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skype alternativesFive years ago, if you would’ve asked me for recommendations on a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) program, there was only one program available: Skype. For the past few years, Skype sat at #1 in VoIP software. And if the Internet has taught me anything, it’s that nothing ever stays at the top for very long.

In 2011, Microsoft made a somewhat surprising move when it bought Skype for $8.5 billion. Soon after, bloggers all over the Internet began to question Microsoft’s ability to maintain the project’s quality. Was Skype now doomed to fail or would Microsoft improve it? What about the issue of privacy? Or advertisements during calls?

If for whatever reason you no longer want to use Skype, then rest assured in knowing that there are plenty of alternative programs out there. They may not be as polished or prevalent as Skype, but they certainly get the job done. And best of all, every program on this list is absolutely free!

Google

skype alternatives

It’s almost expected that Google would have some sort of competition in the area of VoIP and Internet chatting. But behold–Google actually has three different programs that you can use as alternatives to Skype. It all depends on what you were using Skype for.

If you need a quick and easy way to set up group video conferences, look no further than Google Hangouts. Not only are video chat sessions free, you can add up to 8 other participants for a total of 10. The calls are high quality and intuitively designed. Find out why Google Hangouts are cool than Skype for video chats 5 Reasons Google Hangouts Are Cooler Than Skype For Video Chats 5 Reasons Google Hangouts Are Cooler Than Skype For Video Chats Hangouts is Google's take on chat rooms. Like many times before, Google has turned a good idea into something incredibly useful, while preserving simplicity and ease of use and thus making it fantastic. In this... Read More .

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If you just need a service that lets you call other people over the Internet, then Google Voice is your solution. Assign yourself a Voice-provided phone number that you can use for everything no matter what your phone or service provider is. Through Google Voice, you can make free calls to anywhere in the U.S. or Canada; everywhere else has extremely low rates.

If it’s instant messaging that you need, use Google Talk. As a bonus, you can use Google Talk to initiate private video chat sessions; all you need to do is install a plugin. Google Talk interfaces with Gchat (on Gmail), iGoogle, and Orkut.

Jitsi

alternatives to skype

Jitsi is a powerful piece of software that specializes in VoIP. Not only can it perform audio calls and video chats, but it can also stream and share desktops over the Internet, record calls, encrypt calls, and instant message. It even has a few neat features like echo cancellation and noise suppression (for those with poor quality mics or noisy rooms).

Jitsi supports a wide number of Internet chatting protocols, including: SIP, XMPP (Jabber, Google Talk, Facebook), MSN, AIM, Yahoo!, ICQ, and Bonjour. Jitsi is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

VoxOx

alternatives to skype

With VoxOx, you can easily make audio or video calls to your friends. VoxOx-to-VoxOx calls are entirely free, so if your friends all use VoxOx, then you’ll all benefit. However, VoxOx can still be used to call real telephone numbers and send text messages at cheap rates.

On their overview page, it’s immediately apparent that VoxOx really likes their free features. Here’s what you get for free: personal phone number, voicemail, inbound calls/texts/faxes, conference calls, chat and social features, file sharing, and more. VoxOx is available on Windows and Mac.

goober

alternatives to skype

With goober, you can call your fellow goober buddies through audio or video calling. The VoIP feature is free if you’re calling another goober user, else it will cost low rates depending on the location of the receiver. Video calls are free but can only occur goober-to-goober. Conference calls are all free; audio conferences can hold an unlimited number of participants but video conferences are limited to 6.

From the looks of it, it seems like goober wants to be more of a social networking tool. The built-in instant messenger can communicate with AIM, MSN, ICQ, Jabber, Google Talk, Yahoo! and more. You can link and interact with Facebook and Twitter straight through goober, too. goober is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Ekiga

are there any alternatives to skype

Ekiga is an open-source program that specializes in VoIP, video calling, and instant messaging. Right out of the box, it supports high quality audio and high-definition video at DVD quality. The user interface is easy to learn and simple to use. Audio and video calls are free over the Internet; calls to phones will cost low rates.

