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Zoom vs Skype: Which is best for your video calls?

Which platform will you trust your meetings to?

Published onJanuary 3, 2022

Skype starting screen 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Remote work has become more common than ever. In addition, office desk jockeys often need video calling to contact co-workers and clients from afar. Many of you are probably debating whether you should go for Zoom vs Skype, which are among the most popular video calling apps for professionals. Let’s compare them and help you figure out which best suits your needs.

Zoom vs Skype: Video quality

Zoom vs Skype video quality

One of the most important factors to consider is video quality. You don’t want to look pixelated in your next presentation, so you will be happy to hear both Zoom vs Skype take advantage of up to 1080p video.

Your hardware and data connection need to be up to the task. To get a good webcam, you can check out the link below. Luckily, most current internet connections far surpass developer recommendations. Skype recommends a 1.5Mbps (up and down) connection for high definition calls, while Zoom is a bit more demanding at 3.8Mbps up and 3Mbps down at its highest settings.

Here: These are the best webcams you can buy

The only main difference is that Zoom doesn’t activate 1080p resolutions by default. Instead, you need to upgrade the settings manually, and the team needs to activate HD or higher resolutions on their end. Otherwise, you will be using 720p video (which is arguably still great).

As for audio quality, it should primarily depend on your microphone. You should check out the SoundGuys list of the best USB microphones.

Also: How to look your best in webcam meetings

Zoom vs Skype: Participant limits

Skype Group Chat
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

How large your group is will highly influence your decision in the Zoom vs Skype dilemma. The free consumer version of Skype limits you to 100 participants, but paying for a Microsoft Teams plan can get that number to 300. These numbers pale in comparison to Zoom’s.

Zoom Meetings’ free plan allows you to start video calls with up to 100 participants. Paying up can get that number up to a whopping 1,000. Zoom will be your best bet if you have a large company and require video calls with over 300 people.

Tip: Here are the eight best Zoom alternatives

No account, no problem!

Skype starting screen 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Skype introduced a Meet Now feature that doesn’t require users to sign up to the service or download the app for video calls. The new feature seems to be borrowed from Zoom, which also lets users join meetings through their browsers without signing in or downloading its app.

Both Zoom vs Skype generate a unique link that can be shared with others to enter a video call. If you’re the meeting organizer, you can invite anyone, whether they’re Zoom or Skype users. Once in the call, users can enjoy the complete set of features both services offer. This might be helpful if your co-workers don’t really want to sign up for either.

Zoom vs Skype: Other included features

Zoom Meetings on smartphone next to office equipment stock 2 - Zoom vs Skype
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Zoom and Skype services offer a very similar feature set. Both include screen share, meeting recording, cloud storing, a whiteboard, file sharing, joining via call, and more. Zoom is a better overall service when it comes to integrated features, though. We wish Skype had capabilities such as breakout sessions for dividing participants into groups, virtual hand raising, and more.

More: 10 Zoom tips and tricks you should know about

Zoom vs Skype: Compatibility

Zoom vs Skype compatibility

Lucky for you, both Zoom and Skype have great compatibility. Both can be used on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and even a web browser. And as mentioned in the previous section, it’s even possible to call in via phone. You have no excuses for missing that meeting!

Zoom vs Skype: Security

Automation of Jobs Robot

Both Zoom and Skype tout industry-leading security and end-to-end encryption, but Zoom has been in the spotlight for privacy concerns, forcing them to freeze new features for 90 days. Despite privacy updates, improving encryption, adding the ability to disable personal meeting IDs, and fighting Zoombombing, the company can’t catch a break as over 500,000 stolen accounts are being sold online.

It hasn’t been a good time for Zoom, and the security-conscious among you will probably want to stick with Skype, at least for some time. Meanwhile, the company has fixed problems like Zoombombing with updates. End-to-end encryption has also been implemented, so things are getting better.

Here: 15 best antivirus apps and best anti-malware apps

Zoom vs Skype: Pricing

Money Stock Photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Zoom’s free plan is great, but the 100 participants and 40-minute limitations might bog you down. Those who need more can opt for a paid monthly subscription.

Zoom plans: 

Zoom pricing May 2021

Microsoft Teams plans:

Micrososft Teams pricing

Skype is completely free for consumers. The business version of Skype comes with Microsoft Teams. This means users may find more value in it considering Microsoft Teams comes with many other features, including Microsoft Office collaboration and access to productivity apps. Prices start at only $5, but that is per user. With Zoom, you only pay per host. You will need to consider your needs and do some math to see what’s more cost-efficient.

Which is best for you?

Zoom Meetings on smartphone next to office equipment stock 1 - Zoom vs Skype
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Zoom vs Skype are the closest competitors of their kind. They are both great options, but Zoom is the more complete solution for business users and work-related purposes. If Zoom’s few extra features over Skype don’t matter much to you, the real difference will be pricing.

Zoom’s base paid subscription is $14.99, but the free version is plenty capable and comes with most premium features. Paying is convenient mainly for those who need video calls with over 100 participants or can’t deal with the 40-minute limit.

If your squad can take advantage of Microsoft Teams’ added capabilities, Office apps, and collaboration tools, you might as well get Skype features bundled in. This might be pricier, considering each paid Office 365 account costs at least $5, though. But Microsoft Office is a trendy suite, and many businesses are paying for them anyway. If you are, you might as well use what you have.

That is unless you really want to go all out with Zoom for a large company and want to add 1,000 participants instead of being limited by Skype’s 300-person max limit.

Are you still not sure about Zoom or Skype? There are plenty of alternatives. Check out some more comparisons below.

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