Skype has been the platform where millions across the globe go to when they want to make video calls. However, there were others in the market stealing some Skype users when it started displaying ads during one-to-one audio calls. It is quite uncomfortable and distracting to see these ads pop out when you’re in a serious discussion. Even if you are just chatting with a friend, seeing these ads doesn’t feel good.
This has made many shift their focus and search for alternatives to Skype. There are too many VoIP service providers to choose from. After using one for some time, you might find that the call quality is bad or there are too many interruptions in between. I’ve listed some of the best VoIP services in the market, which are also budget-friendly. Some of these services are free or almost free.
Google Voice is in par with Skype. You won’t find much difference between these two services and so you can rely on it for your voice and video calls. It is completely free and so you can use it for all your phone needs. However, the problem comes when you move out of the U.S. borders. Even then, you can set up a call by using a proxy server. Though it is complex, it offers excellent call quality that you will not want to go for other services. However, you can make free calls only to US numbers. Download Google Voice
Ekiga is basically for Linux users, but you can also use it on PCs powered by other operating systems except Vista. It is because Microsoft cut the cord with Ekiga when they upgraded NetMeeting during the release of Vista. So, those who are using Vista on their PCs can jump to the next service item on this list. Ekiga is a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). However, it also supports H.323 video conferencing protocols. You can use it with other protocols like Windows NetMeeting or other SIPs. Its ability to connect to both types of programs is the major advantage of Ekiga. Download Ekiga
Exclusively built for the Apple community, FaceTime is a service that is missed by people using other devices. The call quality is clear and the interface is intuitive. To use it on old devices from Apple you will have to download it as an app, but the recent devices have it as a built-in feature. One drawback is that you will not be able to call more than one person at a time. But you can enjoy clear video and audio. It is one of the best services available in the market. Download FaceTime
Google Talk is available for all users including Linux, Windows and Mac. While Windows users just need to download Google Talk, Linux and Mac users will have to install a plugin to their browsers. You can also use Google Voice through Gmail, but it distracts you much because you will be seeing your Inbox all the time. To help you focus more on the conversation, you can use Google Talk instead of making video calls using Gmail chat. Download Google Talk
Another cost effective solution is Oovoo. It has the best call quality, the same that you can expect from Google Voice and FaceTime. Oovoo is a combination of IM, VoIP and video conferencing programs. So, you can also stop talking and share text messages for a while. It is also possible to share files with the other users. Moreover, it supports multiple calls, so you can also use it to conduct video conferences for your business. Download Oovoo
These are some of the cost effective alternatives to Skype. It might take you some time to get used to the new interface, but you will not want to miss the advantages that these programs have. So, why stick to Skype when there are better options available?