Zoom vs. Skype: What’s the Difference?

Decide which features matter most for your video conferencing needs

Zoom and Skype are popular video conferencing platforms for professionals. While Skype appeared earlier and is a well-known VoIP service for video and phone calls, it’s also flexible as a virtual meeting tool for small teams or solo professionals. Since Zoom’s debut in 2013, it’s made a mark as a cloud-based video conferencing and webinar platform which can support large organizations.

Both products overlap in many ways, including by offering free versions suited for smaller teams and individuals. Deciding between the two could determine which unique features are most practical for your team or work routine.

Zoom vs Skype


Overall Findings

  • Free and small team plans.

  • Many collaborative tools for teams.

  • Supports webinar scheduling and hosting.

  • Numerous product integrations.

  • Premium plans support large companies.

  • Free to use with 100-participant maximum.

  • Phone calls and texting available for a fee.

  • Meet Now offers simple browser-based conferencing.

  • Live captions and subtitles.

Zoom and Skype provide individuals and teams a simple way to meet and collaborate. Each distinguishes itself with different strengths, while both platforms overlap with free memberships, which allow hosting up to 100 participants and features including chatting, file-sharing, and screen-sharing.

Ultimately, factors such as team size, meeting length limits, software integrations, and extra features could sway your opinion about which platform works best for your workflows. Skype is an appealing choice for smaller teams and professionals, while Zoom could be the more flexible option for big companies.

System Requirements: Widely Compatible

  • Android, iOS, iPadOS.

  • Windows 7, 8, and 10.

  • macOS 10.9 and later.

  • Linux.

  • Android, iOS, iPadOS, FireOS, Windows, ChromeOS, macOS (10.10 and higher) and Linux.

  • Meet Now support for Chrome and Edge.

Both Zoom and Skype support mobile use with apps for iOS, Android, and iPadOS and compatibility with macOS, Windows, and Linux-based systems. Skype is friendlier to Chromebooks with full support versus the additional app required from the Google Chrome store for Zoom. Skype also offers more seamless integration with Kindles operating on FireOS. 

Skype's free conferencing call feature known as Meet Now offers additional flexibility for Chrome or Microsoft Edge users. Anyone can launch a meeting right from the browser without a Skype account and share it with other Skype and non-Skype users. Outlook and Windows 10 also include a Meet Now shortcut to make launching meetings faster. 

Plans and Pricing: Zoom Offers More Variety

  • Free unlimited calling with up to 100 participants.

  • Non-paid plan includes many features.

  • Several paid tiers for small and large teams.

  • Many special enterprise features.

  • Support for large-scale webinars.

  • Meetings limited to 4 hours and 100 participants.

  • 100-hour monthly meeting limit.

  • Paid tiers for teams only in Microsoft Teams.

These video calling platforms offer free versions that suit smaller companies, though support for call length and frequency differs. Zoom limits free sessions to 40 minutes but places no cap on how many meetings free users can launch. Skype puts a 4-hour cap on meeting length and a 100-hour maximum monthly limit. 

The main pricing difference between the two is that Skype comes in one tier, the free plan. While Skype for Business was once the upgrade for companies, Microsoft Teams will absorb Skype for Business into its all-in-one conferencing and calling platform. Microsoft Teams also comes with a free version or paid tiers to support teams as small as 100 people or with as many as 10,000 members. Groups that use Microsoft productivity apps for collaboration could find one of the paid plans a sensible choice.

Zoom Meeting plans for smaller and larger businesses alike are clear-cut and versatile. While the free version could suit smaller-scale operations, paid plans support smaller teams of 100 up to webinar hosting with as many as 50,000 attendees. Zoom enterprise plans and extras also run the gamut from unlimited cloud storage to live transcription and detailed meeting analytics. 

Special Features: Zoom Excels With Meeting Extras

  • Waiting room is free to use.

  • Breakout sessions offered on free tier.

  • More flexible background customization.

  • App marketplace for countless integrations.

  • Subtitles are a free feature.

  • Live captions for 11 languages.

  • Supports calls and texts for a fee.

Even with a free Zoom membership, users have access to an extended feature set, including:

  • Custom or preloaded backgrounds (including video files)
  • Whiteboard collaboration
  • Unlimited meetings with up to 100 participants
  • Waiting room
  • Breakout rooms

The first paid tier, the Pro version, expands support with up to 30 hours for individual meetings, social media streaming, and 1GB of cloud storage. Teams can choose from various configurations such as webinar hosting and integrations with one of the many third-party apps from the Zoom Marketplace, including Slack, Zapier, and Asana, among many others. 

In addition to offering free users the option to call or text for a fee, Skype stands out with its live video call translation and captioning feature. Skype provides this feature in 11 different languages to all users. Most devices, excluding Android smartphones running versions 4.04 to 5.01, receive support for this enhancement. Zoom offers translation and captioning only with a paid membership and third-party integrations.

Final Verdict: Zoom Better Supports Larger Companies

Zoom delivers an advantage with several paid tiers and features designed for bigger teams and large-scale video conferencing and webinars. Free subscribers also have access to many helpful tools, such as controlling who to let into each meeting, background customization, and messaging. These perks make Zoom an appealing option for smaller businesses or individual professionals too.

Skype could be better for smaller teams or solo entrepreneurs who don’t need extra infrastructure for meetings with hundreds or thousands of participants or smaller breakout sessions. This free platform is perfectly suitable for one-on-one and team interactions with up to 100 people at a time. Users can also video chat with non-Skype members and bypass account sign-up or software downloads with the browser-based Meet Now conferencing tool.

Was this page helpful?