WhatsApp vs Skype: Skype has done a great deal to enable people to use VoIP –the technology used to make free voice calls all over the world – on their computers. WhatsApp has done the same job for smartphones. We check both to help you to decide which is the best option for you.
- Best for users who call primarily using computers and tablets.
- More robust feature set.
- There is a premium account.
- Best for users who call primarily from their smartphones.
- Focused on calls.
WhatsApp is designed for mobile devices. Instead, Skype is primarily a PC-to-PC application that can also call other phones. When the world became more mobile, and when communication moved from the office desk or home to your pocketSkype lagged behind.
For example, Applications had limitations, and some platforms remained in the inkwell for many years, as happened with BlackBerry. So, Skype it’s more for the computer user who wants quality, stability, features and a plus of sophistication in your communication experience. WhatsApp is an app for mobile users.
WhatsApp is owned by Facebook. For some people, this integration is clearly positive; for others, not so much.
Skype offers other features that make this tool better for business uses:
- The ability to call people on other platforms and outside the service (in some cases, for a fee).
- Share screen and files.
- Collaboration tools.
- Advanced presence management.
- Business-oriented extras.
- Using an existing phone number.
Although you can install Skype on mobile devices and WhatsApp on your desktop, each one is the king in its territory. The case is clear. If you want free calls on your smartphone, bet on WhatsApp. On your computer, go to Skype.
Number of Users: An important parameter in free calls
- There are an estimated 1.33 million users, as of 2017.
- There are an estimated 1.5 billion users, as of 2017.
When more people use a certain communication application, your chances to communicate for free are greater, since free VoIP communication is offered only between users of the same service.
Skype has been around longer than WhatsApp. There was a time when just about anyone with a computer could be contacted on Skype. But the times have changed, and the presence has moved from the desk or lap to the hand and pocket. On smartphones, WhatsApp rules with about 1.5 billion users in 2017, although Skype is not far behind on the desktop.
Access to contacts: Skype requires a separate friends list
- Use nicknames to identify users.
- Use your contact list.
- Use phone numbers to identify users.
- Choose contacts from the phone’s contact list.
Skype requires you to have the person’s name on Skype, which means there must have been a prior exchange. Skype uses a nickname to identify each user. WhatsApp uses your phone number, the element around which your mobile communication revolves. This means that if the person’s phone number is in your phone’s contact list, you can contact her on WhatsApp. No username or ID is required, and no details have to be shared beforehand.
This transparency facilitates access to contacts. You don’t need a separate contact list for WhatsApp. The phone list is for that. For Skype, you need a separate friends list, but this separate list is not always a problem, such as when you use devices managed by a corporate entity that controls some or all of your contact list based on your employment.
Call Quality: Skype is a clear winner
- Proprietary codec delivers refined HD clarity.
- Decent sound, despite occasional call drops and echo.
WhatsApp offers decent quality calls, although many people complain about dropped calls and especially the echo. On the other hand, the quality of calls from Skype is among the best, if not the best in the VoIP market. This is because Skype has a codec for encrypting calls, and has been perfecting this part of its service for the last ten years. It even offers HD voice.
Calls are of better quality with Skype than with WhatsApp, since the factors that affect the quality of calls are favourable. Still, you can take steps to fix problems when Skype isn’t working.
Cost: Ultimately, it depends on your data plan.
- Free, unlimited voice calls.
- Higher call quality implies higher data consumption.
- Free, unlimited voice calls.
Both Skype and WhatsApp offer free and unlimited voice calls. Both applications are free to install. So the battle for price must be fought in another area: data consumption.
The great quality of the calls of Skype comes at the price of higher data consumption. A one-minute Skype voice call consumes more than a one-minute WhatsApp call. While this doesn’t matter on Wi-Fi, it matters a lot when using the data plan. 3G or 4G to talk on the progress. So for mobile users, calls from WhatsApp cost less, If the cost matters more than the quality.
Final Verdict of WhatsApp vs Skype
If you prefer an abundance of features and stellar call quality, Skype is the winner. If your friends and family use WhatsApp, it is your best option to make free calls. Another way to look at the choice: Skype, as the more business-oriented of the two, is better for the desktop and office, while WhatsApp it’s a good one daily mobile communication app.
I am Bhumi Shah, a highly skilled digital marketer with over 11 years of experience in digital marketing and content writing in the tech industry.