Online communication tools are part of the workplace fabric in today’s digital age. Business teams of all shapes and sizes can no longer rely on email to stay connected. Instead, robust team chat apps are crucial to facilitating seamless communication and teamwork among dispersed and remote teams.
Whether your team works from home some of the time, or they’re fully remote, a unified communications tool is necessary for keeping them connected—whenever, wherever.
The need to stay connected and work together from a distance has resulted in numerous online workspace communication tools hitting the market. From video-specific tools like Skype or Zoom, to more comprehensive platforms like RingCentral Video, Flock, or Jira—you’re spoilt for choice.
However, not all communications platforms are created equal. In this article, we’ll examine the similarities between RingCentral Video and Skype and how they stack up against each other as tools for making enhancing remote teamwork. Let’s jump right in.
What is RingCentral Video?
RingCentral built RingCentral Video to empower teams with a unified online work environment to communicate, collaborate, and, ultimately, get work done without switching between different business apps. Even if you’re working with remote teams spread around the globe, RingCentral Video helps teams to stay connected—always.
RingCentral Video is packed with useful features to streamline workflows, including team chat, video conferencing, file storage and sharing. Essentially, it’s a one-stop solution for all your business communication needs. It’s ideally suited for all kinds of businesses, from start-ups to enterprises.
What is Microsoft Skype?
Skype is a unified communications solution, but it’s first and foremost a video conferencing software. If you’ve participated in long-distance calls with friends or family, it’s likely you’re already familiar with Skype. The software’s name is often used to mean “video call”. For example, someone might ask “Do you want to Skype this weekend?”, even if you’re not actually going to use the platform to conduct the call.
When it comes to online collaboration, however, Skype’s free version might not meet all your business needs. If you’re looking for a Skype alternative that facilitates a robust online work environment with task management features, RingCentral Video is the answer.
|RingCentral Video (free plan)||Skype (free plan)|
|Message history limit||Unlimited||10,000|
|Video conferencing||Unlimited video chats with up to 100 participants; up to 200 participants with RingCentral Video Pro+||Unlimited voice and video calls with up to 100 participants|
|Platforms supported||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android|
|Team members||Unlimited. Add as many team members as you need!||Up to 600 participants in a group chat|
|Guest users||Unlimited||Available with the “meet now” function, up to 100 attendees|
|Screen sharing features||Yes||Yes|
|Integrations||Unlimited integrations including Google Workspace and Microsoft 365||Not available on the free plan.|
|Customer support||Yes, RingCentral Video offers phone, chat, and email support to all customers.||Yes|
Let’s take a closer look at each software’s functionality to better understand how they stack up against each other.
First things first, let’s get the money-talk out of the way.
Both RingCentral Video and Skype offer free versions of their software. However, what is provided in those free plans differs significantly.
One of the best things about RingCentral Video pricing is that it offers a whole host of team collaboration tools completely free. What’s more, the free version doesn’t come with lots of limitations like other communications tools.
RingCentral Video Pro (the free plan) offers users unlimited phone or video calling for up to 100 users. RingCentral Video Pro+ is available for $10.99 per month and allows users to host up to 200 participants per call. Below is an overview of RingCentral Video plans and their key features. The free version provides users with collaboration features and employee communication tools to enhance productivity and streamline tasks.
RingCentral Video Pro $0
- Unlimited video meetings up for up to 100 participants
- Meeting duration up to 24 hours Unlimited integrations
- Instant join in with no downloads required
- Switch calls between devices (eg. PC to mobile) with a single click
RingCentral Video Pro+ $11.99
- All RingCentral Video Pro features, plus:
- Host up to 200 participants
- 10GB cloud recording storage per user
- Single sign-on access
- Advanced analytics
Skype’s free version is mostly aimed at personal users or small teams who don’t require enhanced workspace collaboration tools. It includes instant messaging, Skype-to-Skype audio and video chats, as well as landline call functionality and conference call capabilities. However, without integrated task management features, file storage, or business app integrations, it doesn’t offer a comprehensive communications solution for business users.
Skype’s paid plan, Skype for Business, has been replaced by Microsoft Teams. It provides users with access to more intelligent features like Microsoft Office collaboration and integrations with productivity apps. Prices start at $5, but that’s billed per user—so costs can quickly add up. Outside of this, Skype’s pricing model can be quite unclear. There are pay-as-you-go options, subscriptions, and the option to pay for a Skype number. Skype’s free version users can:
- Make unlimited one-to-one and group voice and video calls (up to 100 participants)
- Chat instantly (stored for 30 days)
- Share files (stored for 30 days)
In today’s modern age of instant gratification, people are becoming more and more disenchanted by email. It’s simply not fast enough. Instead, businesses have turned to chat tools to streamline business communications.
