Question Alternatives to Skype

Linguofreak

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I recently noticed that the Windows version of Skype has become adware. While I've blocked the site the ads come from on our family desktop, and use Linux on all of my personal machines, I've moved finding an alternate VOIP client from being a hypothetical good idea for the future to a priority transition to be made in the next few months.

So would anybody care to make recommendations about alternative VOIP clients?
 

Matias Saibene

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The client that you need, is for Windows or Linux?

I do not know which Linux distribution you use (I use Ubuntu 14.04 LTS), but you can probably get a good deal in the repositories. I looking in the Ubuntu Software Center and found 10 VOIP programs, you have to see that protocol support (Google Talk, etc.), and what you need.

The only thing I used to chat on Messenger, and even used with a Facebook account, and it worked perfectly is Empathy. It is very easy to use.
As I read, it supports many formats, and can install plugins to increase functionality, including Skype. Installing empathy-skype and following this instructions.
 

Quick_Nick

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The obvious alternative is Google Hangouts I think.
 

tl8

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New feature to Firefox and Chrome (Sort of) is Web RTC. This is a new protocol that allows voice and video communication between 2 people.
 

malisle

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Microsoft Lync is excellent, also part of Office package.
 

steph

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Facebook has a video call function which I've used a few times. I used to have a rather sluggish version of Skype and was too lazy to update it, so I usually used the video call function on Facebook. A lot of my friends also use WhatsApp, though I've never tried it.
 

Ghostrider

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Ekiga should do the trick.

Friends do not let friends use Facebook. Facebook is evil.

Facebook is this guy...

Sauron.jpg


... With TRON lines.
 

PhantomCruiser

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Ekiga should do the trick.

Friends do not let friends use Facebook. Facebook is evil.

Facebook is this guy...

Sauron.jpg


... With TRON lines.

Tron lines are kinda cool, but you know they're just going to change it in 6 months anyway.
 

Pioneer

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If you're using it to call actual phone numbers, then I recommend Voxox. Only 1c per minute in the US and Canada.
 

Linguofreak

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Microsoft Lync is excellent, also part of Office package.

Um... The developer is the same as the client I'm trying to get away from...

On a similar note:

The obvious alternative is Google Hangouts I think.

While I've not noticed any ads the one or two times I've used Google Hangouts on someone else's machine, Google is one of the strongest pushers of the trend towards blurring the line between the web and local software, including the trend towards local software that displays advertisements being socially acceptable and not automatically considered malware. As such, I'd prefer not to move deeper into the Google ecosystem than I have to.

Also, I'd prefer to avoid clients that are proprietary-protocol-only.
 

Linguofreak

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At this point the top 3 contenders look to me to be Pidgin, Empathy, and Ekiga.

Empathy looks to be the leader on features, but I'm concerned that there seems to be a lack of connection encryption, though I'm not sure how current that information is. Also, of the three, it's the only one that currently uses GTK 3 (AKA "GTK-"), which contains significant feature regressions from GTK 2, and does not integrate well with my desktop setup.

Ekiga seems to correct many of those problems, but also seems to have more limited protocol support.

Pidgin seemes to have fairly good protocol support (though Empathy's seems to be at least as good, as it seems to be able to support any protocols that Pidgin does), but I'm less certain about some of its other feature support.
 
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