Microsoft’s very own business communication app Skype supports up to 250 users. In 2019, a Microsoft developer stated that Skype has four billion total users, more than 300 million monthly active users, and more than 40 million concurrent users. But the app was soon out-competed by the new entrant Zoom, soon after the pandemic hit the world. That’s not it; the craze for Skype among businesses soon took a downturn after Microsoft launched Teams for Businesses. As a result, now there are plenty of Skype alternatives in the market you can rely on for business communication and team management.
Reasons to not use Skype
There are a lot of reasons one should not use Skype. Although there was a time when Skype enjoyed immense popularity and was at the forefront of video calling solutions, it has since deteriorated. Initially developed by an independent team, it was purchased by Microsoft in 2011. And while it tried a lot of things over the years, nothing seemed to stick.
This is why, today, when users have multiple options available that not only offer a better service but also an enhanced experience, they no longer want to use Skype. These are the reasons to avoid using Skype:
- Since its beginning, Skype has required a rather fast internet connection to work. But the other alternatives on the market seem to work fine.
- Also, the quality of the video call is not that good.
- The platform experiences frequent call drops or lag, making it unreliable for long calls.
- Even the UI feels cluttered and outdated when compared to its competition.
- Microsoft has experimented too much and focuses more on text messaging rather than improving video calling.
- Even the cross-platform compatibility or app integration is not as good as some of the options available.
List of Top 12 Skype Alternatives
If you try to call someone, and they don’t answer or don’t pick up your call within three minutes, the charge will continue until they pick up or decline your call. This can lead to some hefty charges on long-distance numbers. Other Skype users have experienced limitations such as the limited number of messages and pricey plans for business use.
Also, you can use better alternatives to Skype at zero or minimal costs and effective services. Let’s have a better look at them now.
Zoom is an emerging communication application that allows you to share screens, host meetings, and webinars, and support up to 500 participants. If you opt for a free plan, you can use Zoom for up to 100 users. You can also send files of any size right from your computer or mobile device without needing an account. They have free accounts for individuals as well, so if you just need it for a one-to-one meeting, it’s a perfect replacement for Skype.
You can also send files of any size right from your computer or mobile device without needing an account. The Zoom meeting and presentation app is a cross-platform conference software that can be used on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android platforms.
- Fast video calling.
- Versatile meeting platform.
- Supports up to 100 users on the free plan.
- Cross-platform compatibility.
- Potential security concerns.
- Charges for larger participant limits.
2. Google Meet
Google Meet is an excellent option for those who already use Google Docs or G-Suite. You can start meetings instantly from your computer, phone, tablet, or through their Chrome extension with no downloads needed.
Their Voice Over IP (VOIP) technology allows you to make calls directly into the meeting and send messages in real-time with lag-free audio and video that supports up to 50 participants per meeting on mobile devices only at this time.
You can also share screens, so everyone can see what’s going on without interrupting the flow of conversation by clicking “Screen Sharing” under Start New Meeting. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Google Meet.
- Seamless integration with Google services.
- No downloads are required.
- Lag-free audio and video.
- Limited support for non-Google users.
- No standalone free plan.
WebEx is a suitable choice for having more extensive meetings with up to 25 participants. You can also share screens, use their annotation tools, and record your meetings. They offer a free trial, so you can test it out before you buy it.
This cloud-based conferencing tool offers users screen-sharing capabilities and the ability to annotate during your meeting. Up to 25 participants can join per meeting and if you think it’s a suitable fit for your business, opt for its trial version first.
The annotation tools highlight what’s essential on your screen or document while in the meeting. Cisco WebEx also offers a recording feature, so you can go back and reference key moments from the discussion later on. You can also record calls on Skype if that’s your only concern.
- Suitable for larger meetings.
- Screen sharing and annotation.
- Recording capabilities.
- Limited to 25 participants.
- Requires participants to download.
Microsoft Teams fits perfectly in your sphere if you already use Office 365. It’s a chat-based platform that includes video and voice calling, file sharing, and screen sharing. You can also add people to meetings with just their name and email address without having to remember or look up a PIN code.
Microsoft Teams is included in most Office 365 plans, so it may be a good option for you if you’re already paying for that service. A chat-based platform that integrates well with other Office 365 tools. Microsoft Teams is included in most Office 365 plans making it an affordable solution.
- Integrated with Office 365.
- Chat, video, and file sharing.
- Collaboration features.
- Laggy calls sometimes.
- May not replace Skype entirely.
5. Google Duo
Duo is a simple video calling app that allows you to reach anyone in your phone’s contacts list with just one tap. It’s great for quick, on-the-go audio-video calls when text messaging isn’t ideal or if they’re not available to answer right away.
You can also use it across all of your devices, so there’s no need to have multiple versions installed. Duo has a simple interface that makes it easy and quick to connect and communicate, even during an emergency where every second counts.
This app can also be used for business purposes and only needs access to your contact list instead of having other personal information stored elsewhere, such as Facebook or Google accounts.
- Quick, one-tap video calls.
- Cross-device compatibility.
