The Difference Between Skype and ooVoo

by Velvet Moore

Skype and ooVoo are video chat programs you use to communicate with people using instant messages, video calls or voice calls. The platforms have similar features, but they have a few differences, some of which require that you pay a fee.

Basic Similarities and Differences

The free versions of both Skype and ooVoo allow you to send instant messages and conduct voice-only or video calls with other people who have the same Skype or ooVoo service. You can use either program to include LAN line or mobile phones in calls from your computer, either domestic or international, but that costs extra. Both programs allow you to share your screen with other people in the call when you call from a PC or Mac. You can call your Facebook contacts or send video messages for later viewing by contacts who are busy or who aren't online at the time. OoVoo supports group video chats with up to 12 participants and screen sharing between PCs in its free version. Skype requires that you purchase its premium service to hold video calls with more than one person at a time or to share your screen with a group.

Unique Features

OoVoo offers call recording. You can watch video call recordings later or upload them directly to YouTube. In addition, you can add any YouTube video to your ooVoo call and watch it with other call participants. Skype offers security provisions not included with ooVoo. Encryption algorithms keep Skype-to-Skype communications protected from hackers. Skype uses digital certificates and authentication, two methods of ensuring your identity is secure.

Platform and Language Support

Skype is supported on a wider variety of platforms than ooVoo, and its interface is available in more languages. OoVoo runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS and Android devices. OoVoo supports up to a dozen languages on each platform. Skype supports the same platforms as ooVoo in addition to Linux, BlackBerry phones, Kindle Fire HD tablets, Skype-ready phones, Skype-ready TVs and Blu-ray players, and PlayStation Vita systems. Depending on the platform, Skype is available in up to 35 languages.

Premium Version Differences

You can upgrade from the free versions of Skype or ooVoo to premium versions at a small cost. The premium versions come with an ad-free interface and priority technical support. The premium version of Skype adds group video capability, group screen sharing and international phone call capability. The premium version of ooVoo gives you space to store your recorded calls. You can use ooVoo to make international calls with a per-minute fee.

About the Author

Velvet Moore has been translating "Engineerese" into plain English for more than 20 years. She has a writing/math degree from Concordia University, as well as a usability specialist certification from Human Factors International.

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