We couldn’t help but wonder about why someone would search for the best Skype alternatives. For a start, there’s always the fear of server-sided interruptions when you’re in the middle of an important conversation or maybe you’re one of those users who prefer exploring new options whenever possible. Well, regardless of your reasons, the applications that we’re about to mention wrap in both, VoIP services as well as video chat capabilities, whilst some of them offer either one.
To kick things off, Google Talk is the first to feature on our list of Skype alternatives. Simple and lightweight as it is, the application holds an intuitive design through which you can send IMs to friends with a Gmail ID. What’s more, it also sports VoIP PC-to-PC calling capabilities so you can call someone or even a group for free. Also, if you feel like ringing a landline or mobile phone, the Google Voice service allows you to buzz your friends and family in the U.S. as well as Canada for free or other locations at low costs. Besides the Windows OS, Google Talk is available on various mobile platforms.
2. Google+ Hangouts –
Hangouts first made its debut on Google’s social networking website Google+. However, the service can also be used through various other Google services such as Gmail, iGoogle and Orkut. You can chat with multiple friends at the same time, watch YouTube videos together in real-time or start a group discussion.
According to the company, Hangouts is capable of delivering high-quality audio and video streams. To use this service, you won’t need to download any application, though a browser plug-in is necessary. Google+ Hangouts is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux OS.
3. ooVoo –
Next on our list of Skype alternatives is capable of providing decent video and audio quality over a standard broadband connection, ooVoo is a free-to-use webcam chat application that lets you conveniently stay connected with friends as well as family. For video calling, all you’ll need is a headset with a microphone or a set of speakers. Additionally, if you’re on a PC or laptop that doesn’t come equipped with a webcam, the application still allows you to communicate with others through voice. With this software, you can also share files of up to 5MB. Since the basic subscription is free, in-app advertising is sure to be present. But, you can always shove them out with a premium plan that brings in various other features. ooVoo is also available for mobile devices on the Apple App Store as well as the Android Market and works over 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, LTE or WiMAX networks.
4. FaceFlow –
Next to ride on our Skype alternative bandwagon is a free video calling service named FaceFlow. Unlike most others that require a downloadable client to function, FaceFlow is purely web-based. To kick-off video chat or conference, all you need to do is pop open your browser and navigate to the company’s website. You can also initiate a session by simply sending a video link to friends. Besides allowing you to communicate with others face-to-face, it lets you share as well as watch online videos simultaneously during a conversation. There’s an IM feature in its offerings too, that’s if video chat isn’t on your mind.
5. Vbuzzer –
Similar to the other application we’ve mentioned, Vbuzzer Messenger is a simple and intuitive tool through which you can send IMs to friends on Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ as well. Most services like instant messaging and PC-to-PC calling are free. If you want to call landlines or mobile phones, the company also provides low-cost PC-to-phone call services in the U.S. and Canada.
6. TuiTalk –
Since TuiTalk allows you to make free international phone calls around the world, it has earned a spot on the listing. Additionally, the person on the receiving end doesn’t necessarily have to be on a computer as the application lets you contact landlines and even mobile phones. Stretching over 40 countries, the software provides you with three free calls on a daily basis. However, you may need to watch an advertisement or two before you can start a conversation. So, the process is simple, download the application on your PC or mobile phone, dial the # key to view an ad and finally make your free call.
7. FaceTime –
Although FaceTime was originally released for iDevices, it’s availability on the Mac OS has hooked it onto the our Skype alternatives lineup. With the application, you can make video calls to an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or to others on the Mac OS. And all you’ll need is your Apple ID to get connected.
For added convenience, you can contact friends and family straight through your Address Book. Besides these, the software lets you stream in 720p HD quality on Intel-based Macs and converse in full-screen mode. The FaceTime for Mac price reads at $0.99 in the Mac App Store.
Our job here seems to be done, now that we’ve wound up the seven best Skype alternative list. It’s up to you to decide whether these applications deserve a go. Or would you rather stick to Skype? Do let us know.