Skype was introduced in 2003 as a way for consumers to make free video and voice calls over an internet connection. Over the years, features were added to accommodate things like file sharing, video call recording, and polling. Thus, Skype for Business was born.

However, Skype is now owned by Microsoft, which has decided to retire the Skype for Business plan. Skype for Business customers have the option of downgrading to a regular Skype account, signing up for Microsoft Teams, or switching to an entirely new solution.

We’ll look at why Skype may not be right for your business and explore six alternatives to Skype for you to consider.

A Look at Skype

Alternative to Skype: Screenshot of group video chat in Skype

Since Skype no longer offers a professional plan for businesses, you may be wondering if you can still use Skype for your business. Yes, you can — but their support only recommends it for businesses with 20 or fewer employees.

As a small business you can use Skype to make free calls (audio and video calls) with up to 100 Skype users at a time, which makes it an economical choice for web conferencing. 

But that free phone number that comes with it? It is supposed to serve as your business phone, but it’s only for receiving incoming calls. To make calls to landlines or mobile devices — your customers and prospects — you’d have to purchase credits or a subscription.

And the calling features are pretty bare-boned — just two-way SMS and caller ID. However, you can purchase up to 10 additional Skype numbers (in up to 25 countries) to project a local presence wherever you’re calling from.

Pricing Plans for Skype

You’ll need to purchase Skype credits or subscriptions to place voice calls to mobile phones or landlines. 

  • Skype Credit: Skype credits are a prepaid digital calling card that can be used to pay for minutes when you’re calling landlines and mobile phones. They’re available in $5, $10, and $25 increments. Per-minute calling rates vary based on the country you’re calling.
  • Skype Subscription: Skype subscriptions are monthly plans to call landlines and mobile phones. They can be purchased for specific countries or for calling worldwide. For example, you can purchase a subscription to call within the United States for $2.99 per month for up to 2,000 minutes. A worldwide subscription would cost $13.99 per month for up to 2,000 minutes.

The Bottom Line for Skype

There are some things to like about Skype, especially if you’re a small business with up to 20 employees. Its pricing structure allows businesses to budget and keep costs under control. It’s also easy to use. 

However, there are some things to be aware of if you use Skype for business communications that go beyond Skype-to-Skype interactions.

For one, Microsoft is more invested in Teams and its video conferencing platform. Customer support for Skype doesn’t seem to be a priority — there isn’t even a phone number to call. Issues can only be submitted through an online form. And due to the popularity of Skype with consumers, it can be a target for hackers.

Finally, if you want to use Skype as your business phone, it lacks robust calling and team collaboration features. Plus, you’ll have to keep an eye on your minutes. 👀

6 Alternatives To Skype 

When it comes to finding a Skype alternative, you may be looking for two different functionalities: a business phone and a video conferencing tool. Let’s look at some options you might want to consider for one or both of these purposes.  

1. OpenPhone

Alternative to Skype: Photo of a chat box in a laptop screen and a cellphone screen

While OpenPhone doesn’t include video chat or web conferencing, you can’t beat its features or price if you’re looking for an alternative to Skype’s phone solution. OpenPhone provides a virtual phone number with unlimited calling to the U.S. and Canada. International calling is also available. Plus, you can send SMS and MMS messages. (Skype doesn’t support MMS and only offers SMS in the U.S., which takes some set up.)

Whether you’re a fan of the Windows or Mac operating system, or swear by Android or Apple smartphones, OpenPhone has you covered. With desktop, browser, and mobile apps across all platforms, you can make and receive phone calls for your business in whichever way is most convenient for you.

And it doesn’t stop at phone calls. You can send text messages — or emoji and GIFs when words just aren’t enough — to your teammates or customers as well. The app supports SMS, MMS, and group texting. The nice part is, since you’ll be using the OpenPhone app to send texts, you don’t have to worry about your device’s messaging app becoming an unorganized mix of business and personal texts.

Here are some other standard features you’ll love:

  • Shared phone numbers
  • Call forwarding
  • Auto-attendant
  • Call recording
  • Snippets and auto-replies
  • Voicemail-to-text transcription
  • Integrations with workflow and collaboration tools, like Gmail, Slack, and Zapier

Pricing Plans for OpenPhone

OpenPhone offers two transparent, simple pricing plans with no hidden fees or overages. 

Standard

  • $10 per user per month
  • Includes essential and advanced calling features 

Premium

  • $25 per user per month
  • For power users and teams needing integrations, analytics and collaborative features

The Bottom Line for OpenPhone

If you’re looking for a powerful business phone and dedicated virtual number to keep your work and personal life separate — plus a load of features that will make your life easier — then OpenPhone’s where it’s at. 

Skype never stood a chance. 😉

2. Microsoft Teams

alternative to Skype: screenshot of Microsoft Teams

As we mentioned earlier, Microsoft Teams has developed its own video conferencing platform for businesses. It replaces Skype for Business. Teams also has one-on-one or group chat capabilities and a cloud-based voice solution.   

Pricing Plans for Microsoft Teams

Free

  • Up to 100 meeting participants
  • Group meetings up to one hour 

Business Basic

  • $5 per user per month, annual commitment
  • Up to 300 participants
  • Adds auditing and reporting  

Business Standard

  • $12.50 per user per month, annual commitment
  • Adds desktop licenses of Microsoft Office apps and Microsoft business apps. 

E3

  • $20 per user per month, annual commitment 
  • Up to 10,000 participants
  • Adds enhanced security and deployment support, etc.  

