Chanty

We’ve Tried 6 Skype Alternatives and Here’s Our Honest Team’s Feedback

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OK Skype, you’ve been with us for years.

No matter how old you are, you’ve probably heard of Skype. For many of us, it was the first app we would open every morning when we got to work. But as you know, no app is used forever.

With 2020 well on its way, it seems like it’s finally time for Skype to be replaced with something else – something more reliable, robust and easier to use. Or is it?

When we started building Chanty, our easy-to-use and intuitive team chat app, we had to quite a bit of research. We wanted to analyze our competitors and see what we’re up against and one of the apps we tested was Skype. For each app we tested, we considered its pros and cons from the perspective of a customer, because we wanted to build something better. Skype is just one of the many apps we’ve tried.

Why search for Skype alternatives?

If you’re looking for Skype alternatives on the web, you most likely have one of the following problems:

  • You see too many ads in Skype
  • The app is too slow for you
  • Fake and hacked accounts keep spamming you
  • Your Skype account is hacked
  • You’re confused with the constant design updates

When we look at the trends for people searching for “Skype” in Google, things are not looking so great. However, this app is far from extinction. In fact, Microsoft breathed new life into it by rebranding it into Skype for Business.

Skype for business memeImage source

Our Skype alternatives experiment

Despite Skype being a major player in the video communication market, there are quite a few new video conferencing apps in the market nowadays. In fact, there are so many that it’s difficult to find the right one for your business or organization.

At Chanty, we decided to take a look and see which app is worth your time. Here are the top features that Skype offers at the moment:

  1. One-on-one instant chat
  2. Group instant chat
  3. Audio and video calls
  4. Screen sharing
  5. The ability to call phone numbers (mobile and landline)

Since we have a basis for comparison, let’s take a look at some Skype alternatives that you can consider:

Chanty vs. Skype

Brosix vs. Skype

Brosix vs. Skype

Appear.in vs. Skype

FaceTime vs. Skype

Viber vs. Skype

Chanty vs Skype

Lots of companies use Skype to communicate at work. If you work in a company like that, it’s time to consider a team chat app instead of Skype, because they’re that much better for communicating the workplace.

Chanty is an easy-to-use, capable team chat app made for business applications. It’s a notification center too, which means you’ll be able to get notifications from other apps you use and not just Chanty. This is something that Skype does not have.

How to bring all your notifications into one place?

Your team probably uses more than one app for work. This could be MailChimp, Xero, Salesforce, Zendesk or something else. Chanty lets you stay on top of things because you can get notifications from these apps directly in a specific conversation in Chanty.

Skype alternative

Chanty is designed for team communication

At its core, Chanty is a communication app built for teams. On Skype, everyone can get in touch with you, from your aunt to your childhood friend who added you years ago. On the other hand, Chanty is a close team chat app that is built for you and your colleagues. You won’t get distracted by anyone outside of work who wants to get in touch with you.

Company-wide, private or one-on-one discussions

You can communicate in a variety of ways with Chanty. From one-to-one chats to team messages, you can do it all. That way, you can share things publicly with your entire company, or if necessary, you can go to a private group conversation.

Let’s take a look at the current comparison of Chanty vs. Skype in this table.

Chanty vs Skype

Chanty vs Skype
FeaturesChantySkype
Interface and designSimple and cleanMore complicated and less intuitive
Instant chatYesYes
Audio and video calls with screen sharingYes*Yes
Integrations with third-party softwareYesNo
SearchSearchable messages, files and linksSearchable messages
Message history limitNo limitNo limit
One to one
Public Private conversations
YesOne to ones and group chats
File sharing– Files you share are stored at Chanty cloud and could be easily forwarded to anyone

– Each file receives a unique link

– You can also view images in the chat feed

All kinds of files that you need to download to get a full screen view
SMS, landline and mobile callsNoYes
Task managementYesNo
Supported platformsAndroid, iOS, web, Windows, macOSAndroid, iOS, web, Windows, macOS, Linux
PriceFreemiumIt’s free until you want to send SMS or call mobile/landline numbers.
In-app adsNo adsYes

Chanty vs Skype summary

If you’re looking for a team chat app, choose Chanty. If you need an app for personal communication, choose Skype. The major takeaways from Chanty are:

  You can integrate it with your favorite app and get notifications in your team chat window. Skype doesn’t allow this.

