Skype is adequate for simple online meetings between Skype users, but lacks important features like application sharing, and reliable teleconferencing. If you’re looking for an affordable online meeting solution that works across all platforms check out our top 3 online meeting services.
Pros: Free (for Skype to Skype calls). Video conferencing features. Recording (voice only – requires add-on)
Cons: No application-level sharing. Low-quality teleconference. Must purchase Skype minutes to talk to people outside the Skype network.
|Overall Rating:||Skype is best for one to one web conferencing, but it can be used for small groups. It lacks many of the features found in a top end web conferencing service, but if your business is on a shoestring budget, it’s a good alternative.|
|Usability:||Skype’s user interface is above average. There are times that window management becomes overwhelming – especially when conferencing with multiple parties, but overall it works good.|
|Audio quality and features:||The audio quality is hit or miss. We’ve found the audio quality to be inconsistent.|
|Video quality and features:||Like the audio quality, we’ve found the video conferencing to be inconsistent.|
|Collaboration features:||Skype lacks many of the collaboration features found in other online meeting services. For example, there aren’t any annotation tools. You can’t record meetings (without a third party add-in).|
|Presentation features:||Skype performs ok as a presentation tool, but you can only share your entire desktop, or a region, not a specific application.|
|Mobile features:||Skype has one of the best mobile platforms in the business. You can get Skype for iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry. It’s available on more mobile platforms than any other application we’ve tested. You can do audio and video conferencing from the mobile application, but desktop sharing and meeting control tools are limited.|
What We Like About Skype
Free – If your meeting needs are simple, and you don’t need application sharing, Skype can be a good free alternative to other web conferencing solutions.
Video conferencing – Skype’s built-in video is easy to use and can make your online meetings more interactive and engaging.
Doubles as a phone – Skype isn’t just a web conferencing solution – it’s also a fully functional phone. You can have a dedicated “Skype-in” number, which can be reached from any number. Skype also has built-in SMS, voice mail, and call forwarding.
Secure – All Skype communications are encrypted – giving you peace of mind.
Works on all platforms – You can use Skype from any modern computer. Skype works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
What We Don’t Like About Skype
Poor voice quality – The voice quality of Skype to Skype calls is good, but the call quality suffers when you try dialing an outside number.
No application-level sharing – Skype’s desktop sharing tools are limited. You can share your entire screen, or a region of your screen, but you can’t share a specific application.
|Pricing||Free to download and call other Skype users. You need to buy Skype minutes to dial phones outside the network.|
|Meeting Capacity||10 users|
|Desktop Sharing||Yes – You can share your entire desktop, or a region of your desktop, but not a specific application.|
|Web Teleconference||Yes – VOIP for Skype to Skype calls.|
|Phone Teleconference||No – You can use their recommended third party service – HiDefConferencing. The service starts at $25/mo|
|Control Granting||No – Attendees can view your desktop, and you can view theirs, but you can’t control their screen like you can with GoToMeeting.|
|Video Conferencing||Yes – The quality of Skype video is dependent on your Internet connection.|
|Private Chat||Yes – You can have a text chat with anyone on the call|
Before committing to an online meeting service, make sure you read the reviews for our top picks. You can also compare our top picks side by side. It’s worth noting, that most of the vendors we review on this site offer free trials.