Skype Down – 6 Alternatives to Skype

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I don’t know about you, but I rely on Skype for many communication needs. The service’s outage today raises many reliability questions, and although I am sure the staff at Skype are working hard to fix the issues, it’s probably time to list a few alternatives, “just in case.” (Sorry to our friends at Kaplow PR who represent Skype)…

To make things clear, I don’t use Skype as a chat client, but to make voice calls. A few alternatives would then include: Jajah, QuteCom, ooVoo, VoipBuster, SightSpeed and Vbuzzer. I am sure there are many other alternatives, and I encourage you to mention them in the comments if you know which they are. In the meanwhile, here is what each of these services does:

Jajah lets you call contacts anywhere in the world, and even save up to 98% on your bill when you use your existing phone. The system works on any phone, including land lines and mobile, and doesn’t require download of additional software. Jajah provide white label and outsourced telephony services in more than 200 countries.

QuteCom, previously known as WengoPhone, provides voice and video over IP. It is an open source project, that requires some programming skill. Ideal for the tech savvy IT users.

ooVoo lets you video chat with up to six family members or friends at once – a service ideal for video conferencing for business purposes as well. There are many affordable plans to choose from, with features like file sharing, audio and video recording, text chat, priority customer service and more.

VoipBuster is a program that uses the latest technology to bring free and high-quality voice communications. With VoipBuster you can call regular phones in various popular destinations for free or call at an incredible low rate to any other phone on the planet. You can also call all your online friends (pc-to-pc calls) as long as you like, for free.

SightSpeed is an award-winning provider of Internet video chat and voice calling for friends and family, and video conferencing solutions for businesses. The service also features video emailing, text chatting and more.

Vbuzzer offers everything from computer to phone calling, faxing and SMS, to web conferencing, video email and more.

Those of us in Public Relations need to always be communicating.


  1. Christi Johnson says

    I think I read two mentions about Voxox, and I have to admit…though they are not yet getting the attention I believe they will, the day is coming where Skype will be left completely in the dust by this company.

    Last week, I was looking for a way to make sure that I never miss calls for any reason. I knew there had to be a service like that out there. I got Google Voice and for about 2 days, I was really excited. Then I started to think. I need to program in every number I have, and when people call whatever number by which they find me, I want them to hear a business or personal message. Actually, I have 2 businesses, and I needed to merge and not have to pay attention to the mobile, Skype, the house and any other number I have. I got work out trying to figure out how to merge everything.

    So…I put my Google Voice number on my site…but I have not yet started to market the 2nd business and the more I thought about it, the more I could see holes in my approach. Thankfully, Skype had a major outage. I read about Voxox.

    Seriously…what they offer is unbelievable. I am nearly ready to totally get rid of Skype for forever and go with Voxox. There is no way that, in time, they will not compete with and demolish Skype. The only way they could fail to “facebook” Skype is if the entire company and all their employees and all their technology exploded simultaneously and irreparably.

    Perks: connection to all social media, one interface for all connections, one “ring” to rule them all…that is all my numbers (lol. Yes, I stole that from somewhere…cannot recall where. Haha!!), and…well, it’s just easy to use. I do not work for Voxox and have no clue if they have affiliates and am not one of those if they do have affiliates.

    I just like what they are doing for communication. Glad to be on the bandwagon early…

  2. Muphen R. Whitney says

    Thanks to Henryhyva and Mr. Butler for the info.

    Henry: I just talked to someone at Telcentris re Voxox. It sounds AMAZING, and it sounds as though it provides everything Skype does for me at less cost. AND it is a US company where you can get your questions answered! (By a person….who knows what he is talking about!) Color me Voxox…it looks like I’m going to be an early adopter!

  3. says

    Even if we shouldn’t rejoice in other people’s problem, Skype’s problem created a record day of downloads for us at Tribair. We had 10 times more downloads than usual.

    We just launched a month ago and are 45% cheaper than Skype.

    We’re providing a “TRIBAIR IN 90 SECONDS” video on our website

    Give us a try!


  4. Mihaela Butler says

    Thank you very much for all your comments. I am sure there are many other alternatives – the aforementioned are the only ones I could find in a short time. I didn’t mention Yahoo!Messenger and Google Talk because I assumed you all know them already.

