It’s no secret how popular Skype has become for the voice and video chat needs of most people; the word itself has become a verb synonymous with ‘video chatting’, regardless of what system is being used. Skype’s 300 million users spend a collective 3 billion minutes a day on Skype. Because it’s the most ubiquitous voice and video chat software, no one tends to consider alternatives to Skype, despite some of its issues, such as poor call quality, unwieldy notifications, poor connections and difficulties with Skype credits.
However, more and more companies are beginning to design and offer services that allow you to connect with friends, family and colleagues around the world from your PC. These range from downloadable desktop software to web-based solutions offering links for private chat rooms. Though Microsoft have worked to improve Skype, there are plenty of VoIP providers offering software that are credible alternatives to Skype, and in some cases offer advantages to Microsoft’s VoIP offering. Here are our top five VoIP alternatives to Skype.
letsBRIK is a Skype alternative with consistently excellent call quality. It directly connects with all mobile and landline devices, with no middleman, which results in calls of maximum quality. However, letsBRIK is completely web browser-based. This means that you don’t need to download another app, plug-in or browser extension that eats up a chunk of your memory. It also means that you don’t need to worry about what operating system you’re using, as long as you are connected to the internet.
To start a video or audio conversation on letsBRIK, all you need to do is share a unique URL that’s assigned to you when you sign up. When the recipient clicks on the URL, a web browser opens and the call starts. This is much simpler than the ordeal Skype insists upon: sharing your Skype ID, searching for your recipient and adding them as a connection before the conversation can begin.
letsBRIK also offers neat features such as setting your phone number as your caller ID. That way you can show the recipient your real phone number, even if you’re not calling from your phone.
For large and medium-sized organisations, RingCentral is definitely worth considering. Its minimalist interface is easy to use, and offers lots of call routing features such as answering rules. Calls are routed based on criteria including the caller’s number, the number being dialled, the day of the week and the time of day. The calls are then sent to specific phone numbers and extensions, or sent to voicemail. The rules can be customised, so for example callers can be asked to speak their names to let you know who’s calling before the call connects. This means that nuisance or unwanted calls can be easily blocked.
RingCentral integrates with a huge number of other programs such as Outlook, Gmail, Salesforce, Zoho,Zendesk and Desk.com. Users can call, text, fax and host meetings directly from the system, and have complete access to the whole business communications solution from any location. Remote workers are granted the flexibility to work wherever they are whilst maintaining a single business identity by being able to call either through a browser or any device they want.
Ideal for customer support or sales teams, Aircall is a cloud-based VoIP solution that can simplify and localise the way your organisation connects with customers. The phone system allows the user access to phone numbers in 30 countries and the ability to quickly configure them and easily forward calls.
Aircall offers a comprehensive set of features, including cascading phone calls through team members, call recording, a shared inbox option so that team members can access saved voice messages, interactive voice response, and call queuing.
Aircall integrates with CRM systems or collaboration tools using an API and Webhooks. With its analytics and real-time and historical reporting, managers will be able to use Aircall to make data-driven decisions. There is also no limit to the number of calls the system can handle at once, and Aircall’s desktop notification function means that you’re always aware of when your customers are calling.
VoxOx provides communication services across desktop and mobile devices through VoIP and cloud communications software. It comprises video messaging, voice calls, instant messages, SMS and fax. With VoxOx, you are given a free number that you can use to call and text across other devices. Calls between devices with the app are free of charge.
The VoxOx Personal Assistant tool can answer and screen your calls. It can then let you know who’s calling, so you can either answer the call or send it to voicemail. This means that blocked numbers have to identify themselves. You can also use the PA to make outbound conference calls from either your desktop or your mobile device. The PA also lets you easily record a conversation, removing the need to take notes.
Viber was once primarily a VoIP system used for direct calls between devices, but now it allows for calls, video chats, texts, and file and image sharing over 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi connections. It’s commonly available across platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Blackberry. This makes it easy to chat or call across different devices. The service is free between Viber users, and supports group calling for up to 40 participants.
On installation, Viber creates an account with the user’s phone number as a username. It then synchronises with the number’s associated address book, alleviating the need to add contacts in a separate book. All users are registered with their phone number, so you can be told which of your contacts are also Viber users.
A business looking for the right VoIP alternative to Skype is faced with a lot of difficult choices to make, which could potentially cost them time and money. In order to avoid this problem, Software Advisory Service can provide you with a shortlist of potential partners that can provide you with your ideal VoIP solution. The service is completely non-chargeable, and with our experienced team of consultants, you can be sure you’ll be getting quality service. Click here to give us your details so we can provide you with the solution you need today!