Skype is the elder statesman of VoIP calling, whether it’s audio or video, and the Microsoft-owned service has some strong qualities that other services can’t match. It’s a fully-featured, multiplatform offering, which means you’ll find a lot more here — whether you want it or not.

More importantly, you’ll find it pretty much anywhere: phones, tablets, computers, and even the Xbox One console via Kinect. (Remember Kinect? It’s great for Skype video calls!) In fact, this image shows me using a dated laptop with a low-res chat cam. Still, it works.

Beyond that awesome flexibility, Skype loads in the features: it has group video calls and screen sharing functionality, text chat and landline calls, not to mention live translation of seven spoken languages — albeit only on Windows devices for now.

As an all-in-one service, Skype might be intimidating for the casual user, and it’s certainly more than your mum would ever need on her phone. But for professionals and other well-traveled types, it’s one app that can connect you with pretty much anyone, wherever you are.

The Good:

  • On loads of devices
  • Group calls, translation, etc.

The Bad:

  • Can be overwhelming
  • No iOS/Android translation

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