Looking for a good Skype alternative

I am looking for a good alternative to Skype. I would like to have video and voice calls with a family member who uses MS XP but would like to avoid Skype if possible. Does anyone know of a good client with good video and voice quality that will work on both platforms. I’d like it to use open standards so at least we can use different OS specific clients if one is not available for both platforms.

Googling hasn’t yielded much and some of the results refer to really old (~2006) articles or apps.

I hope I’m not doomed to using Skype. I’ve resisted so long with using SIP clients for voice but am stumped now that I want to include video.

suse tpx60s wrote:

> I hope I’m not doomed to using Skype. I’ve resisted so long with using
> SIP clients for voice but am stumped now that I want to include video.

if there is another way for MS and Linux users to video/conference i
don’t know it…maybe it exists…

i use Skype and it seems harmless enough and easy as falling off a
log…if your webcam and sound works, Skype will generally work right
out of the box (hmmmm…drag the forums with a searcher i think you
will find several different ways to have problems, one i think is
having a 64 system, maybe)…


DenverD (Linux Counter 282315)
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On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 16:36:01 +0000, suse tpx60s wrote:

> I am looking for a good alternative to Skype.

I don’t know if it supports video, but you might look at Gizmo.

What’s the issue with Skype? It works pretty well here…

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator

Thanks for the suggestions. I had a brief look at Gizmo a while ago so will take a better look at it.

No real issue with Skype except I try not use companies or software that try tie you in with proprietary products - one of the main reasons I moved away from MS. I also read of some serious security issues (although that was 12-18 months ago) with Skype so wasn’t too comfortable with it.

I’ll research Skype a little more too.

On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 17:26:02 +0000, suse tpx60s wrote:

> Thanks for the suggestions. I had a brief look at Gizmo a while ago so
> will take a better look at it.
>
> No real issue with Skype except I try not use companies or software that
> try tie you in with proprietary products - one of the main reasons I
> moved away from MS. I also read of some serious security issues
> (although that was 12-18 months ago) with Skype so wasn’t too
> comfortable with it.
>
> I’ll research Skype a little more too.

I seem to recall that Skype was looking at open sourcing their Linux code

  • I think you’ll find, though, that security issues may be a problem
    regardless of the software in use.

Jim

Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator

suse tpx60s wrote:

> No real issue with Skype except I try not use companies or software
> that try tie you in with proprietary products - one of the main reasons
> I moved away from MS.

understand, but Skype to Skype calls, video and instant messaging is
totally free of cost…so, what is it that try to “tie you in” to?

they can tie me in to making free, world-wide, video conference calls
all they want to…gimme some more free stuff, please!


DenverD (Linux Counter 282315)
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The way you put it, yes I agree there is no real tie in except that you can only use it to call other Skype members / users.

It would be a lot nicer if it were open and followed an open standard. I’ll see if I can find any other suitable alternative, which is proving quite difficult at the moment, otherwise I’ll have to concede and use Skype.

It seems they got the early mover advantage and everyone jumped on the Skype train making the uptake of SIP based (or open standard clients) clients slow on the up take.

suse tpx60s wrote:
> It seems they got the early mover advantage and everyone jumped on the
> Skype train making the uptake of SIP based (or open standard clients)
> clients slow on the up take.

i think not.

the wiki says SIP was originally designed in 1996 and the current
version of the standard is dated Nov 2000…

by contrast, Skype released its first public beta in August
2003…and, it looks to me it turned out to be the “better mousetrap”
and free at that…


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On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 17:34:15 +0000, Jim Henderson wrote:

> I seem to recall that Skype was looking at open sourcing their Linux
> code -

Did a little reading; looks like the library and protocol won’t be
opened, but the UI and APIs will be.

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator

Perhaps, but it was Skype that was really first in marketing free voip and eventually video calling to the masses due to their effective marketing campaign. I was using voip before Skype appeared but it was clunky and not many polished sip clients existed (speaking from a MS OS user at the time. I don’t know what Linux options were available at the time) and even fewer voip termination providers. Either way we have what we have.

Thanks for that.

Hello,

I posted a similar query a while ago. I fully understand your concern about skype being proprietary. Ekiga seemed to be a nice free alternative, but I was completely unable to make the sound work, despite numerous tries (video does seem to work however). I suggest you try it, and if the outcome is successful, please let us know!

And if you find another SIP client that works (there are several such clients in the standard repositories), please let me know as well!

Good luck,
Ben

Hi Ben

I looked at Ekiga but as I run KDE and Ekiga is ‘designed’ for a Gnome DE I didn’t pay it too much attention as I didn’t really want to pull in a whole lot of Gnome dependencies. But yes, Ekiga does seem to offer what I’m looking for in that it uses SIP and has both Linux ans MS install versions of the client.

I may try it in a VM first and see how it goes.

Twinkle is another SIP softphone alternative, but it doesn’t yet have a windows client available.

Although it would be great to have completely open alternatives to skype, a big issue is having enough servers to support volume and quality of calls etc - skype wins hands down in this area at the moment.

Twinkle VOIP Client « boliston’s blog

Thanks, I’ve already looked at Twinkle and from what I saw Twinkle doesn’t do video which is what I’m really after. I already have a SIP based voip system set up using the voip capabilities of my router. In fact all my calls at home and my business now use voip with various termination providers depending on the destinations I’m calling.

I only need the video conferencing for when we call family members that live abroad.

I think I may just have to concede and use Skype for now.

Hey, check out this skype alternative.
FaceFlow.com is a pretty good web-based application to make video calls.
You just need your family or friends to create an account too, and add eachothers in your contact list and blablabla you should be smart enough to get your way through this lol.

I’m late for this thread but whatever, it was still in search engines, and better late than never. Made me discover this forum.

Chicohuman wrote:
> I’m late for this thread but whatever, it was still in search engines,
> and better late than never. Made me discover this forum.

-=Welcome=-


DenverD
CAVEAT: http://is.gd/bpoMD [posted via NNTP w/openSUSE 10.3]

You could set up asterisk for your personal family use :stuck_out_tongue: for such a little number of users it may outrun skype’s servers.

FaceFlow.com is a pretty good web-based application to make video calls.

I just tried it with 2 different PCs, one with 11.2, one with 11.3 using both Chrome and Firefox. Note: both PCs have webcams and audio fully functional and working on other software.

Results: Easy to create accounts and connect, but that’s all. No video, did not even initialize camera; no audio, no ability to configure anything! Also, one of the PCs is a netbook, the video windows (only black of course) that would have displayed the images, had there been any to display, are about the size of a postage stamp, and there’s no ability to resize or rearrange or anything. There’s no support info anywhere (per google).

Conclusion: less than worthless (IMHO)