Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Advertisement

For a long time, Skype was the world leader when it came to VoIP apps. It was so popular, in fact, that “Skyping” became a verb. But with so many complaints of low quality calls, too many crashes, and a general distrust of Microsoft, for many, Skype lost its appeal, despite its recent overhauls Skype 5.0 Gets a Complete Overhaul for the iPhone Skype 5.0 Gets a Complete Overhaul for the iPhone Skype has a new version for the iPhone, redesigned from the ground up and packed with features. Skype 5.0 for iPhone looks and feels like the Android and Windows Phone apps, yet customized to fit... Read More .

Since Skype’s heyday, however, many other apps have launched that enable you to call others from your devices. If you’re fed up with Skype then, you might want to try these alternatives.

For something much simpler than Skype, a service like Appear.in might be for you. If you want something with even more features, try out Viber. And then there are all the options in between.

1. Google Hangouts (Web, Android, iOS)

A direct competitor to Skype, offering free user-to-user calls and (mostly) free calls within the U.S. and Canada.

Fed Up With Skype? Here Are 6 of the Best Free Alternatives Google Hangouts 670x335

Since its launch just a few short years ago, Google Hangouts has rapidly grown to rival Skype in terms of user numbers while, according to many, surpassing Skype’s call quality.

Advertisement

While you could use Hangouts as just another messaging app, that’s the last thing we need. It’s first-and-foremost a way for you to voice and video call up to 10 contacts (simultaneously) on iOS, and Android. The regular Google Hangouts Web app Google Finally Made a Hangouts Web App & It's Worth It Google Finally Made a Hangouts Web App & It's Worth It For the longest time, Hangouts on desktop was a nightmare. Now, it has got a major update on the web in the form of an all new dedicated web app. Read More is pretty impressive, too. On your smartphone, this works over data (or Wi-Fi if you’re connected), so calls over Hangouts do not use any of your included minutes.

The contacts that Google Hangouts adds to your account can be both from your phone contacts, and your email contacts. If those contacts are Google Hangout users, you can call them entirely for free. You can call landlines and mobiles from Hangouts, too.

Almost all calls to Canada and the US are entirely free from any country where Hangouts is available. To make other calls though, you’ll have to add some credit to your account., and pay a relatively small per-minute call charge.

2. Appear.In (Web, iOS)

One of the easiest ways to start a voice or video call. No sign ups, no downloads.

Fed Up With Skype? Here Are 6 of the Best Free Alternatives Appear

If you want an incredibly simple way to start a call Appear.in Now Lets You Add Video Conferencing Facilities To Any Website Appear.in Now Lets You Add Video Conferencing Facilities To Any Website Simply put, it is now possible to integrate Appear.in within your own website and blog. But why should you care? Read More , Appear.in is what you’re looking for. You don’t need to sign up to anything. You don’t even need to download anything! There is an iOS app, though, if you’re interested.

Simply create a “Room” link, and share that link with whoever you want to chat with (up to eight people). When a recipient clicks the link, the room will open in their browser (this works on mobile, too).

You can choose to either have a voice or video call, and you can also share your screen. And if you’re worried about privacy, you can “lock” your call to prevent anyone else from joining if they somehow found your unique link.

3. ooVoo (Web, Android, iOS, Windows, Mac)

Like WhatsApp, you can make domestic and international calls too.

Fed Up With Skype? Here Are 6 of the Best Free Alternatives ooVoo 670x365

Like a lovechild between WhatsApp and Skype, ooVoo is a free cross platform (Android, iOS, Windows, Web) app that allows free calls to other ooVoo users, and paid calls to landlines and mobiles. It’s group video calls are of particularly high quality, which is the main reason it’s included in this list.

If you start a Web-Based ooVoo chat, up to 12 people can join for free, without signing up or downloading anything. All you have to do is send them a unique link. All calls can be recorded, and screens can be shared.

It’s unlikely many of your contacts use the app, but if they do, it also doubles up as a messaging app, where you can record and send text messages and videos. It’s basically like WhatsApp, but also allows calls to landlines and web-based calls to non-users.

4. Viber

Offers free calls and chats between users. Also, includes games, public chats, and calls to mobiles and landlines.

Fed Up With Skype? Here Are 6 of the Best Free Alternatives Viber 670x313

If you make a lot of international calls No Roaming Fees: How Traveling Internationally Can Be Cheaper No Roaming Fees: How Traveling Internationally Can Be Cheaper There's no reason to spend a dime on roaming fees. Yet, I constantly hear about people forking over their hard-earned money to talk with friends or family while traveling abroad. Read More , Viber is a massively popular ad-free option, available on most platforms including the desktop (on Mac and Linux, too).