    For the commenter who said that only ooVoo is a real alternative, Jajah also allows PC to phone calls, from any web browser. VoipBuster allows SMSing from your PC, SightSpeed offers low rate phone calling and works on both PC and Mac. Of all, Vbuzzer is the most complete: computer to phone, computer fax, computer to phone SMS; video, chat, etc. For calls, I just got another suggestion via email: Freephone2phone. I’ll do a follow-up on this with more in-depth details.

  5. Phil Butler says

    Not an oversight Joel, just not as interesting in some ways. I use Gtalk more than any other IM actually, but this was not my list.

  6. Phil Butler says

    You are correct I believe Harrison. These are alternatives of an emergency nature I believe. Price not being the primary consideration if I do not miss my guess.

  7. David Newman says

    Free tools are very useful for home users, but when you need a conferencing service for business there are cheap options that includes support and 365/24 guarantee.
    Im using TooMeeting Conference flat fee for two years, I like extreme sport, not extreme conferencing.

  8. Muphen R. Whitney says

    I believe the term should be “Your comment is awaiting approval by the moderator”. “Moderation” has an entirely different meaning.

    And how long does the “moderating” process take, anyway? I posted this comment more than 8 hours ago!

    • Phil Butler says

      Murphen, sorry your comment was left sweating in the elevator, our night staff here in Germany was out carrying the 50 foot Christmas tree in from the Black Forrest. You know how these huge news offices can get deserted when the editor sleeps.

      As for the “moderation” versus awaiting someone to judge? I believe the usage is appropriate since someone is “presiding” over the release thereof. You could be strictly correct however? Not my concern. What is concerning for me? Nit picking.


  9. John says

    I just wasted about an hour and a half trying to get Skype to work. I’ve just moved it over to a Linux machine and though I messed up the installation.

    One problem with all the alternatives is that the people you wish to contact are not using them, they’re on Skype.

  10. LinuxSkypeGuy says

    Out of the six alternatives listed I would only consider ooVoo as a ‘genuine’ alternative as the others either do not support video chat or you have to pay money to use them (please correct me if im wrong though). So there is only ONE alternative to Skype really, however I believe linux users, like myself, cannot use ooVoo, I may be wrong, and Id still swear by Skype in general, I’ve been using it nearly everyday for over 5 years and problems like today are very rare.

  11. BlueBox says

    You forgot to mention Google Voice. It is free. They give you a free local phone number, free incoming calls,free outbound calls, and free video phone. I have had it for three years now.

    • Phil Butler says

      You are absolutely correct BlueBox, we did not forget actually, just thought the others might be more interesting.

  12. Kenny says

    Wow, it sure can ruin your day when you’re used to having non-stop service. Happened to be an important day. Somebody is going to be making a LOT of money off this outage. Just not me.

  13. McDave says

    Google Voice has also had some delays in their SMS delivery recently. Both (I believe) are victims of their success. Internet-based capacity buildout occurs (typically) AFTER there are issues.

    As for Amazon S3, they have 99.999999999% reliability (Eleven “9’s”) so they should not be considered the same animal. (snarky estimate)In 1 million years, they will have 30 seconds of downtime.

  14. Ken Bradshaw says

    I can’t believe Fring was not mentioned here. Fring works on most cell phones including android for video calling and does not require wifi to make a call when 3G or 4G is obviously sufficient. In addition, Fring international rates are cheaper than Skype! 1 cent a minute anywhere in the world!

  15. Guomongdo says

    Still can’t login to Skype. First I thought it was due to Windows XP updates I just installed a few hours ago. Then I realized I can’t login from my Andriod phone either.

    Relied on Skype for my business phone connetion. Too bad.

  16. marvin nubwaxer says

    “The service’s outage today raises many reliability questions”
    Really? I only have one: wtf? otherwise any reliability question is so overblown as to be laughable. What’s their motto, “it just works”? Yeah, I have Gizmo5 because I thought that it would be integrated into Google Voice. And I am waiting . . .

  17. J. Pedersen says

    Thank you for listing alternatives to Skype.