  You can use Chanty for the public (company-wide), private (one, two or more participants) conversations as well as one-on-one chats. With Skype, you can chat one-on-one or in group conversations.

  You can create closed team spaces in Chanty. In Skype, you can get in touch with anyone with an account.

  Chanty has audio and video calls, just like Skype.

  You can’t send SMS messages or make landline calls in Chanty.

  Chanty will never serve you a single ad.

Last but not least, Chanty is constantly evolving. Our goal is to make the best team chat app out there, with only the features that individuals and companies will find useful. We are constantly adding new cool features and we’re excited for what the future brings for us and our users. If you’d like to give Chanty a try, you can sign up today or book a free demo! 😉

Brosix IM vs. Skype

Brosix

Brosix IM is a team communication app with many of the same IM features as Skype- audio and video calls, chat, screen sharing, etc. What makes Brosix different is the focus on internal team communication through private team networks. Brosix also pays particular attention to security, with fully encrypted security channels and a range of administrative features aimed at keeping team communication safe. 

Private Team Networks for Enterprise Customers

Outside of its IM app, Brosix specializes in private team communication networks. These networks are fully administrable. Brosix allows administrators to control which features are accessible to users, which users can join the network, and who can communicate with whom. 

Skype for Business also provides enterprise IM services, although this is set to be phased out in favor of Microsoft Teams in the coming months. 

Security

Both Brosix and Skype use AES 256-bit encryption, one of the strongest algorithms on the market. Customers using Brosix private network have direct control over which users can access the network. Skype’s free public app allows for strangers to reach out and contact users. There are privacy settings for this, but the standard setting allows unknown contacts to send messages and call users.

FeaturesBrosix IMSkype
Instant ChatYesYes
Chat RoomsYes, persistent chat rooms in private team networksAvailable in Skype for business only
Screen SharingYes, screen sharing and remote desktop featuresYes
File TransfersYes, unlimited in size P2P file transferYes, up to 300 MB directly through Skype. Larger files via OneDrive
SMSNoYes, in paid versions
Landline and mobile callsNoYes, in paid versions
Supported PlatformsAndroid, iOS, web, mac, Windows, LinuxAndroid, iOS, web, mac, Windows, Linux
PriceFree IM app. Private networks free for teams up to 3. Starting at $4 per user per month after that.Free IM app. Skype for business starting at $5 per user per month.
In-app adsNoYes

Brosix IM vs. Skype summary

Brosix IM and Skype have many features in common, particularly when Brosix is compared with Skype for Business. The uncertain future of Skype’s enterprise services leave an opening for other competitors however. Brosix IM could fill this role with its focus on private team networks that provide a relatively simple to use features package, much like Skype. 

Google Hangouts vs Skype


Hangouts chat

When it comes to their communication features, these two tools are pretty similar. You can use both to chat, make audio and video calls and call mobile and landline numbers. If you’re interested, we have a detailed comparison of Hangouts vs. Skype for you to check out how the two fare against each other. When it comes to features, this is what the situation looks like:

Google Hangouts vs Skype

Google Hangouts vs Skype
FeaturesGoogle HangoutsSkype
Instant chatUp to 100 peopleDoesn’t specify
Audio and video group callsUp to 10 peopleUp to 25 people
Screen sharingYesYes
Chat extrasMaps, emojis, stickers, and GIFsSmileys, mojis;

