Skype has ruled the roost for a long time in relation to free calling, be it video or voice (VoIP). However with more and more competitors coming out all the time, the good thing is we are all starting to have more and more choice.
Here are a few of the best Skype alternatives.
1. Google Talk - Google launched this a while ago, and after a relatively rocky start, have now been making more headway with it recently . With Google+ launching 'Hangouts' within their social platform, it's a great way to get together to talk to several folks at any one time. Available on your desktop or mobile.
2. Viber - The guys at Viber are slowly taking over the world. Their free application is available on all the big players in the mobile world; iOS, Android, Blackberry & Windows. Offering free calls to and from other Viber users, coupled with text messaging Viber to Viber, it's the whole package.
3. FaceTime - An Apple only production, FaceTime allows you to video call someone else with either a Mac or iOS device (iPhone or iPod touch). Admittedly it is great quality, but is sadly a little restrictive if you're not on the Apple train.
4. WhatsApp Messenger - Not really a calling app, but this little service allows messages, pictures, audio and video to be sent to other WhatsApp users. It’s free for a year, then costs $0.99 a year thereafter. A brilliant alternative to actually talking altogether. Like Viber, it is also available on all the big mobile platforms.
5. Fring - This one may not very popular, but it is just as powerful as the rest of the pack. It offers free video calling, texting and some file sharing thrown in for good measure. Fring also allows conference calling, much like Google’s 'HangOut' feature.
A word of warning? Always remember to check with your mobile provider about data allowance on your plan; as these little chaps can use quite a bit of data. However, if you have WiFi (with an unlimited plan) or are in a WiFi area, then fill your boots.
Do you use a different VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), or is Skype still king of the callers? Let the debates begin - over at the forum.