure video conferencing solutions.
Plus, Jitsi is secure, flexible, and completely free! You can run it entirely on your own hardware and Jitsi won’t have access to your conversations. Of course, most people (individuals) don’t want to run their own video server, so you can use the paid cloud service within the tool.
Best suited for: People, businesses, and organizations that want secure video conferencing for business or personal use
- No account needed
- Complete end-to-end encryption for one-on-one calls
- Paid version (videos hosted on central server) is one of the most affordable on the market
- Mobile app can be buggy
- Users have reported that its prone to freezing when there are many participants
Pick your favorite Skype alternative
There you have it—the top alternatives to Skype for leveling up your video conferencing game.
Whether you’re a freelancer looking to close more clients, a small remote team that wants effortless meetings, or a larger team distributed across different time zones, the list has options that can help with different use cases.
So get started today and set your team and business free!
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