Skype Vs WhatsApp: Comparison
Nowadays, when you want to make a video call on a phone or laptop, you will notice that most people recommend or prefer using Skype or WhatsApp. Looking at both platforms, you might conclude that because both achieve the same goal, they are the same and can be perfect substitutes of each other. That notion can be misleading. Skype and WhatsApp have fundamental differences that make one a better preference over the other for different users.
The mobile version of the Skype application has certain limitations you cannot access on a smartphone. As a demonstration of how reluctant skype was to transition to mobile phones BlackBerry never had a mobile version of Skype at least years after it was released. Till date, Skype still lags behind in the mobile VoIP market. But Skype still has a very strong point and that has to do with the stability of service it provides particularly on the laptop or desktop.
Differences Between Skype and WhatsApp
The main difference between Skype and WhatsApp stems from the distinct groups they target within the VoIP market. It is important to know these differences between Skype and WhatsApp and which particular groups of users each target. You should also understand the services they offer for each user, and then weight against your current needs to decide which one best suits your purpose.
Video and Audio Quality
One big difference between Skype and WhatsApp has to do with the video and audio quality. Because Skype has been designed for communication on desktops and laptops, majorly it is designed to be compatible with high-definition webcams found in desktop and laptops in order to provide the highest video quality it could.
Skype, therefore, can use the webcam of a computer, unlike WhatsApp which can only be used with the camera on your phone or microphone. Even using the web-based version of WhatsApp does not give you access to video calling from a laptop. So if you really need to have a video call, you will have to use your phone camera in the case of WhatsApp. Video call on a phone does not have the same quality as that on a laptop due to differences between the webcams. The phone camera is not the only determinant of video quality, the strength of your internet connection also has a major role to play.
Video and Call Recording
The second difference between Skype and WhatsApp communication platform is that with Skype, you can record your calls whether audio or video. You could easily save all your Communications on the cloud and then can access it from anywhere around the world and on any device.
However, you can’t save your data using WhatsApp, although you can use a third-party application to do this. But using a third-party application has its own problem because, in most cases, those applications do not work smoothly with the WhatsApp platform or may not be very reliable. In fact, there is no guarantee that a third-party application will actually work to save audio and video calls on WhatsApp.
Another difference between WhatsApp and Skype can be seen in the area of group calls. Many are not aware that one can use WhatsApp for group video calls whether between you and your friends, coworkers or Neighbors. There’s actually a limit on the number of people that can participate in a WhatsApp group video call. Skype too has a limit, but it accommodates a much higher number of participants than WhatsApp. The maximum number of people to take part in a video chat on WhatsApp is 4, while Skype, on the other hand, permits up to 50 participants on a video call at a time.
Privacy and Security
About the security features of both WhatsApp and Skype, both applications claim to provide end-to-end encryption service for protecting user data and privacy. In fact, WhatsApp claims to take it a mile further by providing an end-to-end encryption technology that prevents even WhatsApp developers from being able to access your data or listen in on your communication, let alone an outsider.
Skype too does provide end-to-end encryption protection for users. But this function is not enabled in their default setting. You have to manually alter the setting to use Skype’s end-to-end encryption. The end-to-end encryption provided by WhatsApp, which is also the default setting, is what makes a lot of people prefer using WhatsApp for private Communications because there seems to be a better guarantee of data and privacy protection.
However, be warned against swallowing this obviously lie hook-line-and-sinker, because WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, a company Notorious for using people’s data without their consent and a company that relies heavily on data refining to operate.
Similarly, Skype is owned by Microsoft, another company heavily interested in user data. So never you believe anything these people say about keeping your data private and not using it because it never happens like that. They will always use it for marketing purposes or for government surveillance purposes or even sell it to third parties.
Another major difference between WhatsApp and Skype is in the area of cloud storage. It is really easy to access your recorded calls anywhere and on any device if you are using Skype. But that is not the case with WhatsApp. So if you are an individual or a company that needs to be able to access your video communications and call records on the go, then Skype is certainly a better option than WhatsApp.
The ability to access your saved communication from any location and on any device is a great convenience because you don’t have to carry your device along anywhere you go like in the case of WhatsApp. In fact, apart from lacking cloud-based storage, WhatsApp can be a great pain in the ass for people who want to access their communication anywhere, or people who do not want to carry their devices along anywhere they go.
With WhatsApp, you can only use the mobile device on which your SIM is inserted, and on which your WhatsApp account is registered to keep tabs with contacts. WhatsApp has a web-based application, but it is just like the mobile application. For you to use that web-based application, you must have your phone with you and the phone must be connected to WhatsApp – basically the same as communicating on your phone instead of the laptop except for the difference of seeing a wider screen and probably typing faster.
If you lose your phone, your data goes with it – unless you’ve been backing up daily or weekly as the case may be, through your email account. If you fail to back-up your device using your email account, you risk losing every communication data, like chatting, that you had with business associates, customers, employers, friends, and pretty much everybody as soon as you’re separated from your phone.
Stability of Service
Another major difference between Skype and WhatsApp has to do with the stability of service. Skype is famous for providing stable and high-quality VoIP services. Although some users have complained that the stability of Skype is no longer as it used to be before Microsoft bought over the company. So it will appear Microsoft is managing Skype a little less effective than the original company was. But despite that, it is still considered a better service than WhatsApp as long as stability is concerned.
Some issues with skype that people complained about is that, some users said they get the blue screen of death from Skype sometimes, other users complain of sudden crashes or communication glitches like crackles in the audio.
Ease of Use
One big difference between WhatsApp and Skype has to do with the ease of use. Skype has a lot of settings that may take quite some studying to get familiar with and to use everything to augment your experience with the application. On the other hand, WhatsApp is a very simple platform that does not contain many settings, and the few available settings are quite easy to understand and use.
The next difference between the two platforms has to do with the cost of running each. Generally, both applications are free to use for everyday Communications. If you use either application through Wi-Fi, you need not worry about the cost because data is unlimited to you within the period you subscribed for. But using a 3G mobile connection, you might need to be more economical with data. Skype consumes more due to the higher quality of video and audio. For data economy, WhatsApp is the better option between the two.
Summary and Conclusion
Like I mentioned earlier which is the best application for you depends on your need for communication. Both WhatsApp and Skype have weaknesses and strengths that make them ideal for different groups of users. You need to figure out how the weaknesses and strength of each application can improve or impact your ability to communicate effectively.
People use both Skype and WhatsApp for a myriad of reasons. It could be for business communications or just to keep in touch with friends, colleagues and other contacts. If you need an application for business communication, then Skype is clearly a better option than WhatsApp, because of the high level of stability and the High video quality makes year communication appear professional to business associates.
Secondly, your ability to access records on the cloud is a very important business functionality that WhatsApp does not provide. And it also protects you from the risk of losing valuable communication between you and some business Associates. However, if you just want a simple communication platform where you can keep in touch with friends, and you don’t need to have a recorded version of chats, then WhatsApp could be a better option.
You can always use WhatsApp on the go, especially for emergency communications to do with business, or where you can be contacted by a client or your employer at any moment and you need to respond quickly. Because WhatsApp is on your phone, you can carry it along with you and communicate on the go.