In this article, we will give you Skype Alternatives for Video Calls, VoIP, and Conferencing Skype was 1 of the first apps to offer VoIP calls back in 2012, and hence it was the app to beat for many years. Nevertheless, after Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype and the consequent addition to the Microsoft 365 bundle, the service is not identical. It still works, and you do see quite a generous free tier, but the whole signup process has become complex. And with the corporation focusing on pushing Microsoft Teams, Skype no longer gets the same attention as it should. If you, too, are not satisfied with Skype and looking for its alternatives, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we are going to discuss the best Skype Alternatives for VoIP, video calls, and video conferencing in 2021.
Skype Alternatives for VoIP, Video Calls, and Conferencing
Since Skype is intended for both personal and business use, we have divided the article into 2 sections to cover both these use-cases. Some apps on this list are great for personal use and will help you stay connected with buddies and family. While others are intended for business use and will allow you to conduct video conferences and webinars.
1 thing to note here is that if you are working with a small team, you can use the applications in the personal section to communicate with your team. There is no hard and fast rule. The segments are here to make you choose carefully. With that out of the way, let’s go to our list.
Best Skype Alternatives for Personal Use in 2021
This is the section for people who simply want to stay in touch with friends and family. The applications mentioned here are widely popular, so chances are all your loved ones are using one of these apps. The apps are simple to use and do not require technical know-how to use. And most importantly, all of them are both free or give a generous free tier.
Conversely, these apps are not intended for conducting meetings. There are a restricted number of people who can join a group call, and there are no additional traits such as screen recording, call transcript, etc. You can use them from a small team meeting or a quick one-on-one meeting. But for most users, these applications will better serve their personal needs.
While the gaming community often uses discord, it’s 1 of the best online chat services to replace Skype. The thing I love most about Discord is that it gives you a fun environment. You can create multiple channels for buddies and family. Think of channels as different groups. These channels enable you to chat quickly or make voice calls. You can make the channels fun by utilizing Discord bots. These bots bring enable you to do things like playing music using Spotify, adding extension support for Wikipedia, YouTube, and other sites, adding meme support, creating an incentive system, and more.
Discord further supports group video calling and video calling. You can create a group call for up to nine people. 1 of the best features of Discord is the ability to share your screen. You can change between the screen sharing mode and video chat mode in a second. Overall, I find Discord to be a pleasure and powerful chat app that you are going to enjoy using more than Skype.
Supported Platforms: Windows, Web, macOS, iOS, Android
Houseparty is 1 of the apps that has become immensely popular in the past few weeks. The application describes itself as a “face-to-face social network,” and rightly so. Once you sign up utilizing your email ID and phone number, it scans your Snapchat or Facebook accounts and adds friends who are already on Houseparty to its list. It then enables you to create groups or “party” of 7 people and start a group video chat with a single click. Your party is a virtual place where you and your buddies spend time, play games (there are some built-in games), and do other things to pass the time.
Nevertheless, once you create a room, remember to lock it with a password, otherwise, anyone can join it. The phenomenon is called Houseparty bombing, and several people have experienced this. So remember to defend your party with a strong password. The bottom line is that it is an excellent laid-back alternative to Skype for people who just want to chill with their friends.
Supported Platforms: macOS, Web, iOS, Android
3. Google Duo
Google’s messaging applications have always been a disaster. In 2016, Google attempted to reinvent its messaging program by launching 2 separate apps: Google Duo and Google Allo. The former was for text-messaging, while the later brought video and voice calling highlights. And while Google Allo was removed in 2018, Google Duo emerged as 1 of the best video calling services for personal use. Since its launch, I have been an enthusiast of Google Duo and consider it to be 1 of the best apps for making video calls and VoIP.
The video call feature of Google Duo is unmatched, and its connection is the most stable of all the applications that I have used. Unlike WhatsApp, Google Duo holds 12 people in a group call and offers a web app that works flawlessly. Furthermore, the app is available on iOS devices, so you don’t have to worry if you are rocking the latest iPhone 11 Pro. Google Duo furthermore brings tons of cool features such as low-light calling, video message support, the Knock Knock feature, end-to-end encryption, and more.
Supported Platforms: Web, iOS, Android
I know that Facebook has taken a lot of flake for privacy, but it remains the biggest social media site on the planet. The chances are that all your buddies and family use Facebook and its instant messaging app Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger is 1 of the best chatting app on the market. It supports voice, text, and video chats and brings awesome traits to the table. You can further make group video calls (up to 6 people), and the call quality is quite good.
Not just that, but you can also increase the group size to 50 people. The 6 speakers can appear on the call, while the rest can join in to listen to calls. This is excellent if you are conducting a kind of online seminar. Furthermore, in the past few months, Facebook has removed all the clutter, including the discover tab, and the app brings a new UI that is both lighter and 2x faster. If you think of all these improvements and Facebook’s reach, you can simply use it to replace Skype in your life.
Supported Platforms: Web, Android, iOS
With over 1.5 billion monthly active consumers, WhatsApp is the king of 3rd-party messaging apps. The service released its group video calling trait back in 2018, and since then, it has become 1 of the best apps to stay in touch with your buddies and family. I am a long-time WhatsApp consumer and can tell you that WhatsApp’s voice and video calling traits are second to none. When it gets to group video calls, WhatsApp supports four simultaneous connections.
