Best video chat apps in 2021

(Image credit: Zoom)

The top video chat applications are an excellent way to remain social all the time that you’re unable to physically meet people. It doesn’t matter if you’re far away from your loved ones or are trying to avoid getting exposed to the Delta version Video chat applications make use of the power of the internet to connect the gap between you and your friends.

We’ve reviewed the top options for people who would like to chat via video. It doesn’t matter if it’s about keeping track of your professional life or maintaining your personal relations. Here is the top video chat software that you can download and utilize today.

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What are the top video chat applications?

The best video chat software in general and one that’s particularly sought-after in the present can be found in Zoom Meeting, which can be utilized on desktops and mobile phones alike.

Zoom can be purchased for free or paid different tiers. The free version can handle calls up to 100 people, however, calls that have three or more people in the call are limited up to 40 minutes. It is also able to run inside the browser window of a desktop If you do not want to install the application on your device.

Skype is a great substitute for Zoom. It’s somewhat more user-friendly, however, it can be used on a variety of platforms, and doesn’t cost anything in the beginning. It also lets you make calls to landlines and mobile numbers at reasonable prices, and supports texting, and also performs the real-time translation.

Google Duo Google Duo is an application that is preinstalled on the majority of Android phones and is essentially Google’s alternative for Apple’s FaceTime. It’s user-friendly as is FaceTime it also provides an easy way to call Google Home devices built-in.

Facebook offers two other solutions to offer: Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Both of the apps’ video calling capabilities saw an increase of between 8 and 50 people at the beginning of last year.

For gamers, we suggest making use of Discord that has powerful apps for mobile and desktop. Actually, Discord is built for streaming games to small groups of people and the company recently increased its limit of the Go Live free streaming service from 10 to 50 people.

If you’re in need of space for lots of people as well as a chat platform that is fully integrated into Microsoft Office, then Teams is the ideal choice. The free version allows you to connect with at least 100 people and is higher than any other app on this list with paid plans that raise the number and can reach 300. The most appealing aspect is that if you sign up for Office 365, you probably already have access to one of Team’s premium plans as included in your bundle.

This is a look at the top video chat apps.

The most popular video chat apps are available to download now

Zoom Meeting

The best all-around Video chat, conferencing, and chat application

Specifications

Works Compatible with: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Web

Free maximum users Limit on time of 3 days or greater

Reasons to buy

Good for colleagues and friends alike. Comprehensive feature set+ Works across all platforms

The reasons to stay clear of

Free tier places time limits for three or more people

The outbreak turned out to be a major deal for Zoom because it quickly became the standard video chat software for many people as well as businesses — and for great reasons. Zoom’s vast feature set and broad platform support have been a huge draw for users around the globe. No matter if you’re on a desktop or mobile or prefer a web browser, Zoom offers something for you.

Security, screen sharing, and live annotations are all in the standard package with Zoom regardless of whether or not you’re paying for it or not. While a single-person chat has no restrictions but having more than 3 people in a group is a restriction of the free users to an hour time limit. If you’d like unlimited access for more than 100 people then you’ll need to pay $15 per month to access the Premium level, while the more expensive Business tier will increase that limit too.

Zoom was plagued by Zoom was plagued by a number of security concerns that were well-known at the beginning of the pandemic, however, the situation has changed over time to improve. All calls are secured by end-to-end encryption, there are now privacy-focused notifications and the privacy policies have been updated to make clear who is able to save and share recordings of meetings. There is more information about the ongoing issues with the app and the steps which have been implemented to address these issues, on our Zoom security page.

Skype

The most user-friendly and easy-to-use multi-platform video chat

Specifications

Works Compatible with: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Web, Xbox

Maximum number of free users Maximum free users: 50

Reasons to buy

+ Maximum 50 people permitted on video calls. Supports international calls and text messages. Available across all platforms

The reasons to stay clear of

-Business tier costs money

Skype is in the video-chat business for quite a long time and continues to offer an extensive set of features that can accommodate more than 50 people at the same time. It’s also absolutely free to use and is accessible across all devices that you may need.