Viber offers free text chat, voice and video calls to anyone else who uses the app (which currently has over 800m users). Each call can hold up to 40 people. Other domestic and international calls are charged at a very affordable rate, starting at just over $0.01 per minute.

As well as voice and video calls, you can also send documents and text, image, and video messages via the app. All messages are encrypted.

To differentiate Viber from other options, it also has a decent selection of games so you can challenge your friends to a duel. There are also a range of public chats you can join to keep in contact with your favorite brands and topics.

5. Talky (Web, iOS)

Like Appear.In, an extremely easy way to host a group video chat. No download required.

Fed Up With Skype? Here Are 6 of the Best Free Alternatives Talky

Just like Appear.in, Talky sells itself as “a truly simple video chat [with] screen sharing for groups”.

Again, simply pick a room name, get a unique URL, then share this URL with up to 15 people. The call is then accessible via each person’s browser (or via the iOS app).

Once a call is live, you can easily turn your webcam or microphone on and off, and chat via text. Once everyone’s online, you can also lock the call for extra privacy.

And again like Appear.In, you can’t use Talky to make international or domestic calls.

6. Voca (Android, iOS)

Free user-to-user calls, and some of the cheapest international calls on the market.

Fed Up With Skype? Here Are 6 of the Best Free Alternatives Voca 670x271

Working through your Wi-Fi or data connection, Voca gives you extremely easy access to very affordable international calls to over 230 countries. For instance, U.S.-to-U.S. calls to landlines and phones cost $0.001. You can find full rates on Voca’s site.

If your friends and family are also using the app, then text, voice, and video calls are completely free, though the app will use your data if you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. For the security conscious, all calls and messages are encrypted.

And, The App You Know About: WhatsApp

Free voice or video calls to any other WhatsApp users (on mobile). But no calls to anyone who’s not on WhatsApp.

Fed Up With Skype? Here Are 6 of the Best Free Alternatives WhatsApp Calls 670x330

And then we have WhatsApp (and its security-obsessed alternatives 4 Slick WhatsApp Alternatives that Guard Your Privacy 4 Slick WhatsApp Alternatives that Guard Your Privacy Facebook bought WhatsApp. Now that we're over the shock of that news, are you worried about your data privacy? Read More ). Although the app is available on Android, iOS, Windows, Desktop, and Web, WhatsApp calls are only available on Android, iOS and Windows.

It’s popularity in the U.S., Canada, Europe (and elsewhere) has seen the app attract over one billion users. At first, the app was mainly just for messaging your friends. Now it’s grown to also offer voice and video calling. These calls are made via your data plan, not over your network (so you may be charged for using data, but not your included minutes).

When using WhatsApp’s call features, you can only call other WhatsApp users (one person at a time, no group calls). If they don’t have WhatsApp, you can easily send them an invite.

Will You be Abandoning Skype?

Although Skype is usually the default option for calls over the internet, there are many great alternatives out there. These range from the super simple, to the feature-rich, with plenty in between.

Do you think any of these will be good enough for you to start moving away from Skype?

If so, what frustrated you so much about Skype to make you start searching for alternatives?

Originally written by Joel Lee on Sep 7, 2012.

Image Credit: Ditty_about_summer via Shutterstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Duncan
    April 26, 2017 at 2:31 am

    WTF I can't even see the alternatives. Is this an evil microsoft plot??

  2. Paul Ames
    April 24, 2017 at 9:23 am

    I got my Sax lessons over skype for about 3 years. This required my system to be able to hear and transmit both my Sax while I was playing and the Backing Music I was using. BUT now the EVIL Microsoft has apparently done and "Update". Now my system will not carry music from my Sax and Backing music at the same time.

    • Rob Nightingale
      April 25, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Did you manage to find an alternative that works better?

