A lot of people may think of it as a comparison guide, but it is not. The purpose of this article is just to make sure that the best Skype alternatives for PC/Windows, Mac, Android, iOS are talked about in detail with their features highlighted.
With Microsoft putting little efforts to improve and simplify your Skype experience, other companies will take note of these shortcomings and start to introduce better features on their own programs.
10 Best Skype Alternatives For Making Free Calls
If you’re fed up of using Skype, then we have some of the best Skype alternatives lined up for you. These apps provide a combination of voice, video and messaging-related communications between business associates, friends and families so if you have an active internet connection or carrier data enabled, you will always be connected to them. We tried to cover the popular Skype replacements to make free internationals online.
1. WhatsApp – Best For Making Free Calls
Hands down one of the best internet-based messaging applications out there, WhatsApp has cemented its position as a worthy Skype alternative even before Facebook managed to acquire it for quite a hefty sum. Before you’d get the amazing features of voice and video calls, WhatsApp only functioned as a standalone messaging application which also allowed users to send multimedia in the form of images, videos, GIFs and more. If you’re looking for the best media players for Windows, click on the link.
Now with voice and video messaging added, you’re free to maintain different forms of communication with your loved ones and form countless groups with them from time to time. It also has a desktop application that syncs your smartphone and brings up messages via your handset.
Still, there are plenty of downsides to using the application. First, you will always need a functional phone number to register yourself to the WhatsApp database and there’s also a size limit of the videos you can send to groups or a single recipient. Regardless, there is very little to complain about and once you start using WhatsApp, you will find that it is indeed a ‘one in a million’ application.
- Available for all operating systems such as Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Windows Phone
- Send a variety of media to your friends and loved ones
- Engage and voice and video calls seamlessly
- Sync all information from your smartphone to your desktop application
- Limited video file sizes to be sent to other users
- You cannot use the desktop app separately; it needs to be synced to your smartphone via Wi-Fi or else messages will not show up
- Phone number is mandatory to start using the app, which can cause convenience for some users
2. Facebook Messenger – Best Alternative to Skype
Facebook isn’t saying quits to its own Facebook Messenger and in some ways, this app is better than WhatsApp and a far better Alternative to Skype. For one thing, you only need to sign in using your Facebook account but you can use your phone number to sync contacts for easy integration.
There are also lots of emojis and stickers to choose from if you need to express your feelings to a member of your friends list. To provide more flexibility to users when they’re engaged in maintaining communication, voice and video calls are also present for that. You can also form lots of groups if you want to send messages to several people and save time at the same instances. Before you wonder, yes you will be able to send a variety of GIFs to the other person.
Unfortunately, nothing is perfect in this world so don’t expect a dedicated desktop application for Facebook Messenger anytime soon as you will have to rely on the web client which isn’t so bad if you’re used to jumping around a few hurdles here and there.
- Wide-range compatibility as it belongs to the most popular social network
- Huge lists of emoji and stickers that can be sent to recipients
- GIFs can be sent across multiple groups
- Chat sharing option allows for effortless backtracking when looking for something specific in the conversation
- Sharing boatload of content is very easy using Facebook Messenger
- You need to install the app separately, installing the Facebook app will not be sufficient to start voice or video calls
- No dedicated desktop application present
- Cripples image quality when sending to recipients
- Limited sized video files can be sent thus constraining options
One of the top Skype substitute Viber behaves in the same manner as WhatsApp does and it all boils down to a personal preference when using Viber. It boasts the same characteristics and features belonging to WhatsApp, including the occasionally irritating process of having to register yourself through a phone number. However, the one thing you will love about this application is that there is actually a dedicated application for desktops and it requires that you sign in using your phone number.
However, the one thing you will love about this application is that there is actually a dedicated application for desktops and it requires that you sign in using your phone number.
With this approach, you will not be tethered to your smartphone for syncing purposes and all the data that was previously shared between family, friends or acquaintances will be relayed on the desktop application without any fuss. We still wonder when WhatsApp is going to roll out its own standalone desktop app that will sign in users using a phone number.
- Available for all operating systems ranging from as Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Windows Phone
- The dedicated desktop application will use your phone number to sign you in, so you will not need your device for syncing purposes
- Limited video file sizes can only be sent to others
- Phone number is necessary if you want to start using this app
4. Google Hangouts
If you’re not fond of the aforementioned applications, the next best Skype alternative is undoubtedly Google Hangouts. You can sign up for absolutely no charge and all you will need to do when signing up is use your Gmail account for syncing purposes. Though you will still need to use the web client when you’re using your PC or Mac machine, it is readily available for Android and iOS in app form.
