What’s wrong with Skype?
Honestly, nothing! Skype still has an impeccable reputation, being regularly updated by Microsoft, and has more than 300 million monthly active users. Its history started in 2003 and since then the app has been holding firm. In October 2021, its team announced a huge update to make the service faster, more reliable, and, as its official website claims, “super modern-looking”. So currently, Skype offers the following features:
Audio and video calls with up to 100 participants
Hosting video and audio conferences is easy with other Skype users. Just one click - and you’re a participant of a virtual meeting, There’s no need to sign in or download the Skype app. Moreover, during each call, the participants can record it, enable live captions and talk in a smart chat. This all makes Skype convenient for holding interviews, everyday meetups with your team, or large conferences with a whole department.
Major con: talking to another Skype user is free but if you want to call a non-Skype user, a per-minute fee will be charged.
Easy and quick access
The whole process of joining a call takes only three steps:
- Generate a meeting link.
- Share it with anyone.
- Join a call through the link.
The Skype app is available on all modern devices, so the link will work even if a user is not signed in.
Major con: if you don’t want to install the Skype app, you can use its web version, but it has limited functionality.
Tools for engaging communication
Skype users can enjoy top-quality video meetings and use many other features for online collaboration: voice messaging, screen sharing, background blurring, cloud storage for meeting recordings.
Major cons: recordings are available for 30 days only; the number of meeting participants is strongly limited.
Taking into account all the above-mentioned, it may seem that Skype is a perfect option for organizing online business events. And it’s true.
The reason why you may want to replace it with another app is that Skype might not be a perfect match for your business. After all, every company has different needs, structures, and opportunities.
The hardest part is to choose the right video conferencing software. That’s why you’re here. We’ve compiled a list of the six best alternatives to Skype and are ready to share our recommendations with you.
5 top alternatives to Skype for a business
Whoosh - the newest and greatest among video chat apps
Have you heard of Whoosh? If not, it’s not surprising! This app is quite new to the market of video conferencing software and has some unique features to boast of.
The developers of the service claim that they are going to change the whole attitude to remote communication and virtual events. How?
The global pandemic led to a decrease in face-to-face communication and increased the number of remote workplaces. These days many employees feel the lack of in-person collaboration - friendly talks with their friends, coworkers, even briefings with superiors, being obliged to take part in them virtually. But the actual problem is even more serious. It is called “Zoom fatigue” - a feeling of being exhausted and lacking energy after a day of virtual meetings. Researchers from the University of Arizona, suggest the camera may be partially to blame.
Whoosh is going to fix this issue with its improved camera. Almost every lens suffers from some degree of optical distortion, but not theirs. The platform is fully AI-powered which helps to improve the overall quality of video calls, enhance users’ natural look, and help them to fight “a video call fatigue”.
Its other leading-edge features:
Full-HD video calls with superb audio quality
Whoosh guarantees high-quality sound during every online conference thanks to the features of audio split and background noise reduction. Furthermore, the video quality is Full-HD, so calls with Whoosh are almost as good as face-to-face gatherings.
You can hardly find a person who will be surprised when hearing about AI-powered applications. But Whoosh adds some exclusive tools that are not used by other platforms. When taking part in online meetings, you can use AI to control everything with gestures, see what other participants feel in the moment of speech, and apply beautification tools to enhance your look. What is more, AI is capable of recording a meeting and creating a short mashup of all the important information shared during it.
When you record a meeting, it’s saved to the cloud storage for further watching or sharing with other people, who were absent.
Another problem the service wants to solve is the video call background. With Whoosh, users don’t have to clean up for every meeting anymore. The app offers dozens of 3D immersive backgrounds to use instead of your real backdrop: comfortable in-house workplace, stylish office, picturesque nature views, or minimalistic patterns.
Every team needs to cooperate and keep friendly and close relationships to work efficiently and productively even while staying far away from each other. That’s why Whoosh includes different kinds of team-building activities: mini-games, live chat, and quizzes. Moreover, there are several helpful tools to make an online experience more interactive: virtual whiteboard, rooms dividing and merging, and “weatherman-style” layouts.
Upscale web security
Whoosh uses only proven global internet security certifications to ensure the safety of online communication: ISMS, ISO, PIMS, SOC, CSA. It includes all kinds of security tools: room lock, host controls, end-to-end encryption.
The app is available on all modern devices: Android and iPhone smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.
Slack is a well-known corporate platform for businesses of all sizes. Started as a chat tool, Slack offers a great number of features for instant messaging in groups and one-on-one chats. The app offers a corporate space for cooperation within the whole company, creating public and private channels to communicate individually or in groups. You can send a text instantly or schedule it for later, connect to other business platforms, search through the message history, and even talk to yourself or a chatbot.
The main downside of Slack in comparison with video chatting on Skype is that it allows only one-on-one video and voice calls at the free level, and up to 15 participants at the highest-paid level. So if your company often arranges video conference calls with a larger audience, you’d better look for another, more powerful service in addition to Slack.
Its key features:
Slack text chat offers many opportunities for messaging, including mentions, reactions, and custom emojis. Participants can drag and drop any files, send video messages, share a screen, and draw on it. Moreover, everyone can easily create their own channel (private or public), give it a name, invite other team members, discuss future plans, generate ideas, and work on projects.