Send contacts, location, video messages

File sharingImages only300 MB (larger files could be sent via OneDrive, their cloud storage). Files are available for 30 days on all devices
Supported platformsAndroid, iOS, and the webAndroid, iOS, web, Windows, macOS, Linux
SMSNoYes, paid option
Landline and mobile callsYes, paid optionYes, paid option
PriceIt’s free on your gmail account and $5 for G Suite package with Hangouts included into it.It’s free until you want to send SMS or call mobile/landline numbers.
In-app adsHell noHell to the Yes

Google Hangouts’ unfamiliar interface vs. Skype’s redesign

Hangouts look and feel different – not like a standard chat application. Every chat that you open is a new window, which means that more than 10 open chats at once create mayhem on your screen. Overall, the Hangouts interface leaves much to be desired.

However, the professional photos in the background of the app are very nice. However, you cannot change them on your own.

Skype has changed many design iterations through the years, with the biggest one that happened in 2017. While it was initially met with a lot of negativity, its slightly altered version is alive and well today and we have all gotten used to it.

It seems that Microsoft has a good plan when separating Skype and Skype for business. On the one hand, there is a business-oriented app and on the other, there is the standard Skype, built for the Millennial audience and anyone who wants to communicate with their friends.

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You can’t turn notifications on in Hangouts

There seems to be an issue with notifications in Hangouts. When there’s an incoming call in Hangouts and your computer sound is turned off, chances are that you’re going to miss it. That is, unless your Gmail or Hangouts browser tab is open.

In Skype, video and audio call push notifications pop up right in front of you. On the other hand, Hangouts won’t notify you about an incoming call. However, there is an email in your Gmail inbox that someone’s calling you. Don’t want to miss any calls? Well, better check your emails regularly.

As it turns out, chat notifications don’t work in hangouts either. When I turned the notifications on in the settings, nothing seems to happen.

You can’t attach a .zip file in Hangouts

The app lets you send images only. On the other hand, Skype lets you send all kinds of files of different formats. I tried to send a .zip file but I realized it’s impossible. It’s clear that Google is encouraging its users to rely on Google Drive rather than sending attachments through Hangouts. If you’re used to sending files back and forth, Hangouts might not be the best tool for you.

Hangouts wasn’t designed for text messages. The reasons:

  You can’t take message actions in Hangouts, such as editing, deleting, pinning and forwarding

  You don’t get chat notifications

  Every new chat = new window. It gets confusing with more than 5 people

  You can only send image files

  You can’t search messages, files or links

The integration with Google is great

There is one thing that’s awesome about Hangouts – it plays well with the rest of Google’s offer. Hangouts is integrated with everything in Google’s arsenal, including Gmail. The moment you open your inbox, a Hangouts chat box will be waiting for you. If you spend a lot of time in Gmail, this is pretty convenient.

Video/audio calls and screen sharing work pretty well

The number one reason why people use Hangouts is the video calling feature. We gave it a go and tested both apps to find the winner. Our team video call was just fine in both apps and there were no issues with screen sharing either. Therefore, if video calls are your primary requirement, you can choose either app, they’re equally good.

Google Hangouts vs. Skype – summary

  Video and audio calls and screen sharing work equally well in both apps

  Hangouts isn’t designed for communicating by text and it doesn’t have most of the useful chat features (editing, deleting, pinning, forwarding messages and more)

  File sharing is limited – you can only send images

  You can easily miss calls because notifications are not great

  Combine it with other Google apps and it’s a great tool

  There is no desktop app for Hangouts

  Skype lets you send a larger variety of files

  Landline and mobile calls are cheaper in Hangouts

Appear.in vs. Skype

Appear.in is a simple, easy-to-use tool that is free for up to four people. If you want to have a conference call with up to 12 people, you have to go for a paid plan at $9.99. Moreover, the premium plan also lets you show your screen alongside your video and you can make comments at the same time. Also, you can add branding to your screen by using a custom logo and background.

