Cloud-Based VOIP – 4 Alternatives To Skype

Cloud-Based VOIP – 4 Alternatives To Skype

Cloud-Based VOIP – 4 Alternatives To Skype

Skype is the most popular cloud-based VOIP service. Since being bought out by Microsoft for $8.5 billion in 2011 the company has grown to more than 300 million users and now accounts for 34% of all international calls. Some people don’t want to use Skype though. Reports of poor customer service, in-call interference, or even a general dislike for anything touched by Microsoft all contribute to some potential users staying away.

What alternatives do these users have available to them? CloudTweaks offers four Skype replacements…

Grasshopper

Grasshopper styles itself as a more business-orientated solution than Skype. The service provides many of the features found in expensive office ‘Private Branch Exchange’ systems for a fraction of the cost. Features include support for multiple users (each with their own extension), individual greetings, voicemail, web access and notifications by email or text message, as well as the ability to have local or toll-free numbers for people to call you on.

The service is more expensive than the comparative Google and Microsoft services thanks to the advanced features available. The cheapest plan is $12 per month, though the most popular plan is $49 per month for 2,000 minutes. The most expensive plan is $199 per month for 10,000 minutes.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is the most obvious replacement for Skype. While some users might baulk at using Google products in the same way that some hesitate to use Microsoft or Apple devices, this service is unquestionably the most widely used and full-featured. Google Hangouts launched in mid-2013 as a result of the homogenisation of several independent Google products such as Google Talk, Google Plus Hangouts, and Google Plus Messenger.

The software can replace most features of Skype. While it won’t allow you to directly call landline telephones until it merges with Google Voice later this year, both video conferencing and document collaboration are both supported.

ooVoo

ooVoo is messaging and voice/video calling service that features instant messaging, text chat, video calls, and twelve-way video conferencing. A unique aspect of the program is its ability to make calls directly from your web browser to other PCs without the need for software to be installed.

The service’s file and screen sharing works well and is great for collaborative work and online meetings. Purchasing premium credits allows you to call landline numbers in over seventy countries at reasonable rates, as well as connect landline callers to conference calls. Unfortunately, of all Skype’s competitors, ooVoo has the most expensive PC-to-phone calls.

Before installing the desktop software you need to be aware that the free version is ad-supported. It will also try and install the ‘Ask Toolbar’ when you run the installer – be vigilante when clicking through the installation options.

Tango

This California-based start-up was launched in September 2009 by Uri Raz and Eric Setton – both of whom remain at the company as CEO and CTO respectively. The service already boasts 200 million users worldwideTango is a free app that, in addition to video calls, is also optimised for voice calls, texting, sharing, and playing games. It is mainly aimed at the mobile market, with most of its users using the Android or iOS client to access the service, though there is also a PC client available.

Critics of the service say video quality is sometimes uneven, and there are occasional delays and poor voice-syncing in video calls.

Your Opinion?

Do you like Skype? Have you found a suitable alternative? Let us know in the comments below.

By Daniel Price

About Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.

Find out more
View All Articles

One Response to Cloud-Based VOIP – 4 Alternatives To Skype

  1. Hi Daneil,

    I’ve used Nextiva for 8 months, I must say I’m quite happy with it so far. What I like most is that I pay less than a third than I did before, for a much better service. I liked how, when I just signed up, the folks at Nextiva reached out to offer me assistance and showed me how to use the different features.

    Apart from that, I have not had any issues, or dropped calls or anything like that. My business is running smoothly and uninterrupted and I’m saving costs on my overheads. The sound quality is fantastic and setup was quick and pain free. I’m definitely going to stick with Nextiva for a long time to come.

Comic
Fintech Exploiting AI and Blockchain Technology

Fintech Exploiting AI and Blockchain Technology

AI and Blockchain Technology The field of artificial intelligence (AI) had progressed rapidly in the last ten years, though first recognized in the 1950s. From autonomous motor vehicles to digital personal assistants, the technology is making its way into a variety of industries, enabling better task automation, language processing, and data analytics. But more recently,…

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security It’s no secret many organizations rely on popular cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft for access to computing infrastructure. The many perks of cloud services, such as the ability to quickly scale resources without the upfront cost of buying physical servers, have helped build a multibillion-dollar cloud industry that continues to grow each…

What’s On The Horizon For Cloud Computing

What’s On The Horizon For Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Trends Now that we are a little more than halfway through 2016, many experts are beginning to make their predictions about cloud computing for the rest of the year and beyond. While many of the trends aren’t too unexpected (the ever increasing acceptance of cloud solutions by businesses, for instance) other trends are…

Tesla Solar Plan Would Cost Billions To Implement

Tesla Solar Plan Would Cost Billions To Implement

A 1,500-word manifesto that Elon Musk unveiled last week, outlining his plan to expand Tesla Motors Inc.’s electric-vehicle line and to build “stunning solar roofs,” may end up costing the company tens of billions of dollars to carry out. Musk, Tesla’s chairman and chief executive officer, gave the estimate on Tuesday after a tour of the…

Healthcare IoT Security To Grow To $47 Billion In 2021

Healthcare IoT Security To Grow To $47 Billion In 2021

Healthcare IoT Security It’s obvious that IoT can make the entire healthcare industry more efficient. The kind of data involved can be used to save time, physical energy and operating costs. Because of this, devices that facilitate medical data are becoming more commonplace in the industry. This includes things such as wearables that can track…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

How to Identify and Authenticate in the Expanding IoT Ecosystem It is a necessity to protect IoT devices and their associated data. As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the need to create an identity to newly-connected things is becoming increasingly crucial. These ‘things’ can include anything from basic sensors and gateways to industrial controls…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

The Internet of Things Is About To Explode By 2020, Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion worldwide. It’s an astoundingly large figure given that the sector barely existed three years ago. We are now rapidly evolving toward a world in which just about everything will become…

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War Rages On

Cloud Computing Price War There’s little question that the business world is a competitive place, but probably no area in business truly defines cutthroat quite like cloud computing. At the moment, we are witnessing a heated price war pitting some of the top cloud providers against each other, all in a big way to attract…

Big Data and Financial Services – Security Threat or Massive Opportunity?

Big Data and Financial Services – Security Threat or Massive Opportunity?

Big Data and Financial Services Cloud Banking Insights Series focuses on big data in the financial services industry and whether it is a security threat or actually a massive opportunity. How does big data fit into an overall cloud strategy? Most FI’s have a positive mind-set towards cloud IT consumption as it not only enables…

The Business of Security: Avoiding Risks

The Business of Security: Avoiding Risks

The Business of Security Security is one of those IT concerns that aren’t problematic until disaster strikes. It might be tomorrow, it could be next week or next year. The fact is that poor security leaves businesses wide open for data loss and theft. News outlets just skim the surface, but hackers cost business up…

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing Despite the rapid growth of cloud computing, the cloud still commands a small portion of overall enterprise IT spending. Estimates I’ve seen put the percentage between 5% and 10% of the slightly more than $2 trillion (not including telco) spent worldwide in 2014 on enterprise IT. Yet growth projections…

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Infographic: The Evolving Internet of Things

Evolving Internet of Things  The Internet of Things, or IoT, a term devised in 1999 by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton, represents the connection of physical devices, systems and services via the internet, and Gartner and Lucas Blake’s new infographic (below) explores the evolution of the IoT industry, investigating its potential impact across just about every…