RingCentral Video offers a robust team messaging app with all the file sharing and communication software features your teams need to successfully work together. Chat with colleagues and clients in real-time within the simple user interface. Send and store an unlimited number of messages, without worrying about your chat history or important files going missing.
RingCentral Video allows you to create unlimited teams, so you can have as many conversations with team members and guests as you please. What’s more, you can access all of your important files, reminders, and annotations from the chat app dashboard.
When it comes to sending messages, you’ll have access to a feature-rich text editor. You can format your writing as you please, and personalize your conversations with:
If you’re chatting with a colleague on RingCentral Video team chat about a project, but decide speaking face-to-face would be much easier, you can switch from text to video chat with the click of a button. Moreover, RingCentral Video is available for all devices and the robust RingCentral Video mobile app allows you to effectively stay connected on the go from your iPhone or Android device.
To create a team in RingCentral Video, all you need to do is:
- Hover mouse over the “teams” header in the sidebar, and click “+”. This will add a new team.
- Give your team a name.
- Choose whether to make the team private or public, and start adding team members.
As your teams grow on RingCentral Video, you can organize teams by separating them in relation to projects, departments, or certain clients.
Skype also offers instant messaging within a simple-to-use interface. Each chat can be customized with a group name and photo. Starting a chat is easy, you simply invite users who are already on your contact list, or send a link to those who aren’t to join the chat. Like RingCentral Video, you can initiate a Skype voice or video call by clicking the icons in the group chat window.
This feature works well on a desktop and via the mobile app. Users can use emojis, GIFs, and reactions when responding to messages. You can also forward or quote messages to streamline communications. What’s more, users can share files, images, or videos to send instantly.
One major drawback of free Skype’s messaging function is that messages are only stored for 30 days. After that, they’ll be deleted. So unless you’ve stored your messages elsewhere, you’ll lose access to important chats, files, and documents that were shared within that chat window.
For this reason, despite its simplicity and accessibility, it doesn’t excel as a team communication or real-time chat tool. In contrast, Glip by RingCentral offers unlimited file and message storage, so you needn’t worry about losing important information.
In today’s digital world, businesses are increasingly working with remote or dispersed teams. Video calls have become crucial to connecting team members across the world in real-time, face-to-face conversations.
RingCentral Video and Skype offer unlimited HD video calls on their free plan for up to 100 participants. Let’s see how these two communication tools compare when it comes to video conferencing quality and features.
RingCentral Video uses RingCentral Meetings software, which means you can expect enterprise-grade security as our RingCentral customers. With the free plan, users can run high-definition video meetings for up to 24 hours duration with up to 100 participants. When you upgrade to Pro+, you’ll be able to invite up to 200. This makes it an ideal tool for facilitating large business meetings with employees and clients, for hosting team-building exercises, collaborating on projects, or hosting webinars.
RingCentral Video’s free video calling feature allows users to tap a button, start a video call, and chat synchronously from any desktop or mobile device. You can start a one-on-one call, or initiate a team meeting by simply hitting “Start video chat” within the chat app window. Users can also switch between devices (eg. from a desktop computer to the RingCentral Video mobile app) with just one click.
RingCentral Video’s video offers an array of additional collaboration-enhancing features such as:
- Screen sharing features (including screenshots)
- Comes with on-screen annotations for highlighting important information.
- In-conference text live chat
- Allows participants to raise questions without interrupting the speaker.
- Free to join video calls
- Guests are not required to download any software; they simply click to join.
- Call recording and storage for up to a week
- This increases to 10GB of cloud storage with RingCentral Video Pro+
That’s not everything, though. RingCentral Video also offers artificial intelligence features that can enhance your privacy and video calling experience. These include:
- Reduce background noise for improved focus.
- Add virtual backgrounds to enhance your privacy when working from home, or just for fun!
- Include closed captioning for anyone hearing-impaired.
- Integrate with your Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace calendar to ensure everyone’s
- prepared and meetings always start on time.
Wondering how any other video conferencing tool can compete with all that RingCentral Video offers for free? Let’s see how Skype stacks up.
Video calling is truly Skype's bread and butter. Whether used for personal or professional meetings, Skype’s HD video promises reliability and quality. What’s more, with Skype you can even voice call international phone numbers at cheap rates.
Starting a video call is simple, just tap the video icon in the top right of the chat window. With the Meet Now feature, users can start a chat, video call, or web conferencing call without having to create an account. Instead, you’ll get a link and share button so you can easily invite all the guests by sending a link in a chat, or with Outlook or Gmail. This feature is ideal for one-off calls with customers and clients, as they won’t have to take any extra steps like downloading software to access the meeting.