  3. dpliler
    April 21, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Skype is insane! I've had two accounts with Skype over the years and today when trying to log on, neither will suddenly recognize my password. And do you think the recover password or reset password is simple? Hello no! Rather than a simple email sending me to a link to create a new one, Microsoft spiraled me down into the 5th circle of hell asking me to verify my existence remember those I've skyped back in the 70's or how much to the penny I might have paid for previous skype services -- then on what credit card, and what the license plate was for the postal guy who delivered said credit card and what color shirt he was wearing at the time. Okay, so I might be exaggerating a tad for effect, but not much. Then I tried to find a phone # to call Skype in order to scream at someone-- it doesn't exist. Tried to find an email to email someone so I could type-scream--the system just cycled me back into the aforementioned fifth circle of hell. It really really really really really is insane! How do people like this stay in business. I dare someone from skype to log on and pretend the need to reset their password (a password they know is correct in the first place. ha.) The lack of intuitiveness, lack of simplicity, lack of availability, lack-lack-lack... sheesh. Oh, and did I mention that their system apparently won't email at all to Apple Mail. Ha. I figured that out after filling out their forms 3 different times. Anyway...apologies for the venting here but it's cheaper than therapy. They deserve to go under. Out.

    • Rob Nightingale
      April 25, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      I'm stunned by the number of people who've commented on the article! The list of complaints about skype is mind-boggling!

  4. Alan W Boal
    April 20, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Skype is no longer worth the time and investment especially since Microsoft took over. First of all, there is no logical reason to remove the time feature for all your numbers unless the people you call are in your same time zone. Second, they put so many barriers to entry for their service support emails that you do what I think they want you to do - give up. Third, there does not seem to be any adults in charge. You make a comment on the community site and instead of providing answers they now want to hand out trophies or kudos for contribution. This may be hard for snowflakes to hear so a trigger warning. What you might want to do is upgrade your business acumen so that it is easy to do business with your site.
    Last, the FAQ process is useless. One example. Type in "how to find the date I first signed up for Skype?" No where I can find including my profile but Skype's asked you that question in order to request support help along with six to ten other items. Why?
    Last but not least. for all the money you pay for not Skype calls over time, you would think it would be easy to print out a log on the calls. Good Luck. Time to know that the hype in Skype is just that - hype.

    • Rob Nightingale
      April 25, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      I think the support for all Microsoft products is equally bad, unfortunately.

  5. SkypeNowSucks
    April 11, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    "...what frustrated you so much about Skype to make you start searching for alternatives?"
    The fact that they decided to suspend my account this morning because I won't give them my DOB, cell number, etc. which they have no right to have.
    I only found out when new friends tried to look me up and said there was no such user. Logged on, found out I have been suspended. Tried to reinstate, not allowed unless I cough up my PII - Personally Identifiable Information (you know, the stuff you're supposed to keep secure?)
    I was one of the very first users way back a dozen or so years ago. I'm suddenly not valid? And, there's no way you could think I'm under 13 when I have been using you for 13(ish) years. So it's not a keeping track of minors issue...
    So, once again, MicroSucks buys something just to ruin it.

    • Rob Nightingale
      April 25, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      This seems to be a common complaint. Sort it out Microsoft!

  6. Stephanie
    April 6, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    I am just so over Skype. When I first found it in 2005, I was over the moon. It was a lifesaver when I did a teacher exchange program and ended up in Riga, Latvia for a year. Since then, I have lived in Germany, and I rely on it heavily. I like the idea of having a U.S. phone number that anyone in the U.S. can reach me at.

    I have tried to overlook the problems for years, but they just keep multiplying and seem to have started when Microsoft acquired the company. Sometimes it just rings and rings and rings for a caller, and they never get to leave a voicemail. More than half the time, the phone doesn't ring on my Windows 8.1 phone. I cannot listen to the voicemail I do manage to get on my phone because Skype doesn't support voicemail on Windows 8.1 phones. What the heck is up with that? Insane. And now, for the past two days, my phone does not ring at all on ANY device. It rings and goes to a voicemail message that is not the one I recorded, but a generic one with a foreign accent. Anyone calling would think they'd reached the wrong number. Skype's reply...do you want us to refund you for your phone number or escalate the issue.

    I have pretty much had it and am looking for something that gives me the ability to have a U.S. phone number attached to it. That's a requirement. When I find the right thing, adios Microsoft.

    Looked into Wire.com, but they don't have an app for my phone.

    • Rob Nightingale
      April 25, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      I've had a lot of similar problems, with making calls, and adding new contacts. This is the issue with companies that once had a near monopoly. They relax, forget to innovate, and before they know it, they have a massively outdated product.

  7. Jake
    April 6, 2017 at 3:22 am

    Skype used to be perfect. Since the worlds richest man has owned it (Bill Gates) it has cut me off every five minutes and there is no live support. Its now dow graded to junk status.

    • Rob Nightingale
      April 25, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      Yep. I avoid it wherever I can.

  8. Matt
    April 5, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    They just dropped the local time feature from each contact. Something about privacy. Wi many international contacts and many of them flying hither and yonder, you want to make sure you are not bothering them in the middle of the night wherever they are.