Additionally, Skype is known for its ability to connect to landlines as well as basic mobile phones and can support international calling as well as texting. It is necessary to pay for it, but it’s particularly useful for staying connected with loved ones and friends many miles away.

Skype has a wide range of standard features that include streaming of screens and live transcribing and sometimes, live translation of chat audio in real-time.

 Google Duo

The best video chat app for Android users

Specifications

It works with iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac via the internet

Free maximum users Free users maximum: 32

Reasons to buy

Preinstalled on all new Android phones. Easy and enjoyable to use. Free.

The reasons to stay clear of

The limit of 32 people is less than many

While Apple has been using Facetime for years but the Google Android operating system did not have its own native Facetime equivalent. Instead, people were forced to use third-party apps download through the Play Store, and hope that their friends would sign up too.

Luckily Duo was created to solve the issue with an app for video chat which is extremely simple to use and is accessible through the Android phone application’s native application. Additionally, Duo supports a lot of enjoyable features, like the possibility of recording and sending video messages that allow you to make contact with your family and friends even when they’re not available at a particular moment.

The duo is available for iOS and allows you to stay in touch with your iPhone-toting buddies without needing the need to buy the Apple device to have Facetime access. Duo has the same 32-person limit as Facetime and Facetime, so users do not have an excuse not to use it.

 Discord

Best video chat option for gamers

Specifications

Works with: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Web

Maximum number of free users 25 for video calls; 50 when streaming

Reasons to buy

Excellent for gaming and gaming on a PC. mobile applications

There are reasons to avoid

Lacks more functional features

Gamers have already heard of Discord as a wonderful tool to connect with friends via text messages however did you know that Discord allows video chat, as well? Furthermore, as it supports streaming within the app is a fantastic way to play games with friends by streaming a user’s screen content to the entire group.

In actuality staff from the Tom’s Guide staff has done exactly the same thing several times during the quarantine with one person sharing the Quiplash game via their computer’s screen to us who were playing on the phone. It’s a good thing, Discord has even gone further than raising the quality of its Go Live built-in streaming service from a maximum capacity of 10- people up to fifty people temporarily. In the event that you choose to upgrade it to Nitro that costs 10 dollars per month, you’ll be able to improve the quality of the streaming service to 1080p/60 frames per second, which is in addition to 30 frames per second at 720p for the free level.

 FaceTime

The best video chat application for iPhone users

Specifications

It works with iOS, Mac

Maximum free users 32

Reasons to buy

+ Supports up to 32 people in a video conference. into each iPhone, iPad, and Mac+FaceTime Audio makes it easy to make voice calls and also lets you stream or listen to streams of content with callers who are not yours.

The reasons to stay clear of

Android and Windows will have only restricted access to the web browser

It’s not surprising that FaceTime is a top choice on the list of the top video chat applications. It wasn’t the first application from Apple in video chat however it was the one that made everything for mobile users and helped lead to the development of technology that made video chat more convenient and accessible.

At present, FaceTime is preinstalled on every Apple hardware and offers an array of truly enjoyable functional features ranging from adorable Animojis, Memojis, and stickers to allowing up to 32 people to talk on the same call. Furthermore, because FaceTime also comes with the ability to make calls via voice -it’s called FaceTime Audio, it is possible to make calls using Wi-Fi or data whenever you’d like. Your conversations will sound a lot better than those made through your cellular providers’ voice networks.

The only disadvantage to FaceTime is that it only offers the full experience only on Apple hardware, which includes iPhones as well as Macs. Android or Windows users will have restricted access until the year’s end. the year however it will only be accessed via an internet browser.

Facebook Messenger

The best alternative to FaceTime is that works across platforms.

Specifications

Compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac via the web

Maximum number of free users Maximum free users: 50

Reasons to buy

+Ubiquitous+Available on web and phone+Max 50 people allowed on a video call

There are reasons to avoid

Lacks more functional features

The benefit of the use of Facebook Messenger to video chats is the fact that you’re likely already signed up for it. If you’ve got an existing Facebook login along with Facebook Messenger installed on your phone (or the Facebook Messenger app on your smartphone (or you’re logged in to Facebook Messenger on your computer or phone Facebook Messenger web app on your PC) you’re able to start a video chat on Facebook with Facebook friends today. Even if you did have an account on Facebook account at one point in time and then deactivated it, you’ll still be able to utilize Messenger.

