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Top 10 Alternatives to Skype: Popular VoIP Software Solutions

Category: B2B News
What is the top alternative to Skype?

The top alternative to Skype is RingCentral because of its sophisticated PBX system, which works for businesses of all sizes. Completely cloud-hosted, this platform serves as an all-in-one communication hub that can support calls, video conferences, faxes, and live chat. Plus, it has native apps for both Android and iOS so you can send/receive text messages, faxes and HD calls on the go. Its main advantage over Skype is that RingCentral has more robust VoIP functionalities.

Have you experienced any of Skype’s reported shortcomings? Maybe you’ve encountered glitches in multi-party calling, integration with your existing audio/video set up or poor video call quality. No doubt Skype is one of the most popular VoIP tools, but you actually have a lot of options whether you’re looking for a robust communication tool for your sales or support team. In this guide, we’ve narrowed down the choices.

Communication is essential in any industry, especially if you want to keep up with modern businesses. VoIP software came about as one of the communication tools that happened to companies, rendering expensive PBX systems and landline nearly unnecessary. Today, we have tools like cloud telephony, voice calls, video and web conferencing, instant messaging, live chat, file sharing, and screen sharing, to name some.

While it is more than adequate for personal use, Skype is reported to fall short when it comes to addressing business needs. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 alternatives to Skype that you can consider. You’ll understand their advantages over Skype and vice-versa so you can make an informed decision.

VoIP software systems offer plenty of advantages to businesses. Studies have shown small businesses that use VoIP can reduce their expenses on local calls by up to 40% and on international calls by up to 90%. In addition, VoIP can considerably reduce the startup expenses of a new company. All these positive things are seen to drive the VoIP market, which is expected to reach $204.8 billion by 2020. The VoIP industry’s contribution to the economy is predicted to rise at a rate of 15.3% annually. Plus, there are a billion mobile VoIP users around the world.

VoIP has been known to help businesses save both time and money. Unified communications can assist businesses with 100 employees save up to $920,000 a year in productivity. The increased popularity of VoIP systems has been attributed to myriad benefits that they offer including affordability, mobile capabilities, impact on business productivity and scalability. Switching to VoIP platforms brings the following plus points to businesses:

*CTI refers to computer telephone integration (source: cwsdn.com).

As VoIP systems have become must-have tools for business, it is important you select a good system from the plethora of services out there (not to forget, follow virtual meeting etiquette). Remember that with this system, it will be easier for you to get in touch with customers and can be a great complementary software for your CRM tools. It will also close the distance between you and employees from other office locations make it even faster to share information whether you are in your office or on-the-go.

Skype is a great VoIP platform for many but it might not be the right one for your business. We’ve broadened your options with this list of top 10 alternatives to Skype. But first, let’s get a quick overview of Skype.

What is Skype?

Skype dashboard example

Skype is a web-based communication application that offers instant messaging, international calls, video chat, group chat, group video conferencing, and collaboration features such as file and image sharing. Preferred by freelancers and businesses of all sizes for its simplicity, this service can be used to contact landlines as well as mobile phones at low rates. In addition, you can expect the best service and tools from Skype as it is owned by Microsoft.

Individual users can utilize the free basic service, while companies can choose to pay $2/user/month to avail business functionalities. With the paid package, you get compatibility with MS Office apps, business conferencing for up to 250 participants, integration with popular third-party systems, and top-rated security via robust encryption and authentication measures.

Benefits of Skype

  1. It offers unlimited calls to 63 countries for lower than $15/month.
  2. The app is easy to install and use.
  3. Businesses can use it to encourage collaboration and boost productivity.
  4. You can use it on desktops as well as mobile devices.
  5. It is rated as one of the best and cost-effective providers of VoIP services.

If you think Skype is too basic for your needs, don’t go away. We have also compiled the top 10 alternatives to Skype and essential facts about them to give you more choices.

skype alternatives

1. RingCentral

RingCentral dashboard example

How did RingCentral land a spot on our list of top 10 alternatives to Skype? For one, it is a cloud phone platform that businesses can use for voice communications, online meetings, business conferences, and more. Since the app is cloud-based, companies can save the costs of a conventional communication setup that includes software, hardware, training, maintenance, operators, space, etc.

You can try these functionalities out for yourself if you sign up for RingCentral free trial here.

RingCentral

This award is given to the best product in our phone systems category. It highlights its superior quality and underlines the fact that it's a leader on the market.

RingCentral won our Best Phone System of 2018

Our score
9.7
User satisfaction
99%

With RingCentral, your business teams and employees working from remote locations can transcend geographical limitations. They can utilize mobile applications for iOS and Android to send and receive text messages, faxes, and HD calls, all while getting real-time notifications. These functionalities allow businesses to eliminate physical offices and use virtual cloud-based ones. It is not only your company that can save a lot of money; even your international customers are also able to save up to 30% on teleconferencing and overseas calls expenses.

