Virtual meetings are a cemented part of modern-day life. Whether you’re a student, employee, or business owner, you’ve likely used Zoom or Skype to attend or host virtual meetings before.
Zoom and Skype are the most popular applications for hosting virtual meetings, but which is best? Today, we’re going over the pros and cons of Zoom and Skype and which one is best for virtual meetings.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a secure, cloud-based platform with video and audio conferencing options that make online meetings easy to host and participate in. With a free Zoom account, you can host up to 100 people simultaneously. In contrast, a paid plan lets you host up to 1,000 people at any given time.
In addition to Zoom’s modern conferencing tools, it offers a variety of interactive features, including breakout sessions, which allow you to split your meeting attendees into small groups for training or discussion. You can also send chat messages, mute all microphones, and take advantage of Zoom’s whiteboard and screen-sharing features to make presentations more engaging.
What is Skype?
Skype is a telecommunications software that allows individuals and businesses to make voice calls and video conferences. With Skype, you can also instant message, send files, and make debit-based calls to mobile phones and landlines. Like Zoom, you can access a chat interface, screen-sharing capabilities, and presentation tools.
Zoom vs Skype Comparison at a Glance
|Zoom||Skype for Business|
|Price||Free to $19.99/month||Free to $12.50/month per user|
|Support||Online and on-demand support available [depending on your plan]||On-demand support available|
|Online Features||Presentation tools, Focus mode, record & playback abilities, real-time & private chat, breakout rooms, waiting rooms||File sharing, video messaging, live chat, presentation tools|
|Supported Devices||Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based, Linux, Windows||Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based, Windows mobile|
|Speak clearly||Don’t shout or speak lowly|
|Designed For||Businesses of all sizes, freelancers||Businesses of all sizes, freelancers|
|Participant Limits||Free plan: 100 participants Business packages: Up to 1,000 participants||Free plan: 50 participants Business packages: Up to 250 participants|
|Conferencing Features||Screen sharing, whiteboard features, HD videos, HD voice, Focus mode, breakout rooms||Collaboration tools, screen sharing, group video calls|
|Supported Integrations||Hubspot, Flyte, Google WorkSpace, Coda, Microsoft Teams, JotForm, Slack, Eventbrite, Hive, Dropbox, Eloqua, Infusionsoft, Pardot, & More||Microsoft Systems, Grasshopper, Agile CRM, Slack, GetResponse, Google Sheets, SMS or voice calls|
|Prominent Customers||Box, Inc., BAYADA, Pandora, Slack, GoDaddy, Match.com, Delta, Sonos||Advansys, Diverse Learners, AIRDEX, Verbalizelt|
|Supported Languages||English, Chinese, French, Indonesian, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Thai, Vietnamese (46 supported languages in total)||English, French, German, Greek, Czech, Danish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Thai, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Swedish, Spanish (46 supported languages in total)|
Zoom vs. Skype - A Detailed Comparison & Breakdown
1. Plans and Pricing
Both Zoom and Skype offer various plans to meet the needs of their users.
Zoom offers a free basic plan, pro plan, business plan, business plus plan, and enterprise plan, allowing them to offer different features to businesses and users at any stage.
Free Zoom Basic Plan:
● Meetings up to 40 minutes
● Up to 100 participants
● A variety of web and video conferencing features
● Secure group collaboration
● Unlimited number of meetings
● Online support
● Group chat & file sharing
Zoom Pro Plan ($149/year/user)
● All features of basic plan
● Supports 100 participants
● Unlimited meeting duration
● Custom personal meeting ID
● Meeting reporting
● Assigned scheduler
Zoom Business Plan ($199/year/user)
● All features of previous plans
● Up to 300 participants
● Unlimited whiteboard capabilities
● 5 GB of Cloud storage
● Up to 10 hosts
● Admin dashboard
● Phone support
● Company branding and custom emails
Zoom Business Plus Plan ($250/year/user)
● All features of previous plans
● Up to 300 participants
● Unlimited phone calls for business use
● 10 GB of Cloud storage
Zoom Enterprise Plan (Contact Zoom for custom pricing)
● All features of previous plans
● Up to 1,000 participants
● Full-featured PBX - private branch exchange phone system
● Zoom rooms
● Webinars 500 and 1000
● Managed domains
Zoom also offers add-ons, which you can see below. For a complete list, click here.