Tap the tiny video camera icon located in the upper-right corner on the screen and you’ll be able to initiate a chat either with a chat group. Similar to Skype you can have up to fifty people who are able to be on a Facebook Messenger video call at the same time — a fantastic perspective over the maximum 32 video chatters that are supported by Apple’s FaceTime as well Google Duo.

Additionally, even when you are video-chatting you are able to use Facebook Messenger’s numerous other functions including messaging chat m

 WhatsApp

Another solution for video calls is cross-platform

Specifications

Works Compatible with: iOS, Android

Free maximum users 50

Reasons to buy

+End-to end encrypted group calls for 50 people

The reasons to stay clear of

Video calls are currently only available to mobile phones

WhatsApp is among the most used messaging options for smartphones as it’s easy to sign up with just an email address and phone number and also because many of your family and friends have probably already used it (or at the very least, already have accounts).

The WhatsApp video calling function wasn’t the most reliable available. However, that all changed when the maximum number of participants was raised to 50 because of an Integration with Facebook Messenger’s brand-new Rooms feature.

The only drawback to WhatsApp’s Video Suite is it WhatsApp provides web and desktop applications video chat is restricted to mobile application users at the time of time being. There’s been talk of video chat making its way to WhatsApp’s web client, but so it’s not yet been able to make its way into the Beta version of the application.

At the very least, WhatsApp video chats are encrypted, much as chat messages. That means you won’t have to worry about the conversations getting snooped by malicious criminals.

Microsoft Teams

Similar to Skype But more professional

Specifications

Works Compatible with Android, iOS, Web, Windows

Maximum number of free users 100

Reasons to buy

Free and paid plans, Office integration + 100 person group calls for free plan

The reasons to stay clear of

It is intended for business use

While it’s primarily designed for businesses or professionals there’s an opportunity that Microsoft Teams can offer. Particularly if you plan to get together in large groups. The free version permits as many as 100 people in a conference call, that’s plenty for the biggest family reunion.

In contrast to Microsoft’s Skype, Teams also comes with a variety of professional tools that could be helpful for speaking with others. Tools include screen sharing as well as background blur and noise-suppression software based on Teams their own AI. It also connects to Office and is available in the Office 365 plan, in the event that it becomes relevant outside of work.

How to pick the right video chat software for you

Since all of the top video chat software is completely free, you don’t have to be worried about trying another option to find one that you love. In the end, the riskiest thing you’ll need to do is install the program.

However, if you’re trying to know where to begin the best way to start is to assess the purpose you’ll use this app to do. If you’re wanting to talk on your phone on your own Duo, FaceTime, or any of Facebook’s options will be sufficient.

If, however, you and your buddies use many different devices for connecting to each other — smartphones, tablets, and computers or your requirement for a more collaborative or professional then we suggest using Teams, Zoom, Skype, or Discord. These applications are accessible on all platforms and, even though certain of them have paid tiers, you don’t require these if your number of users isn’t enough or the amount of time you’re planning to talk isn’t too long. The paid versions are more advanced in a lot of cases, however, those that are free of charge are very packed with features. It should at the very minimum include all the essential features you’ll need.

In the end, you’ll likely end up using the video chat software your family and friends use — that’s the way things usually be. If you’re searching to replace your current one then one of the options that are on this list should be enough.

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Tom is Tom’s Guide’s automotive editor He can typically be found knee-deep in statistics on the newest and top electric cars or looking at the latest driving technology. It’s a long way from his time as an editor at Gizmodo UK when pretty everything was put placed on the table. He’s typically seen in the process of squeezing another massive Lego set on the shelf, squeezing enormous cups of coffee, or complaining about how Ikea isn’t letting him buy items he truly requires online.

 

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