Ekiga is available for Windows and Linux.

ooVoo

skype alternatives

If you really only use Skype for its video chatting features, then ooVoo may be the replacement for you. Video calls are extremely simple to set up and conferences can hold up to 12 participants. For the times you don’t need video, you can instant message. ooVoo supports calling to phones but you’ll need to purchase ooVoo credits first.

ooVoo has a Premium upgrade available that enables desktop sharing between users in a call and removes advertisements. Yes, ooVoo’s free version is supported by ads. ooVoo is available for Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, and Facebook.

Conclusion

Skype was once the top dog in the world of free video conferencing and VoIP, but that throne has a lot of contesting kings now. It doesn’t matter where you live or what operating system you use, there is always a Skype alternative available. It’s not like Skype is completely off the table right now, but if it doesn’t please you anymore, these will get the job done.

Are there any that I’ve missed? Free video conferencing / VoIP tools are hard to come by, so if you know of any others, please share them in the comments. Or just let us know your experiences with the ones already on this list!

  1. Pete
    September 20, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    It seems that Skype no longer wants my money, whatever I try I can't put any credit on the account, so, gooodbye skype.

  2. Kellyrochford
    September 12, 2016 at 7:48 am

    I had been with Skype from nearly the start, after ownership transferred it started to go downhill. I have very unreliable connections, even though I have good bandwidth. Many calls are made up of multiple re connects, due to drop outs. Many times it is ringing out my end, and I later find that at the other end no call was received. My subscription funds just leaked away gradually, when I was not making paid calls. Customer service were always very anti customer and blamed me. The latest is a message to say that I had 1 month to make a paid call or my balance would be cleared to zero. I immediately made a paid call, to my own landline with call logged. They still cleared out my credit to zero. I WILL NOT SUBSCRIBE TO SKYPE AGAIN. I used to have paid phone numbers and various other subscription services, Skype have driven me away, I did not just pack up and leave, I was driven out.

    • bob
      September 18, 2016 at 6:30 pm

      yea

  3. Adrian
    August 4, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    I'm very disappointed with Skype. They don’t care about Customer Service.
    I’ve been with them during more than 10 years with the same subscription and because of a problem with the Credit Card I had loaded (it expired), instead of asking me to change the payment method, they cancelled my subscription (blaming me because of my problem) and they ask me to book a new subscription that is about 8% more expensive.
    It is not a problem of money, Skype could have told me “we increase the price for the subscription”, but not. It is a horrible Customer Service attitude. They use the problem I have to blame me about it. They are saying “the system do not allow me to reactivate you subscription”. The “system”? The system belong to Skype, if the system is so rigid that is not allowing to take care of your customers, Skype should modify it. Skype is a technology company and must have hundred of programmers, so I’m sure one can modify a program that is not allowing you to reactivate a subscription that was active for more than 10 years. I told them, take your time to solve the problem, I’m not in a rush, but no way. They say that it is not possible.
    This is an good example of how a company can make feel bad to a loyal customer.

  4. SkypeStuck
    August 2, 2016 at 2:43 am

    All I know is that I've been using Skype in the last 5 years and it's getting worse comparing with the earlier period when I first start to use Skype. Skype video conferencing is constantly crashed. The forced update newer versions from Skype keep on crashing. I could not stop Skype from automatically update to a newer version. I have tried many different ways to no avail. Is anything out there better than what Skype (Microsoft) offering? I would like some video conferencing s/w that is more reliable than Skype. Everything was fine until Microsoft has its hands in it.

  5. Carlo
    July 1, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Not Skype availability on TV? Time to jump ship- move to a competitor! I am ticked! Being using Skype since it was made available and now this! So much for loyalty! They are turning their backs on their loyal base!

    • Helen
      July 24, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      I totally agree. I bought a smart tv so I could skype with family and less than 3 months later they took away the tv availability. I'm ticked off and looking for another option.

  6. Bob Renshaw
    July 1, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Can anyone advise what is a good alternative to skype. It no longer supports skype on TV's and I am really annoyed at this and the spin used to explain why they are no longer supporting skype on TV's. Bob R

    • Helen
      July 24, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      Me too!