Appear.in vs Skype

Appear.in vs Skype
FeaturesAppear.inSkype
Video / audio call qualityExcellentExcellent
In-video optionsAugmented reality, stickers and smileysSmileys, mojis;

Send contacts, location, video messages

Screen sharingYes, requires web extension  installationBuilt-in screen sharing option
Text messages optionsSimple chat with no additional optionsCopy, quote, edit, remove
Landline / mobile callsNoYes, paid option
Supported platformsAndroid, iOS, webAndroid, iOS, web, Windows, macOS, Linux
Starting a video call processYou need to sign up, choose a plan, create a meeting roomYou need to sign up and add contacts before starting a video call
Video conference limits4 people in a free plan,

Up to 12 people in a premium plan for $9.99 per month

Up to 25 people
SMSNoYes, paid option
File sharing, search messagesNoYes
In-app adsNoYes

Appear.in won’t let you exchange files, search or edit messages

Appear.in doesn’t let you exchange files and search or edit messages

Appear.in and Skype get compared quite often, so it should be noted that Appear.in isn’t known for its chat functionality. Just like in Hangouts, it doesn’t let you edit, pin, delete or forward your messages. All you have is a simple chat.

What’s more, Appear.in doesn’t support the exchange of any files at all. If you need a powerful team chat app that can send and receive files and work with text, video and audio calls, you may want to consider an alternative such as Chanty team chat.

Have some fun with Appear.in augmented reality

We have to hand it to Appear.in – it has some really cool AR features. We tried out some addons like stickers and frames and they are really neat. Surely, they’re not the most useful thing for communication at work, but hey, they are fun.

Appear.in augmented reality

Appear.in vs. Skype – summary

While using Appear.in, we noticed that video conferences look great. We liked it quite a bit, although we could only test it with four people only. The audio and video quality are great and the AR feature is a lot of fun. It turns out that Appear.in is more of a competitor to Hangouts, rather than Skype. Video communication is the best aspect of the app and chat is more of an afterthought.

Skype is designed for both, on the other hand, and it handles chat, audio and video communication fairly well. So, is there an actual Skype alternative out there?

FaceTime vs Skype

Launched 10 years ago in 2010, FaceTime is one of the most popular communication apps out there. It is primarily focused on Apple devices: MacBooks, iPhones, iPods, iPads and iWatches. Good news for Apple users but it also means that Android users won’t be able to use the app. Also, you cannot use TimeFace on Windows either. Moreover, you cannot make any group calls – only one-on-one calls are available. Moreover, FaceTime doesn’t support instant text chat either – you have to use iMessage for this feature.

FaceTime video call

Let’s take a closer look at FaceTime and Skype features in this table.

FaceTime vs Skype

FaceTime vs Skype
FeaturesFaceTimeSkype
Instant chatNoPowerful chat
Audio and video group callsNo group calls, one on one onlyGroup calls with up to 25 people
Screen sharingNoYes
Chat extrasNoSmileys, mojis;

Send contacts, location, video messages

File sharingNo300 MB (larger files could be sent via OneDrive, their cloud storage). Files are available for 30 days on all devices
Supported platformsiOS, macOSAndroid, iOS, web, macOS, Windows, Linux
SMSNoYes, paid option
Landline and mobile callsNoYes, paid option
PriceFreeIt’s free until you want to send SMS or call mobile/landline numbers.
In-app adsNoYes

FaceTime vs Skype summary

It would be a stretch to call FaceTime a competitor to Skype. The only feature that they have in common is the video calls. Just like all other Apple apps, FaceTime requires iOS and it’s only good for one-on-one calls. All of this doesn’t make it ideal for work.

Viber vs Skype

In terms of features, Viber is the closest thing to Skype. However, there is a major difference between the two apps.

Difference: Viber needs your phone number

The major condition for using Viber is giving it your phone number and access to your smartphone. You cannot sign up for the app at all if you don’t have a working mobile phone number, both for registration and use.

