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Skype Alternatives – a first and promising look

Dear Reader,

In the recent post, Say goodbye to Skype, on diablog, I promised, to find an alternative to Skype. In the past I had looked into it on occasion, but not seriously, more like window shopping.

The two main features of Skype, which I need to replace are telephony and chat.
With Skype one can do more, like file transfer, video chat and desktop sharing, but those are not my core needs.

Plus, files can be sent or exchanged in many ways, most operating systems provide desktop sharing software and – seriously – who would want to see Glynsky or me on video?
Only masochists!

So telephony and chat it is.

Now, one could say, Google is the solution. It has Google Talk for chatting and Google Voice for telephony (no links on purpose).
But, Google knows too much about us already, I have no intention of feeding them more information. Thus, Google is out.

The first stop for information is Wikipedia. And if you look there for comparison of instant messaging clients and comparison of VoIP software you will drown in information.

Focusing on the main task, telephony, reduced the overwhelming pile of information.
This excellent article made my life easy, and I like easy:


Susan Linton put up a post, Bye Bye Skype, mentioning the top three alternatives:

With those three I went back to Wikipedia and compared.

All three are open source, wonderful.
No more being locked in proprietary software.

Empathy is for Linux only, that won’t help Glynsky or Pete.
Neither will it help the majority of our readers, I guess.

Ekiga is for Linux and Windows, but not for those Apple fanboys.
Maybe we will leave Pete out? No need.

My number one choice after taking a first look is:

Let me quote from their website:

“With Linphone you can communicate freely with people over the internet, with voice, video, and text instant messaging.”

“Linphone makes use of the SIP protocol , an open standard for internet telephony.

You can use Linphone with any SIP VoIP operator, including our free SIP audio/video service.”

That’s almost all I need. Plus a commercial VoIP operator for those PC-to-Phone calls.

And here is more good news:

Linphone is free-software (or open-source), you can download and redistribute it freely.
Linphone is available for desktop computers: Linux, Windows, MacOSX, and for mobile phones: Android, iPhone, Blackberry.

Thank you!
All the features – including encryption – you can find here. What more can you ask for? I’ll do some testing soon.

If you have any recommendations, please leave us a comment.

Update: Anonymous recommends here to look into www.Jitsi.org

Stay connected (without Skype),
Engine Room

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