- User-friendly interface.
- Limited to phone contacts.
- Less feature-rich than Skype.
In this day and age of the internet where social media apps and platforms have taken over the web by storm, technologies like video calling have developed beyond limits. Initially, there were only a couple of websites that could undertake video calling while maintaining quality and reducing data consumption. Today, there are tons of alternatives available.
Take WhatsApp for example. It was launched as a free-to-use web chat that optimized the way people interacted, almost destroying the whole SMS industry. Then came the feature for voice calling and later on video calling. And WhatsApp didn’t disappoint. Today, almost every internet user has WhatsApp installed on their phones or PCs, proving it to be the best alternative to Skype.
- Vast user base.
- Text, voice, and video calls.
- End-to-end encryption.
- Privacy concerns.
- Feature limitations.
ICQ is an excellent option for an affordable tool for startups and medium-level enterprises. It offers voice and video calls with up to 30 participants per call. You can also use it on your computer or phone without downloading any additional software, which makes it really easy to get started.
The app serves well for both PC and Android users, making it quick and easy to get started on your computer or phone. It’s also a web-based conference tool, so you can use it anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
- Affordable tool for startups.
- Voice and video calls.
- Web-based conference tool.
- Limited to 30 participants.
- Lesser-known than Skype.
Viber is yet another video calling app that offers not only end-to-end encryption, but is also free. However, it has limited features to boot. Although Viber has both text and voice calling support other than video calling, it only supports Viber to Viber calls, Yes, there is an option to make calls to any other phone number in the world, even from your desktop, one has to pay for this feature.
Other features include group calling, and added security for privacy, such as users can delete messages once seen.
- End-to-end encryption.
- Free video calls.
- Group calling support.
- Limited to Viber users.
- Limited feature set.
Slack is a better IM messenger tool for professionals who love to stay organized. It integrates well with other software programs such as Google Drive, Adobe Creative Suite, and Salesforce, making it a good option if you’re already using those services.
Slack has a free and paid version, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs. It’s a suitable fit for casual and even professional teams to collaborate for business. Slack’s design and user experience have a significant user base, but it will take some time for the newcomers to feel at home. If you don’t already know, it’s Tumblr’s official IM application for better productivity and smooth workflow.
- Professional organizational tool.
- Integration with popular software.
- Collaboration features.
- Learning curve for beginners.
- Some feature restrictions.
Meet the AI-powered team chat solution that offers more than just managing teams and work reporting. Only good can come from taking the notion of team chat found in Skype for Business and applying artificial intelligence to it.
Chanty is an open channel for a project, team, or subject matter that you wish to discuss. It makes your team communication more transparent, available, and searchable while including pre-installed integrations to Zapier, Tasks, and Giphy.
The entire messaging and replies are AI-powered, file sharing is easy, and it retains the entire messaging history. This simple team chat application simplifies your entire workspace with on-the-go search options.
- AI-powered team chat solution.
- Transparent and searchable communication.
- Integrations with Zapier, Tasks, and Giphy.
- Limited to specific use cases.
- AI learning curve.
GotoMeeting Messenger is an organized web conferencing and meeting tool for business use. This feature-packed tool can do so much more than just provide advanced communication solutions between team members or friends across the globe.
Instant messaging allows you to send messages in real-time, making it easy to communicate with team members or friends no matter where they are located. Audio calling provides crystal clear call quality to have productive conversations with your GoToMeeting contacts.
Screen sharing lets you display content on a PC, Mac, or mobile device, so you can brainstorm concepts and ideas in real-time. File transfer allows GoToMeeting users to share large files instantaneously during meetings, no more waiting around for email attachments to arrive.
- Web conferencing and meeting tool.
- Instant messaging and audio calls.
- Screen sharing.
- Feature complexity.
- Limited features in the free version.
With the Fuze cloud-based software, you may use everything from real-time calling to video meetings, instant chat, and file sharing. Fuze is designed with a sleek contemporary design. It is simple to use, making it an excellent alternative to Skype for Business for businesses to get their teams on board quickly.
The collaboration center is equipped with High-Definition video, which works with major hardware suppliers, including Cisco, Lifesize, and Poly, owing to Telepresence Connect technology.
Fuze provides a way to stay in touch with external teams while connecting you with individuals who don’t belong to your team. Thanks to the integration, you may invite anybody with an email address to your meetings, even if they aren’t members of your team.
- Cloud-based software for various needs.
- Real-time calling and video meetings.
- User-friendly and sleek design.
- May not cover all use cases.
- The learning curve for newcomers.
What do we recommend instead of Skype?
Instead of Skype, users can make do with other suitable apps, such as Zoom. It is fast, offers better-quality video calling, and enhances the overall experience of using the app. It is also suitable for formal occasions, and video conferencing. Another option would be Google Meet, which is yet another superb video conferencing app. Even Microsoft Teams, their own product, is much better than Skype.
For personal use, you can always look forward to WhatsApp, which is one of the largest messaging apps on the planet, or even outliers like Fuze or Viber, each with a decent enough following.