One of the most common questions we get asked is “What’s the difference between VSee and Skype video chat?” Let me assure you that there is a difference, especially if you’re wanting to do telemedicine. Even if you aren’t, VSee’s group video conference beats Skype’s video performance by a mile, especially when you need to cross continents — plus it’s free. While I’ll do my best to give you a fair overview of VSee and Skype, the best thing to do is just to give VSee a try. As I mentioned before, group video calling is always free and if you want to try out our fast screen sharing features, VSee Pro is free for 30-days. So here are some of the main differences between VSee and Skype:
#1 Network Friendly and Low Bandwidth Video Chat
- VSee uses less than 50% of the bandwidth of Skype at the same video quality.
- VSee network-sensing technology will back off when it senses network congestion, which is ideal for wireless networks like 3G, satellite, or congested intranets.
In 2009 and 2010 the United Nation’s Refugee Agency (UNHCR) needed to stream high quality live video link to Darfurian refugee camps in Chad for Angelina Jolie and Hillary Clinton. Initially the UNHCR wanted to use Skype but found that the video quality was too grainy and poor due to the bandwidth limitations at the camp. They ended up using VSee because when using that same weak network, VSee was able to deliver clear, high quality video to the refugee camps, which made the event special. For your everyday video calls, this means VSee will not freeze and stutter on you nearly as much as Skype video chat.
#2 Rich Collaboration
- one-click application sharing with annotation
- drag and drop file transfer
- multi-camera support and remote PTZ camera control
Skype’s sharing capabilities are fairly limited and not that easy to use. For example, when I share my desktop, the remote person cannot see me. This makes it hard to build trust in situations where face is critical, such as for sales and getting to know new coworkers I may never meet in person. It also doesn’t let you annotate on a shared screen, making collaboration inconvenient. For telemedicine, Skype doesn’t let you simply plug in and stream an extra camera or medical device so the doctor can see you and the medical device image at the same time.
With VSee all parties can see each other for the duration of the call. VSee is the only video chat that allows you to send up to 4 video streams simultaneously from a single device. VSee design is all about simplicity and minimizing clicks. That means when you call someone, all you get is his or her face without being surrounded by menus, buttons, or frames. You can choose exactly what window you want to share or unshare with one simple click – no need for pop-up menus or directories.
#3 Privacy, Security, and API
- VSee uses 256 bit FIPS 140-2 AES for all traffic
- VSee provides a simple, rich API that supports secure medical workflows
While Skype does provide encryption, it uses its own proprietary method which means that no one knows if they keep the decryption keys (although the Edward Snowden divulgences confirm that it’s more than likely that Skype does.) Indeed, Skype itself acknowledges “spying” on customers–that is, when you agree to use Skype products, you are allowing Skype to collect information about you, your account, and even your communications. Moreover, Skype is also often attacked through its various vulnerabilities. Here is a PC World article about Skype security for doing business.
VSee is designed to be secure from the start. It uses open industry standard, FIPS 140-2 compliant 256-bit AES encryption on all control and media traffic. Everything is always encrypted. VSee uses RSA public/private key to exchange the AES session key such that the VSee servers do not have access to the AES session key. This means only the people in your conversation can decrypt data passed through VSee. Moreover, VSee API and eVisit platform allows for easy integration into a health portal or the creation of a secure web-based telehealth portal including support for virtual waiting room, doctor dashboard, etc.
I hope you find this VSee vs. Skype comparison useful. As I mentioned right at the beginning, the best thing to do is to sign up for VSee and give it a try yourself! You can also learn more about VSee telemedicine here or check out this third-party comparison of VSee vs. Skype for HIPAA-compliant telehealth.
photo courtesy: Claudio Gennari …”Cogli l’attimo ferma il tempo”‘s