    • Rob Nightingale
      April 25, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      I didn't know this. Sounds like another stupid move from Skype...

  9. john
    April 5, 2017 at 4:51 am

    Skype just keeps getting harder and harder to use, especially since Microsoft got it. Its completely not user friendly. Maybe if you use it every day you can know where all the hidden features are. Hope to find a good alternative.

    • Rob Nightingale
      April 25, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      Yea. I think they're gradually improving the UX, but it's WAY behind its alternatives.

  10. Nikky
    April 5, 2017 at 1:52 am

    I'm abandoning skype for the simple reason that it causes my CPU on a brand new, 2 month old computer, to run at 98% consistently. It makes playing even basic games, or watching netflix, with my boyfriend... a very tedious task, considering it lags because it can't process everything, and I end up having to say "What?" 300 times before i get the full sentence without it breaking up. I'm tired of it picking up the faintest background noise and amplifying the volume to 30000%, and the fact that with each "Update" They release it seems to get worse. I've relied on skype for years, and only noticed the problems getting increasingly bad to the point of being unbearable in the past 5 months or so. R.I.P Skype :( still trying to decide on an alternative to go with.

    • Rob Nightingale
      April 25, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      Oh wow, that's strange. I'd check that your PC doesn't have any malware etc, that could be affecting its CPU usage.

  11. Anon
    April 4, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    I concur with Louis, at March 21, 2017 at 1:23 pm. Skype updated itself, locked me out until I created a Microsoft account. Then demanded 24 hours for me to verify the anonymous account, that I have a valid password for was indeed mine. I don't like to put myself out there, I don't want the world to know where I live, what I do, it was merely so my family could contact me.

    looks like WhatsApp is getting my business.

    • Rob Nightingale
      April 25, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      This sounds like a nightmare. That being said, I much prefer Viber to WhatsApp! :)

  12. Yolanda Lindeque-Strauss
    April 3, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I'm only switching because Skype required me to do an update and in the process doesn't work anymore. I have Skype 6.14 and it's forcing me to update to 7.33 but while 7.33 is installing it says that there is an error in uninstalling 7.33 ... I've searched for a solution and tried a few but it's useless. So, I've done something I don't easily do. I've given up.

    • Rob Nightingale
      April 3, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Which alternative did end up choosing?

  13. David
    March 30, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Skype customer service has to be the worst in the world. It is impossible to get a direct answer from anyone. Their help forums send you around in a circle just waiting yours time.
    My wife was locked out of her account and she cannot answer enough of there security questions to allow to be reset by the Skype website- basically " Computer say No"
    I shall abandon Skype and will be persuading my friends, family and business associates to follow suit

    • Rob
      March 31, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      I've experienced the same thing. Nightmare.

  14. Roberto Ghiotto
    March 29, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    The latest version of Skype doesn't work with my version of Windows. So I downloaded an older version. As soon as I connected, this message appeared:
    "You've been disconnected because you're using an old version of Skype. click here to download the latest version".
    Pretty much a "Catch-22" sort of situation

    • Rob
      March 31, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      I don't want to be the one to say it, but... "typical Microsoft".

  15. katesdad
    March 28, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    skype belongs to microshit,,that is the prob.no customer service..

    • Rob
      March 31, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      Fair enough ;)

  16. john disney
    March 26, 2017 at 9:23 am

    the bill gates touch
    a nasty mixture of arrogance, insensitivity, greed, and stupidity

  17. MG
    March 24, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    They are apparently easily hacked.
    I don't use Skype daily, but once every few weeks or months I have a need to make voice call over IP.
    In the last year every time I have attempted to get on I have had to go through the foolishness IDing myself and changing my password sometimes twice in one day or two or three days in a row.
    It is painfully time consuming and often still leaves me with no service of poor service. But just wait till you attempt to close your account. That is an even more painful waste of my time again. Skype and microsoft appear to have absolutely no concern for my needs as a customer and consumer of their products.
    Then when it is all done they say you have succeeded in closing your account it will be closed in 60 days. So it is apparently OK with Microsoft & Skype to let the hackers that have hacked my account have free run of my account for another month or so to consume my balance on account and whatever else they are doing with my account.
    It is infuriating. I have been a PC and therefore microsoft user for more then 20 years, now a Mac user for the last 3 or 4 years. Mac is not perfect, but customer service with microsoft does not exist and I have always gotten a person on the phone with me from Apple even on devices that are 2, 3 and 4 years old. Bye, Bye Skype and microsoft.