A broad range of integrations
Slack lets you work more productively, allowing integrations of more than 2,400 industry-leading software and custom apps right into the app. Bearing in mind the fact that a typical worker switches between various apps more than 1,000 times a day, imagine how much time you could save.
This feature allows a company to work with people outside of it - partners, customers, and vendors - moving out of long threads of emails and endless phone calls. This feature helps close deals faster, easily book meetings, and share documentation. It simplifies routine tasks, strengthens relationships with clients, provides quicker and more effective customer support, and reduces the number of email phishing and spam attacks.
Voice and video calls
It’s a must-have of any modern platform for remote communication. Slack is not an exception. Unfortunately, in comparison with other alternatives to Skype, Slack loses some points on this feature. When calling with this app, you’re allowed to invite only up to 15 participants.
Professional web security
Slack meets all the requirements of modern web security. It includes a single sign-on, domain claiming, end-to-end encryption, Slack Enterprise Key Management, audit logs, integrations with top DLP providers, global retention policies, custom terms of service, and support for eDiscovery. It also protects a company’s data by compliance with the global security certification.
If you’re looking for the most popular Skype replacement, it’s Zoom. It has been with us since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and has the reputation for being reliable and convenient video conferencing software. Many recognized companies state that Zoom is the #1 service for video communication. Let’s look at what is so special about it:
Online video and audio calling features
Zoom offers a wide range of tools for enhancing virtual communication experience, including HD video and audio, customizable backgrounds, meetings recordings, Touch Up My Appearance.
During an online event, all participants are free to use advanced features to collaborate more efficiently: instant messaging in a live chat, file sharing, group chats, and search. Moreover, there are some special types of rooms - waiting (for participants to wait for a meeting to start) and personal (reserved for particular people who can easily join a conference having a permanent meeting ID). Meetings can be scheduled, and participants can receive reminders on the mobile app.
Integrated third-party apps
Zoom is open to integrations with other services and platforms, the whole list you may find on Zoom App Marketplace. There are thousands of available options, including the most popular: Asana, Google Workplace, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zapier, Dropbox, Gong, and many others.
Advanced web protection
Although this platform faced some issues with security, now it can boast of professional web protection tools, including Advanced Encryption Standard, TLS, privacy policies and controls, personal meeting IDs, meeting lock, waiting rooms, host controls (participants, screen sharing).
Despite having a wide range of modern and useful features, Zoom has its own drawbacks. If you’re looking for free video calling software like Skype, Zoom won’t be a perfect solution. Its free plan allows hosting only 40-minute HD meetings that may be irritating during important events.
Webex is among the best Skype alternatives for business, available on any device from a PC to a smartphone. Like other similar platforms, it offers a wide range of corporate video conference tools, allowing employees from different parts of the world to work together on tasks and projects and keep in touch with other team members. It’s suitable for organizing training sessions, providing customer support, hosting everyday briefings with teams. The whole set of features depends on your company’s size and the subscription plan you choose.
Its key features:
High-quality video conferencing
Webex boasts of a cloud-based calling system that keeps its users connected from anywhere. Along with high-resolution video conferencing, the app offers outstanding audio quality with noise removal, automatic transcription, and speech enhancement. What is more, each user is provided with a business number that rings on any device, leaving no chance to miss a call.
Webex is a perfect Skype alternative for all modern devices: desktops, iOS, Mac, and Android.
Screen and file sharing
The service offers a useful tool that allows sharing your screen, screenshots, files, photos, videos, GIFs. The host is able to set the file-sharing permissions and can assign this control to any attendee.
With AI, each online event becomes more interactive and intelligent. Webex offers the following AI tools: gesture recognition, instant translation, facial recognition, closed captioning, and transcription. You can also use the aid of a smart assistant that helps to control meetings with voice commands and perform a keyword search on meeting recordings.
What differs Webex from other similar apps is that a user’s security is turned on by default and includes: data protection, password access, secure meeting IDs, end-to-end encryption, user facial authentication, eDiscovery.
Microsoft Teams is an upgraded version of Skype for Business. It’s a chat-based workspace in Microsoft 365, mostly concentrated on the business needs of its users. Most of its features were inherited from Skype, yet, there are some upgrades and new features, have a look:
Audio and video calls with screen sharing
Users can host large events inviting up to 10,000 participants with a paid plan and up to 100 people for free. This number is enough to organize HD company-wide meetings, training sessions, workshops, and everyday check-ins.
The main window of the app includes several channels, representing conversations between team members. Other tools available in chats are invitations to other channels with @, replies, file sharing.
Direct access to Skype, Office 365, OneDrive, and other Microsoft services
This feature is quite useful for active users of Microsoft products, enabling users to access their files and documents without switching between apps.
Compatible with any device
Teams has both web and mobile versions available on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.
The service is highly secured with proven security certifications. All personal data are additionally protected by two-factor authentication and encrypted in transit and at rest.
Should I avoid Skype?
We wouldn’t say so. Skype remains a reliable and effective service for remote communication and work. It’s only up to you whether to look for its alternatives or not. But if you start asking yourself “Is there another program like Skype?”, this means that you want to substitute it with another app, more advanced, with modern features that correspond to the modern business environment.
Now you have a list of amazing platforms, created specifically for companies with remote teams who want to keep them connected even being far away from each other. Chances are that one of them will complement your business perfectly.