  7. Johnny
    June 11, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Does anyone know an option or program where I can buy an unlimited subscription to the USA with a USA phone #? That is all I want, nothing crazy.
    Skype used to be so awesome at this option. Now each time I try to do it, they block my account and say it violates their terms. They advertise this is what they do, they take my money, and then they block me.
    Customer service is a joke. They refer you to the "community" each chance they get. There is no number to call and your lucky to get someone on IM chat. However, when that happens all they say is they have to forward your issue on to their superior, who may or may not get back to you.

    • Dave
      August 10, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      google talk will call usa and canada numbers for free if you're in usa or canada.

  8. Xonerea
    May 27, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Beware of Hangouts. On Computers It REQUIRES chrome. You don't need to have chrome running to use hangouts, but it's still a requirement. Hangouts also has very large memory usage. 7 processes running on task manager just to use it and that's WITHOUT the browser being open during use (at least on win 10).

    Google Talk was beta for Google Hangouts. Don't bother trying to use Talk exclusively as... it simply won't happen. Talk was great but is no more. And Hangouts can sometimes be a memory hogging nightmare.

    MSN messenger/windows live/windows messenger whichever you prefer to call it was also integrated into Skype. Skype also has some severe security issues that were supposedly addressed but the unlocked backdoor into your system is still there. It's unlikely most people will get hit with it, but it's the reason I refuse to have Skype on any computer I own.

  9. Arman
    May 6, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Wire is the best !!!!!!

  10. Gareth
    April 14, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    SKYPE USED TO BE EXCELLENT, THE CALLS WERE CRYSTAL CLEAR, video was clear and unpixilated... but since Microsoft bought Skype the quality has plumetted! Now it takes up to 13 seconds for voice transmission to reach the other side, and another 13 seconds to hear what the respondent says... and video link is impossible. Yet Skype still hoggs masses of bandwidth. We had a service, I used to subscribe to Skype, make use of it for conference calls... I have not topped up my skype account for ages as I the quality of pay for service has become so low that I am not using it. I may even ask for a refund of the funds I have left.

  11. deep
    March 22, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Dear Mr. Lee,

    I strongly disagree with you. Tell me one app which gives you unlimited calling on a monthly subscription basis. There is none. Skype is by far the best option available. There ar too many flaws in Skype but yet it is the best app so far. Hence please don't give misleading information to the users of the internet.

  12. Zo
    February 22, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    should you not forget FB video calls. Now on webRTC it makes it the choice as sadly FB is similar to skype in terms of "everyone has it"

    • Rama
      June 4, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      FB? Not! It records all your calls. :(

  13. Ben
    February 8, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Make sure to mention VSee. It uses half of the bandwidth of Skype and supports many features.

  14. Rose Foreman
    January 29, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    I tried everything to make Skype work on my new computer. Ended by their techs saying I needed to add another program [fee] to make it work. NO THANKS. Now wanting to find better replacement.

  15. Randy Schornack
    December 30, 2015 at 3:56 am

    I have tired to get Skype without infections. However, this appears to be beyond the scope of Microsoft to rain in a bunch of coyboys. The security folks at Microsoft are out of touch with the problems they face and the contanmination of the skype servers. Five download attempts finally produced a skype load without contamination. Then updates came and withit viruses and hack software add ons.
    No I do not care for the bowser add ons and the failed attempts of skype developeres to push crap. The fools fail to understand they have an obligation to Microsoft and no one else. Keep skype pure and I might tryit again until then kiss offl

  16. pcisok service
    August 17, 2015 at 10:50 am

    The best alternative for home users is LINE , Japanese software with all the perks and also visually appealing. It works literally on every platform, Linux workaround might be a bit more tricky. Here is a link

    http://line.me/en/download

    Unfortunately all VOIP , video communication software does require reasonable data transfer, so don't blame application for poor performance if you area has bad reception.

  17. Kelvin Lee
    June 11, 2015 at 4:01 am

    Microsoft has an amazing ability to screw up and destroy anything that the users like or enjoy that they acquire - Skype, Hotmail, MSN Messenger, etc. Window 8 is pushing the boundaries of how much you can annoy the users, adopting everything I detest about Apple from Apple ID (Windows Account), locking in MS Office, Skype and so on......... extremely frustrating!

