If you want to make video calls these days, you often have two apps recommended to you: Skype and WhatsApp. While they seem to achieve the same job, they each cover a specific niche which is important to consider when choosing one to make calls.
What’s the difference between Skype vs. WhatsApp, and which is best for you?
The Focus of Skype vs. WhatsApp
A good portion of understanding the differences between the two apps is what each focuses on. While they do a similar job, they have different expertise which makes them suitable for different scenarios.
Skype is primarily designed for computer calls. You can use a smartphone to call other people, but it may be prohibitive if you use it on a mobile 4G connection. As covered in this article, this lends Skype an advantage over WhatsApp in terms of raw quality.
WhatsApp is best for mobile calls. You can use it on a PC, but it’s a little finicky and takes more setup than Skype. However, if you want to catch up with someone using your mobile data plan, you’ll find WhatsApp will treat you better.
As you might imagine, Skype has better video quality than WhatsApp. This is because it’s designed for PC usage, so it has to be compatible with HD webcams.
In comparison, WhatsApp can’t use a webcam. There is a PC client, but it’s not compatible with webcams. As such, you have to rely on your phone’s camera and connection for your video quality.
Skype comes with native support for call recording, so you can easily record and save the conversation with your boss. WhatsApp, on the other hand, does not have a native recording feature. Though there are third party hacks, most of them are not straightforward and might not work well.
Unknown to many, you can have a group video chat on WhatsApp, though that is limited to four people for now. Skype can support up to 50 people in their group video chat.
Security and Privacy
Both applications have encryption applied to communications; however, WhatsApp takes it a step further with default end-to-end encryption. This means even WhatsApp developers can’t peek into your communications.
Skype does use end-to-end encryption, but it’s not turned on by default. As such, WhatsApp is best for private communications, as you do not have to worry about a setting being toggled on you or your recipient’s app.
It’s worth noting, however, that both apps are owned by large companies that are interested in your data. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, and Microsoft took Skype under their wing. As such, be careful with what data you share with these apps.
Skype, by default, syncs your messages to the cloud. This means you can access Skype from any PC or phone and you’ll see all your conversations ready to go.
In comparison, WhatsApp has no cloud storage. If you lose your phone, you’ll lose your messages with it (unless you enable daily backup).
Skype used to be the best VOIP program out there, but ever since Microsoft bought it, it has suffered in quality over time. People report that Skype acts slow, crashes, and even causes a Blue Screen of Death.
In comparison, the WhatsApp phone app is very stable and suffers no problems. The PC version is a web app and also causes little to no problems.
Which Is Best for You?
As you can see, both programs perform well in their individual niches. Deciding which is for you is as simple as choosing the one that matches your needs.
Skype is the clear winner for PC and business use. Its cloud-based storage makes it easy to keep track of conversations wherever you are, and Skype is compatible with HD webcams for professional talks.
On the other hand, WhatsApp is perfect for mobile chatting. If you don’t care for video quality or cloud storage and just want to chat with friends, you’ll find WhatsApp a great companion. It’s good for impromptu calls when out and about, and it won’t crash on you.
Choosing Between Two Titans
When it comes to Skype vs. WhatsApp, it can be a hard choice. Both of them are owned by big companies, and both of them are used by millions of people. Things get easier, however, when you realize that Skype is designed for PC broadband use, while WhatsApp is best on mobile phones. Best of all, you don’t have to stick with either Skype or WhatsApp, as there are many alternatives for making free calls.
Image credit: Video Chat Call by DepositPhotos
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