Skype: Do you need to pay? 4 Free Alternatives
“Do I have the right to pay?”
This is a common refrain among the internet generation. They have instant access to everything, from music and news to TV shows. Why pay if they can get it elsewhere for free?
This mindset naturally spills into the business world where people question the necessity to pay for Skype, which is the most popular web conferencing tool in the world (acquired in 2011 by Microsoft).
Modern workplaces require web conferencing tools.
With more remote teams, Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace Survey found that 43% of American workers work from home at least part of the time. It is crucial to maintain strong communication channels for success.
This is especially true when you consider the fact that communication problems can lead to more than a third failures in projects.
You are responsible for keeping your team connected, whether it’s for Scrum meetings or general retrospectives. However, you also need to have a budget. You might be wondering why you would choose a paid tool over a free one.
We’ll be looking at the pricing options of Skype, which comes with all Windows operating system. And we’ll also look at some free alternatives that allow you to chat face-to-face (and more!) When you have multiple locations.
This article will examine four free Skype alternatives. You can see the complete list of free web conferencing software options here. Do you need to pay for Skype?
The simple answer is “no” (not accounting data rates). Skype can be used from your smartphone or computer to communicate with other Skype users on their phones or computers for free.
If you need to connect with someone who doesn’t use Skype or has no access to it, things can get more complicated. You might need to conference with a team member who isn’t using Skype on their mobile phone or a member of your team traveling in an area without internet access.
These situations are not common, but they do happen. You’ll be glad that you have a backup plan in case of an emergency. These scenarios don’t account for the possibility that stakeholders may not want to use Skype for any reason. Do you prefer to persuade them to change their mind so that you can start the meeting or do you just go with it?
It will cost you if you use Skype to call a mobile or landline phone directly (where the receiver party is answering via their phone and not the Skype app),
Skype calls such as these can be paid for with credits or an unlimited monthly subscriber.
Skype credits can be purchased in increments of $10 and $25. Rates per minute vary depending on where you are located, but they are very competitive.
Do you need to upgrade to Skype for Business
This is the standard Skype version. This is the one your mom uses for video chat with grandkids.
This version is often sufficient for freelancers or micro-organizations. You will need to add additional features if you are part of a larger organization or own your business.
You will need to meet with more people than three at once. You will need to upgrade to Skype for Business which costs $2/user/month.
Skype for Business is available in the Office 365 Business Premium plan ($12.50/user/month), and the Office 365 Business Essentials Plan ($5/user/month).
Microsoft intends to merge Skype for Business and its own web conferencing tool, Microsoft Teams. Although the exact date has not been announced by Microsoft, users can expect all Skype for Business features will be transferred during the transition.
What about Skype alternatives that are free?
If you don’t wish to pay upg