  18. Gen Light
    June 4, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Sadly, MS (Microsoft)) is doing itself no favours these days. Skype was really good until MS started to "upgrae" it. Now it is a cumbersome mess. Because of the way MS is "upgrading" its offerings these days, I no longer trust it as an organisation for helping me work "my way" (and not working THEIR way). So maybe even the operating systems from MS Windows is becoming largely a commercial override on my life. I say all this after years of still using Windows for work and for use in my long retirement. In fact the whole internet now is becoming a commercial ocerride of of the lives of ordinary people. Watch out Microsoft -- there are options out there to all your ways of making money off your previously valued clients. It might be altogether better to go back to before the days of Windows. ?!

  19. David
    April 18, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Also, you forgot Apple's Facetime.

  20. David
    April 18, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Like other Google "products" Voice is shovelware. I couldn't get it to work.

  21. Rokinah Noor
    April 9, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Has been using Skype for several years. However, since they made +- $US 30 (NOK 200) disappear in a bank transaction late last year, we are not on friendly terms. ( I guess, since they ignore my attempts to get an explanation for this).
    Nice to know that there are alternatives.

  22. phybot
    April 7, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I had been using Skype for over 12 years, and just decided to delete my account (if possible!). My account was illegally accessed and my entire balance used to make calls to Cameroon. For two weeks, I have been trying to get Skype to simply tell me how my account was accessed (whether there were repeated tries at guessing my password or whether the person logged in on their first try, or whether they hacked their way into their systems some other way). The process has been infuriating. IMPOSSIBLE to get an answer, their constant reply : "We are sorry for the inconvenience, however, Skype takes our customers' privacy and confidentiality very seriously, and therefore we cannot disclose this information due to our Skype Privacy Statement. This is the reason why we advised you to contact a member of the law enforcement agency with regards to your request." Can anyone else see the irony? ...And contacting the law enforcement to know whether someone illegally accessed my account on their first try? Seriously?... Avoid Skype at all cost.

  23. Peter
    March 17, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    skype app has disappear from Finlux SmartTV ...new owner: Microsoft delete it :(

  24. Allison
    March 15, 2015 at 1:27 am

    to be honest i can not believe NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON has mentioned that SKype TAKES and uses YOUR internet data stream, even if you are not USING Skype at that moment. I KNOW they do it VORACIOUSLY on cell phones, but i have not yet found a way to verify how much they do it on my PC. What I mean by this for the newbies is, when you install it, you agree that they can piggyback on your internet pipe to gain internet signal for other Skype users. So though YOU may only use it for an hour a day, Skype can use YOUR internet 24 hours a day. So if you have a limited data package as MOST cell phone users, and almost all Canadian home users do, they can and WILL use up you data limit. I currently am staying somewhere where i have VERY poor cell reception. I get ONLY one half of one bar signal. And I only have a mobile internet stick for internet right now. So I am unable to make online calls, I can only use skypes text feature...I just happened to have a page open the last few days that told me in real time how much data was going up n down my pipe. The friend I was speaking to is OFTEN slow to respond and can take 3-5 min to respond when i send him a text. I noticed that if he is responding within the first minute of me sending a text, like we are having an ACTIVE Skype text conversation, I get his response and he gets mine. The conversation goes on just fine. BUT, when he has these several minute delays in responding, Skype GRABS my internet pipe and HOGS it. The ohter night i monitored it and while my friend n I spoke I used all of 50mb data, up and down for one hour of TEXT ONLY conversation. BUT once they grabbed my pipe, I LITERALLY watched it eat up almost 250mb data in less than 45 min. Also leaving me with no ability to respond to my friend. Every text I sent was not going, they were all "pending" as my internet just kept on clocking away. ( When I had only used 100mb ALL DAY LONG using my pc for other things) I tested this theory a few days in a row, and discovered that YES they are hijacking my signal, and I am SURE most people have no clue it is going on. I DO know they do it on cell phones EVEN when you do not have Skype open... I am not sure if they do on PCs, but as best I can tell, they don't.. but it could simply be my limited connection preventing that. But my friend installed Skype on her cell phone last month JUST to text me, and low and behold Skype used 4 yes, FOUR GIGS of data... just in background data, she only texted me probably one 5 min conversation and closed the app when complete. SO BE AWARE OF HOW THESE COMPANIES USE YOUR INTERNET Bandwith... you can so easily get screwed. This is how i came upon this post is looking for someone to text thru who WONT hijack my ONE WHOLE HALF BAR of internet cpaacity! (Note, I AM a PAID skype user, with a PAID phone number AND a yr calling paid for to the USA... so one would think they would be TAKING signal from the freebies and giving it to ME, not the other way around!!)