Like Zoom, Skype offers a free plan. In previous years, they offered a business plan too. However, Microsoft has recently ended this. Instead, they offer their Office 365 Business Premium, which offers additional productivity features.
Office 365 Business Premium ($22 per month, per user)
● Tablet and phone business apps
● Pre-installed Office apps for computers
● 1 TB of cloud storage per user
● Connect with coworkers and customers through Skype, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and Exchange (See below)
● Phishing and ransomware protection
Zoom and Skype are both considered user-friendly applications. However, Skype is more user-friendly for personal calls and small teams who want to communicate via chat outside of virtual meetings.
In contrast, Zoom offers more features that make it user-friendly for businesses. We like that Zoom has admin controls that allow you to turn off certain features, create recurring meetings, and designate hosts and co-hosts. All of these features make Zoom more user-friendly for larger business meetings.
3. Apps integration
App integration can save you time and energy by allowing you to use apps you already use and love alongside your virtual meeting software.
Zoom integrates with various apps, including Box, Slack, Microsoft Outlook One Drive, Google Chrome, Facebook Centrify, Kubi, Salesforce, IBM Watson Workspace, LTI, Okta, Zapier, Intel Unite, and more.
Notable Zoom integrations for businesses include:
● HubSpot, Infusionsoft, and Hipchat
● Google Drive, DropBox, and Pardot
● Acuity Scheduling and Firefox
● Microsoft Active Directory and Eloqua
Zoom even allows you to integrate directly with Skype and join a Zoom meeting from a Skype call.
On the other hand, if you use Microsoft Office, you may like that Skype integrates smoothly with Office’s many programs. In addition, Skype integrates with Lucid Meetings, WordPress, Grasshopper, SalesExec, BigContacts, 1CRM, and GroupWise.
Notable app integrations for Skype include:
● Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, & Lync)
● Moxie Concierge and Yugma
● 8x8 Virtual Contact Center and Wimi
● Agile CRM
● Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
4. User privacy
Skype and Zoom both offer end-to-end encryption to protect users from hacking and privacy attacks. However, Zoom is a newer service that grew in rapid popularity over recent years, leading it to grow faster than its developers could keep up with it. This phenomenon led to a rise in Zoombombing, which happened when attackers would jump into calls they were not invited to and share their screens. The screens typically broadcasted disturbing scenes, such as violence or explicit material.
Since then, Zoom has worked to strengthen its user privacy. Both Skype and Zoom offer waiting room functions that allow hosts to keep all participants in the waiting room until they are accepted into the meeting. This feature reduces the risks of unwanted users or hackers joining the call. Zoom also allows you to set passwords for your meeting ID to increase security.
5. Video & Audio Quality
In terms of video and audio quality, Zoom and Skype offer top-notch 1080p video. However, if you choose to use Zoom, you’ll need to activate 1080p as this isn’t the default.
Skype and Zoom rely heavily on the participants' webcam and microphone quality. Regardless of which software you use, the quality is primarily up to the users and what kind of equipment and settings they opt for when streaming.
Zoom and Skype offer a wealth of features, especially for making your virtual meetings run smoothly. We like that both have presentation features, but Zoom does offer a broader range of presentation features, from screen-sharing to whiteboards to live group collaboration.
Skype shines in regards to post-meeting communication, such as one-to-one video calls, texts, video messages, and sharing files and contacts. However, if you’re looking for a powerhouse software for your business and virtual meetings, Zoom has Skype beat. Between its larger participant threshold, Focus mode, breakout rooms, and whiteboard features, Zoom is the better choice when it comes to features.
