VSee vs. Skype: Three Key Differences

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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.

Updated 10-2013

photo courtesy: Claudio Gennari …”Cogli l’attimo ferma il tempo”‘s

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Comments ( 10 )
  • milton
    Richard says:

    Great job on this product guys. Skype doesn’t even compare to Vsee. Thanks you for keeping tis free for personal use. I love it! You missed one important difference and that is with Vsee, you don’t have to pay a subscription fee to talk to multiple friends at the same time.

    Keep up the good work! Keep it free for personal use.

    Thank you

    Richard

  • milton
    Shadow says:

    I love it, VSee vs Skype for me was noticing that Skype not only froze my computer, but 90% of the time crashed my computer entirely! It was madness! I even went from a single core, 32bit OS that was crashing with Skype, to a 64bit dual core OS, that Skype still crashed, and on 4x the RAM as well!

    Now that I’ve gone VSee, I can play D&D over the internet with several of my friends back in my hometown all at the same time!

    This is where I say: Sorry Skype, MSN, and Y!M, but I’ve found something that functions the way I want it to, and that’s simply the way VSee is designed to operate.

    Keep up the good work VSee staff!

    Shadow

  • milton
    Tony says:

    Wow! I’ve been using Skype for years, and just used Vsee for the first time… to interview for a job, no less…

    I was amazed at how good the picture and clarity was, and how it didn’t freeze up one time while I was on my 1.5 hours interview!

    I’m going to start using Vsee, for all my internet marketing business needs;-)

    Thanks for posting these great articles for me to read, to make an informed decision.

  • milton
    G.A.L.E.S.L. says:

    Great to hear that video adjusts for different bandwidth situations. But what about audio? Does that adjust too?

  • milton
    anne says:

    Yes! Audio and video streams both adjust.

  • milton
    Michael Braden says:

    Will VSee work with Samsung HD TVs?
    Love what I’ve read. I’m a disabled veteran & need to keep in touch with my family. Don’t necessarily want to run thru a computer, just a USB HD Camera attached to TV. Really hope you can provide me with some guidance as Skype is not secure.

    Thanks for your assistance.

  • milton
    anne says:

    Hi Michael,
    If you don’t want to run it through a computer, then it depends on what OS the Samsung TV is running on. If it runs on Android, you can use VSee (link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vsee.vsee.release&hl=en) 🙂 If it runs on Linux, then VSee wouldn’t work. Thanks!

  • milton
    donald radbourne says:

    how can i get on i have try and i cant get on to it

  • milton
    Ronald Tolledo says:

    Hi Donald,

    Please go to main VSee page, vsee.com, enter your email address and follow the instructions to activate your account. If you encounter any issues, kindly send an email to support@vsee.com or call 650-560-7140 so we could help you. Thanks for your interest in VSee!

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