VSee vs. ooVoo: A Look At Video Quality, Collaboration, and Security

Are VSee and ooVoo really that different? After all we both claim to have HD video conference, ongoing collaboration, free video calls, and no need for fancy equipment.  While I can’t tell you if VSee is the ooVoo alternative for your needs, I will point out some issues with video quality, collaboration design, and security that may help.  Of course, the best thing to do is to try out VSee and ooVoo for yourself, especially since both offer free group video calls.

Video Quality

I’m not alone when I say that VSee provides some of the highest quality interactive video around. VSee’s proprietary technology is designed to use 30-50% less bandwidth than most video calling solutions including ooVoo, WebEx, and Skype, which means that VSee is able to deliver high quality video over some of the weakest networks. In fact, VSee is able to deliver four HD video feeds simultaneously over a 4G wireless network. So when ooVoo says it offers HD video, while it may work in theory, it’s questionable how well it works in practice. Even Skype offers HD video, but few people are able to actually take advantage of it.  In any case, we did our own little comparison of how much network resources VSee and ooVoo take up. I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves:

*Figures are for upload/download speeds, respectively and are taken from two-way video calls.

Resolution

VSee

ooVoo

ooVoo’s self-stated network requirements

Default (320 x 240 p, VSee) (352 x 288 p, ooVoo) 50-150 Kbps 192-216 Kbps 180 Kbps
High Resolution (480 p) 70-250 Kbps 504-592 Kbps 384 Kbps
High Definition (720 p) 300-1000 Kbps 960-2000 Kbps 435 Kbps (download)

Instant Collaboration

OoVoo, Vidyo, and Skype are not designed for fast collaboration. They are designed for video conferencing or VoIP calling, and have added on screen share and maybe some file transfer functions. VSee, on the other hand, was specifically designed to facilitate sharing and collaborating based on years of Stanford PhD research on how people work and play. This means it only takes one click for anyone to share an application window (and it doesn’t have to be your entire desktop, which saves you from having to clean your desktop of incriminating or personal information.) Furthermore, VSee allows all participants to instantly annotate, circle, and draw anywhere in a shared window. Participants are also able give and take mouse/keyboard control for any shared application. Finally, VSee’s drag-and-drop file send is an intuitive way to immediately “hand over” files that you have just finished collaborating on together.

Security

Not to continue beating a horse that’s still very much alive, but ooVoo relies on a go-between server that can expose your information to the public. With VSee, your information is encrypted from the moment it leaves your computer all the way to its final destination (the receiving person). At no point is your information ever decrypted and re-encrypted at a middleman server. Finally, I was very surprised to find that ooVoo actually e-mails your account password to you in plain text.  This is a big security no-no that’s taught in any introductory security class. Even my non tech-savvy mom knows not to send passwords via e-mail.

Summary

  • VSee’s network adaptive technology allows for higher quality video calls than ooVoo
  • VSee’s research-based user design makes group collaboration more intuitive and more productive than ooVoo
  • VSee’s client-to-client architecture creates a more secure video calling connection than ooVoo’s client-server model

In short, if high quality video, instant collaboration, and strong security are important video conferencing and video calling features to you, make sure you know what you’re getting into with your video conferencing service, so you don’t end up with any regrets!

 (article updated Apr. 18, 2013)

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About milton

Milton is the CEO of VSee, a startup that makes the simplest video conference and screen share tool for virtual teams to meet online. VSee serves more than 8000 enterprises including IBM, the Navy SEALs, and US Congress and was used at President Obama's inauguration. Milton founded VSee following his PhD at Stanford University on the human factors of video collaboration. He has deployed VSee for Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, Mandy Moore, the band Linkin Park, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. He has also worked in refugee camps from Syria to South East Asia to Africa. Milton is the co-author of XMPP video standard and winner of the DEMO God Award. He loves reading biographies and doing experiments on how people communicate.

16 thoughts on “VSee vs. ooVoo: A Look At Video Quality, Collaboration, and Security

  1. Would it be possible for me to setup and experiment and see it for myself? Claims are usually not entirely true (for example, like what ooVoo claimed). Perhaps being able to conduct the experiment myself would be even more convincing.

  2. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would be interested in your results, Mark :) Let me know if you need an extra face for your experiments.

  3. I love vSee, everything about it!
    There are a few implementations that for sure need to be dealt with though!

    – Currently no copy/paste into chat
    – Any navigation through a video being shared clobbers the entire video, and it cannot be watched.
    – Location specific buffering ( Not just buffering from the beginning , but instead buffering from wherever the video is skipped to)

  4. I am currently in Belize and since being here 3 weeks have tried oovoo (as it is what I use in states regularly), skype, google chat and vsee. While none are perfect vsee comes darn close. What I have found is that it depends on the quality of the connection on the US end and less about mine though mine is surely sub-standard. VSee in contrast to the other apps 90% of the time comes across clear without delay or issue with video or voice. I am telling everyone I know about vsee in hopes they too will make a permanent switch…

  5. Hi, I have been using Vsee, and I’m very pleased with it. I came into this page because I used to use Oovoo before Vsee. I’m just curious, the first commenter asked to test it for himself since, as he mentioned, claims are easy to fabricate (everyone claims to be the best and most secure). And then I realized, I saw the same guy on the Vsee staff. Am I correct in assuming his post was before he was part of Vsee? I might not be that technically proficient, but it would be nice if he were to post his test results and maybe post instructions on how the test was conducted (maybe some of us regular people can do the test ourselves if it’s easy enough)

  6. hi paolo! This article was written by VSee CEO, Milton :) However, you can easily confirm bandwidth usage using third-party software like NetLimiter or WireShark.

  7. I have done a thorough case stody on VSee vs LifeSize Connections, vs ooVoo vs Skype.

    We are connecting 4 locations together on our business account and have found that the VPN tunnel requrements from the remote locations to our central office are too bandwidth limiting. Because we can’t negate the VPN (for obvious security reasons), we experimented with all applications.

    We found that VSee does limit its bandwidth usage to all locations and even still works great for 720px resolution among all webcams (Lifesize was able to do higher, but never needed that feature since we were doing 1 to 1 telepresence).

    The main problems from VSee for us are just in some of the unexpected behaviors with the software, but in all cases, these were related to the more extreme use of VSee for a telepresence solution and all normal usages worked flawlessly.

    We run these connections 24/7 and have them setup to auto-reconnect within about 30 seconds in case of a drop out. VSee rocks.

    Also, I will note that the peer based nature of VSee made it so that video doesn’t require traveling through the VPN, to the cloud, and back into our LAN. Much appreciated a GREAT solution!

  8. Thanks, Devin, for sharing your use case and results! Glad VSee is working great for you all :)

  9. Low lighting generally always gives you poor quality video – it’s like trying to take a good photo in the dark. You can check out some of our lighting tips here.

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