Why Choose RingCentral Over Skype?

  1. RingCentral is compatible with desktop and mobile devices as well as phone system hardware.
  2. The software offers a more extensive set of advanced VoIP functionalities.
  3. The platform has a fail-safe system in case of lost internet connection.

Why Choose Skype Over RingCentral?

  1. Skype offers plug-and-play installation, making it fast and easy to deploy.
  2. The software has little to no learning curve at all.
  3. The vendor offers basic software for free and offers affordable rates for its business functions.

If you think this platform is too robust for your needs you can check these RingCentral alternatives.

2. 8×8 VoIP Phone Service

8x8 VoIP Phone Service dashboard example

8×8 VoIP Phone Service offers tools such as smartphone integration, internet faxing, web conferencing, and an online dashboard for call management controls. This platform is used by businesses in industries like transportation, construction, finance, insurance, and healthcare as well as companies that have offices in multiple locations. With its simple configuration, you can easily run a virtual office from your mobile device or desktop. Some of its top features include directory assistance, ring groups, hosted PBX, extension dialing, call forwarding, and recording. Other highlights are seamless integration with leading business systems, flexible pricing on a per-user basis, and excellent tech support by knowledgeable professionals for prompt issue resolution. If you wish to scout for other systems, browse these 8×8 VoIP Phone Service alternatives.

Why Choose 8×8 VoIP Phone Service Over Skype?

  1. Unlike Skype, 8×8 VoIP Phone Service is a full-fledged PBX system.
  2. This software has an Automated Attendant feature that lets you route calls.
  3. This platform also supports voicemail.

Why Choose Skype Over 8×8 VoIP Phone Service?

  1. Skype offers more affordable plans, making it ideal for businesses who are on a budget.
  2. This software has a familiar and easily navigable interface compared to 8×8 VoIP Phone Service.
  3. Skype is fully compatible with MS Office tools and can support third-party applications.

3. Slack

Slack dashboard example

Slack is a real-time messaging application that enables you to communicate easily and effectively in one place. The app offers search and archiving tools and can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. It integrates seamlessly with dozens of leading external services. Slack is ideal for team collaborations as it provides external and internal sharing tools that make distributing files as effortless as possible. You can easily search and find the files you need using the advanced search, sorting, and filter options. Mobile users can utilize the native apps for Android and iOS to be productive on the go. A unique feature is read state synchronization which updates your inbox on your computer or laptop when you read a message on your mobile phone. For more good options, browse these Slack alternatives.

Why Choose Slack Over Skype?

  1. Slack can keep conversations on specific projects localized for easier searching.
  2. This software is capable of preserving conversations so you can access them on any device.
  3. The Slack paid plans offer more extensive feature sets.

Why Choose Skype Over Slack?

  1. Skype has tight integrations with MS Office products.
  2. The vendor offers flexible pricing plans depending on the communications features you need.
  3. The platform provides a wide array of security tools to keep your conversations safe.

4. Mitel Sky

Mitel Sky dashboard example

Formerly known as ShoreTel Sky, Mitel Sky offers a suite of cloud-based phone solutions that are designed to help you with video conference calls, standard phone calls, mobile communications, active web sharing, customer engagement, and more. It is an ideal system for companies that do not wish to incur the cost of setting up an on-site communications platform. As it is cloud-hosted, the vendor takes care of all configurations and system management, so you can focus on boosting your business without worrying about installations, updates, or recurrent expenses. Enterprises can use Mitel Sky for web conferences and meetings by enabling participants to share video files, design attractive presentations, and actively participate in all discussions. In addition, the application seamlessly blends with multiple software systems thanks to partnerships with leading CRM and ERP platforms. Want to broaden your options? Take a look at these Mitel Sky alternatives.

Why Choose Mitel Sky Over Skype?

  1. Mitel Sky offers quote-based plans that ensure you are paying for only the features you require.
  2. This software offers advanced VoIP features that large companies might need.
  3. The platform comes with an automated attendant.

Why Choose Skype Over Mitel Sky?

  1. Skype offers a free plan as well as affordable subscription rates.
  2. This platform has a more familiar interface that makes it easy to navigate.
  3. The software can integrate with third-party applications.

5. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts dashboard example

Google Hangouts is offered on Gmail and Google+ and you can use it for text, voice, and video chats. It is an ideal platform for both one-on-one as well as group chats. You can also use it on mobile devices by downloading the Android or iOS app. Google Hangouts can be utilized by both individuals and businesses. The platform’s interface is based on social networks, and it ensures data security by using the latest protection standards. In addition, as it is part of the Google stable, Google Hangouts effortlessly integrates with leading business apps including Sprint, Freshservice, Zendesk, West Unified Communications, Slack, and others. Last but not least, the pricing packages are cost-effective even for businesses with limited budgets. Check out other similar solutions with these Google Hangouts alternatives.

Why Choose Google Hangouts Over Skype?

  1. Google Hangouts works seamlessly with other G Suite tools.
  2. The software supports video broadcasting via YouTube.
  3. Google Hangouts also offers intelligent muting options.

Why Choose Skype Over Google Hangouts?

  1. Skype offers more powerful instant messaging and group conferencing features.
  2. The vendor provides live support.
  3. This software has a business edition that is specifically designed to cater to the needs of corporate teams.

6. Viber

Viber dashboard example

Viber is a mobile messaging application that you can use to make phone calls and send messages to other Viber users for free. This instant messaging and VoIP software system is compatible with popular mobile operating systems. In addition to chat and voice calls, you can exchange pictures and audio and video files. Viber also allows users to call and send messages using 3G or Wi-Fi connectivity, and you can make international calls to unregistered mobile and landline numbers at low rates. Key features include Viber games, service messages, public chat, news feeds, group chat, and HD video calls. If you want a solution with advanced tools, browse these good Viber alternatives.

Why Choose Viber Over Skype?

  1. Viber has a discover feature that lets you follow other communities, brands, and news sites.
  2. This software syncs automatically when you log in using other devices.
  3. The vendor offers cheaper call rates.

Why Choose Skype Over Viber?

  1. Skype can support online meetings for up to 250 people.
  2. This software allows users to make calls to mobile and landline phones as well as send text messages.
  3. The vendor offers live support.

7. Jabber

Jabber dashboard example

A unique app that offers open instant messaging, Jabber has been recently recognized as an XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol), as required by the IETF internet regulations for online messaging. As a result, this program can be used as a wireless app on mobile devices. Jabber functions as an XML-based open source system and uses an email-based interface that includes the utilization of the ‘@’ suffix. This enables the platform to read email addresses from all providers and display their origin. Though it was founded as a free basic tool, the solution now offers paid packages for businesses with advanced functionalities and technical support. Peruse these Jabber alternatives to learn of other viable options.

Why Choose Jabber Over Skype?

  1. Jabber provides users with more advanced VoIP features.
  2. This software has an on-premise version and a cloud-hosted version.
  3. This tool has administrative dashboards that let you check call queues and route calls, making it ideal for customer support operations.

Why Choose Skype Over Jabber?

  1. Skype offers a curated feature set that focuses on instant messaging and conferencing.
  2. The vendor offers this product for free.
  3. Skype provides live support and customer training.

8. Zoho Cliq

Zoho Cliq dashboard example

Previously known as Zoho Chat, Zoho Cliq is a software solution that facilitates real-time messaging, video calls, and audio calls. It aims to boost collaboration and communication within corporate teams using its multi-platform functionalities, exceptional file sharing tools, and robust daily task automation options. Accessible on desktop and mobile devices, the software also comes with SSL encryption to ensure that your data is protected at all times. Furthermore, Zoho Cliq deeply integrates with Zoho products and third-party applications. Should you think this platform is not the best option for your operations, worry not. We have a list of some other Zoho Cliq alternatives.

Why Choose Zoho Cliq Over Skype?

  1. Zoho Cliq is specifically designed for small and medium businesses
  2. The software seamlessly integrates with other Zoho suite tools.
  3. This platform offers bot automation.

Why Choose Skype Over Zoho Cliq?

  1. Skype provides live support for their clients.
  2. The software works well with MS Office applications.
  3. This platform accommodates group conferencing for up to 250 people.

9. Workplace by Facebook

Workplace by Facebook dashboard example

Workplace by Facebook snags the second spot on our list for its flexibility and ease-of-use. Designed with an interface that looks exactly like the social media site, this software serves as a private social network where corporate teams can share information, organize events, and plan projects. It is equipped with instant messaging capabilities, live video streaming, and productivity features, making it a boon for companies that want to foster better collaboration in the workplace. Moreover, it is equipped with API capabilities that enable it to support custom integrations and bots as well as third-party applications. If you think that this platform isn’t for you, you may check out these Workplace by Facebook alternatives.

Why Choose Workplace by Facebook Over Skype?

  1. Workplace by Facebook offers integrations with G Suite, Okta, and other third-party applications.
  2. This platform supports group pages for a more streamlined project planning process.
  3. The software also offers productivity features that go beyond VoIP functionalities.

Why Choose Skype Over Workplace by Facebook?