Optional Add-ons

  • Global dial-in or dial-out number for meetings for $4 per user per month. 
  • Microsoft 365 Business Voice, a cloud-based phone system for $20 per user per month 

The Bottom Line for Microsoft Teams

If your business is already invested in Microsoft 365, it makes sense to evaluate their video conferencing capabilities. 

While Microsoft 365 Business Voice has more features than Skype’s phone option, it is still a general use phone system offering little beyond call menus, audio conferencing, transfers, and ring groups. Plus, it’s only for domestic calls to the U.S. and Canada for up to 300 users, so it’s not an option for larger organizations. 

3. GoToMeeting

alternative to Skype: screenshot of GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is a standalone video conferencing solution known for its mobile friendliness and popularity among salespeople. It provides robust features at a low price point, particularly if your business doesn’t hold meetings with more than 150 participants. You can host audio conference calls by not enabling screen sharing. 

Pricing Plans for GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting offers three plans. Prices are discounted with an annual contract. 

Professional

  • $14 per organizer per month
  • Up to 150 participants 

Business

  • $19 per organizer per month
  • Up to 250 participants
  • Adds video recording and cloud storage

The Bottom Line for GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is an extremely easy-to-use, affordable video conferencing platform with a professional look and feel. Pricing is simple and includes real-time polling, screen sharing, and personalized meeting rooms, to name a few. GoToMeeting is totally dedicated to video conferencing solutions so you can count on continued support and product improvements.

However, even though it can be used for audio conference calls, it doesn’t have the ability to serve as a business phone that places and receives calls. 

4. Zoom

screenshot of people doing video call using Zoom

Zoom is a wildly popular video and online chat app for both business and personal use. In 2019, they added Zoom Phone, a VoIP phone solution to offer a unified communication system.  

Pricing Plans for Zoom

These pricing plans are for Zoom’s meeting app. If you want Zoom Phone without a paid video conferencing plan, there are separate pricing tiers.

Basic

  • Free
  • Up to 100 participants
  • Group meetings up to 40 minutes

Pro

  • $14.99 per license per month
  • Up to 100 participants
  • Adds social media streaming

Business

  • $19.99 per license per month
  • Up to 300 participants
  • Adds audio transcriptions

Zoom United Business

  • $30 per license per month
  • Adds a cloud-based phone system (unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada)
  • Optional add-on for unlimited international calling

The Bottom Line for Zoom

Given Zoom’s popularity — who hasn’t used it for group calls with friends and family? — businesses can get their teams up and running quickly. However, it can get expensive with the various add-ons for large audiences and certain features used in webinars. 

And like Skype, its popularity means there’s also security concerns like Zoombombing (breaking into meetings uninvited), which has become a favorite pastime for spammers.

If your company already pays for the Zoom Business plan, it might make sense to upgrade for the Zoom Phone. But for a standalone Zoom Phone plan, you’ll have to pay $15 per month for unlimited calls in the U.S. and Canada, which is more expensive than other business phone options. 

5. Webex Meet

screenshot of Webex Meet website

Cisco’s Webex Meet is another popular app for video conferencing, online meetings, and webinars.  

Pricing Plans for Webex Meet

There are four plans priced on a per-host, per-month basis. A discount is offered for annual billing.  

Free

  • Up to 100 meeting participants
  • Group meetings up to 50 minutes
  • Record meetings (save to computer)
  • Includes chat, polling, and breakout rooms

Starter

  • $14.95 per host per month
  • Intended for 1-50 hosts
  • Up to 150 meeting participants
  • Adds transcription recording, alternate hosts, and file transfer feature

Business

  • $29.95 per host per month
  • Intended for 1-100 hosts
  • Up to 200 meeting participants

The Bottom Line for Webex Meet

Webex has many fans of its video conferencing capabilities. But it can get pricey depending on your business’ requirements. For example, if users need to be patched into a video conference through a mobile device (their “call me” feature), it’s an extra $35.75 per user per month. 

They recently introduced Webex Calling, a business phone number to make and receive calls on any device. Though it has some useful basic features, it can’t be customized for your needs or integrated with other tools. Pricing is not provided online. 

6. Google Meet 

screenshot of Google Meet website

Meet replaces Google Hangouts as Google’s platform for video conferencing. If you have a free Google account, you can launch a one-hour meeting for up to 100 participants from your web browser for free. For things like enhanced security features, call recording, file sharing, or the ability to call into a meeting, you’ll need to purchase a plan or have a Google Workspace account. 

Pricing Plans for Google Meet

There are three plans; each is based on the number of active users per month. Google defines an active user as anyone who hosts or joins a meeting — or opens a meeting file in Drive — in any given month. 

Free

  • Up to 100 meeting participants
  • Group meetings up to one hour
  • Includes closed captions and screen share

Workspace Essentials

  • $8 per active user per month
  • Up to 150 meeting participants
  • Includes hand raise, polling, recordings saved to Google Drive, and breakout rooms

The Bottom Line for Google Meet

If you’re a Google Workspace company, Google Meet is a natural choice for your video conferencing needs. However, their “active user” pricing structure may make it difficult for businesses to budget for.

Give OpenPhone a Go

Screenshots of OpenPhone's desktop and mobile apps

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing business communications. But there are times when the best solution requires a combination of tools — like when you’re looking for a video conferencing and voice solution. 

So check out some alternatives to Skype for your video conferencing needs, and take OpenPhone for a spin to see just how delightful a business phone can be. You can sign up for a free trial in about a minute.

Author

Amy is a professional B2B writer who drives results for SaaS and marketing brands. Like a chameleon, she instantly assumes a brand's unique voice and delivers content that never bores readers.

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