  25. Debra
    February 23, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    HELP...all I want to do is call my grandchildren in Florida. They are very young and hard to understand when using the telephone. This way, if we can both see each other on our computers it will almost be like talking to them in person. Im not interested in any other features and I dont want my family in Florida to have to pay for the call. I am confused now as to which one of the many alternatives to Skype should I consider using...

  26. Debby
    February 16, 2015 at 3:41 am

    Is there any that work on an IPad?

    • Helen
      July 24, 2016 at 11:53 pm

      yes, face time.

  27. Richard McWolff
    February 8, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    So I have a video conference on Wed. They like Skype. I tried to like it but I just hate that program with a passion. So I uninstalled it and put up a note on the forums where we were getting things set up. Not sure if there is an app out there that will allow for one user to use Skype while another uses another VoIP program and both can sync together. Is there such a VoIP program out there?

  28. Andy
    January 17, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Skype was alright until Microsoft got involved. It seems they're now more interested in taking your money a selling your data than proving a useable service

  29. Tony
    January 15, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Whilst I use Skype for work, I'm an online teacher, I much prefer 'Viber' another one you didn't add.

    Viber is stable, and as with anything to do with Microsoft Skype has become increasingly poor. Microsoft has always striven to produce 'over-engineered products' that generally lead to poor products for the end user.

    • Helen
      July 24, 2016 at 11:55 pm

      Can you use viber on the computer or smart tv or is it just for phones?

  30. cateline
    January 10, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Hi, Im looking for a service like this or skype that can be embedded into my site as if part of my site (design style etc), without having leave my site or open a seperate window to another company like skype, to any ideas?

  31. Barry
    December 21, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    message to

    the

    A message to Skype people.
    Every time you make an upgrade you make it worse no better why can't you get the basic's right and leave it alone, other wise your system would be wonderful also I find you are hard to get in contact with to explain my concern when I have any. Like when my computer crashed and I try to pick up where I left off Skype did not seem to understand or acknowledge my contact details that I had used earlier and responded that this information was already used by someone else and I couldn't have it. I am sure that this was mine from earlier. I find this very frustrating and confusing.

  32. megan
    December 12, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Help please. So Skype let's u buy a land line number that's then connected to your app on your phone. So I give that number to my friend and they call it and it comes through on the app over the internet. Who else does this? The connection is crap cuts in an out a fuzzy. I really need another option. For Samsung galaxy 4

    • David V
      March 3, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      The Google Talk has this feature as well.

  33. Paul
    December 10, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I'm told there is a new one called Wire. I haven't tried it yet.
    I haven't uninstalled Skype yet but I stopped using it because the new versions didn't work at all on my computer (Mac) and the old version I went back and installed has stopped working now as well. I actually came online tonight looking for whether there is a decent mac-friendly version again yet, but instead I find all these alternatives to try out.
    Thanks everyone! :)

  34. Paul Rhimes
    February 6, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Have you tried LINE?

    It's the only one I know of that has at least most of the features of Skype and is also available on Windows 8. It doesn't have video chat, but it has calling, messaging and all of that stuff...

    http://www.trutower.com/line/

    • Tom
      February 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      I am looking for an extremely cheap way, hopefully less than $0.01 US per minute to make a conference call to (primitive) cellphones in Thailand. I can use my computer or my primitive cell phone.

    • paul
      September 6, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      Line has video chat

  35. anonymous
    December 23, 2012 at 10:33 am

    hats off to that person who has made this website. it might have taken lots of pain in researching to make this website. but beware microsoft is watching. first it will disable your website, then ruin your business. have you guys seen one thing? when you do google search like forum skype you get only results of skype forums on the top and you cannot put your views in other places and after seeing the first page people run away. because by that time either they forget what they came for and could not find what they wanted. So this is skype. And when you start using skype they disable your account under some reasons. whatever it is keep your good work.

