Communications Software

Best Skype Alternatives for Linux

Best Skype Alternatives for Linux

When it comes to VoIP (voice over IP) calling, Skype is a popular choice. But Skype for Linux has some limitations, its not their premier platform, it comes with a cost and most importantly Skype isn’t open-source. So today we are going to have a look at the best Skype alternatives you can use on Linux. These alternatives will have lesser traffic compared to Skype and could prove to be very useful.

1. Google Hangouts

The #1 competitor to Microsoft’s Skype is Google Hangouts. It is Google’s cross-platform online messaging and video calling software. Hangouts offer features like VoIP, SMS, instant messaging and video chat. You can use Hangouts on Linux by installing YakYak which is an unofficial Hangouts app. If you don’t want to install this client then you can also use Hangouts directly from your web browser.

2. Discord

Discord is a 100% free VoIP client highly popular among gamers but it can be very useful for normal users too. It has a dedicated client for Linux which works on minimal CPU requirements and you can use it from your web browser too. Discord could prove to be the best alternative to Skype with better call quality and surpassing other features in Skype.

3. Viber

Viber is a cross-platform VoIP client available for almost all major desktop and mobile platforms. Having tested on Ubuntu and Fedora it offers many features like text, photo and sticker messages, group chats, calls, sync, etc. It offers text, voice and video calls completely free of cost so could prove to be handy alternative to Skype.

4. WhatsApp Web

WhatsApp doesn’t have a dedicated client for Linux but you can access it through your web browser. It offers all the features of WhatsApp mobile app like instant messaging, voice chat, file sharing and video calling. WhatsApp is a very popular VoIP application and has large number of people in its user base.

5. Tox

Tox is an open-source and free VoIP application which offers instant messaging, group conversations, file sharing and Tox to Tox voice and video calling. Tox has a very simple user interface and it is very easy to use.

6. Ekiga

Ekiga was formerly known as GnomeMeeting. It is an open source VoIP client which offers video conferencing, instant messaging. It also offers features like calling to landlines and cellphones and also an SMS feature.

7. Linphone

Linphone is an open-source VoIP client available for all major desktop and mobile phone platforms. It offers many features to be an alternative for Skype like voice and video calling, instant messaging and file sharing. It also offers features like hold and resume calls, transferring calls to other accounts or device.

8. Jitsi

Jitsi is a free and open-source cross-platform VoIP client. It was formerly known as SIP communicator. It supports multiple instant messaging and telephony protocols for smothers voice and video calls. Jitsi could be a very good alternative to Skype in terms of features and reliability.

9. Wire

Wire is cross-platform VoIP client which is highly secure with end-to-end encryption. It could prove to be the most reliable alternative to Skype with features like instant messaging, voice and video calling, file sharing and group conversations.

10. Ring

Ring is a cross-platform SIP-based VoIP client. It is free and open-source software which offers features like instant messaging, voice and video calling, teleconferencing etc.

11. Mixsii

Mixssi is a free cross-platform VoIP client which offers features like instant messaging, voice and video calling, group video calls and many other featue. It is a very simple and user friendly instant messaging client.

12. Trillian

Trillian is a multi-platform instant messaging client which is very simple and easy to use. If you run a company then Trillian for business could be very useful to you as it offers features like real time connectivity where you can discuss about projects and do so many things.

13. Empathy

Empathy is another alternative to Skype which offers instant messaging, file transfer, voice and video calling, etc.  It is very simple and reliable VoIP client which has user interface based on Gossip and uses Telepathy protocol.

14. Pidgin

Pidgin is an open-source multi-platform instant messaging client formerly known as Gaim. It offers end-to-end encryption for secure messaging and features like file transfer, voice and video calling, etc.

15. Wickr

Wickr is cross-platform instant messaging client which claims to be most secure VoIP client with end-to-end encryption. It is very popular for its self-destructing message feature. Apart from that it offers file sharing, ability to control accessibility of already sent messages and files.

So these are the top alternatives to Skype which you should try on Linux for better connectivity and reliability. If you know and used any other VoIP then feel free to share you experience @linuxhint on Twitter.

About the author

Swapnil Tirthakar

Swapnil Tirthakar

A Software Engineer who loves football and passionate about traveling. I often spend my free time playing with gadgets and exploring new possibilities in tech world. I am Linux enthusiast and have about 6 years of experience in web development. I have good command on Python, Java, SQL and system security.