Oovoo vs Skype – Which is Better For You?

Article updated May 2013

After seeing the ooVoo video when it first came out, and noticing its uncanny resemblence to Skype, I wondered what the differences were between the ooVoo vs Skype, particularly being a military wife and needing this service when my soldier travels. After taking time to play with both programs, here’s what I have to offer on the differences on the great ooVoo vs Skype debate.
Although they are both video-conferencing and messaging software products, they are, in fact, two very different animals. One difference between ooVoo and Skype is that ooVoo allows for your friends who have NOT downloaded ooVoo to still be able to talk with you from their web browser with their Web Video Calling feature. I think that’s a pretty nifty idea, especially for those who may be on the move, at a public place, friend’s computer, etc., who can’t download the program to a computer they don’t already own, or don’t want to for whatever reason.

Skype, however, has WiFi capability, allowing you to get online anywhere there’s a hotspot using Skype credits, paying only what you use.

ooVoo also has a web video chat feature which allows you to embed video onto your blog, website or social networking site. ooVoo also allows you to upload recorded videos directly to YouTube once recorded, too.

Skype can be used on a computer, tablet, or you can get Skype on your mobile phonehome phone, tablets, gaming systems, and TVs, too, so you can keep in touch with your contact list while away from your computer. For Skype on home phones, you can purchase a Skype-ready cordless phone or buy the FREETALK® Connect•Me phone adapter to use on any phone you already own. For TVs, you can purchase a Skype-ready television, use your Bluray player with a webcam, or your current TV with a TV camSkype-to-Skype calling is free, but you can call anywhere in the world on Skype and pay from 1.09 cents a minute (via credit or subscription). I figure, since Skype has been around longer, it’s got the edge there, with A LOT more technology available. Neat!

OoVoo is also available for your computer, mobile phone, or tablet, but, in comparing their Windows version with their Mac version, it’s indicated that not all features are available for Mac-users. “Free 12-way video chat” on Windows page as opposed to “Free group video chat” on Mac’s page, because Mac users can only see 6 people at a time while only hearing the other 6. Also, you can only send video messages with the PC version as per their plans page.) Skype, however, doesn’t offer much less for Mac users than it does with Windows-users (no emoticons, no Facebook integration without using beta version 5.4).

OoVoo allows screen-sharing with both their versions, but offers priority support, no ads, and 1000 minutes of video storage for Premium users. For Skype premium, screen-sharing, group video calls, no ads, live customer support and unlimited calls to one country of your choice are offered.

Skype also can import contacts from mail servers, your phone’s contact lists, Facebook and instant messages, as well as being able to use Skype with Facebook friends, or send IMs and text messages to contact’s cell phones. On OoVoo, to search for friends, you can sync your Facebook, Twitter, or email accounts. You can also “search on Oovoo” using the customers name or OoVoo ID.

Both services offer a text or video chats, HD video, a recording option for saving presentations or interviews, screen sharing, Facebook video, a “call me” button, upload to YouTube, and the ability to send files to other parties.

Another difference between them is calling ability and options; with ooVoo, you choose the free or premium option, and make phone calls to over 70 countries worldwide. With Skype, however, you can call anywhere in the world with pay as you go, by paying monthly, or going with Skype Premium.

Conference calling is also another big difference between the two. With ooVoo, you can call up to twelve people with the free version*, with ads displaying, or you can upgrade to their ooVoo Premium option to conference without ads. (*Mac users can only see 6 videos but can hear all call participants.) With Skype, you can contact folks one on one, up to 25 on group calls, or up to 10 on video using Skype Premium, via both Skype and landline, to conference.

Skype is also ad-free (in most countries), whereas ooVoo is only ad-free for their paid versions. Also, Skype is available for Linux, whereas ooVoo is not (only PC, Mac, Android, iPhone, and Facebook).

I also like that, when browsing online with Skype, every telephone number becomes a button you can press to dial instantly, if you subscribe to that extra service Skype offers. This allows you to use it for phoning people directly as well (currently, if you wish to use it for free, you’re just calling your contacts via Skype-to-Skype application, not their phone numbers, similar to instant messaging). Should I decide in the future to do so, that’s a pretty handy feature, to say the least.