  1. Skype offers more robust video and audio conferencing tools as it supports group calls.
  2. The software supports calls to landline and mobile phones.
  3. Skype has a more simple and streamlined feature set, making it ideal for businesses who prefer a no-fuss interface.

10. Fuze

Fuze dashboard example

Fuze is an online, enterprise-grade communication solution that brings together messaging, voice, video and content collaboration features in one platform. It is designed for today’s businesses that require reliable communication tools. As such, the software delivers high-quality video experience, modern group messaging, and rich voice conferencing that enables deep collaboration and instant communication. In fact, all it takes is a clickable link for your guest to join a Fuze meeting without needing to use any app or plugin. A browser and connected device are all that’s needed to use the software. Go through our Fuze alternatives to see a checklist of other similar apps.

Why Choose Fuze Over Skype?

  1. It unifies video, voice, and messaging in a single app.
  2. It unlocks data from multiple sources to give you valuable insights.
  3. It is designed to enrich conversations and drive workplace productivity.

Why Choose Skype Over Fuze?

  1. It offers great integrations with Microsoft products.
  2. The vendor offers affordable paid plans and the software’s basic functions can be used for free.
  3. Skype provides training for its customers.

What to Look for in a VoIP System

Skype and all the alternatives mentioned in this article are some of the best communication tools in the industry. They offer comprehensive features as well as easy-to-use interfaces that can help optimize your operations and promote better collaboration in the workplace. However, if you still feel like you should continue browsing for more products, you should first understand what to look for in a VoIP system. Here, we have listed down some of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a communications tool. This way, it will be easier for you to narrow down your choices and pick the best possible platform for your operations.

  1. Mobile Integration. Mobility is important if you want to remain competitive in the modern business landscape. When looking for a VoIP system, you might want to consider one that supports mobile integration. This feature will allow you to manage your contacts and facilitate conversations using your mobile phone so you can work on-the-go. Mobile integrations are particularly helpful for small businesses and startups who have limited manpower as this allows them to answer calls from clients wherever they are.
  2. Conference Calls. VoIP systems are meant to help you improve team collaboration, especially for companies with multiple office locations. This is why having a conferencing feature, be it audio or video, is necessary. Having this at your disposal will allow you to set meetings and communicate with each other without having to physically meet each other. Just make sure to check how many contacts the software can support for each call and find out if the platform’s conferencing feature comes with collaboration tools. These tools may include recording options, screen sharing solutions, as well as file sharing capabilities.
  3. Unified Communications. Everyone has preferences when it comes to the channel through which they want to communicate. As an entrepreneur, you know how important it is to be able to accommodate these preferences. This is why you should consider having a VoIP that supports unified communications. With this, you can use text messages, phone calls, video calls, or instant messaging without having to switch devices or log in to other platforms. Unified communications solutions will make it more convenient for you to get in touch with people. In a similar light, you are making yourself more available to those who want to reach you.
  4. Security Options. Plenty of information passes through your communication channels on a daily basis. Be it your clients’ personal information, important company data, or other details about your products and services, you should always be prepared to keep these data safe from prying eyes. As you browse for a VoIP solution, you should try to look one that offers security options such as SSL encryption, two-factor authentication, and password protection.    

  5. Scalable Interface. Your business’ needs continually change, so it is important to find one that can keep up with your pace. As much as possible, choose a VoIP software with a scalable architecture. It should be able to withstand the fluctuations in the number of calls and messages you make on a daily basis. Moreover, the platform should have a storage capacity that can be expanded for when you need to store more data. Ideally, you should also find a software provider that will allow you to downgrade or upgrade your plan when the need arises.

It All Boils Down to Your Business Communication Needs

As with any business technology tool, it is always our advice that you carefully study what you will use it for, that is, the reasons to invest in VoIP systems. A VoIP system must first and foremost meet your business requirement with the budget you’ve set. It may be the most expensive system in the market, but if it fails to improve your business when it comes to delivering optimum customer service and enhancing your bottom line then your investment would have been for naught. It may be the most affordable system but if it addresses your communication needs, then you got yourself a cost-effective platform that gave you value for your money.

In fact, do not get a VoIP system until you learn the fundamentals of communication software because you may not need a full PBX system after all.

Will you be using it for effectively connecting your teams in the office and in the field? Will it be at the heart of your customer service hub? Identify your use case scenario and set your priorities straight. If you want a complete platform that can do everything a VoIP system is supposed to do and has all the necessary tools, then you can try any of the options above starting with our number one pick.

You can sign up for RingCentral free trial and experience for yourself what it can do for your business.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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1 Comments »
Steph says:

My all-time alternative to Skype is Brosix. That's it. :)

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