VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the industry which facilitates voice and video calling over the internet. In a world where smartphones and tablets are becoming exponentially popular, the market of VOIP is an ever expanding one.
Two of the major players in the VOIP industry are Skype and Viber.
Skype (by Microsoft) is the largest player in VOIP arena which is predominant in computers and tablets. Viber, on the other hand, started off as a smartphone app, and has recently transitioned to desktops. As a result, while Viber is built for mobility and data saving; Skype is the clear winner in cost effectiveness and call quality. Let us compare some of the features below.
Comparing Integration, Ease of Use and User reviews:
Skype, due to Microsoft, has better Social Network Integration. In fact, the Facebook contact sync in Skype is seamless. In the ease of use department, Skype is a tad bit complex than its counterpart. Earlier, Skype required usernames (which has been recently changed into outlook emails) and passwords. Skype also provides users with a unique Skype phone number in order to protect their privacy.
As far as usage is concerned, Skype is by far the most popular VOIP client and has been for a really long time.Viber, on the other hand, is easier to use; mainly because of its smartphone friendliness. It doesn’t require a username or a password. Instead, Viber syncs directly with mobile numbers; which are displayed when a call is made. Thus, Viber provides its users with a similar experience as using a mobile phone. This feature also makes Viber suitable for Business communications and official calls. While Viber is still a distant second in the market, it has a dedicated following which is increasing its share in the VOIP industry.
The Free Calls – Where do they stand?
While both Skype and Viber provide unlimited free calling, there are a lot of distinctions between the quality, cost effectiveness, data usage and reachability of these calls. As far as call quality is concerned, Skype is a winner by leaps and bounds. Skype offers latest codec, HD calling and specialized hardware for VOIP usage. On the other hand, Viber offers normal quality calls which consume around 6-10 times less data than Skype, which is quite a savings. So, Viber is clearly the more cost effective VOIP solution.
Another factor of comparison is reachability, which has been issue with VOIP since its inception. In this category, Skype is the clear winner. Skype allows users to call anyone with a Skype (which in itself, is a billion plus user base). In addition to that, Skype allows calls to anyone with a Hotmail or Outlook account or anyone with a telephone. On the other hand, Viber calling is limited to users who have Viber.
If data costs are a big problem, then one should definitely go for Viber. Else, one should opt for Skype due to its superior call quality, better reachability and seamless integration.