(Note: For each point, I’ve listed unique VSee features and then an example of how Skype is different. The best thing to do though is just to give VSee a try. It’s free for personal use or
30-days free trial for business use.)
#1 Rich Collaboration
- one click application sharing with annotation
- drag and drop file transfer
- movie sharing
- multi-camera support, HD telepresence, and remote camera control
Skype’s sharing capabilities are very 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 with new coworkers or customers where seeing faces while sharing is critical. I can’t point to, draw on, or circle things I’m talking about which is inconvenient. I also have to be careful when sharing my desktop not to accidentally share something confidential, like the e-mail I was reading, since the screenshare feature by default shares my entire screen.
With VSee all parties can see each other for the duration of the call, and our application sharing is all about direct manipulation. That means you choose exactly what window you want to share or unshare with a simple click of a button. No pop-up menus or directories.
#2 Privacy, Security, and Manageability
- VSee uses 256 bit FIPS 140-2 AES for all traffic
- VSee also provides a management interface to control the end-points such as turning off file transfer, app sharing, etc.
Although Skype provides encryption, they do it with their own proprietary method which means no one knows if they’re decrypting your conversations or worse, letting other people look in on them. In fact, Skype 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. Skype is also often attacked through its many vulnerabilities. You can read about the latest exposure here.
VSee is designed to be secure from the start. It uses open industry standard, FIPS 140-2 certified, 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 the VSee content.
#3 Network Friendly and Low Bandwidth
- VSee uses less than 50% of the bandwidth of Skype at the same video quality
- VSee senses when the network is congested and will back off in such instances which is ideal for wireless networks like 3G, satellite, or congested intranet.
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 just too grainy and poor due to the bandwidth limitations at the camp. They ended up using VSee because using that same weak network, we were able to deliver clear, high quality video to the refugee camps that made the event special. At the personal use level, this means Skype videochat will freeze on you more often than VSee.
photo courtesy: Claudio Gennari …”Cogli l’attimo ferma il tempo”‘s