7 Most Popular Skype Alternatives You Will Love

7 Most Popular Skype Alternatives You Will LoveSkype has revolutionised the way we communicate with friends.

For more than 100 years phone calls have allowed us to hear one another’s voices when far apart, but now Skype has let us see each other face to face from the opposite side of the world.

On top of that’ it’s let us do it completely free.

But Skype isn’t the only software that can do this. If you want to experiment with other software, here are seven of the most popular alternatives.

1. QQ

QQ is made by Chinese company Tencent. It is the most popular messaging software within China and has been rolled out internationally in a number of languages. It offers a full range of features including group calls.

As well as voice and video chat, it offers shopping, games, and blogging. It works on both Windows and Mac OS as well as mobile and tablet platforms. There is also a Linux release, but this is much more limited than other versions.

2. Google Hangouts/Voice/Talk

Google offer stiff competition in all areas, though they have split this between three different packages. However, each package benefits from being specialised and offers functionality often superior to Skype itself, so the three together make a very compelling alternative.

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Google Hangouts covers video chat, which is high-quality and can include a number of participants. Google Voice covers voice chat and Google Talk covers instant messaging.

3. Pidgin

Pidgin is a free, open-source messaging service popular with Linux users. Like most open-source software, it is constantly evolving and benefits from many developers’ input. It can even communicate with Skype users via an optional plugin.

4. Empathy

Empathy is another open-source piece of messaging software popular with Linux users, and comes packaged with the most popular Linux variant Ubuntu.

Unlike Pidgin, however, it is only available on Linux platforms. However, for those who do have a Linux-based OS installed it is definitely worthwhile, as it offers a full range of features and smooth running to easily rival its competitors.

5. ooVoo

ooVoo has much more going for it than an inventive and catchy name. It is a fully-featured video messaging package which allows for conversations between up to 12 people at a time. Video conversations can also be recorded and uploaded directly to Youtube.

6. VSee

VSee is a very unusual video messaging platform. It complies to HIPAA, a US federal law governing medical confidentiality. This means that private medical matters can safely be tackled over VSee. Even setting aside this interesting and rather novel aspect, it is a useful and fully-featured software package.

7. UberConference

UberConference allows for video conference calls with a number of different people at a time. Smooth, high-quality video is joined by a range of useful and interesting features.

One of the more unique aspects is that you can embed social networking profiles within calls, such as Twitter or LinkedIn. Altogether, it is a fully-featured Skype alternative you won’t regret installing.

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Josh Trenser

Josh Trenser is a complete Tech Geek, likes to watch movies and writes a lot about online and offline security measures. Make sure to leave comments below. Here is his official Google + page.

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  • Heather

    I love skype! I love looking at a face when I talk and its so nice to be able to see faces that you havent seen in so long. Interacting in person is much better but these are a close second in my opinion. When you cant see someone in person the next best thing is to see them on a screen. Love this technology.

  • Issac

    Ya know, I had no idea there was so many different video chatting options. I am so glad I found this post. I thought there was only skyp, well I knew about google but wasnt sure if it was the same. Its so nice to see who your talking to especially during business communications

    • Sue

      I also had no idea there were so many options, especially with the way people seem to be clinging to Skype almost exclusively. I don’t know what Skype has going for it so solidly to make it still lead the market in spite of such promising competition.

  • Julian

    Any of these would be a great tool to use for business. I use a couple of them for business use and it saves so much time and I can have a business conference with several people and see all of them too instead of wondering who is speaking now, I know who is speaking and can put a face to the name

  • Kelly

    These take the wonder out of a conversation too. I like the fact that I can see the people in live time and see reactions on their faces to questions or answers or even happiness or possible sadness. It makes it more personal and I really can connect with people. It really is a great tool to stay connected with my family.

  • Landon

    These are among some of the best tools for business. I know there are tons of tools out their to use for business online but these are a must have and any one of them would work for what ever needs you have. I know they work for my needs and will continue to use them everyday unless of course time travel is invented. Seriously, very useful and very recommended!!

  • http://draumstafur.deviantart.com/ nodeer

    Very nice list, it’s the first time I’ve heard of some of these!

    To be honest, i always found skype to be the most convenient, but google talks comes in par with it. i have a few art classes i take with google talks, and i think that people are starting to use it much more than skype in business situations.

    From what I know, pidgin also offers the possibility to talk to people in other platforms, like AIM, Yahoo Messenger, and the like, right?

    • Mark

      I haven’t really thought of using Google Talks to take classes, but it sounds like a very interesting idea. How did you find out about it? How would anyone be able to see a list of classes available?

      • http://draumstafur.deviantart.com/ nodeer

        I don’t know if you can actually find the classes out unless you’re in those particular communities or forums. People at the Sycra forums did that a while back, for art studying , and I also saw a few threads on the Deviantart forums with people offering them to people.

  • Dina Valerio

    I’ve always been a Skype person, but that’s just because I didn’t know about all of these other options.

    UberConference actually seems like it might be a better alternative for multi-person conference calls. The Pro version sounds awesome. It allows you to have up to 100 people on the call, you can record all calls as an MP3 and you can see everybody who was on your call – down to their social media data.

    For $10 a month I’d say that’s a pretty sweet deal. I’ve got a project I’m going to test it on next week. I’ll report back with the results.

    • Joel

      I have the Pro account at UberConference. I actually use it as an alternative to GoTo Meeting, which is out of my budget right now.

      If you’re going to have smaller groups then UberConference is a great choice. The file sharing option is really good if you want to do a visual presentation. You just have to make sure your files are on Evernote or Box. That was probably the only complaint I had. I think the basic account is free so definitely try it.