Skype also provides some in-call features such as:
- Basic screen sharing in the free mode
- Raise hand feature so participants can ask questions without interrupting the speaker
- Call recording for up to 30 days.
When you move to paid plans with Microsoft Teams, you’ll have access to enhanced video collaboration features like a whiteboard and Q&A option.
When it comes to using video as a tool to share ideas, brainstorm, and collaborate on projects, Skype is pretty basic. RingCentral Video offers more comprehensive video calling that enables users to annotate their screen and switch between devices seamlessly.
Both platforms allow users to share files directly within a chat conversation. The main differences lie in file accessibility and what you can do once they’ve been shared.
With RingCentral Video, users can share an unlimited number of files within the app itself, or share using integrations with platforms like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive. Most file storage apps will make you pay for unlimited storage. Not with RingCentral Video!
You can also annotate files from within the app and collaborate on documents in real-time. All of your files will be visible in the right hand column when you enter a chat for easy access. It’s searchable, so you can find any file you need instantly. With RingCentral Video’s in-app file sharing, your team can:
- Be more productive with file syncing across devices
- Save time by sharing in seconds
- Keep conversations flowing without losing track of important documents and project work
Skype allows users to share files of up to 300MB. If you want to share large files, you’ll need to upload it to OneDrive and share it that way. Skype limits file sharing integrations to OneDrive, so if you use Google Drive, you’ll first need to transfer files to OneDrive and then share them in Skype.
It also only saves your files for 30 days. Once it passes 30 days, the files will be deleted. Therefore, Skype recommends regularly backing up files to another server. This isn’t ideal for working teams on busy schedules. RingCentral Video’s free in-app unlimited file storage means you don’t have to worry about documents going missing.
It’s also worth noting that Skype doesn’t offer a document list view like RingCentral Video, so finding a document requires you to recall the file name and search for it, or to scroll through the conversation to find it, which isn’t exactly time-efficient.
RingCentral Video features a built-in task manager that allows users to create, organize, and assign tasks to individuals or entire teams, conveniently within team chats. When you create a task, you can also assign files or documents to provide more information and context.
RingCentral Video’s task manager allows users to:
- Set and keep track of deadlines for better accountability.
- Color-code tasks for improved organization.
- Turn messages into tasks.
- Assign shared tasks to more than one person.
- Assign tasks to yourself to increase personal productivity.
- Put tasks on repeat to save yourself time.
RingCentral Video’s built-in task manager is great, but what if your team is already accustomed to using another project management software? RingCentral Video offers numerous integrations with other common task management systems and team productivity apps including Trello, Jira, and Asana.
Unfortunately, the free version of Skype doesn’t offer integrated task management features. Unlike RingCentral Video, it doesn’t feature options for assigning, organizing, and tracking tasks beyond the chat app. If you want to improve your team’s communication and collaboration with task management, you’ll need to invest in Microsoft Teams.
RingCentral Video Pro offers unlimited integrations for free. There are plenty of third-party apps available across software categories. What’s more, RingCentral Video’s APIs are constantly expanding, so new integrations are always being added.
Let’s take a closer look at the kind of business intelligence apps you can integrate with RingCentral Video to streamline communication and collaboration across teams.
- Time-tracking software like Harvest.
- Workflow automation tools like Zapier.
- CRM and help desk software like Zoho, Salesforce, and Zendesk to align departments and manage the customer experience and customer support.
- Task and project management integrations with Trello, Asana, Jira, and Pivotal Tracker.
- App development and deployment tools like Github, Heroku, and Jira.
Skype’s free plan doesn’t offer any integrations. It’s a stand-alone software. If you’re looking for a more robust collaboration platform to integrate with other essential features and business tools—you’ll need to upgrade to Microsoft Teams. Then, you’ll be able to implement a whole host of tools for project management, marketing, creativity and more.
RingCentral Video vs Skype: Final Thoughts
Although RingCentral Video and Skype are both excellent communication tools, there’s no comparison when it comes to team collaboration.
Skype’s free version limits chat and file storage. Although it offers video conferencing and message for free, if you want more than that, you’ll need to pay.
RingCentral Video, on the other hand, offers a comprehensive team chat and collaboration tool for free—no strings attached. Whether you’re a start-up, small business, or large enterprise, your teams will be equipped with everything they need to effectively and efficiently work together.
With RingCentral Video, you won’t have to spend a cent to access essential features like:
- Unlimited team chat
- Video calling
- File storage and sharing
- Built-in task management
- Robust integrations
Although both platforms offer mobile access, RingCentral Video takes it a step further by allowing you to switch between devices with a single click.
If you need even more functionality, then RingCentral Video Pro+ adds all you could need, including:
- 10GB cloud recording storage per user
- Single sign-on access
- Advanced analytics