You can send a variety of media using Google Hangouts including GIFs and videos but most importantly, your data is going to be synced across devices no matter which phone you sign into or which location you happen to position yourself in.
- Chat over text, video or VoIP calls are absolutely free
- Group chat with up to 150 members
- Video call with up to 10 members
- Start using it after signing in from your Gmail or Google account
- No need to install third-party app like Skype requires
- Ability to share GIFs and videos makes using Hangouts even better
- Keeps chat and data synced with all devices and that too in real time
- Lack of app popularity might not make it a suitable choice
- Different people might be using different apps and might not be using Google Hangouts
- You will still need to use the web client when you’re using a PC or a Mac
An app that is more or less in direct competition with Skype offers a lot in return for just a rival. With multiple operating systems providing support for this app, there is no wonder why it has managed to accumulate around 150 million downloads. Yet somehow, its popularity is pale in comparison to others, but if you still love using it, we obviously have to recommend you to stay put with your decision.
- Multi-platform support for PC, Mac, Android, iOS and Windows Phone
- 1-on-1 high-quality video calls is something users will love when it comes to clarity
- Group video chat up to 12 people is possible
- Highly secure to prevent unauthorized intrusion
- You can watch YouTube videos with your friends while you chat with them
- Dedicated desktop application
- Though it has around 150 million downloads, other apps have exceeded it when it comes to popularity
6. Amazon Chime
Amazon Chime is a great resource for when you want a multipurpose video calling service which is also available for a variety of operating systems. Unfortunately, because it is geared towards businesses rather than your average joes, not to mention requiring a payment after a 30-day trial period, most users will want to look for something else.
Still, if you do not mind paying for this service if you’re a business owner then you will be happy to know that Amazon Chime is going to be your number one preference.
- Available for all major operating systems such as Windows, macOS, iOS and Android
- Features a web client for immediate communication
- It will sync all information with your devices in real-time, allowing you to switch between devices easily
- Content is protected using a 256-bit encryption
- Up to 16 people on desktops and up to 8 people using mobile devices can use the service
- Chat history can be searched effortlessly
- Sharing files is as simple as it gets
- Free trial period will only last for 30 days
- Program is geared towards businesses and not casual users
For those that do not own an iPad or iPhone will probably not bother reading this but FaceTime is one of the reasons why Apple’s mobile lineup has become so popular over the years. Similar to WhatsApp, you can use your phone number to register yourself with the application and start to send text messages, and engage in voice calls with the other person.
Unfortunately, Apple has kept FaceTime exclusive to its iPhone and iPad lineup, although you can still use this app with macOS only if your iPhone or iPad is paired with the desktop platform. Also, it does not look like Apple is going to be porting FaceTime to different operating systems in the foreseeable future so if you’re looking for a Skype alternative for Android or Windows, there are other options to choose from.
- Available in more than 20 languages
- Send messages while you are video calling with the other person
- Receive messages instantly
- Only available for iOS and Mac platforms
- Does not support group conferences
GoToMeeting sure does not sound like an encouraging name for something that will help to do voice and video chatting with others but you’ll definitely change your impression once you start using it. In addition to multi-platform support, it has been rated by critics as the best possible video conferencing service available, if not for one gripe. You can use the service for a one-month free trial but that is all you’re getting.
- Up to 25 members are able to join for seamless video conferencing
- High-quality video and audio output
- Supports a variety of platforms such as Mac, Windows PC, iOS and Android devices
- Presents single click screen sharing, or a simple keyboard or mouse control sharing
- Trial period is free, but after it expires you will have to start paying for the service
- Paid plans start from a whopping $49/month
If you can get around the ‘only iOS’ app support, then you will find that Talky is a very sophisticated Skype alternative that will provide you with voice and video calls on the go. In case you’re not comfortable using it, there are several different choices available.
- Password-protected chat rooms
- Group video chat capability up to 15 people
- Creating a chat room is extremely simple as you only have to type in a URL to begin
- No app support beyond iOS
- Web client is only available
IMO is accompanied with a very simple-to-use interface and if you can get around to using the ‘Android, iOS-only’ limitation, its clean interface will make you love it indefinitely. The only negative point of this app is the lack of desktop support, otherwise, this one gets a two-thumbs up from us.
- Easy-to-use interface
- High-quality audio and video calls can be initiated
- High-level of security makes it one of the most popular apps on the planet for communication
- Unlimited images and files can be sent over chat
- There is no desktop application available
Microsoft might continue to bring changes to Skype through timely updates, others have managed to scale past the features set of this application and introduce better additions in their own communication programs.
If you want to try out these best free Skype alternatives, tell us which you prefer the most and abandon this app in the future or not.