Skype is one of the most well-known video callings and video conferencing software, acquired by Microsoft in 2012. The application became famous for its simple desktop features, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) feature, and instant messaging feature. Ever since Microsoft acquired Skype, many rumors spread, mostly dissatisfaction among users, and others being the confusions about its adaptability and significant changes. It is, therefore, advisable to look for Skype alternatives.
What is Skype for Business?
Skype for Business is a cloud-based communication platform that is tailored to chat, make voice and video calls and run online meetings. As a part of the Microsoft Office 365 component, the software integrates itself with MS Exchange and MS SharePoint, offering features of text (IM), voice calling, video chatting, contact sync with Outlook and Exchange, SIP-based, and offers SRTP and TLS based encryption.
Following are the pros of using Skype for Internet Protocol (IP) telephony:
- Skype comes with chat functions, i.e. you can text, edit, and delete the sent messages later.
- The instant messaging system (IM) enables you to share and send files in the form of video, pictures, and audio. You can also share your screen among other Skype peers and exchange contact information.
- The video conferencing feature accommodates up to 50 Skype participants.
- Skype is compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, etc.
Why Skype Alternatives
- Recent feedback has reported whistleblowers’ cases due to the lack of a mechanism to detect who all have access to calls and messages.
- Secondly, Skype has been reported to have weak privacy and security policies, which puts confidentiality at high risk.
- The recent changes in the software, post-acquisition by Microsoft have considerably upset its old users, raising concerns and objections.
Check Out the 15 Best Skype Alternatives for Business in 2021:
With the recent Covid pandemic globally, there was a significant rise in work style from home. The increase led to a drastic demand for the Zoom app, making it one of the most preferred Skype alternatives for phone calls. It offered a rather generous model for video conferencing and business meeting schedules.
- The Freemium model allows two participants for unlimited time in video telephony and up to 40 minutes for meetings constituting up to 100 participants.
- Separate registration is mandatory only for the host. The rest of the participants can join the meeting without registration by using the shared link.
- Zoom uses a simple, user-friendly, cloud-based infrastructure that is known for its power stability.
- Video and audio quality have high definition and are free from interference.
- Customer reviews are highly impressive.
- Security concerns are yet to be addressed. For instance, end-to-end encryption is available only for premium subscribers.
- Data protection is inadequate and therefore, criticized.
- The Business plan starts from $300/year that lets 300 participants at a time and other additional features offered in the freemium and Pro model.
2. WhatsApp Business
WhatsApp Business is a free Skype alternative available on PC apart from Android phones, iOS devices, web app, macOS, and Windows. Known for its exclusive support for medium and large enterprises, this version of Whatsapp lets you personally connect with your customers.
- It provides a unique shopping experience for your customers, wherein the products and services are highlighted.
- The application offers a catalog of services and products and unique tools that help sort, automate, and respond instantly to messages.
- A descriptive business profile is created, providing the utmost and detailed information about you to your customers.
- It helps you organize your chats and contacts with the help of labels.
- WhatsApp has an automated messaging feature.
- It has a 4.2 rating on the Google Play store.
- WhatsApp users often criticize data protection policies.
- Admins have a limited scope of managing the group, such as banning group users, rectifying texts or deleting them in a group, etc.
- There is no way to identify if a user is online.
- WhatsApp is a free Skype alternative for small businesses.
Join.me is one of the Skype alternatives for PC, Linux, Android, iPhone, Web, Mac, and Windows. It allows you to host and join meetings for free. You can claim your personalized meeting URL (Join.me/YourName). Developed by LogMeIn, Join.me is one of the most trending collaboration tools.
- Easy to join and start.
- No downloads are needed for viewers.
- It offers video conferencing, screen sharing, free conference calls, toll-free audio, webinar, and mobile functionality.
- It frequently updates itself.
- It provides a free trial period.
- It is not a free alternative to Skype. There is no freemium plan.
- The Business version will cost you $30 and offer you the key features, meant primarily for large-sized organizations.
4. Webex Meetings
Cisco Webex Meetings are an enterprise solution for alternatives to Skype for organizing and managing meetings among teams. The application connects people across boundaries in an organization, and lets teams work and interact on a collaborative platform.
Webex Meetings Pros:
- The solution is known for its seamless, flexible, intelligent, and secure collaboration among peers, staff, governance bodies throughout the enterprise.
- It offers a hybrid work experience with its unique integrated collaborative devices.
