Skype vs Zoom – which tool is better for video calling?
The demand for video call applications has never been higher. Zoom and Skype are the top options, but which is better?
With telecommunication applications increasing in popularity, one is always on the lookout for the best video calling software. Whether one is having a casual chat or conducting a detailed remote meeting, video calling applications are here to stay.
Among the plethora of video calling applications are available, there are two, in particular, that stands out.
Skype was the first mainstream video calling application and remains a popular software. Zoom has taken the world by storm and continues to grow in popularity.
So the question remains, in the battle between Skype vs Zoom – which is the better application?
These are the top options and we want you to decide which is best for your needs.
Skype vs Zoom – a comprehensive guide
In this guide, we will break down the pros and cons of both applications so you can decide which is better for your needs.
The first thing to consider is the Skype video quality versus the Zoom video quality. Both applications have video quality up to 1080 pixels.
The main difference is that by default, Zoom uses 720 pixels. You will have to manually change the quality to 1080 pixels if you choose.
Zoom also requires more internet speed to operate with 1080 pixels. It requires at least a 3 Mbps connection compared to only 1.2 Mbps for Skype.
In this battle, Skype is a winner as it will work for more computers and Internet connections. As you do not need to manually change your settings to 1080 pixels, Skye is also easier to use. If you’re a Mac user, make sure you also learn how to use Skype on Mac to get started.
Who’s getting on?
While face-to-face calls still happen, the mark of a great video calling application is how many people can participate in a call.
If you choose the free version of Skype, you can have up to 50 participants in a video call. If you use the paid version, you can increase this number to 250 participants.
Zoom’s free version lets you have up to 100 participants. The paid version brings this up to 1,000 participants.
Which is better depends on what you need. If you estimate that you will never need a call over 100 participants, you may wish to stick with Zoom as long as you have a fast Internet connection to use it.
If you need to opt for one of the paid versions, be realistic about how many participants you are likely to have on an average meeting. If 1,000 participants are excessive, go with Skype.
Both software programs are secure, though it is always best to take extra precautions. You should always aim to have protective software installed on your computer so that it is protected from hackers.
Despite the security of both applications, Zoom users did experience many hacks while people were in self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the use of Zoom was widespread during the pandemic, hackers took advantage and many Zoom users saw uninvited guests barge into their Zoom calls.
Zoom does have a feature to create a password for getting on a call. Regardless of the sensitivity (or lack of it) of your Zoom call, we highly recommend always opting for the password feature.
If you are incredibly security conscious, you may wish to stick with Skype.
Both applications have a free version that has its limitations. While the free version of Zoom allows 100 participants, a Zoom call cannot exceed 40 minutes using the free version.
The Pro Plan version is $14.99 per month and raises the time limit to 24 hours among providing many more features. For businesses and enterprises, the cost is $19.99 per month and has many more features.
The Pro Plan also only allows 1 host for a Zoom call, whereas the Business plan allows up to 10 hosts and the Enterprise plan allows up to 50 hosts.
Skype does not put time limits. If you wish to use a paid version of Skype, you would have to sign up for a Microsoft Office 365 package which starts at $5 per month.
For sheer convenience and cost-efficiency, Skype wins this round.
Further advantages of Skype
With Skype, you have many other advantages apart from high-quality video calls. You can also make domestic and international audio calls. It also has an instant messaging feature.
While on a video call, you can share documents and your screen activity with other participants. You can also share a virtual whiteboard, posting a poll, and hosting a Q&A session with your participants.
While Skype is sophisticated software, it has had issues with freezing up more than Zoom. This isn’t frequent but has happened particularly if an Internet connection isn’t strong.
Further advantages of Zoom
Zoom is the number one video call application today. There are over one million users of Zoom per day.
Zoom has the unique feature of meeting analytics, such as seeing how many minutes each participant spends on a call. It also has seamless screen sharing during a video call. You can also record your video calls for future reference.
Zoom also has many great integrations with other applications including Slack and Zapier.
Zoom can also be used for hosting webinars. You can create a custom registration link (and add a password) to have participants sign up for your webinar. This webinar can be recorded and shared with your participants or even uploaded to YouTube if you want!
But, of course, with these brilliant features Zoom is clearly meant for business use. That’s why the free version is limited to only 40 minutes and may not be ideal for regular users.
If you are going to be using Zoom for regular meetings, you’ll have no choice but to opt for a paid plan.
Which works best for you is a personal choice. Now that you know the pros and cons of Skype vs Zoom, we would recommend that you try both. Based on your needs and possibly your budget, you’ll be able to decide which is the better application for your video calls.
Photo by Dylan Ferreira