  • LailaS

    Apparently ooVoo is very popular among the tween girls – at least in my house. My daughter gets on ooVoo with 7-9 of her friends every weekend. The highlight of the call involves them making funny faces at each other!

    As far as service, it actually works pretty well. There’s an app you can download onto your smartphone (my daughter has an Android device) so you can use ooVoo while you’re out and about. And even with a bunch of people on the line, I don’t think they’ve ever had any problems with lag. As an alternative to Skype, I’d say it’s pretty good.

  • Jon Pierre

    QQ looks like it would be good for a younger crowd, as you can have casual chats with other QQ users who are in your immediate area. Apparently it’s the most popular chat community in internet history, which is a piece of trivia I didn’t know. :-)

    But even more interesting, the chat app has a built in translator. So if you’re in America chatting with a Japanese friend, you’ll both be able to understand each other. I’ve never seen anything like this, but I’m glad I found it. You never know when a tool like this will come in handy.

    Thanks for compiling this list! It’s very helpful.

  • Lesley

    When I’m choosing an app like this, I always ask myself, “Would my mother have a problem using this?” Because you never know who’s going to be on the other end of the call, you should always choose the easiest to use option.

    With that in mind, I think the best choice outside of Skype is Google Hangouts. I chose it because it’s a trusted name (so even newcomers feel comfortable using it) and most people have at least one Google account.

    Programs like Vsee and Pidgin have clearly defined audiences. But Google Hangouts is a good choice if you’re targeted a general audience.

  • luna

    i can’t wait to use QQ! apparently it has some nice features, like chatting with people in your area, so i’ll be able to make new friends. i always find myself bored in my downtime, and needing to socialise, and i think this feature of QQ is exactly what i need :3

    • Stephanie

      QQ does sound like fun, doesn’t it? I’m surprised it didn’t come over to the US sooner. With so much business being done internationally and so many people traveling, wouldn’t it make sense for us to all use the same communication methods?

  • james

    Tried Pidgin, looks like a nice little alternative to skype :P Now I can talk to people in more social networks at once and not open a thousand programs.

    i use ooVoo for conferences with my team and I’m very happy with it, it’s neatly organized in that aspect..

  • jake

    idk, i think skype still stays my first love. it’s got everything i need – sure, pidgin is nice, but i don’t rlly need it as all my friends are on skype & not on other programs.

    my sister & her friends use ooVoo tho, she even has an app on her computer. she prefers it over skype, as all of her friends now think it’s dated and ooVoo is the new thing and stuff like that.

  • jessica

    After reading this blog post, I installed UberConference and I have to say I’m very satisfied with the result! Me and my friends got together on it’s good good audio and video quality! I also used QQ a while back, but most of the crowd I hang out with stopped using it :'(.

    I guess that no matter how many alternatives you use, you still need people to talk with on them. And Skype is still at my top in that regard.

  • clark

    I use Google Hangouts in business and I have to say this is this one is the one I’m most satisfied with, and it’s also very trusted by my customers. Your list is very nice tho, I’m sure people who need it will find some great alternatives to skype, or even GH!

  • Shelby

    I have come to dislike Skype and was looking for an alternative. I found this list very useful and will definitely share it with my friends who are also fed up with Skype.

  • Lacey

    I had no idea they had alternatives to Skype. Thanks for the list!

  • rva524

    Thanks for this great piece. I have been searching for an alternative to my expensive online meeting service, Go To Meeting. Its quite expensive and because my work doesn’t pay for it, it is literally money out of my pocket. After reading this article, I went to my Google account and gave it a try and damn, you are right! The name doesn’t really let people know what it does. I mean, I have seen the Google Hangouts on my Google Plus, but there are so many Google things on there that I sort of just overlooked it I guess. Anyway, thanks for saving me about $40/month!

  • Google fan

    Nice list. I haven’t really used Skype much in my time, haven’t really felt interested in it. I have used Hangouts a lot though, and I like that more. It’s just I think a really promising aspect from google that I love. The ability to get your friends in a hangout and just converse face to face is quite cool. I’m not sure if you can do that with Skype, but I’ll still stick to Google hangouts. :)

    • Phil

      Is Hangouts the new Google Voice? Because if so, I’ve been using it forever, lol. If not, then I’m still just using Voice. I haven’t really had the need to do much that Google couldn’t do already. I like having all of my correspondence together in one account.

  • Sad Robot

    I’m not the biggest fan of Skype to be honest, especially ever since they were bought out by Microsoft. Eh, I cannot stand Microsoft anymore. Anyways I’ve played around with a couple of these, I didn’t know pigdin allowed for the use of Skype, but does it allow for a webcam to work through it? If so I might just grab that instead.

  • Oren

    Empathy sounds really interesting, sad to see it’s not on windows as well. ooVoo sounds like an interesting one though, I might check that at soon. I haven’t done much with video chat before so it’s something I’d like to do with family & friends.

  • David

    Google Hangouts and talk is my favorite alternative to Skype. I like skype too, and use it as well since many of my good friends use it, I also have friends who prefer google over it so I talk to them through it. It’s a nice service and I think it’s one of the best around. It’s like Google can do no wrong.

  • Xavier

    I’ve been a Gmail user since the beginning, so Voice is pretty convenient for me since I’m always in my gmail anyway. I have Skype too, just because a few of my clients *refuse* to leave it, and so far I’ve found google voice to be much more capable.

  • Allan roger

    Hey, another very good alternative is GoMeetNow web conferencing tool. Check it out. It provides HD VOIP Audio Conferencing.