- Webex Meetings provides an intelligent customer experience with digital-first engagement.
- It has built-in security, privacy, management, and insights.
- Noise removal and speech enhancement that offers better clarity.
Webex Meetings Cons:
- Expensive as compared to other free alternatives to Skype.
Webex Meetings Pricing:
- The Business plan costs around $26.95/month that offers up to 100 hosts and 200 participants.
5. Cisco Jabber
Cisco Jabber is a Skype alternative for Windows users. It offers a collaborative platform for placing Jabber calls as well as using the features of instant messaging and video conferencing.
Cisco Jabber Pros:
- It offers multi-party conference calling and desktop sharing, working alongside Cisco Webex Meetings.
- Cisco Jabber works on both on-premise and cloud-based infrastructure.
- Developers create jabber bots to launch chats and calls.
- Cisco Jabber uses eight different lines to connect with a Jabber client to enable voice and video calling.
- You can find Jabber for Windows, Android, Mac, iPhone & iPad too.
Cisco Jabber Cons:
- Performance uptime may be an issue.
- Also, concerns have been shown regarding the infrequent software updates.
6. Microsoft Teams
A well-known secure Skype alternative and a part of Office 365, Microsoft Teams, became quite famous during the global lockdown. With more and more organizations stressing on working from home, Microsoft Teams proved itself as a secure Skype alternative in the field of education, healthcare, and among first-line workers.
Microsoft Teams Pros:
- It allows you to work remotely and offers screen sharing features, VoIP, file sharing, and instant messaging.
- Microsoft Teams will enable you to customize your background during online meetings.
- Live events and live captions.
- Application integration with Trello, Asana, and other Microsoft productivity apps.
- Auto file storing and management.
Microsoft Teams Cons:
- Not very intuitive and user-friendly.
- The file structure is a tad cumbersome, especially for new users.
- Permission settings can be a bit complicated.
- Flexibility is limited.
Microsoft Teams Pricing:
- The Microsoft 365 Business Standard is available at $12.5/user/month where 300 participants can collaborate for up to 24 hours duration.
UberConference is a free alternative to Skype, which popularised the WFH trend with its voice intelligence and unlimited video conferencing opportunities.
- Real-time collaboration enabling screen-sharing, HD video meetings.
- Voice intelligence helps in automating tasks and transcribing meetings during conference calls.
- The post-call summary gives a snapshot of the conference call.
- The Call Transcript feature gives a record of the conference meeting.
- You can set a piece of custom music for the participants before joining the discussion or during the waiting time.
- It is not a Skype alternative for Windows or Mac.
- The Business plan starts at $15/user/month. No downloads or PINs are necessary. The plan accommodates up to 100 participants. It is a Skype alternative for international calls too.
GoToMeeting is a web-hosted Skype alternative that offers real-time communication among users, customers, clients, and colleagues.
- It is mobile-friendly and offers a 14 days free trial with Calendar integration.
- GoToMeeting allows you to record and transcript meetings, mark action items, and share them post-meeting.
- It is user-friendly as well as professional with its conference room equipment.
- Webinar features enable you to host and organize events easily.
- Troubleshooting issues concerning audio and connection problems.
- Lack of advanced features, such as whiteboard and polling.
- The Business plan is available at $13.60/organizer/month that allows up to 250 participants.
9. Google Meets
A real-time Skype alternative for Windows and PC, Google Meet is a secure Skype alternative. It replaces Google Hangouts and Google Chats, which are yet another Skype alternative for Android users.
Google Meets Pros:
- It can be used across web, Android, and iOS platforms.
- You can use your browser and share your files, screen, desktop, video, and presentations.
- Google Meets is based on Google’s robust and secure infrastructure.
- It is integrated with Google Workspace, G Suite for education, and Google Workspace Essentials.
- Meet video meetings are encrypted.
- The interface is light-weight, fast, and allows smart participant management.
- Google Meets offers a free trial- 14 days.
Google Meets Cons:
- Users often report glitches on forums.
- You can’t turn on the camera or microphone in the middle of the meetings if you have not given permission while joining it.
- Customer support is poor.
Google Meets Pricing:
- The Business Standard starts at $9/month, which offers 2 TB cloud storage and up to 150 participants.
10. BlueJeans Meetings
A simple, web-conferencing Skype alternative application, BlueJeans Meetings connects mobile, desktop, and room systems for video meetings.