  36. Danny
    December 14, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I am becoming disenchanted with Skype. I had subscribed ton them primarily for business calls and I have found that they do not not put through a lot of the 1-8xx-xxx-xxxx toll free numbers in Canada or The USA. What are the experiences of toll free numbers with the Skype alternatives,

    Danny

  37. Michael Nana
    December 12, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Reflap is another alternative. It's a web based voip video chat website. When ou register you create your personal call address and anyone that knows it can call you using your call address. http://www.reflap.com

    • Joel Lee
      December 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      That's a pretty cool concept. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :D

    • Bob Swan
      February 21, 2013 at 10:59 am

      I like the idea but just played the first vid in their FAQ section ... have to say, sadly, that the sound and picture quality were poor. Is that meant to encourage us?

  38. ampimari
    November 5, 2012 at 9:56 am

    back to refer a comment of Paul -G
    I think what he meant and with a good point is
    that if i like to choose to use as provider lets say still government controlled now Skype or google hang out etc.
    but my friend uses lets say maybe Tango or any other open- source Voip provider
    I could not put them in my contact friends list and connect with them over voip

    This only landlines can do and you might be...maybe as well more protected from someone
    listening in and violating your privacy.

    it would be great if I could have my FREE choice of voip provider
    without pressing my friends to change as well!!!
    and see them in my contact list attached to the icon of THEIR FREE CHOSEN voip provider...

    Another sign that a FREE MARKET and FREE CHOICE is going down the hill
    nicely covered by entertainment chit chats etc

    Cool would be if all the open-source Voip Providers agree with each other
    setting up this possibility of INTEGRATION and COLLABORATION in between them as well
    and want to continue a FREE MARKET leaving their customers truly a FREE CHOICE.

  39. Raghav Gupta
    November 5, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Nice alternativees. Thanks for sharing

  40. Travis
    October 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    While I do primarily use SKype for it's HD quality (better than most alternatives), one other that I've found is Zoom.us. The great part about that is while you have to download the software, you DON'T have to log in to join a call. So the person initiating the call signs in (via Facebook/G+) and gets a link to send out to other people wanting to join. So far it's worked well for technically inept people like my parents/sister who aren't ready to sign up for a new service like G+ just to enjoy group video chat. Just a thought.

  41. Rajaa Chowdhury
    October 9, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I would rather TANGO and give SKYPE a skip. :P :D

  42. Tim Brookes
    September 14, 2012 at 2:31 am

    Hangouts here is probably the best of the bunch in terms of penetration. As others have pointed out my reliance on Skype is down to a few things, but mainly the fact that everyone already uses Skype. My parents know how to use it, it's great for talking internationally for free and the iPhone app works like a charm.

  43. Ian-Andrews
    September 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    To Skype Or Not To Skype....

    I'm Skype and I totally agree Skype used to have the un challenged guaranted number one slot.....HOWEVER......What has made me start to look for alternatives is its RECENT...???(2012 Anyways) STUPID CHANGE, whereby BOTH parties have to be connect at the same time to send/recieve a skype "Computer" text message.

    In the good old days you could send your message to your contact...

    EXAMPLE..........[ Sunday Fancy A Chat At 2pm ]
    EXAMPLE 2.......[ You say have a look at this link www>>Hyperlink Example ]

    The message would wait/stored until your contact next logged-on and then they would recieve it...BUT NOW you both have to be connected at the same time just to recieve OR send said message....Grrrrrr Grrrrr ^@@@%%^ <@

    And yes I know E-Mail exists but the Skype feature WAS quick, very quick and very good for "your" offline message delivery.

    My problem now is even if I do find something better than Skype, as Paul-G points out above.. I have to convince my contacts to also install that particular VOIP service.

    If you want to reply to my comment, imagine if you could only do so when we are both online AND connected to http://www.makeuseof.com at the same time....lol

  44. AP
    September 13, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Most of my friends are Skype users , now I can recommend them other ones.

  45. Kathie Brune
    September 13, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I'm going to have to check out Google Hangouts as I haven't tried it yet. Tango is pretty good, too, though.