    • Rob
      March 31, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Well I hope one of these alternatives helps!

  18. Gail Roberts
    March 23, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    I have just given up with Skype - their customer service is a joke - it's impossible to call them and the chat line is pathetic.
    They used to be good but now that Microsoft have taken over it is just totally hopeless.

    • Rob
      March 31, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Did you try one of these alternatives? What do you think?

  19. Mike
    March 21, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    I am abandoning Skype because it blocks my account for no legitimate reason, claiming that it has detected suspected activity. This is absolutely wrong. I am a professional in Computer Systems Security, and my password conforms to the highest security standards. As I see it, Skype does this only to force their users to give out their mobile phone numbers. So sad that Microsoft has decided to completely ruin this product and their users' trust in it.

    • Rob
      March 31, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      Could it be them getting confused with you using a VPN or something?

  20. Louis
    March 21, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    After wasting a day, I am abandoning Skype as it forces you to link to a Microsoft account, if you have an old skype account, one cannot unlink that from your Microsoft acc(I checked this with support), so you have to create a new Microsoft account, BUT you cannot use just any old email address to create a Microsoft acc, no no, its got to be a generic domain such as Gmail(not a work domain). So then create a email for the sole purpose of creating a MS acc for the sole purpose of creating Skype acc....and if the Gmail insist on a recovery cell then you need aphone as well. Geez MSoft!

    • Rob
      March 31, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      Yep. This is a pretty ridiculous set up...

  21. under
    March 19, 2017 at 11:59 am

    terrible breath/background noise, I have to cut the sound of my gf's screen most of the time, except when she has actually something meaningful to say!!

    • Rob
      March 31, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Which alternative have you found has the best quality?

  22. Virginia
    March 13, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Skype has been making automatic re-dial calls for some time on my cell, and no indication a call is happening unless I'm lucky enough to try to make a second call to different party & get the message 'already on a call'. There seems to be no solution to this from skype forums ... thanks so much for these excellent-sounding options!

  23. parag
    March 12, 2017 at 6:38 am

    skype does not work on windows 10 os.

    • Yolanda Charles
      April 12, 2017 at 5:47 pm

      I have 10 on a Surface 4 and skype works...it just sucks. (See my comments)

  24. Aturo
    March 11, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    skype cannot find api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-0.dll anymore. I installed all and everything, cleaned up even the registry. Nothing helps.
    The old version on an XP laptop is still running fine.
    I can also not use the online skype (MS explorer), because skype stopped detecting the webcam: Black image on my side. The others can see and hear me, I hear them too but cannot see me and not them.
    Had skype re-intsalled many times in the past, nearly any update produced new problems instead of solving problems.
    Skype is not working in Opera anymore.
    Enough

  25. Russirish
    March 11, 2017 at 1:43 am

    I hate to update or upgrade software. I particularly hate to be forced to do it in order to continue using the software, and I particularly hate being forced to do it by Microsoft.
    Microsoft just forced me to install the new version of Skype. I could no longer login to Skype without installing the new Microsoft version. So, sadly, I am now looking to replace Skype.

  26. Jim Henderson
    March 10, 2017 at 7:55 am

    needing a Microsoft account to use the Android app

  27. scabrone
    March 9, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Skype continual forced updates. I was happy with older version but now the new version refuse to work on old hardware. The new owner microshit company force us to buy new computer for using for basic operations like talk on skype.
    Why is necessary to buy an new computer or to install win 10 shit for that ?
    This is usual microsoft bullshit to take our money for nothyng.
    Microsoft is not a company, is a criminal organization.

  28. Misneachail
    March 8, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Freaking nightmare updates that will only work if you have windows 10. Files after files after files missing...just download this link. Oooops, you have another file missing. Spend countless hours scouring for the solution only to realize the option is NOT TO USE SKYPE.

  29. Johnno
    March 7, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Problems with Skype are multiplying .. The common one all along has been call dropouts and poor picture quality, probably from congestion .. Video calls to my partner overseas are precious, so it's frustrating .. but more recently our calls drop out when advertising appears - does that mean they are too tight with band-width? .. Another call dropped when Skype sent an ad for its update - which I had already seen .. and lately the updates won't load properly, and I have to delete the previous version first - but even then I get error messages. Yet another problem is hundreds of junk files that suddenly accumulate whenever I'm on Skype, anything from 40 to 1800, and as fast as I dump them they come back - my cleanup program calls them "privacy problems" (?) .. a new issue lately: when my partner tries to call me, the answer button is not active and I can't answer. I'm over Skype .. it's a dud.