BlueJeans Meetings Pros:
- It builds meeting highlights and provides a transcription of meetings.
- BlueJeans Meetings is an open-source Skype alternative.
- BlueJeans Meetings also provides live analytics and alerts for live sessions.
- As an alternative to Skype, the software is best at customer support.
- BlueJeans Meetings offers whiteboarding, transcription, downloading chat history, and many more.
- Free trial available.
BlueJeans Meetings Cons:
- Downtime inefficiency may be an issue.
- Not as fast as Zoom or Webex.
BlueJeans Meetings Pricing:
- The My Team plan of BlueJeans Meetings is available at $16.66/host/month.
Whereby is one of the good Skype alternatives for tech companies, recruiters, and consultants. Please note that guest users can’t use it so that you will have to sign up first to join or start meetings.
- Easy setup and installation.
- Up to 50 participants can join with 12 on stage.
- Integration with Google Docs and Youtube.
- Great when it comes to bandwidth challenges, as compared to Skype, ZOom, and Meet.
- No logins, no downloads required for guest users.
- A free trial is available.
- Custom room links can be shared. Each of the rooms is locked. Thus guests are required to knock to let them in.
- Easy screen sharing
- Troubleshooting relating to audio issues.
- Locating and identifying rooms could be challenging.
Whereby Pros Pricing:
- The Business plan starts from $14/month with unlimited users and custom branding.
12. Chanty (Free Forever)
Among the various Skype alternatives, Chanty counts as an all-in-one, cloud-based, Business messenger. It offers task management, file sharing, business communication, and project management.
- It improves productivity.
- Chanty is best to boost communication, collaboration among teams across various business segments of an organization.
- The alternative to Skype is for Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iPad.
- Chanty has both a web version and a mobile version.
- It has a 4.4 rating on Google Play.
- The Free plan allows only up to 10 users at a time.
- Chanty’s Business plan starts from $4/month/user.
13. Adobe Connect
Best for webinars, meetings, e-learning, and training, Adobe Connect, is an excellent alternative to Skype for small and medium enterprises.
Adobe Connect Pros:
- Adobe Connect offers templates, layouts for interactive courses, quizzes, chats, multimedia, and images.
- With the help of pods, you can extend your virtual storyboards within your rooms.
- Choose from the app’s library and create your apps using the new HTML SDK.
- The Backstage mode lets you collaborate with your peers in the background during the live meetings.
- Adobe Connect offers a free trial.
Adobe Connect Cons:
- It is an expensive alternative to Skype
- No dial-in service
- You cannot invite non-Adobe users to the meetings.
Adobe Connect Pricing:
- The Meetings plan of Adobe Connect starts at $50/month/host and allows up to 4 hosts and 25 participants. For more, you will have to upgrade to the Webinars & Learning model.
A low-cost, communication software, 3CX qualifies as a Skype for Business alternative. It makes calls via the VoIP, or switched telephone network. Nevertheless, it is an all-in-one platform for your remote workforce.
- Features such as PBX, video conferencing, and live chat are available.
- Cloud as well as on-premise functionality.
- Unlimited users can access video conferencing through their smartphone devices on the go.
- Convert visitors to sales via live chats.
- 3CX is free for the first year.
- Technical glitches at times.
- The Enterprise plan of 3CX starts from $1.49/month/user.
15. Slack (Free)
Slack is a far more secure Skype alternative for PCs and smartphones running on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. It lets you create chat rooms organized by the topic along with IRC features like direct messaging and private groups.
- Provides the two-factor authentication option.
- Snippets, Single sign-on, Webhooks, Synchronization, and Open API
- Integration with Google Drive, Dropbox, Mail Chimp, and many more.
- Lets users move from asynchronous to synchronous communication
- Free trial and the free plan – both options are available.
- Server and connections issues.
- The Standard Plan of Slack costs $2.67/month that offers up to 10 GB file storage capacity and a single workspace. For more, you can upgrade to the Plus or Enterprise level.
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- Facebook Alternatives
In this article, we have listed some free open-source Skype alternatives and some paid ones with advanced features. If you are looking for a free alternative to Skype, go for Google Meet or Chanty – both are secure and simple. But, if you are looking for an enterprise solution, try UberConference or GoToMeeting. In the education field, Zoom is the best alternative to Skype with more useful features. Hope you can now choose the best video conferencing tool that fits your unique needs.