Stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic? Use these videoconferencing options to keep in touch with family, friends and your workplace. The coronavirus pandemic's lockdowns and quarantines have led companies to implement work-from-home policiesand many people to cancel travel plans and generally stay home when they can.
When it comes to programs for making a video call, most people automatically turn to Skype as the go-to solution.
All you need to set up a video call is a device with a camera and microphone, the free Skype software and an internet connection. As with Skype, these programs can be used in order to communicate with other users via a video transmission. In addition, the majority of these Skype alternatives can be used free of charge, and some even boast more features and data protection measures than the market leader itself.
Zoom vs. the world
But which of these applications are really worthwhile? In the coming articles, we present an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of Skype and 15 alternative video calling programs. Skype is much more than just a free video calling program. In addition to being able to contact other users via a video call, the application also boasts an impressive range of other functions.
Another central Skype feature is its instant messaging service, which can be used to exchange messages, files and much more. By transferring the contents of their screen, users can easily share vedio chat for free, documents, presentations and much more. There are also clients i. All of these functions can be used free of charge.
In order to use this service, Skype users must buy credit in advance for calls and texts, but at a comparatively low price. In addition to these services, Skype also offers the Microsoft Teams application, a fee-based version of the program, which is specially geared towards companies.
Skype for Business offers useful additional features, including the integration of Microsoft and stronger security measures. This can be seen in the following list of pros and cons:. When it comes to data protection, many video chat applications are just as controversial as Skype.
However, there is also a of providers who are increasingly focused on improving their privacy measures. While some services have decided to specialise in data protection, others have come under fire by critics and increased public pressure, forcing them to create more user-friendly privacy policies and implement better encryption technologies. Outside of the highly divisive data protection debate, however, there are many good Skype alternatives, which pride themselves on their useful and creative functions.
Read on to discover the strengths and weaknesses of 14 different video call applications, all of which can be used for free. The tool is used directly in the browser, and Chrome and Edge currently supported. Here, you can create your own meeting room and send out invites, all without having to register.
The other participants then dial in either via a link or conference ID. For additional security, a password is provided, but you can change this and set one up as the meeting host. Free video conferencing. The software runs on servers in Germany, meaning that the high standards of data protection in that country apply to this Skype alternative.
To prevent unauthorized third parties from disturbing the meeting, the connection is secured via TLS. The tool is mainly intended for spontaneous meetings in smaller groups. This protects an ongoing conversation from being interrupted too much. In order to protect your privacy, the video will not load until you click on it.
Above all an innovative chat tool, Spike provides an effective solution for the professional sector with its video calling tool. The program helps teams communicate with each other and with external partners more efficiently. To do this, the company has revolutionised the way conversations are displayed : incoming and outgoing s appear as they would in a chat, or as they would in well-known messaging apps.
How to record video chat
Phone and video calls can be made directly from the Spike app. Spike further supports working together in a team with its other features: Users can transfer files, encrypt messages from the app, and keep a calendar. Spike is available for Windows and Mac, iOS and Android, and can also be used independent of a platform in your web browser. Private users can use the program for free, while professional teams have to pay a fee per user. Interest in Zoom cloud meetings has skyrocketed due to increased working from home due to the Coronavirus crisis. The Skype-alternative Zoom has a generous freemium model which provides many services: Video telephony with two participants for unlimited time.
Up to people can participate in a video conference for free if it lasts under 40 minutes. User-friendly software or apps support the most common web devices and operating systems.
Best 10 video chat websites for online video chatting
Video conferencing is organised quickly and easily: Only the person organising the conference has to register and download the software. They can then invite more participants to take part through a conference link. Phone calls and conferences with HD sound and image quality are usually free from interference.
Security and data protections are the two main areas where Zoom falls under criticism. So far, Zoom has quickly fixed all security issues that have arisen, but for many people their privacy policies remain inadequate.
For example, end-to-end encryption for calls is currently only available to paying customers. Launched inICQ was originally just an instant messenger service. While it enjoyed widespread popularity as an instant messenger in the 90s, the of users has dwindled as more competitors began to spring up.
However, a special feature was recently introduced for video chats: sinceICQ for Windows, Android, and iOS has used end-to-end encryption.
Our guide to the best video calling apps
Otherwise, ICQ has a of similarities to Skype: for example, the application can be used to make calls to landlines and mobile networks for a fee, and of course, text messages can also be sent via its instant messaging service.
Although the program was once one of the marketing leaders in instant messaging, times have changed, and the biggest obstacle now preventing ICQ from regaining its position in the top spot is the comparative popularity of competing programs. The open source software, Jitsiis geared towards users who are particularly concerned about the privacy of their communications.
All calls both with and without video are encrypted. The chat function also allows users to activate encryption of the contents of their conversations. There is no official limit to the of participants in one video conference — this primarily depends on the capabilities of the computer and the speed of the internet connection. With this application, users just open up a conversation with a click of a mouse and add other people to the conversation by sending them a link.
Jitsi can also be installed on Linux. Clients for mobile operating systems are available for Android and iOS. There are also clients for Windows and macOShowever, the main development team is concentrating primarily on further developing the mobile app and the web application. After the infamous hacking scandal ofan anonymous developer began work on the program, Tox. All communications made through the application are protected through end-to-end encryption. The purpose of this is to ensure that nobody has unauthorised access to the contents of a conversation.
Even the IP address itself is only visible to the other participant in the conversation. In addition, the data transmission takes place via peer-to-peer technologyrather than over a central server. This means that the data is exchanged directly between the computers that are taking part in the conversation.
Thanks to this technology, external users are prevented from being able to access the conversations and exchanged data. It should also be noted that this program was not developed for commercial gain. As well as the normal functions i. Users can exchange contact data with a special Tox ID. Video calls can currently only be set up between two users — but since the software is still being developed, this may not be the case for much longer. Tox is still in beta testing, meaning that the application still experiences errorswhich the manufacturers acknowledge on the Tox website.
Again, video conferences can only be set up between two user s.
Collaborate with co-workers and classmates
The app allows users to set up chats and video calls with up to 50 different profiles. The greatest disadvantage, on the other hand, is the fact that the communication is not yet encrypted by default although this is allegedly in the pipeline. Another product from the Facebook range has also developed into a good Skype alternative.
While WhatsApp was initially only a messenger for written messages, you can now also use it for voice and video calls. In addition, photos, videos and voice messages can be sent back and forth.