Skype Alternatives – DISCORD is the Winner

I am sick up to here with websites telling you “the best alternatives” while not allowing discussion – in other words, thinly disguised adverts. I’ve been a Skype user since long before Microsoft came along and ruined it.

Recently we’ve been looking for FREE alternatives to the free Skype that might do the job for text, video, audio, chat, screen sharing and file sharing. There are several contenders but typically the authors make assumptions about your preferred platforms or there are other limitations. Now, I use a PC and sometimes use my Android phone or tablet – some “alternatives” to Skype do not let you edit something once it has been sent – at least not in the PC version (Google Hangouts and ZOOM both have this problem). WhatsApp is a pain to use if you are not using a mobile device – so that’s another one off the list. ZOOM is very popular thanks to non-critical third-party promotion but at least for now I’m backing DISCORD.

Skype of course DOES let you edit after posting a chat – but Skype has its own problems like lacklustre video quality.

Discord

Thanks for the feedback guys – I installed the DISCORD program on my PC and the App on my phone – and aside from bad non-headphone audio feedback on the mobile app and some on the PC, it beats Skype no problem (video on a PC is great) AND Discord has important after-posting chat editing… ZOOM is getting all the (non-critical) press right now but a lot of articles on the web warn against it for lack of end-to-end encryption, sending info to Facebook and for example – issues of ZOOM+PRIVACY – my thanks to Mr Shark for the security warnings.

To my knowledge these are not issues to worry about with DISCORD. I like it already. I must stress te caviat that it seems to have quit poor anti-audio-feedback and really does need headphones (Skype scores well there by comparison).

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21 thoughts on “Skype Alternatives – DISCORD is the Winner

  1. Yepp.. also Zoom Homepage is a privacy mess. Following in the Homepage included Tracking Services (Analyzed by Mike Kuketz) :

    Google Tag Manager
    Google Analytics
    TrustArc
    Google Doubleclick
    Cheqzone
    Zendesk
    AdRoll
    Pingdom
    G2
    TechTarget
    SalesLoft
    Hotjar
    Demandbase
    Facebook
    Rubicon Project
    PubMatic
    Outbrain
    Casalemedia
    Yahoo Advertising
    BidSwitch
    Taboola
    LinkedIn

    Link (German) :
    https://www.kuketz-blog.de/zoom-uebermittelt-personenbezogene-daten-an-drittanbieter/

    1. Well, Marcus, that looks like a lot of fun, I tried Jitsi – but it, too has no way to edit messages once sent. So it is still looking as if Skype is one of few, maybe the only package that lets you do that on the PC, edit the message once sent? Any more?

      1. Did you check to see if it was on the feature request list? Sounds like a reasonable request…

        That’s the thing with open source projects, if you don’t let the developers know about a useful feature, they stick with what’s already working for them.

        1. A very good point Doug, I just tried, no simple contact for, just a sign up to the community which looked involved just to ask a simple question, so I looked at the release notes – nothing – and it looks like Jitsi is increasingly Android focussed? I need cross-platform – too msny of these chat systems tend to ignore the many people based on desktops.

  2. Discord is really nice, Peter. We moved there from Skype a couple years ago and should have done it sooner. Its core functionality is group voice chat like TeamSpeak, but it also supports one-on-one text chat as well as voice and video calls and even has integrated screen sharing that just works. It’s far better than any of the many enterprise products I’ve used at work.

    1. I also moved to discord, originally thought it was for only gamers but soon realised it was just what I needed for creating a meeting for work purposes.
      PS. Pete, it allows editing of old text posts.

    2. Well spotted Jason and others – I’ve moved to Discord – 24 hours of intense Covid-boredom-inspired testing and can’t find anything wrong with it- some audio feedback on mobile if not using headphones – which is a distinct pain – but other than that, near perfect. I read about plug-ins – are you supposed to use them or not? Proper text colouring would be nice (but then Skype doesnt do that either).

      1. Discord bots/plugins are really common, using them is fine. I think they all live server-side so you don’t have to fiddle with getting everybody to install them.
        Make sure echo cancellation and noise suppression are enabled in the settings, that usually takes care of feedback for me.

      2. PS: Discord also supports custom external integrations. There’s a nodered node to send messages to Discord, for example. You can even get fancy and send commands to your HA stuff with a custom bot.

          1. unless you plan to open some channel on discord so we can all gather there and chat together (but then reducing audience here on blog), there’s not so much use of these nodes in an end-to-end chat like we’re using 🙂

            the only use i can see is to contact your LOCAL nodered install sending discord messages and get back responses, like a remote control and notification system, which is pretty much the same you can already do with telegram… 🙂

  3. problem is to have all your contacts switch to the same platform you’ll choose… no problem for me, i’m on whatsapp, messenger, skype, discord, teams, hangout… for others, it could be a problem…

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