6 best Skype alternatives for 2020

Business professionals and everyday consumers alike have long used Skype as a communication tool. Many people swear by the platform, but others aren’t satisfied and are seeking other options.

We rounded up several Skype alternatives below. Each option comes with a recommendation from a current user who shares their experience. See which solution might work for you.

1. Zoom

“Zoom has grown in popularity from a solution only traditional remote workers use to one that everyone uses — and for good reason,” says Ashley Madden, founder of Helianthus Advising.

You can use the platform even if you don’t have an account. You can call into meetings, screen share, and schedule meetings for specific days and times via links — though Zoom does limit you to 100 participants, unless you expand that with an add-on. The communication tool also has meeting recording features and integrates with other popular solutions.

For example, the JotForm Zoom integration enables you to easily create and schedule meetings as well as register participants. You can start from an appointment form template or build a form of your own. Then just connect your Zoom account to JotForm, and all registrants’ data will go to Zoom.

2. Google Meet

Google Meet (formerly Google Hangouts) is another Skype alternative. Shari Smith, founder of Shari Sells, recommends the communication tool for business or personal use, especially if you already use Gmail. “The Google Meet tab stays open in your web browser, so you can easily transition from email to communicating with the person via chat or call,” she says.

Conferences on Google Meet have a one-hour limit in the free version, but paid options extend conference time to 300 hours. For most users, that number of hours is essentially the same as unlimited. The standard plan limits participants to 100, but the highest plan ups that limit to 250.

3. Wire

Wire is one of several Skype alternatives that focuses on security by offering encrypted messaging and calls. “Wire follows data protection regulations religiously, making the solution a good choice if you’re dealing with really sensitive information,” says Kenny Trinh, managing editor of NetBookNews.

For businesses concerned about how Wire handles their communication data, Wire notes that it doesn’t keep any call data on its servers. The service limits video calls to four participants; the limit for audio calls is 10.

4. Jitsi Meet

If you’re looking to host a lot of people on your video call, Jitsi Meet could be the Skype alternative you need. Jitsi is an open-source solution that doesn’t limit the number of participants, so invite as many people as you want. “Like Wire, calls are encrypted and secure in Jitsi,” says Trinh.

You can use Jitsi for free — without creating an account. Simply start a meeting with a click, and then invite the people you want to join.

5. Microsoft Teams

For Microsoft users, Microsoft Teams may be the best Skype alternative. Neal Taparia, CEO of Solitaired, says the platform integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products “even better than Skype. For example, Teams fully integrates with Microsoft 365, which makes it easy to transition from chatting to collaborating on documents.”

Microsoft Teams limits the number of participants to 250. It also integrates with third-party solutions like Zendesk, so you can quickly see customer service tickets and send team responses via chat. “One feature I particularly like is the ability to forward emails to a message thread. It’s a great way to share information and ties well into modern work habits,” says Taparia.

6. Lifesize

Lifesize is a 4K videoconferencing solution. Michael Alexis, CEO of TeamBuilding, says the solution is unique because it focuses on video quality. “For teams that want to prioritize HD imagery, Lifesize could be a great option. Nobody enjoys a pixelated call. The high-quality video offers an extremely clear viewing experience that can help you feel closer to your colleagues.”

With Lifesize, you can host free, instant video calls by simply sharing a link. The free version is limited to 10 participants, but paid plans can bump that maximum up to 300. Paid plans also come with added features such as real-time meeting insights and phone support.

While these aren’t all the Skype alternatives available on the market, they do represent a wide range of needs. You can quickly get started with the JotForm Zoom integration or any of the other options shared above.

This article is originally published on Sep 14, 2020, and updated on Nov 12, 2020.
AUTHOR
Ex-nomad finally managed to settle. Been to 51 countries and counting. Doesn't like to be stuck in an office. Cappuccino aficionado.

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