In both cases, I see both ooVoo and Skype advocating for the use of a headset. I do not have one at the moment, but I do see how they could help, especially in business-type cases, and I will consider getting one in the future. For now my laptop’s built-in speakers and microphone will do just fine (that is, until one of my children begins to interfere with calls. Then I might decide to go with the option that allows me to actually hear my calls, and for my callers to hear me).

What do YOU think about ooVoo vs Skype? Which do you use? Do you use your webcam? Why or why not? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and problems encountered.
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  • Anonymous

    I live in the Caribbean and my cousin from NYC told me about Oovoo today. I stumbled across your blog when I was trying to compare it to Skype. Thanks for the info on your blog and here is my opinion.

    I joined Skype before Thanksgiving 2009 because for $30 US/yr (this was the special discount), I could make unlimited calls to any landline or cellphone in the US…AND IT WORKED. Also on Skype video calls, I could share my desktop and show all my family pics or even share watching a movie with my brother this way…for free. At the moment, Oovoo can't compete with that.

  • Anonymous

    For me, as a IT-supporter, it means a lot, that the user can set the frame-rate in oovoo.
    I learn about oovoo first time, from my deaf (sign-langues-user) friends, who all uses this app.
    Niels

  • Anonymous

    I download oovoo it only works one time then I remove it and download it again, I try everything but can't solve the problem. Any suggestions?

  • Anonymous

    I saw the commercials on tv and thought of trying oovoo along with a friend who lives in Mexico. I didn't know only one account is needed. Before that I used just the msn video chat, but it failed quite often, I do not like messenger in general. So now I use a different software for chatting and oovoo for video calls. I just send the link to friends and voila!
    I only wish the quality of the conversation was better, and more fluent. I know this has to do a lot with the type of webcam, software and computer speed of my friends. Anyway, lately I use oovoo for hours almost every day. I came across here to see if skype would be a better option, but it seems like its not what I'm looking for right now. I reccommend oovoo :) Thanks so much for the info on both!!

  • Anonymous

    I have been using Skype for a long time, but now I am receiving advertisements (vulgar ones) every day through it. I also received a message that the friend with whom I was talking had sent me a file. For luck I checked with her before accepted it and not only she had not sent me anything but she also had received the same message, too, saying I had sent her a file.
    After this, I just loose the confidence I had in using Skype. I have a Mac and I will give a try to ooVoo. If it can replaces Skype, I will migrate, definitely.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Adam,

    It's already time to update the accuracy of your article re SKYPE versus ooVoo.

    1. You statement that the FREE version of ooVoo supports a 3-way audio/video conversation has never been the case. The FREE ooVoo version only supports a 2-way audio/video conversation, the same as SKYPE

    2. SKYPE has responded to the ooVoo competition with a FREE (for the time being) 5-way audio/video chat facility. Refer their latest BETA release 5.0.0.105

    It would be smart for the time being if SKYPE continues to offer their extra multi-audio-video chat facility for FREE, at least until the ooVoo competition dust settles?

    I agree with you that ooVoo offers a lot of interesting and useful additional features, and that if SKYPE does not respond quickly, SKYPE may well start suffering from migrating customers.

    3. There are security issues that you would not be aware of, that people should be concerned about with respect both SKYPE and ooVoo

    a) SKYPE is essentially monitored by British Intelligence, whereas American Intelligence sometimes has difficulty in monitoring some SKYPE conversations. For this reason,

    b) ooVoo was 100% developed by and to aid American Intelligence organisations, and as such, you can be assured that these agencies, who indirectly funded and devloped the ooVoo product monitors 100% of EVERY ooVoo communication.

    David

  • Tariq

    I have been using Skype and found it very useful. I use Skype and Pay CAD7.95 quarterly for unlimited (10,000min) to Canada and US, which saves me a lot of money. I started to use OOvOO but unfotunately oovoo doesn't have plan like that.

    Thanks.
    Tariq.