If you’re hosting or joining virtual meetings frequently, the last thing you want is a slow, lagging meeting. So, how productive are both of these platforms to run on a computer or mobile device?
If you have an older machine or are concerned about lagging, your best bet is Zoom. Unlike Skype, which requires a great deal of bandwidth and PC resources, causing program freezes, Zoom is a lightweight program. Zoom uses little RAM and less traffic on your device. All you need is a stable internet connection.
8. Video Conferencing Availability
If you have coworkers who don’t want to download the app or sign up for an account, both platforms have you covered.
In previous years, Skype and Zoom required users to create an account to jump on a video call or use their other features. However, Skype has recently introduced the Meet Now feature, which allows users to jump on a video call using a shared unique virtual meeting link. Zoom has a similar feature that will enable users to bypass creating an account or downloading the app.
A Zoom host can still choose to set a password to heighten security for their call if they have members without an account.
Overall, Zoom is the more decisive choice for businesses, whether you’re a solopreneur or a large corporation. Zoom offers larger participant limits, more advanced presentation capabilities, and a great range of admin controls that allow you to set the terms of your virtual meetings.
We like that Zoom runs effectively, even on weaker devices, and doesn’t require an account or download, reducing client and coworker frustration. Zoom’s free plans offer a great variety of options, and their paid plans continue to build on the previous plan’s value, making them worth the investment for companies looking to scale their meetings.
All in all, Zoom was created to be a professional tool, giving it a massive advantage over Skype, which was designed for and is still more helpful for social calls.
Why is Skype no longer popular?
Skype is no longer popular due to Zoom’s massive surge in popularity since the pandemic. Many users switched to Zoom because of Skype’s long wait times, lagging audio and video, and browser windows filled with ads. Skype also had many unpredictable updates that would occur mid-meeting. Zoom also offers far more professional tools, such as additional admin controls, Focus mode, presentation features, and larger participant numbers, making it a better choice for businesses.
What is online video conferencing?
Online video conferencing is a remote, live visual connection between two or more people via the Internet. Popular online video conferencing software includes Zoom and Skype, which simulate a face-to-face meeting with users through video. Users can use online video conferencing to create remote meetings, interviews, product demos, webinars, and classes.
Is it safe to have an online meeting using Zoom or Skype?
Yes, it is safe to have an online meeting using Zoom or Skype. Zoom and Skype use end-to-end encryption to secure users’ meetings and prevent hacking. Recently, Zoom has also added a waiting room feature, which prevents users from jumping into the discussion without a host admitting them first. The meeting host can also set a password for the Zoom meeting to reduce the risk of hackers or unwanted guests joining the discussion.
What are the disadvantages of Skype?
The biggest disadvantages of Skype include its slow performance on many computers and mobile devices. Skype requires a lot of PC resources and can be “heavy” to run on a computer. It also offers fewer presentation and admin tools than Zoom. Many Skype users report a poorer sound quality on Skype, which may be due to sound quality being based on bandwidth, allowing background noise to be picked up more easily than alternative services.
What are the disadvantages of Zoom?
The disadvantages of Zoom include its many subscriptions and add-ons. While Zoom boasts impressive features compared to other video conferencing software, it does require a paid plan to access many of its best features. Zoom has also experienced a rush of Zoombombing, which has been largely addressed by Zoom with improved encryption and privacy features. However, this does leave some users concerned about their privacy.
In short, we recommend Zoom as the best software for virtual meetings because of its many great professional features. Zoom productively uses computers and mobile devices, reducing the likelihood of the app freezing or crashing on your device. If you have any interest in scaling your business over time, Zoom is the better choice because its plans offer up to 1,000 spots for meeting attendees, custom company branding, phone support, and many great app integrations that make adding Zoom to your business’ day-to-day work easy.