In Search of a New Skype?


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After about eight years of using Skype am I the only one who has found that the quality has started to get worse? I pay for Skype both for calls to landlines and also for the premium service so I expect a little better. Common problems are:

  • Poor video quality, even on reasonable connections
  • Disconnections after 5-7 minutes
  • Freezing videos

Some of these problems were in the past due to having other Internet apps open such as Mac Mail, but even now with other apps off the problems have returned. I find this especially frustrating and more problematic within group video calls. Checking the Skype for Mac forums also reveals many others are getting more angry.

I am in the process of trying Oovoo which is also free and offer among other things HD video, screen sharing and multi-party video calls (even with non-registered users) for free. So far I’ve had a mixed experience; with the desktop client being generally good and the web based video being pretty unreliable (but more about that another time). In general though when it works the call quality is much better than Skype. Oovoo is available for Mac, Windows, Android and IOS. Oovoo also claim that “independent research” shows that their platform is preferred to Skype.

Given that Skype is based in Luxembourg and that I also work in Luxembourg I would like to support something “local”, so please Skype don’t lose yet another customer.

Until Skype fix their problems does anyone have any suggestions?

I have also written a review of Oovoo.

About Rod McCall

Rod McCall is a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction in areas such as augmented reality, mobile gaming in-car systems and virtual environments. He has a passing interest in economics after not being entirely convinced by the rubbish presented as fact during lectures on that particular subject while at uni.
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