  30. Grumble
    March 6, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Skype for linux no longer does screenshare. Another MS smart upgrade idea.

    Whilst these alternatives seem fine, they lack the ability to scroll / search messages. As a freelance IT person, I often need to search for something discussed in chat 'last week'. None of these offer that. I want to communicate from my desktop (Mobile apps are nice but not suitable for the office or at 3am or when you touchtype or need to screenshare work or swap files)

    20 years ago I had ICQ and others. Somebody made a dashboard that would connect to all your accounts so it was seamless when you were chatting. We need that again.

    I can email anyone - whether you are in a different country or use Outlook or webmail - no difference to me. THAT is what we need in 2017 'messaging'. I want to chat, call, send files and screenshare with ANYONE on any OS using any client they like.

    Surely not rocket surgery.

  31. darrin k long
    March 3, 2017 at 4:02 am

    heres an idea. bring back the old yahoo messenger. where as you could chat with anybody around the world. and for free. that was the best message app on the net. but somebody at yahoo decided to get rid of all the open chat rooms. IDIOT.....................................

  32. Bill Brown
    March 2, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Skype continual forced updates. I was happy with older version. Not so much with the new fangled version.

  33. Paul Loewenthal
    March 2, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Skype does not feel intuitive. Too much hassle. Prefer Google's Duo. Trying to get as many of my friends to use it too.

  34. Greg O'Neill
    March 2, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Skype have now screwed up screen sharing where you can hear each other but when you play a movie or program the other can see the picture and cannot hear it. Also the translator is fine with typing but now has a feature where it talks and gets it wrong and there seem no way to deactivate the voice option without turning the whole thing off, so your typing while on a video call is not understandable. They should not try to fix something that is not broken , which ends out breaking it.

  35. Robert
    February 28, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Whatsapp has an extremely restrictive approach
    You mobile MUST have a data connection, you can ONLY use it on TWO devices (absolute BS) and the other person MUST be in your mobile contacts.

    If the one person i use it for switched to something else I WOULD DROP IT LIKE A WET TURD.

  36. Seat Battle Fan
    February 26, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    I miss the games Skype used to have. Once microsoft got their mittens on it, the games were taken out. My friend overseas and I loved to play Sea Battle (obviously their version of Battleship which had audio and video effects ...so much fun) plus many others. Why does anything microsoft says it will improve just ends up turning the program into garbage. We're STILL trying to find a replacement. So far, any Sea Battle games we've found doesn't have the great audio/video effects. Also we want the program for desktop or at least, web based). Great article, by the way.

    • Rob Nightingale
      February 27, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Luckily, Facebook messenger has some secret games you can play!

      • Sea Battle Fan
        February 28, 2017 at 3:40 am

        God, Rob, you're gonna make me get a Facebook account now, aren't you? HA! I've been avoiding that like the plague (being the privacy/big brother's watching worrier that I am), however, if I look into it and find my game in there, I just may have to bite the bullet (false identity, anyone?). Either way, thanks very much for the suggestion, Rob. I will definitely look into it.

  37. Paul S
    February 25, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Its time to bring others over to the non-skype of your choice! In a couple of weeks, Skyprosoft insists that I agree to the new terms of service - which are TOTALLY unacceptable. The privacy they claim to respect must only apply to my firstborn, because they now claim free access to any information they can get from anywhere and the freedom to use it anyway they want. My software won't be supported.

    No Thank You.

    Unseen.is also has nearly full service. Though some features are free, its pay per year or per lifetime. Great privacy, encrypted, and used by many journalists to get material out of oppressive countries with thorough censorship. Ya don haveta be paranoid to want privacy.

    • Rob Nightingale
      February 27, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Thanks for the info, Paul!

  38. Markus
    February 23, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    I abandoned Skype long time ago but it seems that Skype can't abandon me - Skype is still bundled with Microsoft office as Skype for business and mostly annoying you can't delete your Skype account no matter how hard you try (no delete account option and the customer service can't delete it for you either).

    • Rob Nightingale
      February 27, 2017 at 9:08 am

      Urgh. Damn, that sucks!

  39. AC
    February 23, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Skype is old tech now. it has problems using on ios multiple devices if they are on different ios versions. Some of them ring, some not. The Worst thing is sometimes none of them rings and you get "missed call" message.

    It has messaging and group functions mostly not usable. sit in front of computer and talk days are over.