  • Homayoun

    I have used both.

    Skype has a Linux version (Oovoo Does not).

    Oovoo has a lot of advertisement (Skype does not).

    Skype is more affordable. For twenty sth per year you get unlimited calling in US/Canada. Oovoo's plans are limited (and they do not cover as many countries as Skype does).

  • kat

    But as with Skype there is an iPhone/iPad/iPod app but oovoo has yet to create one at all more or less free like Skype does I use Skype for my iPod so I wouldn't get to access oovoo unless I had a computer near by

  • Raniya

    This is great comparison of two free calling programs. Skype is very popular though but oovoo still has some good features such like you can watch multiple friends video on a single page.

    You can see there, each feature detail which will tell you why Oovoo is not so popular:

    http://www.syednetworks.com/skype-vs-oovoo-comparison

  • Anonymous

    I play online game, FFXIV is any of you know it, and I gotta say skype is just the way to go. My father also travels internationally all the time and skype has been the only program we find that works great for keeping in touch. As for my game, all my friends online don't mind the fact that not all the connections via skype are video, but the simple fact that so many of us are able to get on skype and chat while playing is a benefit within itself, and I don't see ooVoo being a good fit for such situations.Just thought I'd put my 2 cents in.

  • Anonymous

    I didn't get to read all the threads so I don't know if it's noted. One thing Skype can do is "Share Screen" and "Send File" while you're video chatting. There are many times my Mom needs my help with her computer. When she shares her screen with me, I can see what she's talking about. Plus, instead of me emailing her a file, I can just send it while we're talking and she'll get almost instantly!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for this comparison. Now Skype allows group video conferencing with up to 10 participants (the host needs group video calling subscription (now $8.99). Also, I can do videoconferencing with skype iPhone application.

  • Max

    Well, first of as someone else mentioned already you need to update the article.
    Second off, I would like to share some of my own experience.
    Lets start off with Skype, the more famous one. I've been using Skype for about 4 years now, I was not well satisfied with it since it had no competition and so many things weren't the way we would want them to be. Such as, you could only have 1:1 conversation, not so great video quality, and many more other things that are now fixed.
    At some point Oovoo started getting more and more popular and so I've decided to give it a try, I must say i was quite shocked. The Quality was better, i could talk to more than 1 person at a time and many features were free too. So I pretty much decided to move to oovoo right away, BUT closer to 2010, oovoo changed quite a lot. They changed the prices, the free plan quality is not as good anymore, and even screen sharing costs money now. So I went back to skype to see how they are doing and once again I didn't expect to see so much change,
    their free plan quality is about the same as oovoo's BUT, many of their features are either free or a lot cheaper than oovoo's. Skype now have more than 1:1 conversations, they have free screen sharing, cheaper calling to other countries rates, and their premium plans and all plans in general are *A LOT* cheaper. So for now i'll be sticking with Skype again, unless oovoo is going to have some serious changes with their prices and the free features.

  • Kenny

    Skype has true cross-platform support, with Windows, Mac, and Linux version. Those ads, my God, look horrible! How can anyone use something like that?

  • weathers35

    I downloaded Skype a while back. It probably took me 30 minutes. Oovoo however,2 minutes or less.

  • Maddy

    Honestly, I like ooVoo better than skype. Although the one thing i hate is how they go back and forth from "You can do 3-way calls!" to "You can do 12-way calls for a month!" to "You can do 3-way calls!"

    I used to the fullest extent, the 5-way call. Now that thats gone, me and my friends are stumbled and mad.

  • Anonymous

    I've been getting extremely tired of Skype. So tired. It frustrates me. I was just thinking about if Oovoo would be a better option for me. My video is laggy and when researching the reason, it says that I should close all internet, which I have, and it still looks like I'm moving like the Grudge and I'm talking like an actor from an old Chinese action movie. I get extremely unnatural noises from my girlfriend's end. The sounds goes in and out. Calls are constantly dropped. It's really annoying. Can anyone tell me if Oovoo's video is faster than Skype's? And if not, how to make it so I don't look like the Grudge?