Viber chat window

Businesses that have your phone number will keep sending you spam

You can unsubscribe every time you get a message from a new company, but it will draw your attention away. I’ve received quite a few offers so far and every year, the number of companies using Viber for advertising is growing. The rest of the features are similar to Skype. Let’s take a look at the table.

Viber vs Skype

Viber vs Skype
FeaturesViberSkype
Group chat250 peopleDoesn’t specify
Message actionsCopy, forward, delete for myself, delete for everyone.
You can’t edit messages
Copy, quote, edit, remove
File sharingAll kinds of filesAll kinds of files
SearchBasic search within messages, no files search.More advanced and convenient search functionality
Audio / video callsUp to 20 peopleUp to 25 people
Screen sharingYesYes
In-chat extrasStickers, emoticons, giphy, YouTube, Wikipedia, Guggy, MoviesSmileys, mojis;

Send contacts, location, video messages

Landline / mobile callsYesYes
PricingFree with paid options:
– landline/mobile calls- extra stickers- paid services for businesses
Free with paid options:
– landline/mobile calls- SMS
SMS to a mobile numberNoYes
In-app adsYesYes

Viber vs Skype summary

Skype is more convenient for desktop use than Viber because of several reasons. The search function is better, while the rest of the functionalities are similar. The biggest downside to Viber is that you need a phone number to tie it to Viber. Here are our takeaways with the two apps:

  Both apps let you chat in groups and one on one

  Message actions are similar in Skype and Viber

  Notification settings are more advanced in Skype

  Viber’s interface is in our opinion more friendly

  You can call up to 25 people in Skype – up to 20 people in Viber

  You can add emoticons and text in Skype video calls – not in Viber

  Viber Out is cheaper for mobile and landline calls in the US and landline calls in the UK

  Viber sends you ads and special offers from businesses; Skype sends you in-app banner ads

Skype alternatives summary

We’ve taken a look at 5 Skype alternatives and actually tried using them for a while to communicate with our internal team. We are now ready to share our last word on these apps.

  1. Chanty. If you use Skype for communicating with your team and you need a smarter alternative, Chanty is your app of choice. It’s great as a way to save time, organize your workflow and it plays well with other apps that your team uses at work.
  2. Google Hangouts. If you use Gmail a lot and you need a reliable app for video calls, as well as a way to make cheap landline and mobile calls, this is the app for you. However, it’s not great for instant messages.
  3. Appear.in. If you want to hop on a quick video call, it’s a great choice. When it comes to video communication, this is the easiest and most user-friendly app there is. However, just like Hangouts, forget about instant messaging.
  4. FaceTime. If everyone you know uses Apple devices, this might work well, but for one-on-one communication only. Don’t expect much more, since there are no group calls and text messaging.
  5. Viber. It’s a really fun app with stickers, gifs and emoticons. For personal communication and one-on-one audio and video calls, it’s excellent. Bear in mind that you are tied to your phone number.

Skype is an excellent app. However, it seems like it’s fallen behind some of the apps on this list in terms of features. Despite some of its drawbacks, its ability to set up video conferencing with a large number of people is to be admired. You can use it on a variety of platforms and it has a great chat-functionality on top of audio and video calls.

So, what’s better than Skype?

Since it’s now more of an app for personal use, we strongly suggest using something other than Skype for use as a work application. You’re in luck because we have just what you need to take your team’s communication one step further – you can use Chanty! Text communication, audio and video calls, screen sharing, task management, sending voice messages – these are just some of the many great features that Chanty has in store for your team. Sign up today and see for yourself!

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Olga Mykhoparkina

Olga Mykhoparkina is a Chief Marketing Officer at Chanty – a simple AI-powered team chat. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work.

Having a 9-year experience in digital marketing field, Olga is responsible for Chanty’s online presence strategy, managing an amazing team of marketing experts and getting things done to change the way teams communicate and collaborate. Follow Olga on Twitter @olmykh or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.

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