    I used skype for last 4 years (with paid credit and phone number option) for international calls between EU and Canada (with too much time difference) and I lost too much money because of missed calls. Whoever tells me "let's skype" I say "no".

    • Rob Nightingale
      February 27, 2017 at 9:08 am

      They can't even be bothered putting together a decent way for people to use Skype on Chromebooks!

  40. Vm
    February 23, 2017 at 8:01 am

    The quality of sound and interface that he so many annoying features. I have moved to Viber 2 years ago.

    • Rob Nightingale
      February 27, 2017 at 9:07 am

      Yea, I abandoned Skype a while back, the call quality is just so low.

  41. Dynora Eserin
    February 22, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    all these apps require your contacts share the same app. so for me its Skype for the PC and whatsapp for the phone. Not interested in migrating contacts or getting my friends to install yet another app on their phones.

    • Rob Nightingale
      February 27, 2017 at 9:07 am

      Some of them don't, as mentioned in the article.

  42. X
    February 10, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    i want to toss a few cuss words in the air at Microsoft. Skype has been pestering me about updating, i've been ignoring it. Finally my password stopped working to get into Skype. It's been the same for years. i reset the password and the new password wouldn't work. The update pop ups were popping more. i was still trying to ignore them. This morning i tried the password and it kept rejecting it saying it was wrong. Out of frustration i clicked to update Skype, now my password works.

    i'm an IT pro (20+ years) and have seen issues with updates. i'm not a big fan of constantly updating. i haven't done a system update on my main workstation in over a year. The system couldn't be running better. Numerous times i've had a bad update stop my workflow and require lots of time to troubleshoot the problems that came with an update. So much for working at that point in time, have to fix stuff, WTF. If your work is pressed for time it doubles the frustration.

    i don't like being sculpted by Microsoft. i've used their products for years. Numerous times over the years, Microsoft finally comes out with a new configuration for the OS that i started using years earlier. In other words, Microsoft was lagging on a better way to configure the OS, but i had the option to adjust it for better workflow. With the current trend of Microsoft, they are locking down the OS and preventing us for customizing it for better usage/workflow. They are limiting us to their vision and taking away the options for us to implement our own potentially better ways.

    By 2023, i'm pretty sure i'm moving away from Microsoft. i haven't a thoroughly thought out a plan how, but i'm motivated and experienced enough to do it. i have many clients that come to me for computer needs. Not only am i trying to figure out how i can move myself away from Microsoft, but also a way for every client i have.

    Microsoft, i don't mind paying for OSes and other services, but when the quality of those services are turning to crap and ads, even in pro environments, it becomes time for the world to have a new pro alternative.

  43. Paull R
    February 4, 2017 at 1:57 am

    Couple of comments: Alternative service not mentioned & My reason for dumping Skype.

    Service: Unseen at unseen.is has encrypted voice, email, and other services. Some free. Their major goal is security between users - especially journalists in difficult places. Lifetime membership available. U.S. Company based in Iceland where privacy is honored.

    Microsoft "privacy": I'm looking around because the way microsoft "values your privacy" is by plainly stating and specifically naming every possible bit of information they might be able to find in personal files even on device. None of my businesses or clients will use Skype because it is so insecure. Why did the Swedes have to sell it !!!

    Skype announced I will not be able to use the service unless I upgrade (something they can't seem to do on my Mac for years). Their prices keep climbing and their attempts to plug all possible routes to privacy have finally succeeded. I understand Microsoft's stated aim is to have all their software subscriber based with them in total control of data and upgrading. Often, their patches and upgrades cause failure in programs AND operating systems. Real problem here...

    (okay, so I'm skeptical of power hungry control freaks)

  44. H. Positive
    January 31, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Is there a similar alternative for Skype, named Emo ( Eno)?
    Thanks

  45. DaveB
    December 31, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I've been using Skype almost since the beginning of it. I'd forgotten that MS bought it 5 years ago but it was brought home to me the other day when I wanted to close a MS account (which I never really wanted anyway) and was told by MS that if I closed the account I would lose any Skype credit I had. As it is now poorer quality than it was years ago (dropped calls, noise, a complete disregard for its users (who made it what it is) it's time for a change. Hopefully enough people will stop using it that MS will notice. Although I'm currently using Windows 10 (which in itself isn't too bad if you turn off a lot of stuff) I use Open Office, Firefox, Gmail and none of the MS stuff that can't be uninstalled or disabled. As I don't like Apple (as bad as MS) nor Android I'll buy my next machine without an OS and run Linux. MS, Apple and Android have become far too Big Brother and controlling, it's time for us to revolt, stop being herded like sheep, and try the alternatives.