While this is not bad, it seems a bit on the lower side in some situations. Furthermore, when you fill all four spots, the quality of the video call decreases a fair bit. However, considering almost everyone uses WhatsApp and its VoIP calling traits to work even on slow networks, it is 1 of the best Skype alternatives for personal use.
Supported Platforms: iOS, Android
If you are established in the Apple ecosystem, and so are your buddies and family, there is no more solid alternative to Skype than FaceTime. FaceTime works phenomenally great and is available on all 3 major Apple platforms, including iOS, macOS, and iPadOS. And when Apple launched FaceTime group calling with macOS Mojave and iOS 12, it instantly resolved the only problem users had with this voice and video calling service.
Apple, in its Apple-like fashion, did not introduce the group call feature half-heartedly. It holds 32 people on the same call and has a nice feature where the speaker’s window comes to the front. This is a trait that works most of the time and is missing in most video calling services. Apple also adds some funky features like the ability to use Animojis and Memojis when making a FaceTime call. If you utilize Apple products, FaceTime is the best Skype alternatives for you.
Supported Platforms: macOS, iPadOS, iOS
Best Skype Alternatives for Professional Use in 2021
In this section, all the applications mentioned are for professional use. You shouldn’t try to use them for personal communication as we have mentioned apps for that purpose in the next section. These applications are a bit harder to set up and are not as popular as consumer apps. It means your buddies will have to start from scratch, and most probably, you will end up teaching them everything, therefore it’s not worth the effort.
On the other hand, the applications in this section are great for professional use. Not only do they provide you to get hundreds of people on a single call, but you can further do things like sharing screens, recording calls, saving them in the cloud, get call transcriptions, schedule meetings, and more. The bottom line is that the applications mentioned in this section are for professional use, so they make more sense when used accordingly.
1. Jitsi Meet
For the first Skype alternative on this list, we have chosen an open-source application that is free to use. The great thing about this service is that you don’t need to install any app if you do not want to. Just open its website and tap on the “Go” button. The service brings some cool traits, including chat, session recording and upload to Dropbox, and the ability to remove disorderly participants. I like that Jitsi allows me to set a password so only the people I invite can join the meeting.
The service also gives mobile apps for Android and iOS platforms so you can join the meeting on the go. It further integrates well with Slack. So if you are utilizing Slack for communication in your team, Jitsi Meet will be the ideal fit for you. As far as group call is regarded, it supports up to 75 members. Nevertheless, for best performance, keep the member participation under 40. If you are viewing for a free and easy-to-use video conferencing service, you should check out Jitsi Meet.
Supported Platforms: Web, Android, iOS
2. Google Meet
Google Meet is Google’s response to Skype, Zoom, and other online meeting solutions. The service was originally available for G Suite customers, but now Google has made it free for all users. The app has become famous in the past few days and has already crossed 50 million downloads on the Play Store. The great thing about Google Meet is that it integrates with Gmail’s web app allowing you to start a meeting directly from there. Google Meet is also much easy to set-up and run. You build a meeting and share the link with other consumers to join. You can host up to 250 members, which is more than most teams require.
Google is also working on new highlights, including the much-requested background blur feature. Other highlights of Google Meet include the ability to schedule meetings, end-to-end encryption, screen sharing support, and more. There’s also a broadcast mode that enables users to broadcast meetings to 100,000 people at the same time. This is a great trait for companies that want all their employees to attend the meeting. The only limitation is that every participant should have a Google account. Furthermore, the free meetings are capped at 60 minutes. Google has created a simple to use and powerful alternative to Skype, and you should try it.
Supported Platforms: Web, Android, iOS
If there’s 1 company that has profited most from the failure of Skype, it’s Zoom. It has grown the go-to service for any professional team and business that is looking for video conferencing software. Zoom is 1 of the best communication tools for real-time video conferencing. The main highlights include support for up to 500 people on a single conference call, virtual background, serene share, integration with 3rd-party apps, local recording, and more. I furthermore love the audio transcription feature that automatically creates a transcription of meetings.
Why I like Zoom has to do with the fact that Zoom is easy to set up and use and is available across devices. You can use it on the web, mobile, or using its desktop apps. The free variant is very generous and enough for most small companies. Using the free variant, you can make a conference call to hundred people with a call duration capped at 40 minutes. If you are hunting for a Skype alternative to conduct online meetings and conferences, Zoom should be your 1st stop.
Supported Platforms: Windows, Web, macOS, iOS, Android
Microsoft is pushing its Teams app to support Skype, so it does make sense to check it out before looking at other alternatives. It further makes more sense if your business is working with Microsoft Office apps as the combination here is much refined. Utilizing Microsoft Teams, you can make video calls, access Office 365 documents, create online conferences, collaborate in real-time, and more. With this, you further get 1TB of OneDrive storage for keeping and sharing files.
It brings collaboration features, too, enabling you to collaborate on Office documents in real-time. If you require to induce a little bit of fun, you can use emojis, gifs, and animated stickers. 1 thing I love about Teams is that it enables you to instantly turn a group chat into a conference call. Depending on your order, you can host up to 10000 people at a conference, so bandwidth is no concern here. If your team works with Office applications, this is the best Skype alternative that you should be using.
Supported Platforms: Web, Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, iOS
Replace Skype with These Video Calling & Conferencing Apps
I believe you were able to find an able replacement for Skype in this article. We have added options for both personal and professional use. Whether you want to have an online get-together with buddies or to conduct a video conference with your team, you will find an app here. Let us know which app fulfilled your quarantine needs.