    Just to make sure the other services are on par with Skype, here are the features and pricing for Skype if used as a alternative to a land line.
    Skype in and out with voicemail on a dedicated phone number, $60 per year in the US unlimited service.
    And of cause Skype to Skype is totally free.
    Skype users has a choice of Skype phones that operates without any PC being turned on, some do not even need a separate ATA, in other words they connect directly to your wireless router and are about the size of a cell phone.

    Pretty hard to beat for the price in the US.

  18. says

    We have been using Skype for years for business and for family phone calling. Today is the 1st major outage I have experienced. There system is superior to anything else on the market, which is a little worrying because they don’t need day like this. I bet the UK and US hone companies won’t be doing too much complaining though.

  19. Manon says

    Another option for conference calls is the online service tinychat. You can create a room with a password, and choose your own screenname or use a service like facebook. There is no need to sign up or login, but it is a possibility. They call it a videochatroom, and has the possibility to cam and voice and type. Since it’s online you don’t have to install anything to your computer and it’s easy to use.
    I used to do it with a group of friends, and always worked great.
    You can just share a link to the room you create and the person clicking it can join within seconds.

  20. henryhyva says

    – THERE IS NEW KID ON THE BLOCK; – covers, has option’s to included all different services as a like skype, yahoo Messenger’s, etc! It’s apsolutely FANTASTIC, what this new service provider is providing. – If your look at paid & related additional services or free services, NOBODY COMES EVEN CLOSE TO,

    – I am die hard skype guy, & still using, but there is nothing like

    – I was member with skype almost since day first, while traveling in Europe. Almost ten years go, had approx.,150k members, now few hundred million.

    – This is first time it fail on me literally, I thought first it was program issues, removed & downloaded back again, not the case!

    – Jahjah, also operator with yahoo phone service, horrible, good luck if paying customer & want to cancel the service, you must know 7 questions they have to be correct, including exact date you last payment by you bank…or it continue charge monthly fees!

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to everybody..

  21. George says

    This article sounds like a commercial.

    Ive been using skype since its release and this has never happened to me before. I trust skype so much, that I would go as far to say that someone DDOS skype and tried to shut them down on purpose so that other shitty (like the ones listed above) can make a name for themselves.


    • Phil Butler says

      It is a commercial George, these alternatives paid us $25,000 each to be listed as soon as Skype poo poo’d like this. I hope you know I am kidding. I use Skype every day and them going down like this will probably not change this. Best,


  22. James says

    I’m with Alan on this one…this is the first ever consistent Skype outage I have ever experienced…I think they have definitely made themselves a reputation of being reliable…considering the millions of user that use the service with few to no outages during my time using it.

  23. Muphen R. Whitney says

    Are there any TRUE alternatives to the Skype services of SkypeIn and SkypeOut? I do not have a landline, and I cannot use my mobile phone for anything other than true emergency calls. It appears that most of the so-called Skype competitors/alternatives require you to have either a landline or a mobile phone. I do not see how this provides an alternative to Skype.

    Skype suits my purposes because is allows me to have two phone numbers (SkypeIn) and use a VoiP phone connected to my computer to make (SkypeOut) and receive (SkypeIn) calls. All of this costs me only $86 PER YEAR ($24 for each SkypeIn phone line and $3 per month for SkypeOut).

    Now for the problems: Skype is notoriously unreliable and there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY to reach anyone at the company to resolve problems. And when there is a system-wide outage they do not communicate with users about the problem and its resolution.

    I would LOVE to find a TRUE alternative to Skype. One that provides me with phone numbers in area codes that I choose, one that does NOT require me to already have a landline or mobile phone, and one that allows me to use a USB-connected, VoiP phone connected to my computer/laptop instead of using a microphone and earphones.

    Any ideas?????


    • Phil Butler says

      Yes Muphen, finding an “equivalent” service can get a little tricky. I am going to look about a bit for maybe an obscure on that can do the same things. I believe I beta tested one that makes Skype look like a tin can on a string, but I have to find it. Thanks,


  24. Alan Petersen says

    Thanks for the list. I’ve been using Skype for many years and this is the first time it’s affected my business (I had a Skype to Skype interview scheduled during the outage). So for right now I’m giving Skype the benefit of the doubt that this won’t be a recurring problem.

    It does make me take pause at how much I rely on services on the cloud! Google Docs, Amazon S3, Skype, and so on.

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