  46. Econ Dude
    December 31, 2016 at 2:38 am

    Skype became a shit program, need an alternative

  47. Angela
    December 22, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    As predicted, Skype once it was "monetized" has morphed into something not serving a purpose, and there is no way to talk anyone, case in point, I made error in skype info so my account thinks I am a young person, nope, an old fart (67), and am locked out and after 3 hours on chat line back & forth, they could not simply set my account back to what it was few hours prior to the "issue", I than wanted to have a new account but it would not allow entry of an account name and que for password but rather, it used my email!,

    I do not see any options to set up an account as in the past and now, MS is simply pushing MS account along with Skype account, thus, for me, this is not appropriate for many reasons,

    editorial comment:

    seems that if folks did not accept being herded, we could be heard but with billions of dollars involved, not one of us matters to MS so it can do as it pleases, so if MS does care, it will see this message and perhaps give me some option to talk to some human other than some chat person who has scripted messages and is not empowered and is simply doing as he or she is being told to do, monopolisitic businesses such as MS not by design but by the very nature of their business model causes issues for the customer but when the customer is not united, he or she is subject to being treated as MS wishes, and in this case, they simply poop on me and others,

    alterntives to Skype for business:

    alternative for us is GoToMeeting but it is not a messaging platform such as was Skype, Skype today is now part of the monolithic monetization model wherein any and all issues of privacy, customer service , etc. are irrelevant as the money rolls in and thus, that is the ruling force, this is not fault of MS per as once humans are under the control of any one entity, either church, state or business enterprise, the day to day masses lose out, so, in a practical sense, for us, we will simply abandon using Skype as in reality, business do not use it as the ports are rather open, and thus, a portal to the bad guys,

    can you help me out?: angela@amsainc.com

    if anyone has suggestions on how to contact MS Skype folks, let me know, or if you know how to set up an account like in the old days than let me know, office phone is 989 662 0377, I I simply want an account on Skype, nothing to do with MS account or anything else to do with MS, give it a password, and use it for phone calls and conference calling with a few folks

    Angela

  48. shawn
    December 19, 2016 at 4:28 am

    I had bought a smart TV primarily to chat with my relatives on it as big screen and the experience was brilliant, but since Skype(Microsoft just got up one morning and decided to remove it, what a shame) has completely removed itself from smart TV domain, I am looking forward to some other option which I can enjoy Skype again. please help

  49. Jitsi too confusing for basic video users
    November 17, 2016 at 4:21 am

    It's been five years since this article was written, so it's pretty overdue for an update.

    Also, for the average person looking for a Skype alternative due to ongoing B.S. issues, eg, now you have to have an outlook account if you want to setup via email (screw that), Jitsi looks enticing. But, Jesus Christ, what an ordeal trying to find instructions on how to set it up for video calls. For such an advanced bunch of developers, their instructions are sparce at best and overly technical at worst. All I want is a step by step process of what to install and what to configure. No such luck.

  50. 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.

  51. 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

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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!

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

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

    Wire is the best !!!!!!

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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. :(

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

  64. 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

  65. 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.

  66. 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!

  67. 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. ?!

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

    Also, you forgot Apple's Facetime.

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

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

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

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

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

  73. 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!!)

  74. 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...

    • helpful person
      February 22, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      Depending on what they would use for the call (iPhone, iPad, android, PC, Mac, etc.) you could use tox! It is completely free for both ends, no strings attached. Video calling currently only works on iOS devices (iPhone and iPad) and Windows. If this meets your needs, you can download it at tox.chat (be sure to download the right one for your device.)

  75. 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.

  76. 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?

  77. 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

  78. 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?

  79. 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?

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. 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! :)

  83. 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

  84. 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.

  85. 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

  86. 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?

  87. 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.

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

    Nice alternativees. Thanks for sharing

  89. 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.

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

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

  91. 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.

  92. 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

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

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

  94. 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.

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

    Thanks for this I will be conferencing on hangouts later!

  96. 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.

  97. 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.

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

    Fring too is good for mobile phones.

  99. 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 !

  100. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. 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........

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

    nimbuzz also is great

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

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

  105. 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.

  106. 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!

  107. 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!

  108. 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.

  109. 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.

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

    Not sure how you missed Tango and Talkatone.

    • Rob Nightingale
      February 27, 2017 at 9:06 am

      There are other options, but these are the ones I found to be the best alternatives :)