  46. Freecycle Me
    September 12, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Thanks for this I will be conferencing on hangouts later!

  47. Curtis C.
    September 11, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Dell Voice is also one of them that you can use for free calling on your iPhone or iPod.

  48. Neil Harrington
    September 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Skype stills works great for me, and it is still free. Screen sharing is great, too.

    • GoLinuxOrGoHome
      January 20, 2013 at 6:44 am

      doh! how's that screen sharing working out for ya now? M$ took it out as well a group calling and made it a pay feature...woohoo

      • Pieter
        January 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm

        I'm using screen share as we speak... still free, not a paid feature.

  49. Gaurav Rajak
    September 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Fring too is good for mobile phones.

  50. Steve_007
    September 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    i personally support Brosix. It is great alternative to Skype. It is ad-free, free of charge and has much more pre-installed features than Skype. It does a great job !

  51. dwayne arthur
    September 8, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Skype is pretty good ,I used it to replace my mom"s Magicjack that failed .
    Its pretty reliable too. I will try out these other programs that were mentioned.

  52. GrrGrrr
    September 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Skype has its roots way deep, so it is almost impossible to replace it from #1 slot. The next best are Google & ooVoo in my view.

    Given the availability of Skype Phones (parents have one) it becomes very easy for me to call them, without them having to bring up the laptop, connect a headset, mic, etc.

  53. Bud
    September 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Another is the Chinese "QQ." Only major problem is their site is ALL in Chinese with little to zero English versions or English "help" pages......and depending on the signal strengths, can be disruptive at times........

  54. Reý Aetar
    September 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    nimbuzz also is great

  55. Greg
    September 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    We use ooVoo at work. It has worked great for us so far.

  56. Shakirah Faleh Lai
    September 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Love Hangout but most of my friends still use Skype they don't use Hangout yet.

  57. Kao Vang
    September 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I don't have enough friends who would use Google services enough to use Hangouts. :) My in-law families like using ooVoo but personally, I wouldn't bother installing an app if there are web alternatives like Google's.

    • Happy
      September 8, 2012 at 2:04 am

      I totally agree!

  58. Chinmay Deshpande
    September 7, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Hangouts is great

    • gattolino
      September 7, 2012 at 8:35 am

      and you can register directally to youtube!

  59. Gerhard Tinned
    September 7, 2012 at 6:24 am

    The problem with all of them ... you have to get your friends to use it as well. That is the real tricky part on it! :-(

    • Paul-G
      September 7, 2012 at 9:20 am

      If you use a land-line or mobile you can call ANY other land-line or mobile.

      Until VOIP can do the same it will never get the take-up.

      • Tanguy Djokovic
        September 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm

        VOIP lets you call areound the world for free... which land line does not...
        Some might, but I've rarely seen a landline company say : call to china for free. it's more like 30c/min of calling

        Plus with Skype you can also call a land line, with for a very low fee, and even cellphones.

        • Paul-G
          September 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm

          I agree but how many VOIP services can call every other VOIP service?

          That is the issue that needs to be addressed. Without that key component it is like every land-line company and mobile service in the world being isolated.

        • Johnny5
          September 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm

          Using Talkatone, you can call any phone number in the US and Canada....for free. If you are not in the US or Canada...oh well.

        • Paul-G
          September 8, 2012 at 12:00 am

          Sorry Johnny5 but a lot of VOIP services can 'call out' to landlines.

          The key issue is - how many VOIP clients can call a VOIP user on another network? Can any of the above services call a user on a different VOIP service? How many can connect to ALL of the others?

        • Joseph
          September 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm

          Paul-G, if you embrace open standards (in this case, like SIP or XMPP/Jabber) then any software that can use that protocol can call any other program. It's Skype that has the proprietary protocol, which is the main reason not to use it.

  60. Johnny5
    September 7, 2012 at 2:42 am

    How did you miss Tango and Talkatone?

    • Joel Lee
      September 7, 2012 at 5:49 am

      There was a brief moment while writing this article that I lost my omniscience. Fortunately, it's returned since then.

  61. Johnny5
    September 7, 2012 at 2:21 am

    Not sure how you missed Tango and Talkatone.

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