Countries worldwide are being locked and governments are urging citizens to stay inside. How do you keep in touch with your colleagues or your family? Video calling is an option for many people. NU.nl compares six video calling services: Skype, Zoom, Hangouts, Houseparty, FaceTime and Microsoft Teams.

When the cabinet called on people to stay at home as much as possible, interest in video calling services skyrocketed. The top three free apps in the App Store at the time of writing are video calling services. Which video service is best for you?

Skype

Skype has long been synonymous with internet calling. Literally: the verb skype is even with this description in the Van Dale and no need.

Pros and cons:

  • Can be used on Windows, macOS and smartphones with Android and iOS
  • Number of participants: maximum 50
  • Ability to share files, chat and record the conversation
  • Users must download the Skype software on their device
  • Price: Free for Skype users

Zoom

Zoom was already well-liked by its users, but the coronavirus has added an extra pendulum to its popularity, Protocol writes Monday in a company profile. Why the company was so popular before? Zoom doesn't really know that very well. Nevertheless, the Dutch have also become curious, according to data from Google Trends.

Pros and cons:

  • Can be used on Windows, macOS and smartphones with Android and iOS
  • Number of participants: maximum 100
  • Group video calling is limited to 40 minutes
  • No Zoom accounts required to join a video call
  • Ability to share files, chat and record the conversation
  • Price: Free, but plans offer more options and override restrictions

Hangouts

Google doesn't make it easy with various products called Hangouts. In this article, we'll cover the service called pure Hangouts. The business version of this app is coming to an end, but the free consumer version is still usable at this time.

Pros and cons:

  • Can be used on Windows, macOS and smartphones with Android and iOS
  • Participants: maximum 10
  • It is not clear how long Hangouts will last. Google is calling on business customers to switch to its new app: Hangouts Meet
  • Price: Free, but G Suite Business users will have a maximum of 25 participants

Google calls on its business users to switch to Hangouts Meet as soon as possible: with this version of the app, users with a hundred participants can make video calls and record calls, among other things. To start a video meeting, a subscription to Google's G Suite business platform is required.

Houseparty

This app has been on the market since 2016, and was bought last year by Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite . But now that free mibos and friends evenings are dropping due to the corona crisis, the app is proving very popular. Houseparty is an app in which you can video chat with friends or family in so-called 'parties'. The unique thing about Houseparty is that it contains games. They are simple social party games, such as a quiz game and drawing game Quick Draw , where you have to guess what object someone else has drawn.

Pros and cons:

  • Can be used on smartphones with iOS and Android
  • Number of participants: maximum 8
  • You can have several parties open at the same time
  • It is possible to play games with your friends, such as a quiz game and drawing game Quick Draw
  • Chat partners are shown in split screen
  • Price: free

FaceTime

Of all the services in this list, Apple's FaceTime is the most limited since users without a Mac or iPhone cannot participate in the video calls. Apple users with outdated software are also unable to make video calls, but may be able to participate using only audio.

Pros and cons:

  • Can only be used on macOS and iOS
  • Number of participants: maximum 32
  • Group conversation is based on contact list with Apple account
  • Price: free

Microsoft Teams

With Microsoft's business chat service, employees of a company can create different channels in which they can consult and exchange files via chat messages. In the premium version of the app, customers can also schedule video meetings.

Microsoft Teams is included with an Office 365 subscription, but is free to use for six months during the corona crisis. Microsoft has recently seen a large increase in Microsoft Teams users and has therefore increased the capacity sixfold.

Pros and cons:

  • Can be used on Windows, macOS, Linux and smartphones with Android and iOS
  • Number of video calling participants: maximum 20
  • Teams works well with other Microsoft apps, for example you can sync OneNote notes and edit Word documents directly
  • Price: Free, but the paid version offers more options
  • With the paid version, a video meeting can be scheduled, up to 10,000 people can participate